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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

2014 Conrad Boyce Award presented to Scott Wilson

2014 Conrad Boyce Award presented to Scott Wilson

Conrad Boyce is best known for his love of theatre and great dedication to the arts in the Yukon. In recognization as a crucial member of the community, the  Conrad Boyce Award is annually presented to a new recipient, this year it is Scott Wilson. Similar to Boyce, Wilson has been an integral part of the arts community in the Yukon and is best known for his commitment to Jazz Yukon and as a band member in the Whitehorse based group Second Cousins, that preforms a medley of bluegrass, roots, and alt-country music.

Initially not having known much of Boyce's history, Wilson first heard of his participation in the Yukon arts scene as a board member of and director for the Golden Horn Music Society (GHMS). When Wilson first arrived in the Yukon the GHMS was spearheading performances such as Man of La Mancha, Annie, and Sound of Music to name a few. Boyce and Wilson first met while playing in the pit orchestra for Annie, which Boyce directed. Wilson recounts on story from the opening night:

The show was well on its way, when Boyce came out from the curtain and said "Is there a doctor in the house?"  Everyone laughed, but he was serious.... My friend Rachel was directing the pit orchestra and she pointed her baton at me and said, "I think you are needed back stage".  I ran back stage to find Daddy Warbucks (Mark Smith) writhing around in the wings with a dislocated shoulder, a recurring problem, and provoked by a very quick costume change trying to get into a jacket. My dear friend Dorothy Martin (an ER nurse who was in the play) was on the wing when I arrived.  As the band played on and the actors improvised on stage... we looked at each other... didn't really say much and just did our nurse-doctor thing and reduced the dislocated shoulder, strapped him up, put Daddy Warbucks in his next costume change and sent him back on stage... to complete the evening's performance. Dorothy and I resumed our respective spots in the cast!

Boyce first arrived in the Yukon by way of the Alaska Highway in the summer of 1977 from Grande Prairie, Alberta, where he was living at the time. He enjoyed the Frantic Follies to the point that he decided to audition, was accepted, and returned to the Yukon to work for them in the summer of 1978. Boyce began to explore his love theatre at an early age while in high school in Edmonton, Alberta. Apart from the Follies, his first theatre experience in Whitehorse was that winter of 1980/81, when he directed some of the first productions held at the Guild Hall and Man of La Mancha at FH Collins. La Mancha is one of Boyce’s most memorable productions along with and Godspell, also at FH Collins, Annie and The Wizard of Oz held at the Yukon Arts Centre, and a Bevy at the Guild Hall. Boyce recounts what he suggest may have perhaps been his favourite production "Romeo and Juliet for the Whitehorse Drama Club, in 1989 at the old Indian Centre in Riverdale (no longer there). I had two young teenage Juliets who were amazing. One of them, Kelly Hayes Milner, still lives in Whitehorse."