2013

A Soldier's Tale - for Michael Greyeyes

I’m working on Michael Greyeyes dance/theatre piece, a version based on native American experiences in WWII and the Iraq war. On November 18, The Music Gallery kindly hosted a concert version of the music with a stellar band:
Maryem Tollar - voice and qanuun
Petr Lutek - clarinet
Andrew Downing - cello
Deb Sinha - percussion
David McFarlane of the Star called it
among my year’s highlights’.

Sacrifice Zone

For Theatre Gargantua’s The Sacrifice Zone I pulled out the full one man band routine.
Homemade electric guitar, found metal percussion and bells and footpedal for Qlab. At times I was playing guitar with one hand, percussion with another, kick drum with one foot and Qlab sound effects with another. Good times, as they say. It was a pleasure to play live and remember how much more detailed and quickly it works that way.

Tainted

I had the pleasure of working with Vikki Anderson on the powerhouse that is Kat Lanteigne on her self produced work, Tainted. A lovely piece about a family living through the blood scandal here in Canada.

The Flood Thereafter

For Canstage’s Flood Thereafter, a lovely show, we used pickups on the fridge, a piano harp we rescued from our porch an iPhone running prop phone, live mics and lots of sound cues built during rehearsal live.

Prairie Nurse

Had the fun of creating some music that sounded like ’60’s Elvis, with extra ukelele and lap steel for Prairie Nurse out at the lovely Blyth Festival.
Here’s the theme

and a transition

Jacqueries

Jacob Niedzwiecki’s site specific piece just opened.
It runs on iPhones, with video and sound cued up on an app built by Jacob. The piece is pretty cool, there are 4 streams for the audience to follow through each with a separate audio track and another 7 audio streams with cues for each of the dancers. Figuring out the timings and calls has kept me up for a while, but its really worth it when the piece comes through.
Here’s the music for the protest scene.

The section ended up being cut in the show, but it was really cool working on it. For a section towards the end, 8 bars of material had 7 different click tracks at different polyrythymn’s, 8/16, 10/16, 12/16… with each dancer getting a different click track on their own iPhone track so that they could do the same movement out of phase but still in sync. There are bits where all the rythmn’s play over each other, like the first 4 bars as well as a few quotes of Mini the Moocher thrown in.

Yorkville the Musical

Just finished doing the sound design for Yorkville, the Musical, out at Blyth.
Tom Szczesniak’s music and band with text by Carolyn Hay and directed by Donna Feore.
Its a very fun and smart show, hanging out in Blyth with the cast and crew was a blast as I busied myself taping mics to actors, getting the mix going and making odd doorbell signs.

A Soldiers Tale

Finished up the second round of workshops for Michael Greyeye’s piece, A Soldier’s Tale, a dance/theatre piece. Its going to be up and running next spring, and I’m excited to be working out a concert version of the music for the show for a gig at the Music Gallery this fall.

CD release for Lenka Lichtenberg

Looking forward to the release of the third cd I’ve played on for Lenka Lichtenberg.
Sunday April 28 at the Glenn Gould with a stellar band.

Major Barbara

I’m enjoying working on Shaw’s Major Barbara out here at the Shaw Festival.
The script still invites very serious debate about religion, capitalism and war. And I got to hire Herb Poole, David Bell, Scott Good and Rick Sacks to make a little Sally Ann type band.

Goodness

I had a chance to help out with a documentary on Volcano’s production of Goodness and their trip to Rwanda. Great little film about bring a show about genocide to a place where they’ve experienced it. Had a lovely opening at Realdocs.

Other People's Children

Hanna Moscovitch’s piece at the Tarragon, directed by Paul Lambert. A lovely piece of writing and a great cast with music by me featuring Ukelele’s in Quadraphonic!.
Yup, Quadrophonic sound! Wee Hoo.

4.10 Psychosis

In January and February had the pleasure to work on 4.01 Psychosis with Vikki Anderson directing a Necessary Angel production. A beautiful and troubling look at a very troubled mind.

The Little One

Sound design for Hanna Moscovitch’s show, directed by Natasha Mytnowych is just coming back from tour after a run at the Tarragon Theatre.
We had some fun challenges, like figuring out a wireless speaker that could fit inside a tiny tape recorder and how to amplify a toy piano and make it sound scary.

Yellow Wallpaper

Just finished the first phase of a workshop on the Yellow Wallpaper. Its going to be a very cool project with Anna Chatterton writing and acting, Jim Ruxton on video and tech, Philip Barker designing, Julia Aplin dancing and choreographing and Ker Wells as outside eye. Working at the very nice Lyric Theatre in Hamilton.

Mad Ship in theatres!

Mad Ship is now in theatres across the country, I hope you all can see it.

As the Globe says of the music:
“an evocative score by John Gzowski (much of it beautifully sung by Patricia O’Callaghan).”