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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Music

Let’s be ready

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The Wooden Sky. Photo from their Facebook page.The Wooden Sky. Photo from their Facebook page.

Ontario Scene has been delivering a whirlwind of fantastic shows and there’s still plenty of goodness in store as we head into its final weekend. One show I feel I must highlight lest it be lost in all the noise is Friday night’s roots-rock triple bill featuring The Wooden Sky, the Sadies and Ottawa’s own Kalle Mattson. I got in touch with the Wooden Sky’s Gavin Gardiner over the phone from his Toronto studio to talk about the energy of playing live, what drives him to make music and what... | Continue reading article

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Ottawa Creatives: Ravenswing Arts + Music Fair

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Photo by Sapling \ Seedling Bindery, from the Ravenswing Ottawa Tumblr page.Photo by Sapling \ Seedling Bindery, from the Ravenswing Ottawa Tumblr page.

Given that the Ravenswing Arts + Music Fair is held this time of year, we’ve decided to do something a little different with Ottawa Creatives this month and focus it on this great community. The fair features a market of local artisans and zinesters, live music performances, and skill-sharing workshops. They are also partnered with the Clothesline Project, an art exhibit which brings awareness to the issue of violence against women and children. The idea for Ravenswing was born out of co-director Sean Zio’s search to find local events where... | Continue reading article

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Ron Sexsmith brings Carousel One to Ottawa

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Ron Sexsmith. Photo by Margaret Malandruccolo, courtesy of the NAC.Ron Sexsmith. Photo by Margaret Malandruccolo, courtesy of the NAC.

When you listen to the music of Canadian artist and multi-Juno Award winner, Ron Sexsmith, be prepared to slow down your life for a moment, and slip into a world of easy-paced melodies and earnestly written songs you‘ll find yourself quickly identifying with. He’ll lead you down a private path that lives inside us all, with lyrics that reflect the yearning of truth, love, and life’s moments and changing tides that can slip under the skin of the heart and mind. Carousel One, Sexsmith’s 14th album released in late March,... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Sights & Sounds

Lanois with NACO, an incredible evening of sonic exploration

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Basia Bulat and Daniel Lanois. Photos courtesy of the National Arts Centre.Basia Bulat and Daniel Lanois. Photos courtesy of the National Arts Centre.

This past Thursday Ottawa ears were treated to an inspiring show of sonic exploration when Daniel Lanois and Basia Bulat joined forces with the NAC orchestra under the baton of David Martin. The exclusive concert jointly produced by Ontario Scene, the NAC orchestra and NAC Presents filled Southam Hall with fans eager to hear what Lanois had cooked up. They weren’t disappointed. Far from typical pop-orchestra collaborations, this was a whirlwind of a sonic journey through sets full of shifting styles, moods and instrumentation. Always hungry for new sonic ground... | Continue reading article

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Cody Allen ignites Irene’s Pub last Saturday

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From left to right: Jeff Logan (guitar), Cody Allen (vocals/acoustic guitar),
Steve Foley (drums), and Rob Toth (bass) perform on the Irene's stage. All photos by Terry Steeves.From left to right: Jeff Logan (guitar), Cody Allen (vocals/acoustic guitar), Steve Foley (drums), and Rob Toth (bass) perform on the Irene's stage. All photos by Terry Steeves.

North Bay native, Cody Allen definitely set the room ablaze on Saturday night, as he unleashed his latest effort, IGNITE to a packed house at Irene’s Pub. With the help of his accomplished band members, Jeff Logan (electric guitar), Rob Toth (bass), and producer, Steve Foley (drums), Allen offered up a set of well over an hour’s worth of material, which also included tracks from his previous three albums. Cody Allen was introduced to the guitar at an early age when his dad brought one home from a pawn shop... | Continue reading article

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Cirque Mechanics thrills audience with death-defying tricks

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All photos from cirquemechanics.com.All photos from cirquemechanics.com.

When I was a kid, I wanted to join the circus. Not because I had a horrible life that I needed to escape from, quite the opposite. I had loving and indulging parents who encouraged me to join gymnastics and pursue acrobatics, but it wasn’t enough- I wanted to be Robin from Batman, without, of course, ever losing my family in some horrible circus accident. Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk reinforced all of the ideals I had as a child toward the circus and acrobatics, and for a live audience. The... | Continue reading article

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Intermezzi: The Art of Time Ensemble proves dolls and dance don’t mix

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Photo by John Lauener, courtesy of The National Arts Centre.Photo by John Lauener, courtesy of The National Arts Centre.

Intermezzi: Art of Time Ensemble, enjoyed this past Wednesday at the National Arts Centre, marked both the commencement of this year’s Ontario Scene, the annual program celebrating provincial artists of all kinds, as well as International Dance Day. Fitting, as the presentation featured renowned Canadian contemporary choreographers, Peggy Baker and James Kudelka, and internationally celebrated dancer, Evelyn Hart. The performance was a physical exploration of several of nineteenth-century German composer, Johannes Brahms’ pieces from his Intermezzi, written at the end of his life and teeming with emotional depth. Brahms’ compositions... | Continue reading article

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Soulful songs for a Saturday night

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Matthew Barber. Photo by Matt Barnes, courtesy of the National Arts Centre.Matthew Barber. Photo by Matt Barnes, courtesy of the National Arts Centre.

With so many Ontario Scene events this past Saturday, it must have been a tough choice for someone looking for an evening out, but for those who placed their bets on Matthew Barber and Jadea Kelly’s show the rewards were sweet. Not only did we get to hear these two songwriters on the same bill, we got to hear them in the lovely sanctuary of St. Alban’s church, a smaller, more intimate space than most churches with ornate stained glass windows, warm wood and high arched ceilings which make for... | Continue reading article

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Make sure to go to Arts Court during Ontario Scene

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Photo of The Yips (Bruised Tongue Records)Photo of The Yips (Bruised Tongue Records)

With 600 artists from numerous genres, the Ontario Scene festival is a true cultural cornucopia. But with so many performances on offer it can be a bit overwhelming to know what to pick.  If I can therefore make a friendly suggestion, consider the shows and exhibit taking place at Arts Court (2 Daly Ave.) as part of Ontario Scene.  I say this after attending a few events there on the evening of Thursday, April 30. On the top of my list is Compagnie ODD’s performance of Speeds and Slownesses 1a.  After watching this... | Continue reading article

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So music meets up with quantum mechanics in a bar . . .

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Photo courtesy of the National Arts CentrePhoto courtesy of the National Arts Centre

What is the relationship between music and quantum mechanics?  I have no idea but am eager to find out in Quantum: Music at the Frontier of Science, a special concert this Sunday by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony at the National Arts Centre. A collaboration between Edwin Outwater, the music director of the K-W Symphony, and the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing, this concert is part of Ontario Scene. In a fascinating project that intersects reason with emotion (and try figuring out who is the more “artistic” group, the symphony players... | Continue reading article

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