I was heading by bike in the general direction of Carlton University’s fabled tunnels, when a most incredible Victorian exhibition building came into view, its’ massive 20′ wooden doors opened and welcoming me in to look around and explore the space. The building was deserted and wonderfully impressive, even fanatstic: I was half-awake, so you be the judge.
Only later did I discover that this building, The Aberdeen Pavilion, built in 1898, amusingly goes by the name of the Cattle Barn, or Cow Palace, and was originally inspired by London’s Crystal Palace.
With the gentle morning light streaming in, I parked my faithful Brodie and played through a couple of etudes from 76 Studies, published by Faber Music. The first study to catch my eye was the playful, carnival-like music of Jules A. Demersserman, and the second a more lyrical and dreamy etude by one of the compiler of theses studies, Paul Harris: perfect for the space!
I have always loved the music of Demersserman, full of French charm as it is; I believe the original version of this study has carefully placed grace notes, so, as my latte from the Spark Street had not fully kicked in, please don’t consider this anything like the definitive version, especially with my unexpected rallentando midway through and dump trucks going about their business just outside in the expansive (read ‘prime real estate’) parking lot.
Once slated for demolition, this building is a wonderful example of Victorian architecture, and, restored some time ago, seems to be standing up to the tests of time far better than its’ modern companion, the Ottawa Civic Centre, which has fallen somewhat into disuse. I have even heard that part of the stadium seating has been condemned. Suggestion: don’t sit in the south seats!
Apparently condos are on the way, however I trust that the Cow Palace will be spared the wrecking ball.