Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Patriotic Celebration

I am picking up where I left off yesterday in the National Arts Centre, with the art installation Cloud, which was ideal for photo ops on Canada Day. Music was being played in the lobby while people were waiting for the evening concert- in this case a jazz band.

Turning around close to where I was for the above shots is a doorway leading into what I'd describe as a prep room. I've always liked the look of it. It's rather sci-fi and ominous, like architecture out of Blade Runner. From time to time, I've given blood at clinics inside, so I know what's behind it, but otherwise it would be easy to mistake this for a wall. The door can be seen in the following shot, behind the jazz band and the ascending staircase.

I headed into Southam Hall and found a seat as the orchestra and choir started coming in, listening to the musicians and that swirling sound of readying their instruments.

The concert was quite a mix of influences, opening and closing with a small group of First Nations men, the Eagle River Singers. Sitting in a circle around a large drum, they beat the drum and sang a traditional song, a sound that was mesmerizing to hear. Music Director Alexander Shelley led the orchestra with the national anthem, moving into classical selections mixed with choral songs- Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paginini, The Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss, Mozart's Piano Concerto #21, Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain, and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.

The Unisong choir, made up of seventeen choirs from around the country, sang under the direction of Lydia Adams- with music of English, French, and First Nations influences. And there were soloists- a blues singer, Dione Taylor, sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and Oscar Peterson's Hymn To Freedom in collaboration with the choir and the orchestra. Three solo musicians performed as featured soloists as part of the classical selections- violinist James Ehnes and young piano prodigies Jan Lisiecki and Daniel Clarke Bouchard. The evening was hosted by Chantal Petitclerc, a Canadian Paralympian who has since been named to the Senate.

Coming out, I took a shot of the Chateau Laurier in evening light. From here, I was bound for Major's Hill Park and the fireworks.


  1. Great series, William. Your last photo is amazing!

  2. What an eclectic evening. It sounds like you enjoyed some great performances. That door is amazing, as is the cloud.

  3. Lovely concert, it must have been a wonderful evening.

  4. Hello William, you've brought the concert alive for me. I would have loved to be there especially to hear the rendition of Hallelujah. Actually all of it would have appealed to me. Thanks for sharing. Jo

  5. Love your header and I, too, really like your last photograph.

  6. ...I wish that I had been there!

  7. @Linda: I can never get tired of the Chateau.

    @Kay: it was a wonderful evening.

    @Maywyn: it certainly was.

    @Jo: that song is something of a second anthem to Canadians.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Lauren: thanks!

    @Halcyon: it was!

    @Tom: it was quite a night.

  8. i love the huge Canada flag front and center. what a cool cloud. can i have one, please. so cool! ( ;

  9. It was certainly a great evening, William.
    I like the cloud too.

  10. The cloud is so much fun! And makes for great photos with the chiaroscuro effect!


  11. The cloud looks so real. I like the last photo. Have a beautiful day!

  12. That would have been an awesome concert to attend. I like all the music on the program.

  13. @Beth: it is a huge flag!

    @Karl: I always come down for this concert.

    @Furry Gnome: it definitely does.

    @Janis: it does indeed.

    @Nancy: thank you!

    @Red: I really enjoyed it.

  14. Looks like it was a well attended concert with some great music.

  15. Nothing like a live performance of an orchestra, must have sounded amazing.

  16. Love to hear orchestras warming up!

  17. Weird door. I would have been enthralled at the concert. You are so lucky.

  18. @RedPat: it was!

    @Bill: definitely great music.

    @Denise: it certainly was.

    @Revrunner: it's a good thing to listen to.

    @Cloudia: that it was.

    @Mari: it was wonderful music.

  19. I like the photos of that wonderful cloud and your shot of Chateau Laurier in evening light.

  20. I would enjoy this concert! First picture is my favourite. Bright cloud and silhouettes of the people...