Stellae Boreales: Violinists

violin concert
Stellae Boreales is an advanced violin choir. In this picture Christopher Barham conducts.

Their next tour will be next year to Iceland. As part of their fundraising they did a concert last week with a silent auction to take 30 musicians to perform overseas.

Members range in age from 11 to 17, and most have been studying the violin since age 4 or 5. Many of the musicians have had the honour of performing with Maestro Pinchas Zukerman and the NAC Orchestra, two members were part of the Suzuki Japan 2005 Ensemble that performed at Expo2005 in Aichi, Japan, and many have been prize winners at the Kiwanis Music Festival and in the Canada Music Competition. In 2008 the group undertook a two week performance tour of China, and more recently performed in New York City.

violin concert
Here Alisa K. plays Kreisler.

There were a few group pieces and a few solos and subset of orchestra pieces. Earlier Simi Sutton-Pollock did a performance of Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair that raised a chill in my spine.

It was interesting to see different musician play from the same page yet do so differently in the sense of where they played from. Some bowed from the waist, other leaned with their knees, some twisted their hips and some played from the shoulders.

It was also a peculiar sensation to be swept up in the music and then later see the musician standing with peers and having an age and height again.

Julie Nesrallah hosting
Mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah of CBC Radio 2 was hosting.

After soloist Jae Won Seo finished Polonaise Brilliante by H. Wienawski someone called out “way to rock Wienawski!” The pieces changed in mood from one to the next which made for a nice sort of movement. After a last note fell away, one of the soloists paused and then to herself gave a small smile of “got it”. And yes, to my ear, she had got it.

There were also guest performances by NAC’s Jessica Linnebach and Yosuke Kawasaki. The silent auction ran the gamut from a CD to Jazz festival passes and homemade cookies to a fancy dinner prepared for 4 couples by a chef, music by violists from the group.


Wendy and Brian downstairs as the dessert buffet swirls the crowd around us.

Quote: “Celebrate what you want to see more of.” ~ Thomas J. Peters

27 Nov 2010, 1:31pm

Snow Now, No, O So Ow Snow-Wow

birds in hand
4 birds in hand are worth…?

oak fallen
The start of the season? Or can be get a temporary injunction against mother nature? I’m trying to throw myself into enthusiasm about the unavoidable cold.

coldness making berries sweet
Freezing rain and snow sweetens the berries.

Ah good, a kernal error and the computer crashed (again) but at least this and the other started posts are still intact. Like, Recent book events.

What else do I see to see? An article in the Globe and mail on John Lavery who performs at the AB Series tonight with Robert Priest.

What else? The beenshedbore site is now set up so you can buy the book direct with paypal. (Buy one book and my library fines are settled.)

What else? Have you seen this dogs don’t understand the basics comic by hyperbole and a half? Funny. Seen Usage metering for the internet? Not so funny.

ray gun tree ornament
Want retro ray guns on your Christmas tree? (The National Art Gallery has them.)

snow cherub of boots
Someone ahead of me and out of sight made a sort of standing snow-cherub.

The snow is more settled than me.

Quote: “Happiness consists in activity — it is a running stream, not a stagnant pool.” ~John L. Mason

24 Nov 2010, 6:58pm
Communication General Social Issues
Comments Off on What is Today’s Era?

What is Today’s Era?

Mirko Zardini, Director of the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA) spoke as part of the forum lecture series on the 22nd.

We visited the bricks and mortar part of the institution in 2007 and 2008. He made an interesting point that in this era institutions will now have two aspects, a physical place and a digital place and their purpose will not be have things but do things. Whether a library, a museum, or a school, their social use will be in engaging the conversation with the public, not being a place that the public may get a top-down education from. (Incidentally, that’s a gorgeously organized website with weeks of worthwhile meaty reading.)

He talked in part about the idea of contemporary. What does today mean? Today is not this moment. It always starts just before now and ends some time after now. How you define those limits both form and inform your point of reference.

From his point of view, “today” started with the energy crisis of 1973. We woke up from the model, or some first stirred, from the dream of infinite resources, infinite upwards spiral of growth. We looked up and realized that we had moved out of the era that had prevailed where there was a person and a tool, such a hand and an oil lamp and a hoe, and were living in an era where we lived and interacted not with tool but interconnected systems of electricity and power that we could not fix what broke.

The thinking about housing began a shift from making a single home to considering the whole, what wastes are created and where they go, how one building impacts the next and the watershed and how we can use materials, sun and wind. The idea of systems in the last decade or so recently lost some ground under the influence of the notion of globalism which conflates and supplants local cultural distinctions. It’s a tricky sort of thing to examine. To say we are in a hybrid era of movement presupposes a purity or stopping exists or can exist.

Is Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto of 1909 finally at its outer edges?

After a century of focusing on speed, slow reconsideration. After a time of authority informing, is there a shift of agency that spreads out thru all information systems? We can choose to make this an era of critical discourse, jargon free. With a distance of a dissenting position as we had in the 1970s we could again become present in our today and consider the systems we are swimming in and what part we have in being part of the aggregate effect of which choices are being made.

Speaking of aggregate, he also mentioned that more than a century ago there was a new miracle material that inspired town-builders. It was good for making walls, floors, sidewalks, roofs and roads. It was a technology that would democratize who could walk where and there were visions of an ideal city entirely black with asphalt.

The story reminded me of the zeal for silicone being extruded into every possibly application to see what the market’s wisdom will latch onto.

Quote: “You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.” ~ William Hazlitt

22 Nov 2010, 5:01pm
Divertions General Gnomes Photos
1 comment

Weekend Photos

hose entrance
Fire hose entrance.

(All other kinds of hoses must use other entrances.)

crashed menu
These digital menus are popping up around town. And crashing.

A paper menu may get soggy or the ink run but no 404 screens. Some restaurants have one that blink “coming soon” for weeks. Some display a menu, but too fast and one page of the menu dissolves into the nest one before you can read it then you have to wait for it to cycle around a few screens to finish the sentence. Would the system work with refinement to draw people in?

Frances Boyle
Speaking of drawn in…the BQJ launch was yesterday. Above Frances Boyle reads from new poems and click on the photo and it’ll take you to flickr and there are pictures on either side.

math moment
Math moment: it can happen anywhere.

Quote: “Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.” ~ Epictetus

19 Nov 2010, 11:08am
Comments Off on Throwaways


nietzsche-self blossom burst
Myself mixed with Nietzsche at Morphthing and flower gone to seed.

Quote: “Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my
pocket. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

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