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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 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 or  email

A Fall Harvest of Music for Farms in Chestnut Ridge

// August 21st, 2010 // Comments Off on A Fall Harvest of Music for Farms in Chestnut Ridge // News

John McDowell teams up with Canadian violinist Emmanuel Vukovich, cellist Julia MacLaine, and string bass player Evan Premo to create the musical ensemble Music For Farms which will perform a benefit concert for the Rockland Farm Alliance entitled “A Musical Harvest” at the Threefold Auditorium at 260 Hungry Hollow Road, Chestnut Ridge, NY on Friday, September 10, 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 (more…)

Music for Farms at Bechstein Piano Centre

// March 23rd, 2010 // Comments Off on Music for Farms at Bechstein Piano Centre // Calendar, News

May 6, 2010
7:00 pm

Music for Farms (John McDowell, piano; Emmanuel Vukovich, violin, and cellist Julia MacLaine ) perform as part of the Golden Key Salon Series at Manhattan’s Bechstein Piano Centre. The series features new and distinguished performers, wine receptions and premiere performances. Concerts are on the first Thursday of the month, October through May at the Bechstein Piano Centre, 207 West 58th Street, New York. All performances begin at 7:00pm

Suggested donation: $20 general admission; $10 for students with ID

Seating is limited, reservations are required.
For more information, or for reservations, call 212-581-5550

Music For Farms

// March 21st, 2010 // Comments Off on Music For Farms // News

Music for Farms announces “A Musical Harvest” – an appetizing feast of music to be held on Friday, September 10th at 8pm at Threefold Auditorium on Hungry Hollow Road in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Complete information about this performance is here.

Of a recent performance earlier in 2010, listener Toinette Lippe wrote to us “I could feel the earth stirring, seeds growing, birds soaring, and the wind in the trees –creation was moving through me–and I was quite wrung out by the end.”.

Here is an archive of information about earlier performances this year of Music for Farms.

May 2 – Novalis Hall, Angus, Ontario, Canada
May 6 – Bechstein Piano Centre, New York, NY
May 7 – Threefold Auditorium, Chestnut Ridge, NY
May 8 – St. John’s Church, Montreal, Canada

John McDowell and Emmanuel Vukovich. Photo by Janet Maya.

John McDowell and Emmanuel Vukovich. Photo by Janet Maya.

Cellist Julia MacLaine

Cellist Julia MacLaine