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John McDowell creates original live score for Toronto Art Installation

// September 21st, 2010 // Comments Off on John McDowell creates original live score for Toronto Art Installation // Calendar, News

October 2, 2010 6:57 pmtoOctober 3, 2010 6:57 am

The River Peace is large-scale public participatory art installation by Thomas + Guinevere with the collaboration of composer John McDowell and presented by The Historic Distillery District in partnership with Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2010 and Le Labo. Saturday, October 2nd, 6:57pm to Sunrise.

The music, composed and directed by John McDowell, will be based on the principals of Indian Raga. Using this as a basis, but adapting to Western genres, musicians will collaborate on the workings and nuances of particular themes, memorize several brief segments and phrases and collaborate on their playing.

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s concept and scope of Satyagraha, or non-violent resistance, The River Peace is a mass participatory sculptural movement and sound performance installation; a giant metaphoric river where the content is not water, but a mass human meditation and expression of peace.

It will take the form of a 1,500-foot long luminescent sculpture, stretching around and through the historic laneways in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District, which you are invited to help carry and move as a meditative expression while musicians and dancers create a mass orchestral and choreographic illusion of a river in constant flow – with everyone’s cell phones providing the installation’s luminosity.

The sculpture is made-up of 150 – 12ft light-weight telescopic poles/masts. Mallory Industries who make the poles, were also kind enough to cut and provide a longer 30″ version of a yard which will be attached to the top of the pole and to which will be secured (grommeted) the 1500 ft length of bubble-wrap through which the light from the public’s cell-phones will shine.

As the sculpture moves through The Distillery, an aerial perspective of The River Peace will be captured on video and projected onto the walls of Mill Street Rack House (a collaboration with Luminad and Rattail Films.)

(If you have a QR (Quick Response) reader installed on your phone, you can turn it into colour-shifting lighting instrument. A PDF menu of QR Codes will be available for download at www.thomasandguinevere.com starting September 30, so you can practice. The QR menu colour sequences will also be passed out on Nuit Blanche as well. But if if you can’t scan the codes, simple cell phone light is totally accepted.)

To see more details on how to participate or volunteer, please visit www.thomasandguinevere.com or  email TheRiverPeace@gmail.com

Music For Farms Private performance – Center for Discovery

// August 30th, 2010 // Comments Off on Music For Farms Private performance – Center for Discovery // Calendar

September 9, 2010
7:00 pm

As part of its outreach initiative, Music for Farms will play a private performance at the Janet and Gerald Carrus Institute at the Center for Discovery in Monticello, NY on Thursday, Sept. 9th at 7pm. The Center for Discovery is inspired by people with disabilities to evolve new options for living. The Center for Discovery offers individuals with a range of disabilities and medical frailties – and their families -innovative educational, clinical, residential and social and creative arts experiences designed to enrich their lives through personal accomplishment. The performance is not open to the public – there will be residents, staff, and family members in attendance.

Toronto Hope House Fundraiser

// May 19th, 2010 // Comments Off on Toronto Hope House Fundraiser // Calendar

May 27, 2010
6:30 pmto11:59 pm

John McDowell, composer of music to the film Born into Brothels, accompanied by Regent Park Children’s Choir, performed songs from the film at a fundraiser entitled “Buy a Brick, Build a Home.” The event was held on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at the Palais Royale in Toronto, ON, Canada.

This VIP Indian Garden Party and Basement Bhangra After Party was hosted by Born into Brothels Academy Award winning Director Ross Kauffman and Executive Producer Geralyn White Dreyfous, who, together are helping raise funds to build Hope House for girls from the red light district of Calcutta.

Here are some great photos, by Henry Chan, of John’s performance:

GardenParty1

Benefit for Rockland Farm Alliance in Chestnut Ridge, NY

// April 13th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Calendar

May 7, 2010
8:00 pm

Music For Farms will perform a concert entitled “An Agricultural Rite of Spring” at the Threefold Auditorium at 260 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY on Friday, May 7, 2010 at 8pm. Tickets may be purchased at the door and are $20 ($15 for students, $10 for children). For more information, call 845-362-0207 or email events@rocklandfarm.org.

John McDowell and Emmanuel Vukovich, who practice music and farming side by side (McDowell at Camp Hill Farm in Pomona, NY; and Vukovich in Quebec, Canada), have formed an international initiative, Music for Farms, which works to revive and sustain local organic agriculture and farming communities through the arts. Julia MacLaine joins them for this special concert. The program, described below, includes the music of Bach and several original works in contemporary and classical idioms, such as their own composition based on the Parcifal legend. The trio’s creative arrangements reflect a weaving of eastern and western traditions, incorporating African drum rhythms. This concert will be a benefit for the Rockland Farm Alliance (RFA). The mission of the RFA is to facilitate local sustainable agriculture in Rockland County, New York.

The program for “An Agricultural Rite of Spring” will be drawn from the following selections:

Parcifal and Zazamanc, by John McDowell and Emmanuel Vukovich

F major, by John McDowell

Pachamama’s Catharsis, by Pedro Malpica

Swara Kakali (transcription of a work by Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar)

Solo violin works by Bach

Music for Farms to perform at St. John the Evangelist, Montreal

// April 2nd, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Calendar

May 8, 2010
7:00 pm

Music For Farms (John McDowell, Emmanuel Vukovich, and Julia MacLaine) will perform at The Church of St. John the Evangelist in Montreal on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at 7pm. St. John the Evangelist is located 137 rue President Kennedy street, across the street from Place des Arts (Metro Place des Arts.) Tickets are $25 ($20 student) if purchased online, in advance, at www.fermecadetroussel.org or $30 ($25 for students) at the door. For further information, contact +1 450 346 4993 or laferme@fermecadetroussel.org

You can download a pdf poster for this concert here.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Ferme Cadet-Roussel for the rebuilding of a barn that recently burned down. The Farm, growing primarily vegetables and breeding pigs, cows, and horses, covers an area of 30 hectares, and is located in Mont-St-Gregoire. Ferme Cadet-Roussel, considered a pioneer organization in Quebec as one of the first certified organic farms in the Quebec, uses Biodynamic farming techniques (one of the first in the province) and was the first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm in Quebec, beginning 15 years ago. Equiterre (www.equiterre.org) – the umbrella organization for CSA farms in Quebec – first started at this farm. Cadet-Roussel was also the first farm to start an agricultural land trust in the province – “Protecterre.” Farmers at Cadet-Roussel believe that the link between farmers and consumers has been virtually lost and must be urgently restored to give meaning to society’s work and values. Besides food production, culture and the arts are also central to the life of the farm.

The program will be drawn from the following selections:

  • Parcifal and Zazamanc, by John McDowell and Emmanuel Vukovich
  • F major, by John McDowell
  • Pachamama’s Catharsis, by Pedro Malpica
  • Swara Kakali (transcription of a work by Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar)
  • Solo violin works by Bach
  • Popular Tango and Brazilian selections

**Also included on this program will be a preview showing of Bach in a Barn, a film on music and farming.**

NOTE: Donations to the barn rebuilding campaign can be made online at www.fermecadetroussel.org or by sending a check to Ferme Cadet-Roussel at the following address: 730 Rang Chartier, Mont-Saint-Grégoire, J0J 1K0.