On Saturday, April 30th, 2022, The Silent Film Ensemble will celebrate the 12th anniversary of their performance at the Roxy Theatre, Owen Sound, to Buster Keaton’s comedy classic The General. We will mark the celebration with the premiere of the soundtrack recording from 2010 along with the film on Saturday, April 30th, 2022 at 7pm via YouTube: click here for the free YouTube event, or see below. The soundtrack will also be available to download for FREE from The Silent Film Ensemble’s Bandcamp page here. Please contact us with questions, or for details.
Author: Josh Richardson
YOUNG DRONES: VOLUME ONE – A Collection of Noises
Download for free from Bandcamp.
The Macphail Music Program is thrilled to release YOUNG DRONES –A Collection Of Noises as our “Heart Of A Tiger” fundraiser to help purchase cardiac equipment for the new Centre Grey Hospital in Markdale. If you would like to donate please visit the link below and under “Fund” select the “Macphail Music Program, Heart Of A Tiger Campaign” option: www.cghsfoundation.com/donation-form/
This project is also meant to coincide with International Drone Day, May 29. As far as we can gather, we are the FIRST group of elementary school-aged artists and musicians ON PLANET EARTH to submit work for this worldwide celebration. For a program that fosters a creative, fearless, open-minded, outside-the-box outlook on life and music this was VERY exciting news indeed and another “first” to add to our collection!
What is a drone? This is the question that launched this project. Often, the first responses were “a remote-controlled helicopter thingy”. Being from a rural area, some students were able to identify a drone as a male bee. These suggestions led to the musical sense of the word—a long, continuous, (endless?) sound. Online classes participated in rich conversations about what different sorts of drone there are (instrumental, mechanical, natural) and provided countless examples of each (bagpipe, old fridge, waterfall). Bigger philosophical questions were asked—do we exist in a constant drone of sound/s? Is silence, or freedom from noise, possible? Virtual debates ensued—how is a drone different than other musical concepts like ostinato or pedal point? High school/university music stuff here!
Grade 4 to 8 students, in an attempt to make this project as creative and fun as possible, were then tasked with capturing, recreating or recording drones to submit. Josh Richardson and the good people at Mudtown Records agreed to compile and curate these sounds. This local record label has supported recording projects by the Macphail Music Program over the years and I’m sure they were a bit surprised and even overwhelmed when over 100 Macphail artists/engineers submitted work for this community-spirited project!
Many thanks to Darlene Lamberti at Centre-Grey Health Services. She has been nothing but encouraging over the last few years and we are so pumped (get it, heart fundraiser) to offer our work for the second year in a row to help the overall health and well-being of our community. Endless thanks to Josh Richardson for faithfully putting our Macphail musical magic out into the world.
Please give generously if you are able. We would like to eclipse the amount from our Covid 19 fundraiser of last year!
– Charles Glasspool
Thank you to Charles and the students of the Macphail Music program for involving me with this unique and exciting release. It is fascinating to hear these young drones, the different textures, timbres, and tones emanating from the wild. One can sense the exploration in these sounds and an attention to the environment, taking a lesson from Pauline Oliveros’ concept of ‘deep listening.’ It is a pleasure and a privilege to help produce this very special collection of drone noises.
– Josh Richardson
Album art by Sadie Phillips
Covid-19 Relief Fundraiser: There Was A Storm Last Night
Donate to the Centre Grey Health Service Covid-19 Relief fund in honour of Colleen Vandenberg by clicking here AND download the album “There Was A Storm Last Night: Sounds From The Macphail Music Program” from Bandcamp for FREE by clicking here .
From the album liner notes:
In 2016 Josh Richardson and Mudtown Records set up a live, off-the-floor recording at St. John’s United Church in Flesherton, Ontario. Over 100 Macphail Elementary School Music Program students joined by a handful of high school students from GHSS, staff and community members participated in a mad, magical, messy afternoon of one-take only captures of the ideas, the songs, the music presented here. The second track here “Duties Of A Lighthouse Keeper”, by the wonderful group Human Highway, was picked up by the national music magazine Exclaim! I’m not sure they have ever featured an elementary school ensemble before or since? Our Macphail Tigers Concert Band featured here as well went on to win a Platinum award at the prestigious Music Alive festival in York Region, receiving an invitation to play against the best elementary school bands in the country. Of course, this wonderful group went on to earn a GOLD medal at the Canadian Musicfest Nationals finals in Ottawa. This certainly represents one of the finest and most memorable years of my endlessly beautiful times at Mac Music.
Originally, the release of this album was meant to support a bursary/fund/scholarship for students of this tremendous campaign as they moved on to post-secondary studies. Given the dramatic turn of events in all of our lives, we would like to offer this recording as a fundraiser for the Centre-Grey Health Services COVID-19 Relief Fund. There is an important reason why and her name is COLLEEN VANDENBERG.
From the get-go, Colleen has been an unflinching and stalwart supporter of the Macphail Music program. She has been band manager and muse, nurse, chaperone, comforting force, and friendly face to HUNDREDS of Tiger musicians over the years. Words cannot my express my gratitude to this otherworldly superhero and front-line worker. How many times did she get off a night shift at the hospital just to sit on a school bus for hours on end and travel to some festival far away? ALWAYS bubbly. ALWAYS cheerful. ALWAYS THERE. In some ways, she is as responsible for the success of our award-winning, nationally-recognised, touring, travelling Tigers Concert Band as the kids involved or yours truly. This recording is TOTALLY dedicated to you, Colleen Vandenberg. Thank you. C
If you would like to make a donation to the Centre-Grey Health Services COVID-19 Relief Fund follow the link here. Be sure to direct your donation to said fund.
From Josh Richardson:
This was a very special project to be a part of. The students were so clearly engaged by Charles and his enthusiasm. What a captivating group of young people, listening carefully, and exercising their own creativity in such a beautiful way. I really hope that this can continue. Thank you to Charlie and all the students for involving me in the project. I was moved to tears by the performance. With much respect, Josh
Dibiki-Giizis by Chegahno & Richardson
This track was recorded in my sun room on June 29, 2007. Jake Chegahno heard a pre-mix just before he died in early 2017. It’s name is the Anishnabe word for moon, which literally translated means ‘dark sun.’ Jake was Anishnabe from Neyashiinigmiing (Cape Croker)and loved Gerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, so I thought it appropriate, being recorded in the sun room, and remembering the Dead’s song “Dark Star.” The photo is the ‘Chegahno’ illuminated musical glass, created by Patrick Dorfman for the Silent Film Ensemble and named for Jake. Chii Miigwech Jake.
– Josh Richardson, June 27th, 2018.
Lupercalia is here!!!! (Saturday SOLD OUT)
After six hectic months of dreaming, brainstorms, meetings, several late nights, a couple of arguments and a lot of laughter, the Lupercalia weekend is finally here.
In late August, I was invited to become Artistic Director of the Lupercalia Multi-Arts Festival, to redefine the vision established by founder Josh Richardson. The first Lupercalia was held in February 2013, building on the foundations of the Mudtown Music and Arts Festival (formerly OTHERfolk) and countless other events produced and hosted by Mudtown Records and their indefatigable volunteer committee. Over the years, the label – and the committee – have brought a vast array of artists to town and staged exhibits and cultural conversations in roughly two dozen downtown locations. There have been memorable shows from big names like Stars and The Strumbellas, and spectacular performances from lesser-known artists who have gone on to wider acclaim, like Terra Lightfoot, My Son the Hurricane and The Weather Station. Add Silent Film Ensemble screenings with live scores, live music pop-ups, Farmers’ Market takeovers and Pride events and you can see that Mudtown Records and their associated events have had a huge impact on Owen Sound’s cultural landscape.
You can imagine my challenge when I was invited to become Artistic Director. What could I bring to the mix that was new and different? How could I engage the Owen Sound audience when so much had already been done? By thinking about two ideas – the current cultural moment we are experiencing with respect to women in the cultural and political spheres, and the fact that Lupercalia falls on Family Day weekend – the weekend’s “women and children first” theme fell into place.
Here’s a quick rundown of the weekend’s lineup:
6pm – Six at Six: Remarkable Women Cemetery Tour at Greenwood Cemetary FREE
7:30pm (doors) – Witch Prophet, Ice Cream and Osound at Heartwood Hall
2pm – Women Reclaiming Space in Arts and Culture roundtable discussion at The Ginger Press FREE
4pm – Girls Rock Camp dress rehearsal performance at the Library FREE
6:30pm – Joyful Joyful at Heartwood Home
8pm (doors) – Girls Rock Camp, Kingdom of Birds and Partner at Heartwood Hall
My first year as artistic director of Owen Sound’s mid-winter arts and culture festival has been deeply rewarding. I am proud to offer a festival program that offers a wide variety of music by skilled performers who happen to be women, queer and gender-non-conforming, youth and/or people of colour. I’m equally thrilled to have programmed content that honours our history, engages the community in thoughtful conversation and mentors young local women. All of this has been made possible with the help of the festival’s volunteers, community partners and sponsors. We look forward to sharing it all with you this weekend.
You may find out more about all of the artists and free cultural events by visiting www.mudtownrecords.com (where you’ll find a full schedule) or at the Lupercalia Facebook page and associated events pages. Mudtown Records is pleased to offer subsidized tickets to the unemployed and underwaged. For more information email [email protected] or phone 519-416-5696.
Tickets can be purchased for the entire weekend, single Friday or Saturday evenings at Heartwood Hall, or for the Joyful Joyful show at Heartwood Home. Find Lupercalia on Ticketscene for online orders or drop by Heartwood Home to pick up paper tickets.
A very limited number of tickets was available at the time of writing.
Women and Youth Highlight Lupercalia
“The lineup for the 2018 version of Lupercalia has been released and it has been affectionately nicknamed “the women and children first edition.”
The mid-winter festival will again be centred at the Heartwood Concert Hall on Feb. 16 and 17 during the Family Day long weekend, and this year’s lineup features a strong contingent of women and young people.” – Rob Gowan
Read the full article via the Owen Sound Sun Times by clicking here.
For Early Bird Tickets >> Click Here <<
Lupercalia Announces New Director
Meet Lupercalia’s new artistic director. Philly Markowitz has programmed music for over 25 years as a CBC/Radio-Canada host / programmer, community radio broadcaster, and occasional music promoter. She is looking forward to programming Lupercalia after participating on Mudtown event committees for six years. Markowitz replaces former director Josh Richardson, who has helmed the festival since its inception in 2011. Lupercalia happens annually during the February Family Day long weekend, which is the 16th & 17th in 2018.
“…a gorgeous, soothing work.”
Exclaim! has called Josh Richardson’s latest ambient work “a gorgeous, soothing work.” Read the review of the double EP “Book Ends” in full here. Stream, or download the album here.
Richardson will perform a new ambient work entitled “Ataraxia” at the Georgian Shores United Church in Owen Sound on Wednesday, August 23rd at noon, as part of the Noon Hour concert series. The event is free.
Listen to “Spheres” from the double EP “Book Ends” below.
Lupercalia touts community philosophy
Mudtown Records’ fifth edition of the Lupercalia Winter Multi-Arts Festival shares a community philosophy fueled by the idea that cultural events should be open to members of the community regardless of economics. This means that in addition to the range of free events offered to the public by Lupercalia, the festival will also provide subsidized passes to those who without the financial means to attend. Interested persons can obtain the subsidized passes by contacting the festival through the website MudtownRecords.com, emailing [email protected], or by phoning (519) 416-8696. Ticket numbers are limited, and distributed on a first come, first serve basis.
Lupercalia’s public events aim to provide educational, and informative opportunities and to engage people on a variety of issues affecting the community. This year the festival offers three such events. The first is the ‘Wall of Sound: Community Musical Map,’ which launches at the Ginger Press Bookstore on Wednesday, February 1st at 12 noon and goes until the end of the festival. The idea for the map comes from Windsor, Ontario, where music venue owner Tom Lucier brought community members together to create the ‘Windsor music tangle.’ Citizens contribute their knowledge of local music history to help form a floor to ceiling map displaying the varying connections between bands and band members (black marker draws lines between the various players circled in black to the bands boxed in and written in red). The result is a visually impressive map of the community’s musical history. This is an exciting prospect for a region with such a rich musical history as Owen Sound and the surrounding area.
The second public event will be held at the Library on Saturday, February 18th at 3pm. ‘Tech Talk with Tim’ features an open discussion with audio engineer Timothy Glasgow from London, Ontario, who has worked with such industry giants as Nile Rogers (Chic, Daft Punk, David Bowie), Metric, & Sonic Youth – just to name a few. Down to earth and eager to share his knowledge, Glasgow will also share his love of the modular synthesizer: an infinitely expanding music machine with endless components and combinations, creating music by linking modules through a growing tangle of multi-coloured patch cords. The instrument was popularized in the 1960’s and 70’s with such bands as Yes and Kraftwerk.
The third and final public event is a roundtable discussion on ‘Truth & Reconciliation & Art’ exploring the question: In light of the conclusion and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and its 94 recommendations, what are artists – both indigenous and nonindigenous – to make of the trauma and legacy of colonization, residential schools, & missing and murdered aboriginal women? Included on the panel are Adam Sturgeon – leader of the band WHOOP-Szo, visual artist, and member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm – poet, author, and activist from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation at Neyaashiinigmiing, Jake Chegahno – singer-songwriter & Owen Sound resident originally from Cape Croker, John Fearnall – educator and photographer from Owen Sound, Pete Devlin – musician, Owen Sound resident, and member of the Dene First Nation, Virginia Eichorn – Director & Chief Curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, and Maryann Thomas – publisher and owner the Ginger Press. It takes place at the Ginger Press Bookstore on Saturday, February 18th at 4:30pm.
Mudtown Records presents the 2017 Lupercalia Winter Multi-Arts Festival on February 17th & 18th in Owen Sound, featuring: the Woodshed Orchestra, the Surfrajettes, Taktus, WHOOP-Szo, L Con, Tim Glasgow, the Silent Film Ensemble, tWeen, & First Winter, plus the ‘Wall of Sound’ Community Musical Map, the Luper-Culinary Locavore Lounge, ‘Tech Talk’ with audio engineer Tim Glasgow, roundtable discussion on ‘Truth & Reconciliation & Art,’ and more. Tickets & information are available in person at Heartwood Home, or online via MudtownRecords.com.
Lupercalia 2017 Lineup & Trailer Released
Lupercalia will be looking to heat up the cold Ontario winter in Owen Sound come February, and organizers have just unveiled details about the festival’s 2017 instalment.
The event will be presented by Mudtown Records and is set to take place on February 16 and 17 at various venues across town.
So far, the list of confirmed performers boasts the Woodshed Orchestra, the Surfrajettes, WHOOP-Szo, L Con, Taktus, Tween, Tim Glasgow and the Silent Film Ensemble.
There will also be programming that includes a Truth & Reconciliation & the Arts roundtable discussion, as well as a an exploration of Owen Sound’s musical history and plenty of local food and beverages at the Luper-culinary Locavore Lounge.
Tickets are expected to go on sale on Saturday (December 17). Single night tickets are $25, while full weekend passes are $40. Foodies can also opt in for Tasters Tickets that will include gourmet food and drink that will cost $65 for a single night or $110 for the full weekend.
Find full Lupercalia details and updates over here, and check out a video trailer for the upcoming festival in the player below.
– Sarah Murphy, Exclaim!