Blog / The Theatre

A Guy Obsessed with 12 Notes but They’re Just in a Different Order

A Guy Obsessed with 12 Notes but They’re Just in a Different Order

This weekend, on Sunday May 17th at 7:30pm, Jazz Yukon and the Yukon Arts Centre and are co-presenting a very special collaboration concert of our very own Daniel Janke and Canada’s internationally renowned Mark Fewer.

This show will be nothing short of uniquely entertaining as the duo alludes to what could be expected of their collaborative recording project, on the theme of 'visual music'. Pieces in this concert will feature in a CD recording, Music for Strings (title TBA), set to release on the Centrediscs label. This concert features Janke’s unique composition style and Fewer’s virtuosic playing. The style straddles boundaries between contemporary music and modal string writing traditions.

We welcome Mark Fewer to Whitehorse for the first time. Fewer became immersed in music at a very young age.  In fact, when he was 10 years old, Fewer had played for Pope John Paul II, and for Prince Charles and Princess Diana during their respected visits to his home town in Fort St. John. That was just the beginning of the long list of accomplishments that Mark Fewer`s musical career has gained.

Here’s a Global News excerpt of an interview by Richard Dagenais on Morning News Montreal:

RD:  “You`re described as genre-bending, you play jazz, avant-garde, classical. Who is the real Mark Fewer?”

MF:  “Probably a guy obsessed with 12 notes but they’re just in a different order. People often ask me that question, what I would really want to do if I had to make a choice, and I don’t really have a good answer for that. Because I like to think that it’s possible to be fully invested in whatever music you’re looking at, at that moment; whether it’s classical,  whether is Bach, whether it’s jazz or something avant-garde. Whatever it is, you can really put your full sense of musicality into it rather than feeling like just being aware of one piece of pie of where you have to stay. Maybe that’s kind of my gypsy nature that I don’t like to be in one place for too long, and that means creatively that I like to look at a lot of different things. And I think the idea that you can look at things with a different perspectives is actually really healthy. So if you’re spending time in the jazz world, and you come back to Bach, let’s say, you see a whole other Bach.”

RD:  “So, why aren’t more musicians doing that?”

MF:  "When I was starting out, maybe 20 years ago, I was probably one of the only ones doing this. But now there’s a lot more people interested in a lot more of what’s out there. You can maybe credit the internet for a little bit of that, but I also credit a few very specific classical individuals namely Nigel Kennedy, and one of my very favourite violinist that’s alive today name Enrico Onofri. They really decided that you could break out of the mold of control and find an awful lot more to put into your music making.”

RD:  “That’s an important lesson”

MF:  “For everything!”

RD: “Yeah, for everything, for young students in music. You're a teacher, is that something you try?

MF:  “Well, you know, it’s a delicate balance because depending on the level of the student they may need a certain type of training to get to their next level if you look at it from a technical perspective. But, musically, they have their own thing to say, and so for me to try and take my ideas and tell them ‘”no, this is how music goes” well then you’re on shaky ground at that point. Because you shouldn’t really be telling somebody else what music is all about – they have their own thing to say about it. It’s something they can explore on their own. So as a teacher I love that exploration with others and so if I can do that with students, that’s great. This week I’m doing that with colleagues, this week I’m doing it with ‘I Musici’ because I can’t really tell these people “no, it’s this way or the highway”. The new world of classical musicians is here, and it’s here to stay.

For tickets go to: www.yukontickets.com

Artwork Wednesday: Vancouver Theatre with Al.

Artwork Wednesday: Vancouver Theatre with Al.

Our CEO Al Cushing was recently in Vancouver and here is his report back.

We joined our Theatre consultant friend, Rob Hamilton, for  “Rite” presented by Ballet BC.

The signature piece, “Rite” which filled the first half of the evening was black on white, It was brilliantly choreographed by the Ballet BC artistic director Emily Molnar on a stunning textured off white set by Omer Arbel.  Usually an all white set is a recipe for a visual disaster, creating horrible challenges for the lighting designer.  However, here, the LD, James Proudfoot was able to overcome the challenges primarily because Kate Burrow’s costumes were in shades and textures of black. I found the work visually stimulating and emotionally engaging. I had two concerns; the lighting sometimes fought the choreography, changes in lighting texture competed with and failed to support the flow of the choreography: and, the soundscape although it worked well for the piece sounded to my ears like a hideous feedback loop that needed to be fixed.

I accept that the composer for “Rite” was probably trying to emulate the shock factor that Stravinsky had in 1913 when his Rites of Spring was presented in Paris.  However, he was no Stravinsky. 

The second half of the evening the now “traditional” Rites of Spring was equally strong, and featured white costumes on a black set.  Unfortunately, the unisex costume dresses did not do anything to add drama to the very fine and erotic choreography. 

All in all it was a stunning evening at the Queen Elizabeth theatre.

The next day, Saturday, acting on Eric Epstein’s advice we went to Granville Island to catch two pieces of theatre by an all female ensemble.  The matinee was “J Caesar”, a shortened adaptation of the Shakespeare’s play re-written for an all female cast.  The writing worked rather well, however James MacDonald’s direction brought the play to a fever pitch from the beginning and left no room for growth.  The Shakespearian language also seemed to be a challenge for some of the cast.  However, it was a worthwhile exercise in adaptation.

In the evening, the same company presented “Miss Shakespeare” a musical about women, notably Shakespeare’s daughter Judith, wanting to become thespians in an all male theatre world.  It was funny, touching and just plain fun.  Tracey Power wrote the book and lyrics; and also helped write the music with Steve Charles; both elements were very strong.  The performances were all very strong, the lighting effective and the simple set worked beautifully.

Both shows were at Performance Works, a delightful, small venue on Granville Island.  The shows will be moving to the Meek Centre in West Vancouver, opening on May 21.

Image: Miss Shakespeare. Photograph by: Bold Rezolution Studio

Vinyl Café: new date added to sold out show

Vinyl Café: new date added to sold out show

A third night of An Evening with Stuart McLean & The Vinyl Cafe has just been added to the Yukon Arts Centre’s June 2015 calendar.

Originally scheduled for a two-night run in Whitehorse, tickets for the popular live show sold out within a matter of hours. A third performance on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 has just been added to accommodate high demand.

Tickets for the June 3 show will go on sale Wednesday, February 18 at 10:00AM (PST).

The Yukon Arts Centre is thrilled to present this live performance of the iconic CBC Radio program as part of its 2015 B.C. and Alberta tour.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS
An Evening with Stuart McLean & the Vinyl Cafe
(Musical guest TBA)
Dates:
Monday June 1, 2015, 7:30pm (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday June 2, 2015, 7:30pm (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday June 3, 2015, 7:30pm
Tickets: Adults $50, Youth (18 and under - ID required at the door) $35
Available at: YAC Box Office (867-667-8574), Arts Underground and www.yukonartscentre.com

ABOUT THE VINYL CAFE
The Vinyl Cafe is a radio show heard on CBC Radio in Canada, on selected public radio stations in the United States, on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 169, on Podcast, and live online. The show is written and hosted by Stuart McLean and features stories, essays and music (both live and recorded).

The Vinyl Cafe stories are about Dave, owner of the second hand record store, and they are collected in books and on CD. The stories also feature Dave's wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie, and assorted friends and neighbours.

Since 1998, McLean has toured with the Vinyl Cafe to theatres across Canada and the United States, playing towns from St. John's, Newfoundland to Whitehorse in the Yukon; from Bangor, Maine to Seattle, Washington. Over 2 million people listen to The Vinyl Cafe every weekend on CBC Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio and on a growing number of Public Radio stations in the United States. The program is also broadcast on an occasional basis on the BBC.

Behind-the-Scenes with YAC Staff: Matt Poushinsky

Behind-the-Scenes with YAC Staff: Matt Poushinsky

The front-of-house of any live venue/gallery is by definition ‘open to the public’, but that does not necessarily mean that the public is fully aware of the orchestra of staff and volunteers fine-tuning each visitor’s experience. The conductor of this front-of-house team is Matt Poushinsky, Yukon Arts Centres’ client services and volunteer coordinator. A man of many hats, Matt manages much more than just the bar and box office: his experience and expertise ensure that any presentation, event or exhibition runs smoothly from beginning to end.  With over eleven years here at YAC, he has been a jack-of-all-trades, doing everything from installing exhibitions to running the Old Fire Hall. We talked with Matt about his diverse duties and abiding passion for the arts and his community.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO AT THE YUKON ARTS CENTRE IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS.
A Little Bit of Everything.

WHAT IS A CLIENT SERVICES & VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR?
I oversee the operations of the Box Office and volunteers at YAC as well as act as a Bar Manager. I also liaise with our presenters and user groups to help plan and execute the numerous performances and events held in our different spaces.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES?
Budgeting and planning for the Front of House services. Scheduling and planning of casual staff and volunteers for all events at YAC. Meeting with clients to help plan and execute events and performances of all kinds. Creating and implementing Policies and Procedures for the Box Office, Bar, volunteers and user groups. Ensuring training and Health and Safety standards are met for volunteers and FOH staff.

WHAT IS AN AVERAGE DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
Varied… Any given day can see me work on multiple projects that go far beyond my established role of Client Services/Volunteer Coordinator such as working with our marketing department or programming team on planning events or setting up gallery exhibitions (often A/V installations). A day could include Client intake meetings, scheduling, training of staff/volunteers, website maintenance (Yukontickets.com) working a performance night and much more. It is not uncommon for me to work a 12+ hour day.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
The community we serve. Working with such a vibrant and dynamic arts and culture community such as Whitehorse is always challenging and exciting. I have worked on a 1000+ events/festivals/performances/etc. over the years. I am endlessly amazed by our audience and volunteers. There seems to be a never ending well of support for arts and culture in our community.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS CAREER?
I started working at YAC as a custodian about 11years ago and since then have worked in many different capacities such as Gallery Preparator, FOH manager, Coordinator of the Old Firehall, and a bunch more…honestly I have a really hard time picturing my life without being involved with the arts and culture community and YAC. Working in the arts is such a rewarding and fun career.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE YUKON?
Our great community.

WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE SHOW YOU’VE WORKED ON?
The White Stripes: It was a lot of fun hosting such a big name act. Seeing the wild response from our town (remember the free Lepage Park Concert) and the awesome show they put on here at YAC (check out the live DVD they put out of the tour “Under Great White Northern Lights”, lots of YAC footage in it). There have been tons of other events that were a blast to work on too – too many to mention.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?
The Yukon should have a Hip Hop Festival.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I volunteer as a Member of the FOG [Friends of the Gallery Society] board (current Chair) which juries the purchasing of pieces of visual art for the Yukon Permanent Art Collection. I also have been hosting a Hip Hop radio show The Underground Railroad on CJUC 92.5FM for the past 8 or so years.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Spending time with my wife Joanne and son Mikhail.

Behind-the-Scenes with YAC Staff: Hazel Venzon

Behind-the-Scenes with YAC Staff: Hazel Venzon

Meet Hazel Venzon, Programming Associate at the Yukon Arts Centre. From a background in acting and producing theatre productions, Hazel brings energy, creativity and much humor to the mix. She grew up the youngest of three in a bilingual household in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and confesses to having been the butt of many jokes amongst her siblings. Read on to see how Hazel answered six questions,  giving us a glimpse ‘behind-the-scenes’ at her dynamic role here at the Yukon Arts Centre.

DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO AT THE YUKON ARTS CENTE IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS.
Work  inside a spinning kaleidoscope.

WHAT IS A PROGRAMMING ASSOCIATE?

The connective tissue between the vision of the Artistic Director, and the rest of the production, box office, accounting, and marketing staff at the Yukon Arts Centre and the Old Fire Hall.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES?

I administrate, manage, and produce every performing artist contract that comes through the Yukon Arts Centre– for theatre, music and dance, sometimes hypnotists and magicians, too! In a day, I will interface with hotel managers, caterers, agents, assistants, assistants’ assistants, arts administrators, artists, internal YAC staff; working on Mainstage and Old Firehall shows at present, in a few weeks time and then months from now. I also help assist the marketing and promotion of each performance, as well. Whenever there’s a chance to build a relationship between a visiting artist and those outside of Whitehorse, I help organize this too. It’s a big job. Most importantly, it’s a creative job.  I also get to hang out with the visitors while they’re here, a lot can happen between the time I pick them up at the airport and drop them off at their hotel – enough time for Dr. Gabor Mate to psychoanalyze me, that’s for sure!

WHAT IS A POPULAR MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR JOB?
That I am an assistant. It gets me fired up inside because that word is nowhere to be found in my title. My role certainly feels assistive, but it’s not my sole responsibility. There are so many details that go into making each show at the Yukon Arts Centre – it’s imperative we all assist one another.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THIS CAREER?
I kept on a winding path and found myself here. By winding path, I literally mean cross-country, touching north and going back down south, on and off islands, hauling totes on and off the Greyhound, bike on shoulder, chasing gigs through big cities, running out of money, etc. I began with theatre training at Studio 58 (Vancouver). I chose this school over the others because it had a prerequisite to produce, write and direct a solo-show by graduation. By mid program, I found myself an agent, and by graduation, I had been working full-time as an actress. I remained working in the theatre as opposed to film or TV because I felt most alive on stage. For a woman, and a woman of colour, traditional theatre roles remained limiting, which caused me to write and produce my own stuff, co-collaborate with independent theatre companies across Canada, always creating new work. I started producing more and more. Remembering something Norman Armour said when I produced for the PuSh Festival (Vancouver) “that a good producer is hard to find”; I knew then, that that was a role that was needed in the performing arts. So, here I am. Learning and being challenged while exercising what I know. I still carry a flame for acting, but it’s not as fulfilling as what I do today.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE EXPERIENCE AT THE YUKON ARTS CENTRE SO FAR?
To date, nothing has ever topped the time when Bruce McCullough asked me to play a small part in his show ‘Young Drunk Punk’. I remember picking him up at the airport, making small talk, and then all things became a blurry wash of slow motion until I said the words “I’m your gal”. In a blink I was back in real time, thinking “oh my god, oh my god, what is happening? What? What just happened? I don’t have a red dress.. I lied.. ahhhh…holy s_it !!!!!” I was given the role of “Crazy Chick”. I had to memorize an 80’s song, enter the stage singing it badly, then turn to Bruce and get really really mad and run off stage. It was a cameo, but never in my wildest imagination would I ever have foreseen him giving me blocking and stage direction!  It was a real treat for the adrenaline junkie that I am.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?
I have yet to reveal this publically because I’m not quite sure yet…it’s like knowing what I want to be when I grow up - feels impossible to know when one is fully grown.