2205 Feat DutcherFor someone who’s only been working full-time as a musician for less than a year, Jeremy Dutcher has been keeping busy.

Fresh off the heels of an artist residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary and a solo appearance in Soundstreams’ Electric Messiah, Dutcher’s 2017 calendar is already starting to fill – appearing with the Toronto Consort on February 3 and 4, in Winnipeg and Kingston in March, and at the Music Gallery in April – and beyond that he has a clear artistic vision in mind. A classically trained operatic tenor and composer and a member of Wolastoq (Maliseet) First Nation, his performance practice blends his classical background with his interest in jazz and the contemporary, plus traditional music from his community. Here in Toronto, the New Brunswick-born singer is making waves with his distinct compositional voice – using song as his platform for Indigenous cultural reclamation and rediscovery.

A lot of these upcoming gigs will include performances from his album-in-progress – Dutcher’s first. Titled Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonaw, the album will present Dutcher’s own arrangements of traditional Wolastoqiyik songs, and is slated for release at the end of 2017.

In many cases, the songs on this album haven’t been heard in Dutcher’s community for decades. “On the East Coast, we’ve been dealing with the longest period of colonization – of cultural friction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” he explained when I sat down with him last week. “We’ve lost a lot...Growing up, much of what was thought of as ‘traditional’ music wasn’t actually sung in the language or even originating in our territory. For me, I wanted to think about songs that are specific to my nation.”

Finding those songs required legwork. Dutcher visited the archives of the Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau, Quebec, where he transcribed wax cylinder recordings made in Wolastoq territory by ethnographer William H. Mechling in the early 1900s – one of the earliest field recordings of Wolastoqiyik music.

“Listening to these recordings for the first time, I felt a profound connection with these voices,” says Dutcher. “The sound quality may be scratchy and unclear, but [they] provide a unique glimpse into the musical lives of my ancestors.” He’s also being careful to recognize the bias of the original ethnographer – and take the work of musical reclamation for his community seriously. “For me, as someone who’s re-interpreting [these recordings], I wanted to question – as an artist and as somebody who wants to put my own stamp on this – how do I stay true to the melodies and give them the life that they deserve, without taking on some of the bias that’s really built into the recordings?” he says. “And I want to do it really right – you only get one first go.”

Dutcher assures that the arrangements on the album, which will be for voice, piano, string quartet and some percussive elements, will be similar to his own work as an artist – classically influenced, but broad-ranging. “[Classical music] does inform the way that I sing, and the way that I play. But for me, this project is also so much more than that,” he explains. “It’s [also] complex, because Indigenous communities are not just one community,” he continues. “When you think about Indigenous music, a lot of people go straight to big drum songs. So I think a big part of this project is also education: to blow up people’s ideas about what Indigenous music is, and what it’s going to be.”

The songs on the album will also all be recorded in their original language – and for Dutcher, that part is non-negotiable. “It’s all in Maliseet, and I don’t apologize for that,” he says. “I do sometimes translate, but sometimes not…and that’s a pretty strong statement, especially in this day and age. In my community there are only about 500 people who speak the language left. It’s at that place where if people in my generation aren’t taking linguistic reclamation, and the work that entails, seriously, then we’re going to lose our language, and [we’re going to lose] that entire way of seeing the world.

“Going forward, I can imagine writing stuff in English,” he adds. “But for this one, I really wanted to say, this is who I am. This is the language that I choose to sing in. Come along for the ride.”

The album is a timely one. It’s certainly not lost on Dutcher that a number of the upcoming shows he’s been asked to appear at fit under the year’s growing banner of sesquicentennial concerts, for the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation – and that, even when well-meaning, when it comes to Indigenous representation it can be easy for non-Indigenous music presenters to miss the mark.

“As an Indigenous artist, I’m thinking a lot about the sesquicentennial,” he says. “What is it that we’re celebrating? 150 years of what? Of ‘nationhood,’ which at its fundament is negating nationhood that has existed in this place for much longer than 150 years.

“[This year], people really want to highlight an Indigenous voice as part of the [national] fabric. But for me, it has to have a critical lens. If it doesn’t then I’m not at all interested.”

I mention the trepidation that I’ve felt from a number of local arts workers – myself included – about arts organizations that seem too eager to jump unquestioningly onto the sesquicentennial bandwagon. I’ve found myself increasingly skeptical of all shows painted with the “Canada 150” brush – even those that appear to be doing good work. It’s a sentiment that Dutcher shares.

“I think that as both audience members and as practitioners, it’s okay to say, ‘I’m very skeptical about this – about all of this’,” he says. “And within that musical space, to question the hegemony of the Western canon and how art music is framed, and which voices get privileged within that framework. It’s an important question to ask and to keep asking. All the time, but especially in a year like this.”

The first of Dutcher’s upcoming gigs, the Toronto Consort’s “Kanatha/Canada” program on February 3 and 4, seems to be doing some of that good work. Looking at the first meeting between French settlers and Indigenous members of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the show will be presenting the Consort in a performance of John Beckwith’s work Wendake/Huronia, as well as French-Canadian folk songs brought over with the early colonists. The members of the Consort will be joined onstage by Dutcher, First Nations singers Marilyn George and Shirley Hay, and Wendat Traditional Knowledge Keeper Georges Sioui, who collaborated with Beckwith on the composition of his piece when it was premiered in 2015. A big part of the concert, in a diversion from the Consort’s usual musical focus as early-music performers, will be to provoke discussion about new musical dialogue between European (Eurocentric) and Indigenous communities.

Dutcher will be speaking onstage and sharing some of the pieces from his forthcoming album, using the material that he found in the archives to bring forth a current-day, Indigenous perspective. For Dutcher, it’s an opportunity to bring his own musical work into a wider discussion, with new audiences. “When [David Fallis, of the Toronto Consort] brought me this project,” he says, “we had long conversations about the implications and about how to take this on in a good way. I’m hopeful that those conversations will continue even on the nights of the show.

“For me,” he continues, “it’s about reaching audiences that I otherwise couldn’t with what I do. My work speaks to certain audiences, but the Toronto Consort has their own set of people who attend their concerts and admire what they do. Those people might not have an entry point into conversations about Indigenous issues, or about Indigenous identity within the framework of a sesquicentennial. So for me, it’s about creating dialogue – and that’s what I hope it will do.”

Following shows in Winnipeg and Kingston – the former a premiere of his new choral composition, and the latter a program of songs featuring Dutcher, mezzo-soprano Marion Newman and multidisciplinary artist Cheryl L’Hirondelle at the city’s new Isabel Bader Centre on March 28 – Dutcher will return to Toronto to host another discussion, this time at the Music Gallery.

Co-produced by the Music Gallery and RPM.fm, the April 25 event is a panel titled “What Sovereignty Sounds Like: Towards a New Music in Indigenous Tkaronto.” The discussion will centre around contemporary Indigenous music in the local scene, and how settlers can best respect and support local spaces for Indigenous and transnational musical performance. Dutcher will host and moderate, and will be joined by Anishinaabe electronic musician Ziibiwan.

David Dacks [the Music Gallery’s artistic director] has been in conversation about these things for as long as I’ve known him,” says Dutcher. “In the past year and a half, I’ve known him to reach out and offer space – one of the big things that as Indigenous artists we lack access to.

“I went to a gathering in Vancouver this year, where Indigenous scholars and Indigenous artists were able to join in conversation together,” Dutcher adds. “I realized there how little that actually happens: how infrequently we’re not just a token in a room, and how infrequently we’re able to sit down and have those dialogues between our practitioners and theorists. I think that gatherings like that are a good model for creating those spaces where Indigenous perspectives are centred, and where we’re not having to argue and fight and educate every time we walk into a room...because that’s often how it goes.”

With an increasing awareness of Indigenous issues among non-Indigenous Canadians, it seems as though requests – both explicit and implied – for local Indigenous voices to speak for their communities and educate others are also inevitably on the rise. And while on the one hand Dutcher encourages the learning process, he also is articulate about the clear problems with this: first, that it is the responsibility of settlers to educate themselves instead of demanding lessons from their Indigenous peers; and second, that asking any single person – Indigenous or otherwise – to bear the responsibility of representing their entire community in the public eye is a big, and ignorant, ask.

“I don’t begrudge people for it, because that’s a systematic thing,” he says. “That’s a lack of education, a lack of having relations with the first people in this land. It’s built into society…But it is exhausting to be an educator all the time. There are so many things that artists who are not in our community don’t even have to consider.

“As a young person and someone who grew up mostly off-reserve, I struggle to speak to the breadth of things that our community has to say,” Dutcher continues. “I just try to centre [my work] on my own experience, and how I experience moving through different musical and political worlds.”

Focusing on his music – and on what that means for his community – has been a learning curve for him, too. The album, and the other musical work that has come along with it, has proven an all-encompassing, but ultimately rewarding, task.

“I can’t deny who I am as a person, and my positionality within this landscape of reclamation,” says Dutcher. “I’m a young Indigenous person, but I’m also a city dweller, I’m half-white, I’ve spoken English my whole life, I studied classical music…there are all of these things that have made me a bit of an outsider. But I’ve come to find beauty and strength in that. That’s one thing that this project has taught me.”

What all of these projects seem to have in common is how they reveal the layers of complexity that musical identity can have – both in the physical space of this continent and within the rapidly expanding world of what we label as classical music. And what Dutcher’s own hard work shows is that, now more than ever, it is not the time to be complacent about the problematic ways that we as classical musicians represent our craft. Instead, as he suggests, it’s an apt moment to criticize, to complicate and to build a vocabulary for understanding the future of transcultural performance. Dutcher is one of the artists out there who is making musically powerful, relevant work, and who has the chops and conscientiousness to do it well. It’s a good time to listen.

Sara Constant is a Toronto-based flutist and musicologist, and is digital media editor at The WholeNote. She can be contacted at editorial@thewholenote.com.

2205 Feat SommervilleToronto-born James Sommerville has been principal horn of the Boston Symphony since 1998. Formerly a member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the TSO, he also spent seven years as music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra beginning in 2007. He answered the following questions several weeks in advance of his upcoming return to his birthplace on March 5, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Andris Nelsons) makes its first appearance in Canada in 21 years.

In your BSO video profile, you spoke of soaking up the orchestra’s tradition as it relates to sonority, attack and style. Could you please elaborate on the BSO’s brass sound in particular, the character of the orchestra’s overall sound since 1998 when you became principal horn, and how the BSO’s tradition is transmitted over the years?

Any orchestra section’s sound is defined by several more or less equally important factors: the acoustics of the hall, the provenance and culture of the players, their individual genius and originality, the predilections of the music directors, and the overall tradition of the group. The BSO has a deserved reputation as the most “European” of American orchestras; meaning a clarity and flexibility of sound and expression, a lightness and transparency that was long unique – although it must be said that orchestras worldwide are more similar in approach than they used to be. The BSO brass section has always prided itself on its cosmopolitan style – not massive, but direct, clean rather than woody, brilliant rather than hard. There has been a great deal of change in the brass section’s personnel over the past 19 years, but without exception the newer players have been sincere and successful in adapting to the BSO sound, and using their talent to help us evolve and improve in this century.

What are Andris Nelsons’ great strengths as a conductor? What particular skills do you think he has in interacting with the orchestra?

I think Andris’ greatest skills are rooted in his personal warmth, empathy, and in the spontaneous energy and enthusiasm he brings to performances. He has always been amazingly collaborative and collegial on the podium, and very approachable and affable off it. He is a very intuitive and emotional musician.

How would you characterize the kinds of skills of the other music directors you’ve played under, in Boston, Montreal and Toronto?

Seiji Ozawa, my first boss at the BSO, was the most physically gifted conductor I have ever played for, as well as a deeply emotional musician. James Levine brought ebullient enthusiasm to all the repertoire he chose to perform, and exposed me to a lot of great repertoire I was unfamiliar with – Schoenberg, Carter, Wagner. I was a fan of Jukka-Pekka Saraste, who was MD when I was a member of the TSO; he was a very imaginative and creative conductor. I played in the MSO during the Dutoit years. As much as the relationship between him and the orchestra ended abruptly and awkwardly, there were many years of terrific music-making with him there. The MSO in the 80s and 90s was an orchestra that you could still always recognize instantly on the radio: that transparent, clean sound was so distinctive, and a source of pride to both maestro and players.

Please describe your early music education.

I grew up in Toronto, and had piano lessons early, but never excelled at that. I was lucky to have a terrific music teacher in high school (John Fautley, then at UTS), who really opened my ears to the whole range of world music. Most of my university education was at U of T, where I studied with the great Eugene Rittich. And as an orchestral player, my finishing school was the NYOC, where I learned what it really takes to win and keep a major orchestra position.

Who were your musical heroes in your formative years?

In no particular order: Glenn Gould, Robert Fripp, Hermann Baumann, Martha Argerich, Charles Mingus, Gordon Lightfoot, Jacqueline du Pré, Brian Eno. And many more.

How did your interest in conducting develop?

It’s something I began to some extent in high school, and studied intermittently after that. As an orchestral player, it gives a really amazing new and profound perspective to the great repertoire: as a conductor you of necessity need to know every detail of every note in the score, and as much of the historical, cultural, personal context of each work in as much depth as you are capable of.

Now that your tenure with the Hamilton Philharmonic is over, how do you exercise your conducting muscles?

I do a fair amount of guest conducting in Canada and the US, and am music director of the Canadian National Brass Project (canadiannationalbrassproject.com), which brings many of Canada’s finest brass players together every year for tours and recording – we have a CD and streaming audio release set for this spring: music of Mussorgsky, Lizée, Lau, Lauridsen and Cable.

The BSO/Nelsons DG recording of Shostakovich’s Symphonies 5, 8 and 9 was highly praised by The WholeNote in our September 2016 issue. Is there a difference in approach to making a recording vis-à-vis performing a live concert?

Well, the short answer is that those recordings are all edited from live concerts, so in that case, no difference at all! But in ideal circumstances, we can approach a studio recording with a little more freedom: when you know there is the possibility of another take, you can experiment a bit more, take a few more chances, technically and musically. Stretch a phrase a little longer, play a dynamic that’s a little riskier, that sort of thing.

Is the March 5 concert the first time you’ve been back to Toronto since your Women’s Musical Club recital last November?

I was back for the holidays, as usual; most of my immediate family still lives in Toronto.

Do you recall the last time you played Roy Thomson Hall?  How does it feel to be returning?

I think the last time I played here was when I came back for a couple of weeks and played principal horn as a guest with the TSO – maybe this would be late 90s or early 00s. It’s going to be great to be back on that stage. We have a wonderful acoustic at Symphony Hall in Boston, but I have tremendous memories of my time in the TS, and listening to it when I was growing up. I do remember when the hall opened in 1982; in fact my mother was a sponsor before it opened, so my name and those of my siblings are on the back of one of the audience seats.

What is it like to work with Emanuel Ax? Have you played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.2 with him before?

I haven’t played that work with him. We have played chamber music on a couple of occasions; doing the Schumann Adagio and Allegro [for Horn and Piano Op.70] as part of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players series was a highlight. He’s an incredibly warm and generous person, and of course a sublime and inspiring musician.

In your BSO video, you mentioned owning a few French horns. How many do you have in your basement? How many do you use in performance?

At the moment I have three or four in “rotation,” one of them is a “triple” horn, which comes in handy for music that is both very high and very low, very soft and very loud. I have a few other instruments that I use depending on the repertoire, to make a specific colour of sound easier to achieve. Some are warmer and darker, some clearer and brighter – just depends what the pieces require.

The Boston Symphony conducted by Andris Nelsons with featured guest Emanuel Ax performs at Roy Thomson Hall on March 5.

Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote.

2205 Feat TaurinsFor Tafelmusik Chamber Choir director Ivars Taurins, one concert this year will be especially personal. Titled “A Bach Tapestry” and running February 9 to 14, the concert is an all-Bach program - but not the “greatest hits” playlist you’d expect. Instead, the show will be a medley of excerpts from J.S. Bach’s oeuvre that often don’t get heard in concert: choruses and chorales from several of his cantatas, portions of the G-Major Mass, and instrumental interludes.

“It’ll be a concert completely devoted to Bach,” Taurins explained in an interview with publisher David Perlman in the fall. “And it explores the choral works that we don’t know. It’s the tip of the iceberg. We get to hear the great cantatas. We know the great choruses. But of the 100-plus cantatas that Bach did write and the church cycles he composed, there are so many hidden gems - not only in entire cantatas but in arias and choruses.”

They may be lesser-known gems, but Taurins knows them inside and out - he selected them. “What I did was basically go through all of the cantatas one by one and go, ‘Whoa, ok! That’s gotta be on it!’” he explained. “I have an album in my iTunes where I just dragged all of the ‘ok, this is interesting’ Bach.”

Taurins has been the Tafelmusik choir’s director since its inception 35 years ago in 1981 - but before that, he was a founding member and violist with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in 1979, and remained in that role for 23 years.

Interestingly enough, Taurins credits the viola for his years of success as a director and conductor. A 2006 review of a Tafelmusik performance in The Globe and Mail spoke of Taurins as a conductor who “allowed the many internal voices to be heard clearly, letting the music loose when Bach’s spirit called for it.” Ten years later in The WholeNote office, Taurins talks about how this ability to understand music from the inside is idiomatic to the viola – and is a fundamentally Bach-like interpretation.

 “When you’re a violist, sitting in the orchestra, you’re hearing stuff from the middle,” he says. “And apparently Bach liked it best when he sat in the middle and played viola.”

The online program notes for February 9 to 14 – “Johann Sebastian Bach” in bold at the top – contain a grand total of 16 musical excerpts. Nine of those excerpts are Tafelmusik firsts.

For Taurins, the format lends itself well towards a new exploration of one of the ensemble’s best-loved composers. It also, when taken as a whole, provides a beautiful impression of Bach himself; when Taurins’ musical selections are all strung together in this way, they paint a clear picture of the composer’s musical style and vision.

“I fashioned a concert that weaves these disparate elements, some of which you’ve probably never heard of or heard played - weaving in instrumental works as well,” says Taurins. “A true tapestry.”

Tafelmusik’s “A Bach Tapestry,” directed by Ivars Taurins, will be presented on February 9, 10 and 11 (8pm) and February 12 (3:30pm) at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, and on February 14 (8pm) in the George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

The above interview with Ivars Taurins has been excerpted from his audio interview with WholeNote publisher David Perlman in October 2016. That interview exists in its entirety in podcast form, available for streaming/download on the podcast app of your choice or on our website at http://www.thewholenote.com/podcasts. 

Harry ManxThe guitar is one of those instruments that can be hard to classify—in part, because it seems to have developed in many different directions at once. In addition to its longtime role in the classical tradition, the guitar, in its various acoustic and electric iterations, has grown to become a mainstay of rock, jazz, blues, folk and countless other musical styles. So not only can “guitar music” mean pretty much anything these days, the instrument itself has come to symbolize a huge breadth of traditions—in many cases, becoming one of the defining commonalities between otherwise disparate music scenes.

There's no better example of this spread than the concerts happening in Toronto this month. In the new music world, TO.U Collective, a new series this year at St. Andrew’s Church, features two solo guitar recitals that feature “contemporary music” in the truest sense of the word—with every work on these programs composed between 1980 and present day. On January 18 at noon, guitarist Graham Banfield presents a free concert of works by Eve Beglarian, David Lang, Matthew Shlomowitz and Fausto Romitelli. That show is followed up on Saturday, January 28 at 8pm, when TO.U presents Rob MacDonald in a ticketed program of pieces by Helmut Oehring, Simon Steen-Andersen, Philippe Leroux, and local composer Jason Doell. The composers on both programs are known for their unique experimentations with sound, with Banfield’s show in particular playing on the guitar’s multifaceted nature and borrowing heavily from rock—a link which, thanks to contemporary music groups like Bang on a Can (of which David Lang is a founder and member), is less tenuous than one might expect. Details on the series, and info on tickets for MacDonald’s show, can be found at www.toucollective.com.

The following week at the beginning of February, the RCM presents guitar(s) of a very different kind, with a February 3 show featuring Harry Manx at Koerner Hall. Billed as a musician in the tradition of “blues-meets-ragas”, Manx will perform on an Indian slide guitar, an all-metal National slide guitar, a banjo, a cigar box guitar, and harmonica, and will be accompanied by a string quartet. A difficult-to-classify but remarkable musical figure, Manx is an exciting addition to Koerner’s non-classical “Music Mix” series for 2017. More on the show at http://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/harry-manx://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/harry-manx. (Manx also appears the night before in Hamilton alongside Clayton Doley on Hammond organ, who himself wrote the string quartet charts for the Koerner performance; ticket info at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/harry-manx-hamilton-ontario-02-02-2017/event/1000517D91FD4557://www.ticketmaster.ca/harry-manx-hamilton-ontario-02-02-2017/event/1000517D91FD4557.) 

Nor is classical guitar, playing classical and folk repertoire, left behind in the bustle: on January 28, the Guitar Society of Toronto presents the Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo, an Italian guitar/bandoneon team who will play works by Piazzolla and Pujol, while on January 30, the University of Toronto’s vocal DMA students will sing a free show of songs with guitar accompaniment. And further afield in Hamilton, guitarist Steve Cowan presents a guitar recital at McMaster on January 24, and the Bandini-Chiacchiaretta Duo reprises their Toronto program on January 29 as guests of Guitar Hamilton.

All this to say that the long-contested identity of the guitar remains popular ground for concertizing—and that whether you’re a fan of the instrument or think you aren’t, the scene here continues to allow local audiences the opportunity for surprising, and potentially fruitful, moments of (re)discovery.

Sara Constant is a Toronto-based flutist and musicologist, and is digital media editor at The WholeNote. She can be contacted at editorial@thewholenote.com.

Melissa LaurenWhen singer-songwriter Melissa Lauren decided last fall to plan a benefit concert, she knew that the project would be a personal one. But the result—a show this month featuring new music from an all-star cast of jazz, folk, classical and pop artists—and its relevance to both Lauren’s personal life and the local musical community at large, ended up hitting closer to home than even she had anticipated.

“In the Can”, on January 19 at 3030 Dundas West, is a fundraising concert for Children’s Aid Foundation, featuring unreleased works from artists in the local songwriting scene. The idea is to bring together local musicians to perform songs that are, as the saying goes, “in the can”—recorded or ready for recording, but not yet released to the public. Artists will have a chance to workshop their new material, while audiences will get an exclusive preview of local favourites’ upcoming releases.

The lineup is huge, and promising. Among others, the concert will feature Laila Biali, Barbra Lica, Lori Cullen, Devin Cuddy, Alex Pangman, Genevieve Marentete, Ori Dagan, Whitney Ross Barris, Darcy Windover, Annie Bonsignore, The O’Pears, The Sinner’s Choir, and Lauren herself, backed by a house band of guitar, bass and drums (Nathan Hiltz, Tyler Emond and David MacDougall, respectively).

“Most of the performers are friends of mine, but some of them are not,” says Lauren. “Selfishly, I wanted to create a show that I would want to watch myself. And I wanted to include something for everybody, and so I tried to take broader cross-section of styles. So I just started contacting some of my favourite artists in the city—and in Canada—to see if anyone happened to be in town.”

For Lauren, the larger inspiration for the concert came from becoming a mother—something that changed her worldview in ways she never anticipated. “For me, I didn’t really pop into my love for children until I had the baby and then it just came bombarding at me,” she says. “I suffered from postpartum depression, and was struggling a lot with being overly emotional, and having Irrational, disproportionate feelings of just wanting to help everybody. So after a few months I thought, I’m going to do something productive about this.”

Lauren initially chose to support Children’s Aid Foundation because she was impressed with their range of services and programs focused on outreach, education and recovery for children. While researching the charity, however, she discovered her own connection to the charity, which gave her selection a more personal energy. I always knew I was adopted but we never really discussed the details of it,” Lauren explains. “My mother told me during this process that I was actually adopted through Children’s Aid, 36 years ago. It was just an interesting little spin that made me think that this is the right project for me to be doing.”

At the concert on January 19, each musician will perform a few songs, featuring mostly unreleased original work alongside a few performances of standards and audience favourites. Lauren herself will also sing two songs, including one written for her daughter, who turns one at the end of the month.

For Lauren, who is hopeful that the fundraiser will continue beyond this first iteration, the show has allowed her to try something new, and put together a project that placed personal growth for artists, and the help they can offer their communities, at the fore.

“It’ll be fun,” says Lauren. “We do so many shows every year that are sort of self-serving...so I thought, why not try to throw something together, and see if I can make it [work].”

“In The Can” takes place on January 19 at 8:30pm, at 3030 Dundas West. The evening will feature two sets of music and a silent auction (beginning at 8pm), with ticket and auction proceeds going to Children’s Aid Foundation. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.ca.

Sara Constant is a Toronto-based flutist and musicologist, and is digital media editor at The WholeNote. She can be contacted at editorial@thewholenote.com.

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