|Olena Kuzyk posing as the long suffering Virgin Mary of Kiev|
It would be difficult to figure out a place in our world today that does not have the knowledge that February 24 marks the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia’s Putin.
My friend Graham Walker and I attended a most unusual
concert today that marked that anniversary with spare but avant-garde sounding
music that was not all that sombre but that did inspire us to think about the
state of our world, and to try and feel the suffering in Ukraine.
It is often said that no-fun Vancouver in its attempt to be “world-class” fails particularly in the arts; and more so, with preview publicity and post event criticism, appearing in some form of credible city journalism.
With ad revenue down our city’s newspapers are mere shadows of what they once were.
The one media organization that does not need ad funding, our National and Vancouver CBC could step in. Unfortunately while I am a fan of CBC Ideas, Tom Allen’s CBC Music, and CBC Reclaimed I am not interested in finding out the state of traffic in our city bridges.
It is because of my graphic designer friend Graham Walker that I was alerted of today’s concert at the Canadian Memorial Church and Centre for Peace on the corner of Burrard and West 15th Avenue.
One of our city's admirable concert promoters, is stand-up bassist Mark Haney. Few might know that he is the Composer-in-Residence at the Mountain View Cemetery. Graham Walker and I have attended many concerts there in their lovely and acoustically splendid, recently built, hall.
In the beginning of the pandemic Mark Haney initiated, with his Little Chamber Music organization, something called Isolation Commissions. There were 130. Local performers were paid a nominal sum of money by sponsors. My fave in the list is Number 81 featuring Jeremy Berkman playing his trombone in an underground parking lot.
While tonight’s concert was brought by Little Chamber Music
it was a huge string orchestra with 8 cellos and many violins and violas.
The music played (three local composers- Robyn Jacob, Rita Ueda & Jordan Nobles) was in honour of the bloody anniversary. The concert opened with Arvo Part’s Cantus in Memoriam of Benjamin Britten.
My fave was Robyn Jacob’s A World in Each that had the unusual sight of the string instruments having the bows silently play on the wood edge and not on the strings. For me it reminded me of John Cage’s 4’33” as I listened for any ambient noises present in the church hall.
The ever busy Leslie Dala was the musical director. We were unable to chat with him after as he was off to a meeting at the Orpheum. This man is a Vancouver treasure. He is an excellent pianist and this past summer he directed the Santa Fe, New Mexico Opera. Take that, "world class 'Vancouver!
I regretted not to have brought along my silent Fuji X-E3 camera so the bad quality of my photograph here taken with my phone will have to do.
|right - Mark Haney |