Tag Archives: Musicians

Halifax Instrument Library: Instruments Wanted

This fall, Halifax has been all abuzz with talk of libraries; from the rising success of the Halifax Tool Library, to the brand-new Halifax Central Library, Haligonians are now, more than ever, embracing the culture of sharing. A third library is emerging on the scene in the form of a musical instrument library, being pioneered by the good folks at the Halifax Music Co-op. Interim Development Director for the Co-op, Stephanie Pronk, has been appointed as the fundraising champion for the library project. “The Halifax Music Co-op is all about making music accessible. That’s actually our mission: music for everyone. Currently, we’re really accessible in that you can come in, play an instrument, and there’s very little commitment from you; you just have to show up for your lessons and take part in the ensembles. You only have to pay as little as one dollar per year to be a member. Financially, it’s open to whoever wants to join; the only problem is that you have to come with an instrument because we don’t have any.” Continue reading Halifax Instrument Library: Instruments Wanted

Penny Blacks: Bande à Part

“First of all, this is very much a surprise. In fact, I am so confident that Penny Blacks is not going to win that I am drafting this short speech for Adam to read on my behalf with the full expectation that he will never do so. That being said, I would like say thank you to the committee and jury at the Originals for this honour, and to acknowledge the great service you do our wonderful city by recognizing the individuals and organizations that foster and create art. Although I cannot be there tonight, my friends, my family, my heart, and the lion’s share of my inspiration are there with you. I look forward to seeing you all in October, and, although I cannot speak for Ali, Adam, Chris, and Clinton, I am personally REALLY looking forward to stripping down to the waist, lubing up, and having Adam push me and this lovely statue around the old Liquidation World parking lot in a shopping cart, screaming ‘I’M AN ORIGINAL!!’ at the top of my lungs. And, if anyone says different? Well, I’m sure this thing would really hurt if it hit you on the head. (How are you doing with this, Adam? Can they tell that I never expected this to actually be read in public?) Thank you again. Jessica and The Playdates, this is just as much yours as it is ours.”

The above speech was written by Penny Black’s frontman and songwriter, Jason Ogden, and delivered, verbatim, by bassist Adam Kierstead, in acceptance for Saint John’s The Originals 2014 Popular Music Award. Continue reading Penny Blacks: Bande à Part

The Saint John String Quartet Celebrate Maritime Composers

It’s not that listening to Rock & Roll was forbidden in my parent’s house, and our home bore little resemblance to the town in ‘Footloose’, but rather my parent’s taste in music had simply changed over the years, and as children we were forbidden from touching the large collection of vinyl that had been carefully tucked away in boxes under the stairs. Gone were the days of Sir Elton, Sir Paul, and Toto; their places in the stereo cabinet had been taken up by Beethoven, Mozart, and Handel. It was the forbidden quality of those basement records that drew me to music more than anything; these mysterious and somehow valuable objects that had been stacked just a foot away from my collection of Ghostbuster toys (also a valuable possession), and yet must never be played with. My father must have feared my temptation would grow too great, so he began my education on the proper care and use for the home stereo with all of its blinking lights, dials, knobs, and sliders, as complex as a space shuttle and conceivably just as expensive, and along with it came my introduction to classical music.

I can vividly remember my father taking me out on several occasions to experience Symphony New Brunswick: Continue reading The Saint John String Quartet Celebrate Maritime Composers

Earthbound Trio’s Rising Star

In the midst of Earthbound Trio’s set, a sudden explosion of noise cuts Bob Fitzgerald’s upright bass short. It’s the sort of noise reserved for Michael Bay films; not what you want to hear during a show, and especially not during the Galaxie Rising Star competition at Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. I had come to interview the opening act and presumptive winners, Tomato/tomato, who had garnered themselves a full 50% of the online vote, though admittedly I was rooting for both teams, and that noise caused the bottom of my stomach to drop. Mike ‘Mumble’ Humble, percussionist extraordinaire, tells me things were even worse from his perspective, “My ear drum dropped out. That was the loudest thing I have ever heard. Like wow, man. That monitor was set up nice and loud for the loop to come in later, and then, all of a sudden, it’s killing me with nowhere to hide. But you just keep playing, and you play through it, right? It’s not the first time that pedals have made whacky noises.” Continue reading Earthbound Trio’s Rising Star