Archive for February, 2007

Morning at the Waterworks

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Introducing myself to staff at Toronto’s central water filtration plant, I encountered a major renovation of the site. With connected rooms replete with brass railings, massive victorian pumps in one section, arched internal windows and high lofted ceilings, the ambience of this historic utilities building can be heard in the full, rich acoustic. (more…)

Ah! So Pure

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As a plasterer goes about his craft, I check out the acoustics of this wonderful, historic building with a reading of one of Berbiguier’s familiar 18 Studies…

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…and the lyrical, flowing music of Ah! So Pure by von Flotow, from his operetta ‘Martha’, seems well-suited for the wonderfully live acoustic, not to mention the actual setting of this Water Filtration Plant, here at the base of Russell Hill Road!

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www.operatoday.com/content/2005/12/flotow_martha.php

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Living on Purpose

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My sister, Lynn, who lives out on the West Coast, has a radio show with Radio Malaspina out of Nanaimo called Living on Purpose, and she recently aired a segment that she and I had recorded before Urban Flute Project even had a name. Besides having a rare chance to visit and catch up a bit with Lynn, we explored the novel concept of recording flute ‘in situ’ in several locations of historic and personal significance. We recorded briefly in Castle Frank Station, The Distillery District, as well as a wonderful church on St. Clair Avenue West. This last location featutures an impromptu duo for flute and organ.

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Cupola Stairs, Distillery District

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One of the first sites that I recorded at with my sister, Lynn, back in October, 2006, I recently returned to this uppermost floor of one of the inumerable and intriguing historic buildings at the Distillery District. (more…)

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Playing inside a Giant Flute!

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Peering upwards, my eyes not yet adjusted to the dim light, I could see only blackness. A few test notes, and I realized that the the acoustic was very dry, with a unique finish that only a 200+ foot open-ended column overhead could allow! Playing briefly inside this chimney at Toronto’s Historic Brickworks location was like playing inside a giant flute!

www.evergreen.ca/rethinkspace/ (more…)

Sandy’s Bikes & Books

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A refuge for cyclists – and bibliophiles(!) – this tandem bike shop is the calm at the center of a storm of change…check out his neighbours to the south.

‘A Real City!’

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Upon showing this image to a friend, the immediate reaction was “It looks like a real city!”

The view offers an impression looking north on Yonge Street, a streetscape that includes the Summerhill LCBO with it’s seasonal and festive, blue tree placed on the railway bridge, as well as ‘The Five Thieves’ – I guess that’d be ‘The Four Thieves’, since Patachou Patisserie has relocated just down the street!

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Saint James’ Impression

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A string of inexplicable coincidences culminated in a recent trio recital (flute, oboe & organ) with colleagues at The Cathedral Church of Saint James…sound files soon to follow!

If you have never set foot in this majestic & historic edifice, don’t make my mistake by waiting for over 30 years!

Carillon Bells & Cobblestone

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This street sound-scape was made during late-December wanderings in one of the older downtown areas of Toronto — I find it particularily evocative, especially towards the end at the conclusion of the carillon solo, as a street vendor wheels close by over uneven cobblestone. (more…)

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Prometheus’ Pet Spark!

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This odd adventure – of stealing onto a demolition site as a building is in the process of being demolished, flute in hand – was awe-inspiring and incredible, and one I won’t be repeating in a hurry! (more…)