George Essihos

April 1, 2017

georgeEssihosAtWoodwynn

I was very sad to hear today of the death of George Essihos on Wednesday.

I didn’t know about him, or his music, until just a few years ago. Since then, his performances and recordings have brought me a lot of joy and have helped me understand jazz, and perhaps a few other things, in a new way.

I feel honoured to have met him, and grateful that I got to hear him play on several occasions, including what I believe was his last public performance, in Mill Bay, early in 2015.

I guess you could say that once I discovered him, I made a point of getting to know him as best I could, and I’d like to think that in some way my family and I brought a bit of joy to his life as well, through the friendship we cultivated.

George visited us at the Peace Garden at Woodwynn Farms a few weeks before the official opening. Photos on this page show him with a glass-on-glass mosaic I had made, inspired by his performance of “I’m Beginning to See the Light.”

Like many others, I am wishing that there could be a chance to hear him play again.

 


Music, science, space, Canada, social media…. what more can I say

May 8, 2013

For his last downlink before returning to Earth, CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield performed I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) with hundreds of students at the Ontario Science Centre and nearly a million people, mostly students from coast-to-coast Canada and around the world, performing the song in unison from their location.

I.S.S. is a song co-written by Hadfield and the Barenaked Ladies’ front man Ed Robertson.

Chris Hadfield just seems to represent everything that *can* be right about humanity. The only thing to say is “thank you!”

Here are the lyrics:
http://www.leafpress.ca/Mondays_Poems_2013/Chris_Hadfield/Is-Somebody-Singing.htm

And a link to more info:
http://music.cbc.ca/#/Space/blogs/2013/2/Ed-Robertson-takes-us-behind-the-writing-of-ISS-Is-Somebody-Singing


Vedran performs again in Sarajevo

April 6, 2012

Vedran Smailovic had not performed in his hometown of Sarajevo for twenty years.

Yesterday, April 5, marked the 20th anniversary of the shelling of that city and Vedran returned to play his cello again.

Cellist of Sarajevo, Vedran Smailović from Marcel van der Steen on Vimeo.

Here’s a news article about the event.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/cellist-sarajevo-plays-again-mark-anniversary-shelling-city-172552540–spt.html

I have always viewed Vedran’s actions during the siege as an example of the power of the arts to give people hope. It’s about picking up the pieces and rebuilding and it’s a perfect message to think of once again at Easter. Springtime is a new beginning.


(Above is a video of me reading my book about Vedran Smailovic: “Echoes from the Square” with artwork by my husband, Deryk Houston)