ALMONTE – The Algonquin Ensemble has created a stunning new production and it’s coming to Ottawa at First Unitarian on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Almonte United Church on Sunday, Dec. 1.
“Canadian Winterscapes is a multi-media journey celebrating the untamed beauty and indomitable spirit of a Canadian winter through music, art and photography,” organizers released in a statement. “With moving pieces from the ensemble’s acclaimed debut production Sonic Palette to uplifting arrangements of traditional seasonal repertoire to new original wintry compositions and even a big ‘ol toboggan ride, there will be no better way to begin your holiday season.”
This sextet of accomplished professional musicians weaves an eclectic mix of classical, folk and jazz into a magnificent tapestry of musical landscapes.
“Anyone who has experienced their first production, Sonic Palette: Tom Thomson’s Voice Through Music, knows how powerfully the ensemble connects the heart of the listener to the heart of the art with their inspired compositions,” organizers said.
The music has been described as cinematic: musical soundscapes which beautifully evoke the spirit, mood and textures of Tom Thomson’s works. The music is so evocative CBC producer Sean Foley chose to use it as a soundtrack to his two-part documentary Tom Thomson – 100 Years Later which first aired on CBC radio’s IDEAS in the fall of 2018.
Founding members Kathryn Briggs (piano), John Geggie (double bass) and Terry Tufts (guitar & voice) are known to Almonte audiences through their own performing and teaching efforts in the area. The three came together to create The Algonquin Ensemble after luthier Linda Manzer encouraged them to consider writing something to honour Tom Thomson on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his mysterious death. Soon after, Laura Nerenberg (violin), Lisa Moody (viola) and Margaret Maria (cello) enthusiastically came on board. Manzer also built the must-be-seen-and-heard-to-be-believed 50 string, multi-necked Manzer’s Palette, a unique guitar co-designed with Tufts.
“The ensemble is thrilled to have joining them for these performances, special guest Beth Tufts,” organizers said. “The daughter of Briggs and Tufts, she comes by her music honestly though she has a clarion voice all her own. The clarity of tone and power she sings with captivates audiences.”
Beth began performing on her own in 2018 with a spot at the youth showcase at Stewart Park festival, followed by accompanying fiddler Jessica Wedden at the Lombardy Fair, opening for Kathleen Edwards at Small Halls and continuing into 2019 opening for Betty and the Bobs at their March Folkus show. She has also joined forces with her parents in TRiPOD, a trio that enjoys covers from multiple decades as much as their own originals.
Saturday, Nov. 30 – Ottawa, First Unitarian Congregation 30 Cleary Ave. 7:30 p.m. Tickets available in advance $35 at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4362268 OR $40 at the door
Sunday, Dec. 1 – Almonte, Almonte United Church106 Elgin St .7:30 p.m. Tickets available in advance $35 at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4399673 or $40 at the door
The Algonquin Ensemble is committed to making positive changes to support the wild spaces we are so inspired by. A portion of ticket sales from Canadian Winterscapes performances will be donated to tree planting efforts and forest education through Forests Ontario.