Here are some things that kept us busy during the pandemic! (also check the "Sideline Project"page)
"Stay at home" tunes!
We are staying at home but we still want to perform for the public, so we are making music on our porch and sharing it here! Here are a couple of starter videos from our solitude to yours..
2020 Current Events:
Well, we managed to get away from the house and perform for an outdoor crowd of completely distanced (physically, that is) people in beautiful Tofino! The weather was perfect, and so was the hospitality. Thanks to Cindy, Luke and Lee of the "Gust of Wind Street Animation Project" for welcoming and helping with setup. Thanks to the Common Loaf Bake Shop for offering storage for our gear, and coffee, and breakfast sandwiches, and sweets- yum! Much thanks to Maureen Fraser for once again boating us out to stay on Wickaninnish Island at her cabin perched on the edge of the beautiful waters.
Here are some pics from the trip:
2020 Pandemic Events (Art in the Garden Video)
We were so disappointed that North Van Arts "Art in the Garden" had to be postponed this year- it is a fun time to meet artists , gardeners, and folks from North and West Van. But wait! They are embracing the new normal with an innovative plan. Here it is and we are involved!
"Due to current risks brought on by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) North Van Arts are transforming Art in the Garden 2020 into an online platform to provide artists and musicians the opportunity to reach out to their audiences in this disconnected and uncertain time. The virtual event will feature 3-minute videos of musicians performing and artists doing demonstrations of their practice throughout the month of May from the comfort of their own balconies/gardens/homes. Videos will be available to view on the North Van Arts website.
Show your love for local artists by following @NorthVanArts on social media or visit northvanarts.ca. And be sure to check out the Art in the Garden live-stream on May 30 and 31 on Instagram."
We have been busy!
We were off in January 2020 for an exciting two week choral singing study program in South Africa! A collaboration between choir groups Village Harmony and SongRoutes - this trip was a combination of intensive music and dance study, performances, sightseeing, walking/hiking, wine tasting and adventure! An amazing opportunity to experience the rich music, culture, history, tradition and people of South Africa.
During our rehearsal week we focused on learning South African songs and their dances, including traditional gospel, church chorus, folk and struggle songs. We studied with Bongani Magatyana and Matlakala Bopape at the beautiful Volmoed Retreat Center in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley about 90 minutes away from Cape Town. We learned dance movements for every song and Bongani taught traditional dance steps. Apparently, in many sub-Saharan languages, a single word stands for both “singing” and “dancing:” The two complete each other and are experienced in unity. The singing is full-throated and dancing is a natural extension of the joyful sound.
Four Sotho and Xhosa singers from Bongani’s choirs joined us as full participants in the camp, enriching the learning experience and the cultural exchange all around. After a week of practising 7 1/2 hours a day (plus living together and cooking and cleaning for each other), we were a close-knit, 45 member group ready to perform in the scheduled townships and prisons and community centres. Or were we? We were told that the audiences (mainly Xhosa) that we would encounter would be demonstrative- one way or another; so it was with some trepidation that we started our full week of performances- but you can judge their reaction for yourself from the accompanying video. The video has three songs are from our very first performance at the Langa Township in Capetown. (thanks to choir-mate Jim Turnham for the Langa video)
(And now we are in Mexico: four nights in Mexico City seeing the Anthropology Museum, the Aztec pyramids at Teotihuacan, and artist Frida Khalo's house; then down to the coast, here in La Manzanilla by the sea for the rest of the month. We have lined up some performances at our favourite sea-side restaurant- so come on by if you are in the neighbourhood!.)
Note: everything has changed- you know why and how...