Photos supplied by the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.
When scholars of classical music study discussed chamber music –defined as instrumental music played by a small group– it’s probably a good bet to say that turntables, klezmer-folk-punk and a DJ who goes by the name Skratch Bastid wasn’t mentioned once. However, this music that lives on the edge of the definition is exactly what the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival plans to spotlight in its coming Chamberfringe performances.
Taking place most late evenings during the festival’s July 21 to August 3 run, these shows are designed to offer festival goers a chance to expand their horizons after the main performances of the night. Even the venues are unique, taking place away from the fest’s main hub of Dominion-Chalmers United Church in a cabaret environment that includes a few growler salon events where you can mix, mingle, and sample local food and brews.
Though the fringe shows (15 in all) feature some top talents in music today, they are outside the more traditional styles festival patrons might be used to if they only attend the main performances. Not everyone is going to feel cozy mixing their Bach with sitar, DJs and jazz but, for those who venture over the line, these performances are often joyous surprises that are the highlights of the festival.
Take last year’s performance by Montreal-based scratch DJ Kid Koala, for instance. Nufonia Must Fall LIVE was part film, part puppet show, part concert and all heart with Koala and his turntables being joined by a cast of puppeteers, a pianist and string section to bring to life the story of a headphone wearing robot and a lonely office girl. The performance was called “the top concert of the year” by the Ottawa Sun and those leaving, smiles beaming, bodies grooving and with warmed up hearts, couldn’t deny that had just seen something special.
So, go on, step over the line and into the fringe side of the fest. Ottawa Life shares some top picks of the series:
July 22, 10PM: École secondaire publique De La Salle |
501 Old St. Patrick Street | $30
The Afiara Quartet were part of the Kid Koala show last year and are one of the most innovative string groups in music today, a kind of Kronos with a Canuck tinge. They are back again –this time with Juno nominated DJ Skratch Bastid, to add another fresh spin on string music. Cellist Adian Fung knows a bit about exploring genres outside of his chosen instrument. He used to be a freestyle rapper.
July 24, 10PM: La Nouvelle Scène | 333 King Edward Avenue | $30
With a seed planted in the back of a music lecture at the University of Toronto, the Ladom Ensemble has grown into a group that has been described as much elegant as they are fiery. The acoustic quartet is inspired by the world and the music of various cultures is seamlessly woven with threads coated in classical melody. The result is a wide range of music that can move from soothingly sweet to fantastically frantic quicker than a blink. Toss in some bopping beats fit for a Parisian cabaret and you might find yourself dancing in the aisles.
July 25, 10PM: La Nouvelle Scène | 333 King Edward Avenue | $30
La Nouvelle Scène is set to become a speakeasy as New York’s Attacca Quartet takes you back to the Prohibition-era United States for some roaring 20’s in 2016. Don’t worry, this won’t be a dry event. You can listen to era house band arrangements and once-banned classical pieces while sipping a 30’s style cocktail created by the group’s cellist. No word on whether or not you’ll be able to bust out into the Charleston or Lindy Hop.
Upper York Mandolin Quartet
July 27, 10PM: La Nouvelle Scène | 333 King Edward Avenue | $30
One of Canada’s most creative guitarists, Kevin Breit has been just fine slipping into the sounds of the blues, jazz, folk and world music. His versatility has earned him a Juno and spots on recordings that have won 13 Grammys. His group, The Sisters of Euclid, have been performing in Toronto’s Orbit Room for over 13 years. Where do you go from there? How about putting down the guitar, picking up a mandocello, adding three more mandolins and the vocal silky smooth vocals of Rebecca Jenkins and carting the entire mix to Chamberfest?
Lemon Bucket Rodeo
July 28, 10PM: La Nouvelle Scène | 333 King Edward Avenue | $30
If you’ve never seen a Lemon Bucket Orkestra performance before you may just want to bring something to strap you down to your seat. Otherwise, prepare to be blown away and infused with the sudden urge to dance uncontrollably at speeds roughly equivalent to Mach 4. Thankfully, this kelzmer-folk-punk party band doesn’t break the sound barrier itself. They’ve been known, however, to explode into rollicking spectacles just about anywhere, including aboard delayed airplanes.
Tribute to Duke Ellington
July 31, 10PM: La Nouvelle Scène | 333 King Edward Avenue | $30
Somewhere in the world right now you can be sure something by Duke Ellington is being played. American composer, pianist and bandleader Ellington was a legend of jazz and an originator of many standards that continue to be worked into jazz repertories today. To many, he is the very definition of the genre, reminding us how “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)”! Ellington’s music will be performed by violin virtuoso Drew Jurecka and his own kings of swing, Jim Campbell (clarinet), Gene DiNovi (piano), Dave Young (double bass) and Glenn Anderson (drums).
August 1, 10PM: La Nouvelle Scène | 333 King Edward Avenue | $30
Baroque soprano Erin Cooper-Gay’s genre-bending vocals combined with the beautiful violin compositions by Drew Jurecka has been called a fusion of indie and classical styles, a sort of Radiohead meets Monteverdi. Sometimes, really, only hearing for yourself does something this spectacular justice:
August 2, 10PM: La Nouvelle Scène | 333 King Edward Avenue | $30
If you missed the Sultans of String’s performance earlier this year at the NAC with sitar master Anwar Kurshid you are in luck. The Toronto group has given you a way to travel the world without a single plane ticket, passport or need to change your currency. It’s a global affair where you’ll tour France, Ireland, Cuba and India with various stops in between on one high-energy, uplifting trip through song. With all the points on the map you’ll touch, perhaps the show should have been named Multi-continental Hop, because your ears will be doing a lot of globe-trekking.
Full festival schedule available on the Chamberfest website where you can also purchase tickets for all of the above listed performances.
Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series will provide a unique look at some of your favourite summer events.We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. Your city! Your festivals! Your summer! Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.
This week’s OLM Pet of the Week is a super gorgeous two-year-old DSH kitty named Amelie, who is being fostered by Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue.
When you first meet her, Amelie is quiet and shy, but once she has decided you’re a friend, she turns into an affectionate cuddle-monster. Always looking for one more head scratch, she is happiest being where you are and doing whatever activity you are doing. Rolling out the yoga mat? Amelie is there with you, stretching out on the mat and cheering you on! Need someone to chat with? She can be quite the conversationalist with a huge repertoire of sounds to get and keep your attention.
Amelie is still trying to figure out whether or not she likes hanging out on people’s laps, but has been known to do so every so often. She does have a great love for laying on towels and will sit anywhere in her home so long as there’s a towel there. She can also be quite playful and enjoys playing with interactive toys. Amelie is still working on building confidence in situations that are scary to her, but is now jumping and running away less when there are loud noises or sudden movement.
Amelie is looking for a child-free home where she is the only cat. She is litter trained and it is unknown how she is around dogs. She requires a bit of patience upon first meeting, but once she warms up to you, the amount of love and affection she has to give makes every minute with her 100% worth it.
About the Rescue: Ottawa Stray Cat Rescue is a no-kill volunteer-run rescue established in 2011. OSCatR takes in stray and abandoned cats and socializes them in foster homes before adopting them out. The rescue also helps manage feral colonies by humanely trapping and sterilizing strays before returning them to the colony. The adoption process involves a meet and greet with the adoptee to ensure a good match before the adoption is finalized.
OLM Pet of the Week is a weekly segment on our site which showcases adoptable pets in our Capital. Each week a new pet will be featured in order to help them find a loving forever home. Any Ottawa-based animal rescue interested in having an adoptable pet featured can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bath time is when you can cleanse yourself after a long day, take some time to yourself, and practice self-care. Make bathing a delightful experience with a customized and highly dependable walk-in tub that is tailored to suit your particular needs. Whether you are looking after an elderly family member, you want your own unique bathtub fitting, or you want to make bathing and cleansing easier for someone with a disability, these walk-in tubs are just what you need. You can even include optional accessories to make bath time even better.
Help the Elderly Feel Comfortable
A walk-in bathtub is a saving grace for elderly people who may have trouble getting into and out of the tub. It can be a big risk to have senior citizens slipping around and lifting their legs to climb into the bath or shower. With a walk-in tub, you can feel better about your loved ones taking care of themselves in an environment that looks after them. These tubs are state-of-the-art and made with the finest materials. The craftsmanship takes into account ease of use and aesthetic appeal in the bathroom. In short, it looks good and it helps elderly people get into and out of the tub without a high risk for injury.
Easy to Use and Install
When you call the experts and ask for a brand-new walk-in bathtub, the professionals will come out to your home and have it installed as quickly as possible. These tubs are easy to fit to your specific bathroom and tub size, and they are visually attractive and feature a streamlined design. Navigating the tub has never been easier, and these bathtubs are especially convenient for those who are older or have disabilities that limit their mobility. Everyone deserves to have a positive and enjoyable bathing experience, which is why these tubs are readily available and fitted into your bathroom in as little time as possible.
A Relaxing Experience for All
You should make bathing a delightful experience with a walk-in tub from a reputable and trustworthy company. Ask about additional options, such as aromatherapy scents, special ambiance and therapeutic lighting, massage and variable pressure settings, and heated water jets. These additional components will elevate the bathing experience and help you not only relax but take the time to care for yourself and your body. Suitable for all ages, these bathtubs will make the perfect addition to any home for any family.
Article by Vivian Smith.