Songbook XL

Tapestry and the COC collaborated for yesterday’s concert in the RBA.  The performers were members of the Ensemble Studio.  The material was a mix of numbers from the Tapestry back catalogue plus a couple of songs by COC composer in residence Ian Cusson.


I’ve heard James Rolfe’s The Blind Woman quite a few times now and I’ve always found it moving.  Yesterday it sounded particularly good in the hands of Anna-Sophie Neher and Simona Genga with Rachel Kerr at the piano.  I think it was the contrast in the timbre of the voices that made it a bit special.  Simona has quite a dark, almost contralto like, voice which worked very wll with Anna-Sophie’s much brighter tones.


Next was “Cool Mountain Water” from Chan Ka Nin’s Iron Road.  I’ve heard this before too.  Lauren Margison’s very dramatic version made me quite eager to hear it with orchestra.  There will be opportunity to do just that on July 16th next year when the whole piece is being performed in concert at Koerner Hall.


Ian Cusson’s setting of Joy Kogawa’s Grief Poem and Gwendolyn MacEwen’s Manzini: Escape Artist came next; sung by Simona Genga with Rachel Kerr.  I was struck by Simona’s acting ability, especially in the second song, which she gave an intimate cabaret like quality, drawing the audience into her confidence.


Jamie Groote with Alex Soloway on piano gave a really intense version of the “WisdomAria” from Nic Gotham’s Nigredo Hotel then she was joined by Vartan Gabrielian to close out the set with that weirdest of love songs; Ivan Barbotin’s (What Rhymes with) Azimuth.  It was fun to watch the three of them in the Barbotin especially.


Another good example of the kind of collaboration that seems to be becoming more common in Toronto.

Photos by Chris Hutcheson.


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