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Tena Palmer BobVespaziani in Audiopollination Series at Array Space, Toronto, ON - July 2, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Recording: Tena Palmer + Bob Vespaziani

Artist: Tena Palmer + Bob Vespaziani

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at Array Space ("Audiopollination #31.1"), June 9, 2015.

Tena Palmer + Bob Vespaziani - [excerpt from first piece]

Bob Vespaziani once again proved himself a master of the abstract possibilities that can be drawn from the wavedrum, eschewing straight-ahead percussion in favour of ratcheting, thrumming electroacoustic sounds, while Tena Palmer matched every move with her vocalizations.

[Audiopollination will be busy for the next month or so, offering up a spot for some touring musicians (including New York visitors Mob Job on Monday, June 22nd and bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano on Saturday, June 27th), a "regular" Audiopollination featuring Michael Keith, Bob Vespaziani, Michael Lynn, David Sait, John Kamavaar and Mani Mazinani on Sunday, July 5th, plus the return of the self-curation project on Tuesday, July 14th.]

Christmas in Antarctica - November 23, 2013

I am a little slow getting the lyrics on site... even slower, telling the back story. This one ran on & on & got too revealing of secrets, not all mine to tell. Look for the (screen) play in a few years.

{the tree shape was found & coloured after writing the piece}

Reading a National Geographic article, one frigid Canadian night, of a remarkable explorer in his late 80's, climbing mountains and exploring Antarctica.  

It was Christmas time.

I contemplated how my dear friend, Ginny in Australia spends Xmas... summer time.

In my family, religious rules and dogma have caused so much violence and damage.

By the time I was old enough to be confirmed I quit religion; seeing it, in all forms as 'spiritual exclusivity', an oxymoron in my understanding. .... Light on the oxy, heavy on the... well you get it.

Fantasized: "How unusual and blissfully serene, to escape the dark winter, commercial blitz, entrenched guilt and family drama ... and see our sweet earth from a fresh perspective.

... peace; none excluded. A place unpolluted

by the ravages of religion.


No cliches.

Only penguins, seals

and the Baby Jesus; ice-fishing, 

on hiatus from the sickening madness

carried out

In His Name's Sake

Had been listening to a Keith Jarrett CD and stole ideas for a two-bar vamp

- breaking the 7th commandment...


Peace on Earth


 from the Tena Palmer CD, North Atlantic Drift, with double bassist, John Geggie

and pedal steel / guitarist, Dan Artuso

REVIEW from THE WIRE (UK) : Another real treat was the set by Upstream Orch - June 18, 2013


Another real treat was the set by Upstream Orchestra, 18 pieces from the Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada – not a place one usually thinks of as a hot bed of avant-garde music. But this year was an improvising orchestra with real depth and very strong conduction by Jeff Reilly. They started off with a great run-through of Barry Guy’s Witch Gong Game and followed it with two pieces by their musical director, Paul Cram. Big chunks of Mingus, George Russell, the ICP and much else assembled itself into a squawk-swept landscape of brilliant playing. They don’t seem to have any recordings available, but hopefully they will soon.
- Byron Coley, The Wire (UK)

ANOTHER RAVE REVIEW! - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, NYC, 6/6/13 - June 6, 2013

"As a big fan of large ensembles & modern big bands, I was glad to hear the next set from the Upstream Orchestra. This 18-piece ensemble is from the Maritime provinces in Canada and led by saxist Paul Cram, who had a previous large ensemble at Victo several years back. The orchestra was conducted by Jeff Reilly who also once played in a duo with Jerry Granelli at Victo previously. They played three pieces, one by Barry Guy and two by Mr. Cram. You could tell that a good deal of time and preparation went into this concert as the pieces were well-written, tight and superbly played. Vocalist Tena Palmer was one of the highlights of this ensemble, her voice an integral part of the orchestra's tapestry and waves of lines. She often didn't sing words but used her voice in other ways. Some of the music on the first piece reminded me of a spy movie theme and featured a smokin' tenor solo from Mr. Cram. The second piece, "The Magic Order", began quietly with soft vocals, muted trumpet, flutes and other horns all sailing together. This piece reminded me of the Grand Wazoo (Zappa's large jazz ensemble from the early 1970's) which mixed free and charted sections perfectly. The last piece, "Witch Gong Game" by Barry Guy was quite intense and explosive. Different sections of the orchestra (as synth/guitar/voice/percussion) would rise or submerge within other sections, occasionally erupt with some marvelous solos from the soprano sax, voice or other players. The music recalled the great British composer Neil Ardley, who is a personal favorite of mine. I've listened to dozens of large ensembles over the past few years and this, the Upstream Orchestra, was one of the best." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, NYC, 6/6/13

August in NS / NB gig, beach, gig, beach....... - July 20, 2012

Love it when arts / theatre orgs. seek out sub-lets... I get to head out of town and know the plants will be watered.
This Aug. I head to Mahone Bay to mix (with the esteemed engineer, John D.S. Adams) my newest release, Holy Heart of Me, recorded with T.I.N.T. (there is no them) Hilmar Jensson, guitar/electronics, Matthias Hemstock - percussion/sound engineer, Valdimar Kolbeinsson - bass, Omar Guðjónsson - tuba,Kjartan Valdemarsson - concertina, and Canadian guests t.b.a.
While in the homeland, I'll debut tunes from the CD with an all-star band at Stayner's Wharf Aug. 30th, guest vocalize with the Threnodies Band and Zokugaku @1313 Hollis, in addition to gigs in Moncton, and elsewhere in the region.

I am excited also to be work-shopping a new improvised theatre /music / comedy performance. Accompanying me -in more ways than musically, you can bet - will be pianist, wit and raconteur extraordinaire, Holly Arsenault. Location, soon t.b.a.

Come out, all my 'Fax fans and friends! We'll have a grand old time!

May Tour with Aperture Trio and Bob Vespaziani/ Arthur Bull - May 30, 2012

Fantastic experience! Began at 1313 Hollis with a Suddenly Listen concert: 1st set Bull/ Vespaziani Duo 2nd set was a wonderful workshop performance ( excerpts soon to be posted on the music pg of this site) with Aperture Trio, Vespaziani, Daniel Heikalo - guitar and guests on flute electronics and more.
That very evening we moved to the Pogue Fado on Barrington for a blissful blow-out with the addition of Lukas Pearse, bass, and Geordie Haley-guitar and an enthusiastic crowd had to be booted out with the rest of us at closing time.

After the duo and Ap. Trio sets, the Moncton, NB gig was a warm and simply beautiful collaboration with the incomparable Roland Bourgeois on trumpet and flugelhorn and his son and the event's gracious organizer, Andre on tenor sax. Fantastic listening audience relaxed ambiance in the venue and a warm reception with an invitation to return that I shall accept this August!

In Fredericton NB, we found a generous audience in artistically inspiring surroundings hosted by Galerie Connexion and Joel LeBlanc joined us on guitar, for an inspired set. ( The last time Arthur and I played with Joel in F'ton was at a women's university hockey final - full-on free music, with the juicily nasty Evan Shaw on alto sax - A fave moment in that show was an electronica processing Zamboni / voice / guitar ensemble as an opener.)

Next, to Rimouski, where we took the maiden voyage of a new improvised music association in a renovated disco which was just SUCH a perfect venue. AMaZinG collaborators joined us - again, after opening Trio and Duo sets. Raphael A.-violin/electronics, Remy B.- el. bass and Eric N.- cello, with an exquisite improvising dancer(whose name, not face, escapes me I am disappointed to admit)
Sincere thanks to Sebastien for the wonderful experience!

Aperture Video - May 25, 2012

Aperture Trio Eastern Canada Tour meets the Arthur Bull Bob Vespaziani Cross Canada duo tour and hit the road together! - May 5, 2012

Arthur Bull - guitar and chromatic harmonica
Bob Vespaziani - wave drum / percussion
Paul Cram - tenor sax and clarinet
Tena Palmer - voice

May 14 9 pm Halifax The Frigate
May 15 8 pm Moncton Patent
May 16 8 pm Fredericton Connexion Showroom
May 17 8?pm Rimouski Coop Paradis

Festival des Musiques de Creations
Aperture Trio
May 18 2030 Jonquieres Salle Perrette Gaudreault

stay tuned....details to follow....

Aperture Trio Review: excerpt - March 3, 2012

A wag once described Canadian improvised music this way: A group of Canadians reach a doorway; being well mannered, each insists that another go first, resulting in no one passing through the door. That stereotype was strongly rebuked by robust sets by, among others, saxophonist Paul Cram’s trio with bassist Danny Parker and drummer Doug Cameron and Zokugaku, a synth and samples fueled trio with Haley, Cameron and keyboardist Tim Crofts. While there is an appealing mild streak in what can be construed from Open Waters as an Atlantic temperament – typified by the humor in the rhythmic use of video clips of Toscanini and other conductors in bassist Andrew Reed Miller’s cross-platform solo piece, “L-EDGY” – it is salted by occasional unhinged intensity, which Miller demonstrated in furiously bowed passages accompanied by the rapid scanning of a vintage Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial.

These complementary traits can often register as dichotomous in a set of improvised music; they require a cohering aura of persona, which takes years if not decades to refine – and are best demonstrated in small groups. The case in point for this at Open Waters was Aperture Trio, comprised of vocalist Tena Palmer, guitarist Arthur Bull and Cram. Their respective resources are impressive: Palmer combines precise diction (if the term can be applied to her vast array of vocalizations) and a keen feel for dynamics; Bull’s lines have a flinty centrifugal force, even though he plays at relatively low volume and without effects; Cram’s tenor can be simultaneously muscular and delicate, while his clarinet retains a full woody sound even when he soars. These veterans know what to do when presented with an open door – they go for it, knowing it will sort out.

Aperture Trio Live Concert review: Open Waters Festival - March 3, 2012

Page One

a column by
Bill Shoemaker

The Upstream Orchestra ©Upstream Music Association 2012

You know you’ve just gotten in under the wire when the prop plane you’re on pulls up to the gate at the Halifax airport while the outbound Air Canada jets are being de-iced, a crane extended over each wing, the de-icing agent blowing horizontally like the snow. That’s January in Nova Scotia, and some Canadians are quick to say, in essence: Buck up, lad; it’s winter.

Still, the snow storm that ripped through Halifax on the first day of the Open Waters festival was fierce enough to prevent cellist Christopher Both from driving the 100 kilometers from Wolfville to make subText: subSet’s set. Undoubtedly, the improvising ensemble’s approach to their set was substantially altered at the last minute, but bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly, pianist Steven Naylor and drummer Tom Roach still created engaging, even lyrical music (Both – the cellist – was in fine form the next night with Sanctuary, a trio with Reilly and pianist Peter Togni that improvises on Gregorian chants to luminous effect). It was an object lesson in improvisation: Deal with the moment.

The heavy weather seemed to be a fitting metaphor for what the infrastructure supporting creative music is facing not only in the Atlantic provinces, but throughout Canada. A fast-moving storm is off the mark, though; Snowmageddon overstates the situation; whatever the best image may be, it would need to suggest the antithesis of momentary – something involving permafrost, perhaps. Subsequently, every performance at Open Waters – be it the deconstruction of Canadian pop music by Liona Boyz, the trio of guitarist Geordie Haley, cellist Norman Adams and drummer D’Arcy Gray, or the provocative social commentary of soprano Janice Jackson’s “Oiko/Ecos” for voice, computer and video images – needed to be heard not only on their respective merits, but also within the context of the current environment.

A wag once described Canadian improvised music this way: A group of Canadians reach a doorway; being well mannered, each insists that another go first, resulting in no one passing through the door. That stereotype was strongly rebuked by robust sets by, among others, saxophonist Paul Cram’s trio with bassist Danny Parker and drummer Doug Cameron and Zokugaku, a synth and samples fueled trio with Haley, Cameron and keyboardist Tim Crofts. While there is an appealing mild streak in what can be construed from Open Waters as an Atlantic temperament – typified by the humor in the rhythmic use of video clips of Toscanini and other conductors in bassist Andrew Reed Miller’s cross-platform solo piece, “L-EDGY” – it is salted by occasional unhinged intensity, which Miller demonstrated in furiously bowed passages accompanied by the rapid scanning of a vintage Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial.

These complementary traits can often register as dichotomous in a set of improvised music; they require a cohering aura of persona, which takes years if not decades to refine – and are best demonstrated in small groups. The case in point for this at Open Waters was Aperture Trio, comprised of vocalist Tena Palmer, guitarist Arthur Bull and Cram. Their respective resources are impressive: Palmer combines precise diction (if the term can be applied to her vast array of vocalizations) and a keen feel for dynamics; Bull’s lines have a flinty centrifugal force, even though he plays at relatively low volume and without effects; Cram’s tenor can be simultaneously muscular and delicate, while his clarinet retains a full woody sound even when he soars. These veterans know what to do when presented with an open door – they go for it, knowing it will sort out.

This is a proposition that becomes more complicated with each musician added to the ensemble; hence, the advent of conductions, the shaping of a performance in real time by one or more conductors so that there isn’t a pile-up at the door. On the final night of performances at the Sir James Dunn Theatre on the campus of Dalhousie University, Michael Robson and Chris Mitchell, both of whom currently study composition with Dalhousie professor Jerome Blais, led a 12-piece ensemble in new conductions; after intermission, Reilly led the 18-piece Upstream Orchestra through Barry Guy’s “Witch Gong Game II/10,” a piece Guy conducted with the ensemble in ‘97. Robson and Mitchell’s pieces placed conduction within the context of contemporary chamber music, both composers taking what seemed to be a somewhat cautious approach to granting members of the ensemble greater degrees of expressive latitude. Ultimately, both Robson and Mitchell came off as all-in risk adverse, their pieces facile and coherent, but lacking alchemy.

Reilly, on the other hand, had a slant on “Witch Gong Game II/10” that yielded a thrilling performance. Whereas Guy sometimes opts for pure glorious explosiveness in his conductions, Reilly somewhat capped the spikes in intensity; Crofts, Naylor and percussionists Gray, Bill Brennan, David Burton and Rob Power were particularly skillful in bringing the music to the boiling point without letting it spill over gratuitously. Reilly was more deliberate than Guy in building his interpretation around the magisterial theme late in the piece, one of Guy’s most affecting. There’s a passage like this in every large-scale Guy composition, but Guy tends not to give it centerpiece status like Reilly did on this occasion, letting it be another in a sequence of events. Simultaneously, the piece accommodated something of a recapitulation of the entire festival, as Adams, Haley and others shone again when called upon to solo or improvise in small groups. In short, the orchestra blew the doors off the hinges – the best way to end a festival.

If only such performances could open doors – even one – for funding new music in Canada, given that traditional sources have frozen with little indication they will thaw in the next few years. Even if the economy were to recover substantially in short order, music communities in the Atlantic region would likely be the last to benefit – they are small and are scattered over a large area, with a lower national and international profile than their counterparts in other parts of the country.

Traditionally, composers and improvisers in the region have been hale and hearty DIY types; when they have networked, it has been on a person-to-person basis or through educational institutions and organizations like Upstream Music Association, Open Waters’ presenter, who work primarily, if not exclusively in one city or town. However, the severity of the current climate has prompted discussions for a regional organization – the Atlantic Canada Artmusic Network.

The rub of creating advocacy and fund-raising organizations for new music in the current environment is that such organizations, historically, have needed a multi-year track record of increasing accomplishments to attract sufficient public, private and corporate funding to really advance their cause, a difficult task even in good times. Additionally, an Atlantic network would necessitate power-sharing among individuals and concerns who have labored largely unsupported to carve a niche for their own music.

Subsequently, much of the discussion during a meeting of artists and presenters at Open Waters centered on the necessity for the proposed Network to be responsive to its grassroots constituents and not become a top-down bureaucracy, yet another door to be opened. This was essentially the issue set of last year’s meeting at Open Waters, according to attendees. Articulating issues is necessary for endeavors like a regional network; but constituents need to be cautioned against becoming stuck in a loop, where articulation simply prolongs itself instead of inciting action. Knock on the door; bang on it and shout if necessary: It’s winter; it’s freezing out here; let us in.

> back to contents

Stu Broomer's Sculpin Review in Music Works - November 24, 2011

Aperture Trio Sculpin
Undercurrent Recordings UR002

The Aperture trio consists of singer Tena Palmer , saxophonist Paul Cram, and guitarist Arthur Bull, three imaginative improvisers residing in or hailing from Nova Scotia, where the group first came together. The CD’s namesake-sculpin-is an ancient bottom dwelling fish with venomous spines, whose strongest similarity to this music lies in the element of surprise. That quality will strike a listener within moments of the opening No One Home to Complain: each musician seems to improvise independently of the group and yet what emerges is a complex tapestry of ultimately connected bits, each performer feeding, anticipating, and ignoring his or her partners at the same time. A common stylistic element shared by the three is a fondness for the string of discontinuous events and timbres, a special kind of linearity that creates a sense of continuous and unpredictable sonic collisions, each one yet possessing a sculptural sense of integrity. The musicians speed of thought is something to behold, as is the expressive range from guttural emissions—Cram’s instruments include a duck call-to sweetly liquid lyricism, such moments often occurring in close conjunction. – Stuart Broomer

APERTURE TRIO / Sculpin Review : Monsieur Délire New Music Journal/Blog - November 24, 2011

Journal d'écoute / Listening Diary

APERTURE TRIO / Sculpin (Undercurrent Recordings)
Ce cdr met en vedette ltrois musiciens de la côte est canadienne: a vocaliste Tena Palmer, le guitariste Arthur Bull et le saxophoniste-clarinettiste Paul Cram. De très bonnes improvisations libres. C’est mon premier contact avec Palmer, une vocaliste vive. Et ça faisait trop longtemps que je n’avais pas entendu Bull, le Derek Bailey canadien. Convaincant.

This cdr features three musicians from Canada’s East Coast: vocalist Tena Palmer, guitarist Arthur Bull, and sax/clarinet player Paul Cram. Very good free improvisations. This is the first time Palmer lands on my radar, and she’s a vivid vocalist. And it has been too long since I last heard Bull, Canada’s answer to Derek Bailey. A convincing release. - François Couture's music journali

back to Iceland to record - November 12, 2011

Just a quick note to welcome you back to the site,new address and all.
Thanks for looking in and listening.

Had a wonderful time in Halifax premiering a new 20 min story/music composition,@ the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, with the wonderful improvising multi-media collective, Starry Nights: here are the deets
Upstream Music Association presents Starry Nights Navigates Halifax with a musical blend of local geography, celestial navigation, sounds and music, spoken word, dance and video processing for an existential thrill ride that will surprise, provoke and facilitate dialogue. With its night view of Halifax Harbour, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic’s Small Craft Gallery has the ideal backdrop for moving images projected on screens and sails. Starry Nights is: Shauntay Grant – spoken word/vocals, Tena Palmer - vocals, Tim Crofts - keyboards, Arthur Bull, Geordie Haley/guitars, Danny Parker - bass, Doug Cameron- drums, Paul Cram -tenor sax/clarinet, Dawn Hatfield - baritone sax, flute, Lukas Pearse - video processing, and dancer Susanne Chui. Tickets are at the door $10 adult and $5 students & seniors.

On Nov. 16-23 I will be in the studio in Reykjavik to re-connect with Hilmar Jensson,git/ electronica and Matthias Hemstock, percussion/electronica and other fine friends to complete the CD begun too long ago~!
Can't wait to share it with you all.

more from the N Iceland~!
be well,

pre-production - April 1, 2010

Surprised (or am I? really?)to find the samples from the E. coast recording sessions, fit to a T, the songs in tempos chosen in Reykjavik, 6 mo. later. The rhythms of beach rocks, birdsong and waves, work in perfect sync with the spirit and tempos of the song written on either side of this Atlantic Ocean.

Lately, I am doing regular gigs with AIMT collaborators.... and love it every time. So many great, interesting musicians in the hood'.

Enjoying the possibility of hooking up with Icelandic musicians,  Matthias Hemstock and Johann Johannsson, in TO in May. . Just spent 10 days in studio with Matti adn Hilmar J. in Rvk.. and happy with the fruits of our playtime. Matti has great ears and got good sounds, the best raw material.

Walking wee Buck and his buddy, Rotweiller Red in burgeoning spring weather reminds me of living in the Netherlands. Last Easter, was Paskafri ( pron: pow ska- free)in Rvk.... Lang Fostudag i Frikirku....then London and NS.

This Easter, it's pascoa,(pron: pawsh quoi) in Portugal Square.... with Red and Bucky..and samples and cd to edit.

Been enjoying some gigs in galleries and some tasteful corporate events, had a great Mar 17th gig at the Rex with 10tanturc-rooknicvic

Performances in the works:

Duo with Marilyn Lerner in Russia next year (tba),

Spring Icelandic collaboratons in N. America

Touring new cd in Fall.


there is so much new growth and opportunity this spring. Hope to see you soon, in whatever place you dwell.

bless, bless,


Heim/ Iceland /Home - March 5, 2010

only a short note to say how delighted ( down to my bones) i am, to be back in my old home town of Reykjavik, recording the next cd with my dear friends, percussionist, Matthias Hemstock (Johann Johannsson ++) and guitarist Hilmar Jensson ( Alas No Axis, Tyft, +++).....after some pre-production today's first recordings went beautifully. I am a happy gal with happy pals. As we all agree, it's about time!
...but then, isn't everything?
love to all.
especially Buck E. Baudoux, my new puppy, being so well cared-for back in the Annex.

happy holidays - December 14, 2009

Thanks to everyone who's visiting this page. I am grateful for your support and thanks for listening to the music, and coming out to shows.
Last one this year, will be with my Halifax Improvising Pals..H.I.P., wha?

Thanks to the Canada Council and all the other arts councils in this country for supporting those who work toward non-commercial goals.

Thanks to all family and friends for love, listening and lodgings. I am ever indebted to you always.

Thanks to JoAnn MacKay and Terry for taking such excellent care of my new Xmas pup, Buck E. Baudoux.
Thanks to all my pals world wide, for their love,support and understanding - We'll see each other soon.
Best wishes to all
and to all....
Lighten UP
be happy
seek joy
be well.

from the Hills of Loch Katrine - August 19, 2009

Log time no see...
on the road by the sea
little i-net for me
yesterday, my birthdeee...
with my peeps; family

keeping good company
with me Uncle, Lenny
Colleen, Buster, Nicky

Ma's gone bionic
with a new pace maker
so I'm pickin' in the Gonish for a bit, watchful of the old gal; re-fitteded for speed and needing frequent friendly reminders to chill while healing and re-attaining mach speed.
Mahoney's is like bath water, and the eagles are fewer this year, over the river.
Head to Parrsboro to wrangle free improvisers (a contradiction ? ) with some great pals of the musical and theatrical persuasions....planning a beach-fire clam-bake for a 'nother birthday bash wit da family of artists I also love so well!
teach in the AM - write and dig clams in the aft.... sing and carouse in the eve... sounds like a good gig!

Love to all ! & enjoy the sweet tail of summer: gardens and berries yielding fat delight
the Mackerel are running on Cape George and thanks to the fishing skills of Blaine Mattie I go home to my favourite meal today.
John Prine's at the Cohen... and all is right with the world.
Looking forward to Iceland and recording this new material there in the fall.... after fresh sounds and perspective of this treasured summer in me auld sod''...this is some of the most beautiful country and I have been spoiled to have lived well on each coast and in between.

Love to Gene and Lori having B'days today!
Chat again when I can.
Bless bless,

Port Williams, NS - July 26, 2009

After 2 weeks on the Island at the Dorphanage, snorkelling every other day....following a skate along the sand... Did you know they use their hind basal fins like feet? left, right, left, right....? Until you get too close, then the frilling wings take over and they scoot!...Big crabs, lobster ( which I DID NOT steal from the local fisherfolk! who were kind enough to front us a few - upon my arrival. It's an old habit from my annual return from Reykjavik for sun and the end of June's "lobsterpalooza".
Starfish on the rocks and moonfish in the sand...Birdsong, agian reminding me how we humans are amateurs when it comes to music.
Recording and writing in this place comes naturally. Wonderful cousins & new & old friends from years past.

Sad goodbyes to cousin Estee Mason, another singer in the clan and a brilliant woman. I was a month too late to meet-up with my hero, Everett Baudoux whom I had been so anxious to visit again and interview....too late! Gone at 90yrs... and lived each day with a greater sense of wonder than most 7 yr olds I know.
Last Tuesday, my dear old friend, Bill Forbes finished mowing his lawn, laid on the couch with his hands behind his head... The RCMP found him that way when he failed to show at the Ship's Company Theatre in Parrsboro.... I was headed there to visit many pals, with whom I have acted and performed over the years. Bill & I worked together in a play in P.E.I. & Peace River, AL in '83. Bill was such a good man, great kind friend and a wonderful actor writer and artist. We shall miss him dearly.

Now on the Fundy shore in the Annapolis Valley.. a shore I discover now for the first time...~! What paradise! Thanks to dear friends and family, agian, for the lifts & cottage & gracious hospitality and excellent good laughs & jams.
Learning more than expected about family and the nature of friendship... Learning to relax more. Remembering how essential is the sea to my general health... mental, emotional, physical....
Never saw so many hummingbirds at once...! A dozen at a time & more!
Rocks to climb & for the sea to crash upon.... then the kindest folks with humour to spare and lots to share!
Still spend most of the days writing, recording.. playing guitar late at night and jamming with the neighbors...
Wish you all the best summer ever!!

Seven Strands of Sound - July 4, 2009

Wonderful end to an intense week of rehearsal with such divine company
at the compser's residency for the Ottawa Jazz Festival; wonderful, diverse music!
Playing at the same time as Wayne Shorter - ( who, by all reliable reports is sounding more deeply clear, in all musical ways.
Still, had a full house and the tunes are still ringing in my head as I write from my brother's place in NS....
Am now working on a composing project and a walk in the foggy dawn around this beautiful neighborhood; so symphonic with bird song!... even owls.. A murder of 5 crows followed me for an hour ( i held a crow feather... maybe they weren't amused? ..or followed the scuffing singer sotto voce.... )
A fine start to 6 wks of writing music to rec, w/ hilmar and matti in Rvk. in Aug.
Off to the Ard. to meet dear ones!
Codfish cakes, beans, & the best tea in town, here I come!

too too long - June 28, 2009

hi everyone
apologies for such an absence !
Taking a wee break from fiinishing up a commission for 7 Strands of Sound, the composer's residency at the Ottawa Jazz Festival with:
Andy Milne and Benoit Delbecq-pianos, Petr Cancura - reeds & mandolin, Isaiah Ceccarelli- perc & drums, Pierre-Yves Martel- viola da gamba, Michael Occhipinti - guitar.
What fun with friends, old and new... haven't seen Benoit since 2000 in Hfx.. and Andy, since we lived in Mtl... ages ago!

After that, off to NS for July to work on a new writing project, many thanks to the Can. Council for the Arts... I was the top rated applicant in my category and feel blessed to have the freedom that comes with funding. I will compose - sample sounds - voices - swim in the sea and write some more....
then, off to Reykjavik to collaborate with dear hearts, Hilmar Jensson and Matthias Hemstock ( both touring now with amazing bands) .. creating new pieces with the sound samples and gigging at the Icelandic jazz fest at the end of Aug.... It will be heavenly to work, with my kindred buddies again and of course, see my heart's other home and all the dear friends.... do some riding, diving, perhaps and get to the north to be with my second family in Akureyri.
Well, there's my break-time.. back to the composing!~
C'mon out to the gig Jul. 2 at the N.A.C. 4th stage 9 PM

Dessert, for me, is a roots workshop with old pal and former bandmate from Little Thicket, Vince Halfhide, Petr C. and others.... 1 PM Jul. 3rd - And IT'S FREE!!
see you on the trail.
Happy Canada Day!~

Rob Frayne and Friends Celebrate Christmas ‘08 - November 20, 2008

Saturday, Dec. 20, 7:30 (doors open at 7:00), reception to follow
First Unitarian Congregation, 30 Cleary Avenue
tickets at door $20/$15 seniors, students
Info: 613 715-9648,

After a four-year holiday from jazz gigs, local saxman and composer Rob Frayne has realized that music is fun. Bringing together some serious musical talent to play and sing, he has selected and written some jazz tunes. He has also taken the liberty to arrange a few Christmas songs.

On this gig, he is reuniting with Chelsea Bridge collaborator and singer Tena Palmer for what promises to be an interesting mix of old and new. New York City jazzmeisters Gordon Webster, on piano, and Petr Cancura, on tenor sax, will anchor the band, while local singer/songwriters Megan Jerome, Shannon Smith, Jeremy Sills as well as singer Martine Courage, along with some of their kids, will round out the band’s festive sounds.

Ho Ho Ho! Some carols will be sung.

Tena Palmer (TO) voice
Gordon Webster (NYC) piano
Petr Cancura (NYC) tenor sax, clarinet, mandolin
Rob Frayne (Westboro) tenor sax, bass clarinet

Also featuring:
Martine Courage (the West) voice
Megan Jerome (Planet Coffee) voice, accordion
Shannon Smith (Weatherfield) voice

Introducing: Scott, Marielle and Abbey, voices
Special guest: Jeremy Sills, singing bowls

The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa is located on 30 Cleary Avenue in the West End of Ottawa about a kilometer east of the intersection of Woodroffe Ave. and Richmond Road (turn N. on cleary off Richmond). The tall spire is visible from Richmond Road and the Ottawa River Parkway.

Duo concert with composer/classical guitarist, Roddy Ellias Nov. 23rd, First Unitarian Church, 30 Cleary Ave, Ottawa - November 19, 2008

We do them rarely enough and so many folks are asking when the next one will be... so I'm extra grateful to series programmer, Jane Perry, for inviting us!
The performance will include a mix of our favourite pieces from each of our original songbooks, as well as some beauties from other sources which we both find inspiring. Roddy's pieces include chamber-jazz or what I consider contemporary (he)art song, with such elegant and moving lyrics by the great Ottawa poet, Sandra Nicholls.( Whose books of poetry I highly reccommend.)
Rod and I have toured, recorded & performed various repertoires in our long association... two of my favourites, Roddy & Sandra's, 'Too Far', and my yet to be released, 'North Atlantic Ocean' - (written on a 5 day freighter voyage from Reykjavik to Rotterdam). These 2 songs were performed with an 8 pc international ensemble - in a live CBC broadcast from Neptune Theatre at the Halifax Jazz fest....
We'l also be indulging in pure fun, blowing & swinging on Gershwin's "Cheek to Cheek", coddling a lovely, heart-melting country waltz, " When I Think of Angels", by my dear ginger friend, Kristjan Kristjansson ( one of Iceland's brightest singing /songwriting stars.)There will be new compositions by both of us as well... so world-premiers are imminent. In Roddy's words: "I like the idea of keeping it simple and eclectic. A wise old bird once told me it doesn't matter what tunes you do, it's how you do them! We'll ... move the audience, have fun, make majic!!! I'm really looking forward to it."

"Me too, ka-Roddy!"

9th annual 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival - November 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 4 to Friday, November 7

At the Tranzac 292 Brunswick

Tuesday, Nov. 4 9 p.m.


The Woodchoppers Association

The Water Gears (Avi Granite – guitar; Lina Allemano – trumpet; Peter Lutek – reeds; Scott Peterson – bass)

Cawthray-Palmer (Chris Cawthray – percussion; Tena Palmer – voice)

This was a huge delight; the duo with C.C. on Tues. and a reunion with our victo-riousville 7-tet on fridee niiiight!
Highlights for me:
Water Gears - Lina Rocks! as does the whole band. Singing Anafi with Chris' psychic percussion accompaniment and the feeling of entrancement by the listeners.... Thena piece of 9 minutes singing with whales & Chris... which really felt like a live trialogue....the interplay and melodicism of cetaceans! Holy Blowhole, Ahab!

Wednesday, Nov. 5 9 p.m.

Voice Over

Paul Dutton Group (Paul Dutton, Christine Duncan, Nobuo Kubota, W. Mark Sutherland – voices; Parmela Attariwala – violin; Tomasz Krakowiak – drums; Aidan Closs – guitar)

Thursday, Nov. 6 9 p.m.

Abstract Instinct host David Dacks (CIUT-FM, Exclaim)

Nilan Perera Unit (Nilan Perera – guitar, effects; Aaron Lumley – bass; Dan Gaucher – drums)

Job Cain (Jeremy Strachan – reeds; Jason Hay – reeds; Aaron Lumley – bass; Gregg Brennan – drums)

Gravitons (Mani Mansinani – drums; Jill Lucie Aston – electric guitar)

Friday, Nov. 7 9 p.m.

Sonic Soirée

The Book of Gnomes (Ben Bowen – brass, keyboards, metallophone; Nick Zubeck – guitar, lap steel, effects; James Castle – bass, loops; Marshall Bureau – drums, percussion)

EAR-CAM (Glen Hall – woodwinds, electroacoustics; Tena Palmer – voice; Rob Clutton – bass; Mike Hansen – turntables; Bruce Cassidy – electronic valve instrument (EVI); James Bailey – amplified objects, fretless guitar; Chris Cawthray – percussion)

EAR-CAM shone brightly with Bruce Cassidy's amazing groove, astonishing sound choices and lively ingenuity. And I love the ever surprizing - witty palette of sonic textures provided by Mike and James... Chris, Rob and the dramatic bits with our leader, Glen, on Dutch Schultz's Last Words and Goodbye, Hiroshima, Almogordo, Bikini Atoll, ...
thanks to the many friends who came out; new and old and their kind response to our work. It feels so good to know how the music is recieved.
Hope to see you at the Bent Folk series at Somewhere There, (Jan/Feb.) curated by James Bailey.. my set will probably be in Jan. so come back for updates & please sign the guest book & mailing list! Love to hear from you.!!

Oh! and one more thing: Big welcome to Georgia the GEM, first child of my long time dear pal, Geordie and mom, Lisa. Beautiful beautiful child!
Love to all!

Fun in the Studio - October 1, 2008

had a great Sunday in the studio working on new material with Dan Artuso.
What a treat to hear a real guitar player on these new pieces.....and the luxury of creamy sounds and a creative playground in which to experiment. Very heartening and encouraging more tunes asap.... this session was followed by a very fun evening at buddy, Lynn Miles' 50th B-Day bash at Irene's Pub in Ottawa.
Also a benefit for an African children's charity. Fantastic to meet old pals and colleagues and make wonderful new friends with excellent songwriters!
Check-out the Calendar for new dates up-coming in Nov. and Dec. with various brilliant and delightfully varied musical companions.

Mon & Tues was spent teaching at Carleton U. I have space for only one or 2 more private students in Ottawa. Love all my students now! They inspire and teach me a great deal....and we Laugh!!>??hoo-ee!
Love to you all til next time~! tena LP

BEVY @ the Rex ( a late review) - September 18, 2008

What a hoot! Great crowd!
The most fun was the treat of playing with dear old buddies again!
Many requests for more originals... next time.
As for me, I was amazed once more at Murley's subtlety as an accompanist....adding tasteful adornment to a song while musically referring to the lyric. The sound of Ted Warren on the kit... caused several moments of deja vu...and it was such a gas to blow, "with that wind up my skirt" - (if you get my meaning!)
Reg.- never ceasing to surprize and impress, pulled-out a guitar sound from some blacksploitation film soundtrack for Guardian Angel - appropriately shredding the solo. Jim; head-up and on the spot - and such lyrical lines! What a happy bevy of larks!
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