Barn Life & Banff Wrap Up

Over the last two and half weeks we had the privilege of setting up shop at the Venturing Hills Concert Studio in Luskville, QC (home of the Pontiac Enchanté Concert Series) as a part of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Evolution: Classical career development residency. Our stay at the “barn” was made possible with the generous support of the National Arts Centre and Pontiac Enchanté. Thank you for the opportunity!

Evolution: Classical asked us to develop a new curation that pushed us musically and artistically, as well as to explore new concepts and ways of connecting, expressing, and creating. With the time and space afforded to us by our stay at Venturing Hills, we were able to develop a new, more theatrical and unified approach to our curation. This new approach was also inspired by the incredible faculty and other Evolution: Classical participant entities who we have got to know (remotely) since May.

While at the barn, we had the chance to work IN PERSON with choreographer Marie-Josée Chartier. With her expertise we were able to hone our movement, transitions, and staging (and Aperghis… whew!!). What a great experience.

The result of all this work?

EXTRAterrestrial

EXTRAterrestrial, our new curation, premiered on August 11th as a part of the Banff Centre’s EvoFest Evolution Concert Series. The program includes music by Andy Akiho, Kevin Hanlon, J.S. Bach, Jocelyn Morlock, Mari Alice Conrad, Monica Pearce, and a theatrical percussion work by George Aperghis. It was thrilling to be able experiment and push ourselves with this program. Thank you to the Banff Centre E:C mentors (and participants) for their support, encouragement, and feedback!

Our performance was part of an epic triple header with other Evolution: Classical participant entities Indigo Trio (Jessie Ramsay, Alyssa Ramsay, and John Sellick) and Kalliope (Ellen Torrie and Kerry Bursey). It has been SO inspiring to see all of these diverse curations come together. You can still watch the show and all of the EvoFest concerts here. At the time of writing this blog post there are still two more shows that can be watched LIVE, tonight and tomorrow.

A few stills from August 11th:

Besides being a gorgeous concert venue, Venturing Hills is also a functioning equestrian farm that is nestled in the Eardley Escarpment. With it’s back to the Gatineau Park and facing out towards the Ottawa River, there was no shortage of beautiful views, greenery, and hikes and walks.

Some pictures from our rehearsal breaks over the course of the residency:

Normally, we would have wanted to cap off this blog post with a bunch of great pics of us with all of the faculty and other participants that made this residency such a rich, inspiring, and unforgettable experience, but since the bulk of our interactions were via Zoom (and it still managed to be AMAZING) we will end with screen shot from Jamie Parker!

Thank you to ALL! 🙂🙂

Some of our Summer

With all of the ups and downs that the last year has brought, thankfully this summer is shaping up to be one of our busiest and most creative! 🙂☀️🎶

That being said, we did allow ourselves a little break last week in beautiful Prince Edward County:

Since our last post:

  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Evolution: Classical has continued with incredible weekly mentor sessions and EvoFest concerts. Always so inspiring. EvoFest concerts are available for free on the Banff Centre YouTube channel, here.
  • Episode 3 of NightCAPS w/ SHHH!! Ensemble aired ft. world premiere performances of Monica Pearce’s leather and Patricia Morehead’s Moon on Shimmering Water. You can still watch the performance, here.
  • On June 20th we had the pleasure of recording Monica Pearce’s leather at Revolution Recording in Toronto for her upcoming Textile Fantasies album.
  • SHHH!! percussionist Zac Pulak received a City of Ottawa Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists Grant to complete a new solo percussion work he has been developing since the start of the pandemic (to be premiered this Fall).

Coming up:

  • Chamberfest released their season lineup! We will be performing three concerts (available online or in person)! Click here for complete details.
    1. New Music Now ft. Jocelyn Morlock’s Spirit Gradient and Monica Pearce’s leather
    2. Bring the Kids! concert ft. some really fun and engaging participatory pieces
    3. Record Centre SHHHuffle recital ft. classical arrangements plus new music by Jocelyn Morlock, Mari Alice Conrad, Noora Nakhaei, and Andy Akiho.
  • We are honoured to be partnering with the National Arts Centre as artists in residence for the 2nd instalment of the Banff Centre Evolution: Classical program. Thanks to the NAC’s support, we will spend two glorious weeks putting the finishing touches on our new repertoire at the Venturing Hills Concert Studio in Luskville, QC. The new program will be live-streamed from Venturing Hills via the Banff Centre’s EvoFest series.
  • PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING for the Ottawa New Music Creators’ season launch (early September). It’s going to be RAD. 🤙

More to Come SOON! 🤫😉