Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020


Following the Goldberg trail from Gould to Lang Lang; Measha Brueggergosman and Edwin Huizinga on face to face collaboration in strange times; diggings into dance as FFDN keeps live alive; "Classical unicorn?" - Luke Welch reflects on life as a Black classical pianist; Debashis Sinha's adventures in sound art; choral lessons from Skagit Valley; and the 21st annual WholeNote Blue Pages (part 1 of 3) in print and online. Here now. And, yes, still in print, with distribution starting Thursday October 1.




My father would have

instantly recognized this

For Openers title as a

line from Flanders and Swann’s

song “Misalliance” (a cautionary

tale about the dangers of potential

cross-breeding among vines

that turn in different directions as

they climb). It is on the comedy

duo’s live album, At the Drop of

a Hat, recorded in glorious mono

on February 21 1957 at the Fortune

Theatre in London’s West End.

It was perhaps the one of their

songs, not all of which have stood

the scrutinies of time, in which my

father took the greatest delight, singing along with the last stanza and

watching, in the faces of anyone who happened to be listening along

with him, for some mirroring of the glee the lines gave him every time:

Poor little sucker, how will it learn

Which way it’s climbing, which way to turn.

Right? Left? What a disgrace.

Or it may go straight up and fall flat on its face.

It’s a cautionary tale we would be well advised to apply to this

fall’s socially distanced dance of choice – the pivot. It’s not just about

changing direction, it’s about what direction you turn.

Take the transparent mask I am wearing in this photograph, for

example. I got the mask a few months back from Laura Mather who

runs a small company called powhearing.com, providing services and

products which allow businesses to be accessible for persons who

need hearing support during customer interactions, at live events, and

in workplaces. It is, incidentally, the very same one that is hanging

around my neck in the photograph on page E7 of the Toronto Star on

Saturday August 29. (That photo was by René Johnston; this one photo

is by Sharon Lovett in the newly grassed backyard of the home she

shares with WholeNote recordings editor David Olds.)

I get asked about the mask dozens of times a week – we none of

us realized quite so clearly before how much we rely on being able to

read other people’s lips and for other people to be able to read ours.

(Think about this observation, for example, when you read, in Choral

Scene in this issue, Brian Chang’s comments about trying to rehearse

pronunciations and languages while wearing a mask; or when you are

planning a visit to the relative who, these days, finds it hard to hear

what you’re saying, even at the best of times.)

As much of a difference-maker as the mask itself is, is Mather’s

fight now under way – not, as you might think, to stop people from

stealing “her idea”, but to stop anyone from trying to patent it in order

to corner the market on something so clearly in the common good.

A turning point in thinking? Yes I think so. As soprano Measha

Brueggergosman says elsewhere in this issue (in the sprawling conversation

I had with her and violinist/composer Edwin Huizinga from

her Halifax kitchen): “If we circle our wagons together, kind of in the

same direction, we might just not only come through it, but come

through it on the right side of history.”

Remembering Ida Carnevali

I have written over the years in this

spot, about how, at some times of the year

(and in some years more than others),

I find myself thinking about my dear

former neighbour, Ida Carnevali, founder

of the Kensington Carnival Arts Society

(KCAS). Never more so than now, hearing

of her recent death, in Italy, at age 82.

What I wrote back in May 2006 seems particularly resonant right

now, so I offer it again:

“[Her] projects over the decades were a living example in the art

of throwing some transforming activity into the path of the ordinary,

nowhere more dramatically and effectively than in the annual

Kensington Festival of Lights which to this day takes the form, at sunset

every winter solstice, of a hand-made lantern-lit Market-wide march,

from scenario to scenario, re-enacting all the world’s yearning for light.”

‘Scenario ambulante,’ she called it, organizing various scenes to be

performed along the route of the march, enlisting everyone she could

round up to participate and then leading the audience on a journey to

discover the story.

“It is that potential for accidental discovery that I yearn for in the

urban context. Urban art, it seems to me, should be judged by the

extent to which it can be ‘come across’ by people engaged in the

ordinary. And even more so by the extent to which the artists themselves

are willing to go beyond ‘business as usual’ by availing themselves

of the opportunities for chance encounters and spontaneous


So here’s to Ida Carnevali. And here’s to accidental discovery, chance

encounters and spontaneous collaboration. And to figuring out, all of

us, the right directions to turn.


Upcoming Dates & Deadlines for our NOVEMBER 2020 edition

Free Event Listings, deadline

Midnight, Thursday, October 15

Display Advertising, reservation


6pm Friday, October 16

Display Advertising, artwork due

6pm Monday, October 19

Classifieds deadline

6pm Saturday October 24

Publication Date

Tuesday October 27 (online)

Thursday October 29 (print)

Volume 26 No 3 “NOVEMBER 2020

will list events

November 1 to December 7, 2020

and include

The 21st Annual BLUE PAGES, part 2

for info: members@thewholenote.com

WholeNote Media Inc. accepts

no responsibility or liability for

claims made for any product or

service reported on or advertised

in this issue.

Printed in Canada

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Circulation Statement

SEPT 2020

8,000 printed & distributed

Canadian Publication Product

Sales Agreement 1263846


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