Tag Archives: Tapestry

Song of Songs and Movie Night

Posted by Liz

This afternoon’s conceptual concert from the ensemble Tapestry was based around the text Song of Songs, described by Laurie Monahan as a love poem. The performance wove Hebrew cantillations with Latin, Hebrew and modern settings of the poem together with instrumental accompaniment and improvisation.

Whilst the festival program had a list of works, the performance was done in discrete halves with works merging together. In the end I stopped looking at the program and just enjoyed! The instrumental performances in particular were interesting and pleasurable, indeed conjuring up a garden in summer somewhere like Spain or maybe Roman/Byzantine Tripoli. The sound was interesting too – I had a brief chat with Shira Kammen in the interval to look at the small harp, which is played on the lap and strung with gut strings; also the vieille with its 5 strings.

All Hebrew cantillations were sung excellently by Daniela Tosic; the other works were either, solo, duo or group. For some of the songs, the Tapestry singers were at the back and sides of the church with impressive results. Finishing the afternoon with two catchy songs, ‘Erec shel shoshanim’ and ‘Dodi Li’, rounded off an excellent show.

Later on I went to the third showing of the 1948 film The Iron Curtain at the Bytowne Cinema. A good mix of people had turned up for a classic spy thriller and soundtrack from Russian composers Shastakovich, Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, and Khachaturian. Whilst there was a plot device to include the music, it was only featured in parts. Part proto-docudrama, part Cold War propaganda, the film is entertaining not least for the classic shots of 1940s Ottawa. Instances of bumbling public servants also drew laughter from the audience. It hadn’t occurred to me previously, but cinema prints must be very rare as the film was projected from a Mac, so there is clearly a DVD available somewhere (sadly for anyone who missed the film, Ottawa Public Library doesn’t have a copy).

Photos of previous festival events are now available on the Music and Beyond website!


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Music and Beyond 2012: Introducing…

Only a few days to go until Music and Beyond 2012 starts! I am Liz, your guest blogger for the duration of this year’s festival. With even more concerts than last year, 2012’s festival has a whole host of exciting events, many of them very different to the more typical chamber music concert. Here’s a small selection.

Following the musical fireworks of the Opening Gala, Music and Dance showcases the interplay of two art forms from Baroque to contemporary. Continuing the combination theme, the ensemble Tapestry showcase the relationship between text and music in Song of Songs: Come Into My Garden. Two events feature the music of the Cold War: the Beyond the Bomb event at the Diefenbunker museum and the tie-in showing of The Iron Curtain at the Bytowne Cinema. Representing string quartets and eagerly anticipated after their 2005 Shostakovich Quartets series, the three Borodin Quartet shows feature the complete quartets of Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

For me, the five concerts featuring Vikram Seth are both exciting and intriguing. The four-part series The Rivered Earth features Seth and Alec Roth, alongside other musicians, performing Seth’s libretti (also published as a book) on the themes of ‘Songs in Time of War’, ‘Shared Ground’, ‘The Traveller’ and ‘Seven Elements’. The fifth concert returns to Seth’s 1999 novel An Equal Music and music featured therein. Menahem Pressler‘s two concerts, with the NACO Principal Winds and with the Jupiter String Quartet promise some very high quality performances.

Finally – the must-see Heavy Metal Violin event featuring returning virtuoso violinist Rachel Barton Pine with her doom band Earthen Grave. Their self-titled new release features 10 songs which will certainly please any fan of classic heavy metal with a twist!

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