choral music

REFUGE Recap

The dust has finally settled after the July Cor Flammae concerts, and we are so pleased to have another successful summer concert series under our belts, and grateful for the artistic experience that came together.

When we chose REFUGE as a theme, it was months before the terrible events at Pulse Nightclub in Florida occurred, but rehearsing in the aftermath we were reminded of why we do what we do. Providing a space for queer singers to make art about survival, and providing a space of meditation on this experience for audiences, is not just an academic exercise but something necessary and artistically relevant to our lives. The point of art is to reflect, parse, transform and bear witness to the realities of the human experience. When people question “why queer art,” this year’s concert allowed us to answer that the queer experience needs to be heard and seen – queer art is a shelter;  one that both saves us from the world and allows us to remake it with more room for difference. In making art about the queer experience we do as we always aspire to – connect the abstract beauty of music to that vital heartbeat of human life.

On that note, this year’s programme was a special undertaking. Learning about music history brings the pieces and composers to life for me, not only letting me geek out and expand my own knowledge, but also explore my favourite challenge: how to then translate that experience to the reader. My hope is that it works in concert with the performances to allow listeners to fully engage with this music.

You can find the programme at issuu.com, and recordings of this summer’s performances at bandcamp.com and YouTube.

refugecover

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The Twilight Cities

I’m pleased as punch and super proud of my pal, Kristopher Fulton, who has just released his first album of choral works, The Twilight Cities. It’s a beautiful and evocative collection of pieces – the kind that make you feel like you’re actually inside a movie. The music is performed by the Vancouver Cantata Singers, under the direction of Paula Kremer.

TwilightCitiesAlbumCover

Kris asked me to be a second set of hands on the liner notes, so I had the great privilege of doing the layout, as well as the text-setting on the cover. The brilliant cover image, “One City, One Spark” is by photographer Brandon Kidwell. While I merely added a light touch to this project, it is still a total thrill to see something I had a small part in staring up at me from my iTunes.

To check out the album, visit music.kristopherfulton.com, where you can preview all the songs (and then buy them)! The album is available on iTunes and Bandcamp!

 

 

 

 

Infographic

I love a good infographic – they’re the perfect example of what design is really about: using form to enhance function. As a visual learner, I also really appreciate seeing how a thing works. They’re tricky business, because it’s not just about making information pleasing to the eye, but organizing it – deciding which information should be highlighted so it can be presented in a succinct way that provides insight for the viewer.

I made this infographic for Cor Flammae’s fundraising campaign. The arts are notoriously under-funded, but we wanted to show the specifics of how under-funded professional choral music is, by highlighting what goes in to producing a show. It is meant to be useful to other choirs as well, and it was an interesting process of research and collaboration, whittling down the information into something that does justice to an experience shared by many groups and then deciding how best to present it in an easily-readable form that fit in a browser window or on a small poster.

 

The Care and Feeding of your Professional Chamber Choir