As part of their 5th anniversary celebration, the Cabot Trail Writers Festival invited me to write five new pieces of music in collaboration with composer and luthier Otis Thomas. The works are all based on books by various authors who’ve been featured in the festival. This project has been pure pleasure. I’m so grateful to the festival for dreaming it up.
Join us for the debut performance of this work on Friday, October 4th at the North River Hall.
Friday October 4th
North River Hall
37 Oregon Road, St. Anns
Tickets $25. Purchase here
To make these songs, I gathered a tall pile of books from authors who were part of the Writers Festival in the past five years. I took them off the shelf in no logical order and read them with no real mission. I just took them in.
Always unexpectedly, something would strike me. In the middle of a page. In the middle of a sentence. That would be it – the seed for the song. I’d keep it in my mind then, wrapped up like a little treasure you hide away in a tiny drawer. I’d wait awhile. Then, a few days or weeks later, sit down at my piano, take that little treasure out, put my mind to its tiny facets of dark and light, the way a jewel gives and takes light, and write.
I sent the writing to Otis and he sent me back tunes. Finally, we wove them together in several writing and rehearsal sessions in Otis’ workshop where he builds his instruments. Little by little, these five distinct pieces emerged. Otis is a master of many things: the massive science of carving a tree into a violin, and the gentle art of creating a composition. It’s been an honour to work with him.
We can’t wait to share these songs with you.
*Big thanks to the Cabot Trail Writers Festival and Arts Nova Scotia for supporting this project