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M is for Montreal, Mayworks Festival and Melting

I’m sitting on the bus, heading to Montreal for a show tomorrow night at Petit Campus, with the wonderful PEI singer-songwriter Teresa Doyle.  You know how I love the bus –  I don’t know why, but I do. Not as much as the train, of course – but honestly it’s a close second.   So much more relaxing than driving: a good time for sitting and thinking, getting a bit of work done. And it’s especially exciting when the wifi works, then it’s just a big  office.

Anyway.  It’s fun to be returning so soon to Montreal, after such a great time at Edgy Women Festival in March, where we presented SPIN.  Montreal is a city full of memories for me at every turn – those 6, formative years of university life, theatre school, so many important friends and teachers and lessons in adulthood now lurking on every street corner, in so many shops that used to be something else and apartments that used to belong to me and my friends.

Next weekend at the Mayworks Festival in Toronto, I’ll be officially “premiering” my piece To Live in the Age of Melting (aka, Northwest Passage Revisited).  But in truth -I’m going to perform it in Montreal on Saturday: sneak preview!   I call this piece a ‘musical essay’,  because i’m not quite sure what else to call it:  like so much of my work, it mixes song and poetry and storytelling – but running at 25 minutes long, somehow this new piece feels like it needs to be called something other than a song or a poem or a story.  I guess back in the old days, ballads were long songs that could go on easily for that long – but this isn’t exactly a ballad: it’s a poetic re-mix and meditation upon on Stan Rogers’ classic Canadian folk song, Northwest Passage, mashing it up (in a folk kind of  way) with the song Lady Franklin’s Lament.  Plus a lot of other ideas, mixing (and remixing) both historical and personal narratives with ideas about global warming, the complex legacy of “tradition”, and what happens when ancient ice begins to melt.

This past winter, I recorded To Live in the Age of Melting (with producer Don Kerr), and I’m super proud of the recording.  Bu before I release it, I’m working on creating  a visual component to goes with it.   In honour of the “premiere” at Mayworks, you’ll find the audio recording posted on my new SoundCloud account, so you can have a listen.

Oh yeah, last night I was interviewed on the cool podcast RoyNation, and I talked a lot about To Live in the Age of Melting, (and about the upcoming show at Mayworks) – you can listen to that here.