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theengineer

The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons


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theengineer

Much Music

It's been a musical week for me. Wednesday, my brother and myself were at Hugh's Room to see Jane Siberry, who we both love.

The place was quite packed, and so through we got there an hour early, we ended up perched on barstools in a corner without even a little round table to put drinks on. Next time we get a dinner reservation as well. But three hours on a stool didn't bother me much at all, maybe the pilates are paying off.

There were two short warm-up acts (friends of Jane) who I can't even remember now, and then the main event. She has the most magnificent voice. I really mean that. I also like her style, which half the time sounds like a stream of consciousness. She can even make a song she did for a Care Bears movie be cool.

She hasn't done an album of original songs since When I was a Boy, which was way back now, but she's planning on doing a new one soon.

Yesterday evening I was at the Music Gallery again with Catherine and benet, for a free percussion evening. The whole performance was a variety of short and medium-long pieces like "First Concerto for Flute and Percussion", "Six Duets for Three Percussionists" (which featured sand and gravel being pouring on a series of cowbells), but for me the highlight was Rick Sacks and his Octopads, which is a drum synthesizer with eight programmable pads (hence the name). It's default is drum sounds, but you can program them for any sort of recorded sound, such as cooking noises (a piece called "Cooking with Drums"), jungle noises ("Jungle Rhythms"), or kung-fu fighting (the extremely kinetic "Enter the Drummer"). You really had to watch him going nuts with this to truly appreciate it. Apparently Rick is fairly well-known from his work with The Glass Orchestra, and he's done stuff for CBC as well.

The whole performance is being repeated this Sunday at Walter Hall, U of T, although you'll have to pay this time. U of T was kind enough to let the Music Gallery people take about a dozen of the pre-printed programs for last nights show. It's well-worth checking out.