Port Willy Retreat

For the past eleven days SHHH!! has had the good fortune to be rehearsing and working on new music out of Port William Sound in Frontenac County (rural Ontario, about 1 hour 30 mins from Canada’s capital of Ottawa). Over the course of the 2022-23 season will be spending 6 weeks in this beautiful and inspiring location thanks to generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council!

What are we practicing?

We are working on Kelly-Marie Murphy’s new double concerto Machines, Mannequins, and Monsters which SHHH!! world premieres with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on February 1st, 2023. It’s a bear… it feels right to be learning it in bear country! 🐻

We are also collaborating on an epic new project on environmental themes with composer Frank Horvat. Here is a brief description of the project from Frank:

“With the working title, An Auditory Survey of the Last Days of the Holocene, this composition will index those sounds of our destructive past and present, with the hope that the music becomes a historical catalogue, like a museum gallery, for those destructive reverberations that no longer exist in the wild because humans decided it was time to dismantle them. If we choose this path, we can ensure a future for the sounds that are truly important to us, making certain those continue to thrive for epochs to come. We might be entering a new age out of the mistakes of our past but with a re-birth comes the ability to choose how you want to move forward.”

Frank joined us this past week to brainstorm and collaborate and we are absolutely buzzing with excitement!!!

Of course, it’s not all work at Port Willy… we also took advantage of our beautiful surroundings and got out for a couple of hikes in Frontenac Provincial Park, not to mention the three times daily walk of what can only be described as possibly the most beautiful driveway in the world.

In the Great Indoors:
In the Great Outdoors: