May went woosh! Now, Ottawa

May flew. It really flew! Thanks to everyone who came out to the Montreal concert and launch. It was a very, very hot day and I had such an amazing crowd who hiked up that hill to the Faculty of Music at the University of Montreal!

I’m performing in Ottawa, presented by my friends Megan Johnson and Jacob Caines at Sesquisharp Productions (they are really rad, go to their page and see what they’re all about!!)

The performance will be held: Saturday June 15th, 2013 at 3:00PM 
Orpheus House- 17 Fairmont Avenue, off Wellington West 
$10 Adults, $5 Students/Seniors

There will be a discussion/meet and greet after the concert and I’ll have my lovely, hand-painted and stamped CDs for sale.

For those of you who are reading from afar, I will be making the album available as a digital download very, very soon. As always, stay tuned!

Into the studio.

It’s time! I’m heading into two intensive days of recording to get all of these pieces in nice, clean, studio versions.

I met with my excellent recording engineer, Todd, late last week to test mics and continue our discussion of the different pieces and different set-ups we might use. We’ve got some rad gear thanks to Studio Fast Forward Montreal. And I think I need to repeat that I have an EXCELLENT recording engineer. Todd Macdonald. If you get a chance, check out his psych-folk project, Norvaiza. (Bonus: name-that-soprano on the track “Cremation Ground”…)

[This is a great segue, read on:] While I’ve done a lot of collaborative recordings on other people’s projects, I haven’t done nearly as much solo recording as I have solo performance– it is a completely different game. Without getting too deep into the philosophy of the impermanence of the live performance vs. the work of art as “immortalized” in a recording, I must say it is liberating as well as stressful.

PRO: We can go back and fix mistakes, issues with levels, do a re-take if someone coughs or sneezes or if an ambulance screams by outside. I have a lot of freedom in terms of the palette of vocal sounds I can use, because there is no need to be heard by an entire audience in a large hall.

CON: Fatigue from repeated takes, one is most likely never completely satisfied with the end result, solo voice is very, VERY exposed and reverb can only do so much.

I’ve also had some really great meetings and discussions with my collaborators and am taking some time this evening to rest my voice in preparation for the next two days, and work on the album art.

For inspiration, I’m listening to some of my favourite solo voice recordings:

Karoliina Kantelinen, an incredible singer and ethnomusicologist from Finland

This album, called Only, by Marianne Pousseur, which whom I had the privilege of studying with at the Banff Centre in October.

Theo Bleckmann’s solo album I dwell in possibility

And thinking about Meredith Monk, Iva Bittova and a lot of other singers who keep me strong on my weird soprano path!

See you on the other side!

HELLO HALIFAX!! Vocalypse Productions and Dalhousie Art Gallery Present…

I am so thrilled to announce that FOR THE FIRST TIME, I’ll be performing the full suite of 8 works at this concert, graciously organized and presented by the fabulous new music soprano  Janice Jackson. Janice is a hero of mine and I am so honoured by her invitation and encouragement. She is someone whose work and dedication to her work remind me why I sing, and why I sing the music I sing. (Also check out her company Vocalypse Productions. Exciting and dynamic stuff!)

The show will feature the remaining three premiere performances: Gayle Young‘s Tea Story, Aura Giles‘ Say and Marie-Claire Saindon‘s Portraits of Winged Creatures, as well as all the “old gems”:

Luke Nickel’s Reorganization
Elyze Venne-Deshaies’ Aquarelle délavée
Sally Norris’ Cautionary Tales #1- In This World
Mason Koenig’s The Blue Book
Andy Costello’s Smiles from Miles

I’ve been working with Lilian Belknap on dramaturgy and the show’s structure. It’s going to be great! And for those of you waiting in Montreal, mark the 31st of May— that’s the big day for the album release!

Details for the Halifax show:

Friday 5 April 2013 at 8:00 PM

Dalhousie Art Gallery

6101 University Avenue, Halifax, NS

Tickets: $20 / $15 at the door or online <–click to buy!

Reservations call (902) 429 1899

Hope to see you!

Moving along…

It can be really difficult to find time for blogging when one is very swamped with self-imposed music-learning. Alas, here I am!

Today’s mission is to work on movement to go with Sally Norris‘ whimsical Cautionary Tale. The text is based on an obsucre fairy tale, and I have the task throughout of embodying several different characters and flipping back and forth between them throughout. I asked my friend and collaborator, Lilian Belknap, to be my dramaturge/choreographer/director for this experiment. We’ve worked this way before, on Kate Soper‘s Only The Words Themselves Mean What They Say, (video here, with Jeff Stonehouse on dancing flute), and I love the way Lilan is able to extract meaning from words and infuse them with movement so that the meaning becomes even more clear and poignant– even when the movement is abstract. A violist by trade, Lilian has also worked in theatre and has a really, REALLY keen eye for what looks good on stage. I’m quite gung ho about working together in this capacity agin! Most importantly, we’ve got the green light for our ideas so far from the composer – excellent.

I’m going to share this morning’s variation on the classic performance anxiety dream: First, I was living at home with my parents in Windsor, ON. I had slept through my church service (which is tomorrow, in Montreal) and missed part of my opera rehearsal (as if I didn’t already have enough going on, I’m in the chorus for Opera da Camera‘s exciting upcoming production of Figaro!). Also, I was supposed to be performing works from the trickpony project at a concert at a church (my childhood church in Windsor) organized by a punk band, possibly involving a mixture of people I know from Montreal and teenage friends from Windsor. At any rate, I was expected at this concert, but I had just woken up, and was trying to find enough black clothes to put on to run to the concert, while warming up (hurried lip trills!) and trying to find my scores in the pile on my desk, because I hadn’t had time to memorize everything yet. But the worst part was that I’d had no clue the concert was in the afternoon, or even really that day– I had forgotten how soon it was and it had snuck up on me. It was also being recorded for some radio station, though I’m not sure which one. When I finally woke up, I was still trying to find the door to the church where everybody was waiting for me to perform… aaaaauuuugggghhhh!!! People! Don’t fret! I am taking measures to make sure this doesn’t happen in real life! Now, for a nice, relaxed, real-life Saturday warm-up…

Cluster! Progress!

Well, HELLO there!

I am so excited to announce that I will be performing at Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival! I’ll be around for several of the festival events; most markedly will be a split program of solo works with the incomparable Lori Freedman on clarinet. She will present pieces by composers Ferneyhough, Barrett and Cendo as well as a work of her own creation.

The concert will be on Friday, March 15th at 8pm at the Urban Shaman Gallery, 203 – 209 McDermot Ave in Winnipeg. I will be premiering two works from this project at the concert! Cautionary Tales #1 – In This World by Sally Norris, and Aquarelle délavée by Elyze Venne-Deshaies. I’ll also bringing The Blue Book (Mason Koenig) and a brand new Re-organization (Luke Nickel), this time modeled on a Bikini Kill song and an attempt to capture Kathleen Hanna’s delivery style and mannerisms. 

I will also have the great honour of finally presenting Andy Costello‘s Smiles from Miles, a piece that is very dear to my heart in content and construction, at the Manitoba New Music Conference on Sunday, March 10th. The conference runs from 12-5pm, and I’ll update here once I have an exact schedule.

In the works (business-wise): Halifax at the end of March! Details to follow!

In the works, music-wise: Choreography with Lilian Belknap on Cautionary Tales this afternoon. Learning a LOT of solo music, which can be quite lonely, but this whole thing was my idea so I probably shouldn’t complain!