F 1 D 0 - 2003 03 28 at 01 00 And they sang. I've just come back from the performance of Carmina Burana, by the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. I had the opportunty to observe and listen on a few levels. One level is technical skill. Another is joy. And we can all get a feeling for the sound itself. There were Three Different Choirs joining the TBSO tonight. We had the Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus, the Lakehead University Chorus, and the Thunder Bay Children's Choir (Camerata Singers, aged 12-17). I wanted to make sure I gave them proper credits, since Google will record this for posterity. The conductor, Geoffrey Moull, used them like other musical instruments. So the Symphony Chorus was very bright, very loud, very joyous! The University Chorus was timid, but spoke words clearly. Some of their singing included a lot of "S" and "T" consonants, and this nearly whispered quality, with extra separation, was a good effect. The Camerata Singers had such a small role tonight, but they were a lovely sounding instrument. With only ten kids, mostly girls, they filled the hall during their turn with voice. It was a clean clear sound. A humourous part of the evening happened when the conductor requested the correct singers for a certain movement. This one required only the males. So he gestures for the men on his right, and signals the centre, where the whole University choir stands. He signals sit, and now they all sit. He signals stand, and some remember this is the men and boy's part so we have some boys sitting, some girls standing. He signals up and down a bit more, and the choir is clearly feeling pressure of the audience. I'm watching with binoculars, and can see he's not saying what he wants, just trying to coax it out of them with his hands. In the end, the last boy stands, the last girl sits. Geoffrey claps gently perhaps just for the choir. But we in the audience are watching, and it looked like he wanted us to clap, and so we all did. The singing, the playing, the (everything) was full of joy. I remember when I was in Boston, sometimes the performances I'd hear were okay, but not as sharp technically as they could be. I wish I could quantify why some were, and others weren't. Tonight's? It was very sharp, very crisp. Practiced, but not so that the meat was all dried out. Cooked through, and still very moist in the centre. Oh, is it wrong to use meat to illustrate their good work? Then perhaps wine: I found the performance sweet, with lots of fruity notes. It had a personality which suggested wood and spices. It was very thick, but it did not feel sticky or overwhelming. From the first taste right down to the last glass, it was a very fun wine. No longer available at the LCBO, be sure to get it next when you see it. I'm sure it will disappear quickly. Copied from the program: Dance Suite, Bela Bartok. Camina Burana, Carl Orff. Some of my fondest memories growing up were the few field trips to hear a professional orchestra. When they perform for schools, the conductor explains things he considers important. When I was young, one such performance was Benjamin Brittens Guide to the Orchestra. This dance suite was explained and introduced in a very similar way. Each of the sections were described a bit, their challenge, their theme, perhaps their history. Then the orchestra played a 30 second segment. After going over the six sections, we applauded! It was great, and then we could all hush up, and hear it without interruption. Even now, I'm looking for Mr Moull's email address. This was a good plan, and I want to go on record for saying so. I see him around in the music department at the university, since Art and Music share the same building. Still, I feel funny just approaching him and saying "wow, I liked that". Email is better. I didn't get up during the intermission. Instead, I used the binoculars to look around the audience systematically. I recognized so very many people! Eventually, I found my way up to the second floor balcony, where there is a man talking to a couple of people next to him. He catches my gaze, and perks right up! He waves at me! And smile I wave back!! Then I see he's explaining to his friends, 'look at the binoculars' or something. I wave a bit more. Ann originally wanted to bring Peter von Tiesenhausen to this, as he requested it. But we thought it was last Thursday, when he was around. He came back through Thunder Bay by truck with his five wooden guys. They had a certain look about them. They were wrappped in white cloth, and the cloth was tied on. While these statues are normally interesting and happy looking, they now looked like prisoners of some war, awaiting some terrible fate. When Peter sends some of the pictures he's taken of them back to us, I'll share one or two with you here if he permits. Our tickets tonight were part of a Music for the Soul or Food for the Soul program (I forget). Here is how the program works: we buy 10.00 of scrip from TBSO at par. We can spend it at about a dozen places here in town. The stores agree to take it at par from us, but accept 9.00 from the Orchestra. And as a final treat, each scrip has a coupon, and ten such coupons can buy a performance ticket to the symphony. Ann purchased enough scrip for three such free tickets last year. We've been using it primarily when we go to a restaurant around here called "The Madhouse". This makes it easy for me to call it Mad Money. - - Sunday's films. I cannot find the program or xxx I just found the magazine version of the program. This will help me remember the films so I can tell you the highlights. Mostly Martha. I liked this film a lot! I heard someone complaining in the parking lot that these films should be happier, and this was one such happy film. At least, I didn't walk away from it feeling disturbed for a long time. It's in German with English subtitles. Martha is a cook. No, she's a chef. She's a professional. She's also a bit of a nutcase. She cooks for her friends, and her aquaintances, but hardly eats anything herself. Her visits to the therapist form the skeleton to the story. Her sister dies in a car accident coming to visit her, and so her niece ends up moving in. This is Not rosy. They don't really get along. Another chef is hired. He's italian, and his style is so very different from Martha's. She almost chases him away. But like a good love story, this one is a happily-ever-after film. Go see it. Quebec Montreal. This film was trying to be funny and surreal, but in the end was an interesting commentary on being single. Canadian French with English subtitles. We watch the lives of about half a dozen people finding their way from Quebec City to Montreal. They're all dating, and they are mostly single. We have three friends, who are about to spend a week in Cuba. Two are driving to a business conference. One is a lawyer who has a place in both cities. And we have a young couple who hardly get along. All of them are in their cars, talking candidly about whatever crosses their minds. I wonder if every stereotype was properly represented? The pretty girl who dates for power. The smart computer guy who dreams in animated computer game styling. The guy who thinks with his dick. The guy who thinks with his heart. The guy in between. The career girl, in finance. The naiive boy, in furniture sales. The lawyer who has all of his friends wondering what he is doing with whom. Everyone has advice for everyone else. Even the moose on a warning sign. "Be Oakum", it says. "What's Oakum?" asks naiive one. I saw the truth in everyone's situation, and I found that a bit weird. I left the movie thinking all of them were right, in some way. It was a study of different relationships between men and women. Bloody Sunday. This was a recreation film in English. It felt like a documentary made with a hand held camera. I wish it had less handheld camera bobbing, but aside from that part, it was very realistic, very disturbing. I am very attached to the dance and music from the British Isles. This film takes place in Ireland, the town of Derry. It has about 90,000 people. It is 1972 January 30. Ivan Cooper, member of parliament is determined to hold a peaceful march in protest of how the British lock people up without trial. Major General Robert Ford is just as determined to stop this march, insisting that it is illegal, that this kind of demonstration is banned, and the organizers will be held responsible for any violence. We see the army very armed, very organized, all angry for a kill. We see the town people, unarmed for the most part (some of the kids go and start throwing bricks). 14 people are killed, and 27 more are wounded. The numbers don't really convey the problem well. The armed forces decide that they can just start shooting at unarmed civilians. These particular ones weren't just any people. These were the nice ones who felt that a peaceful solution was a better solution. The army action ended the civil rights movement, and the film ends with every male adult lining up in the alley to arm himself and become an active member of the Irish Republican Army. The last two minutes included short fact bites, such as how the Queen decorated many who led this fight, no thorough investigation was made and nobody was charged with heavy handedness. This was in spite of media coverage at the time. I was all twisted and angry after this film. Under the Sun. The title comes from The Proverbs, "Nothing is new under the sun." Maybe I'm tired, but you know?, I cannot think of any reason this why was the title. Swedish, with English subtitles. Our hero is a farmer, who from the outset cannot read. He goes to the newspaper office, and writes a personal ad. Right away this catches the eye of the local minister, who tells the farmer's friend. At the outset, he seems like a nice enough young guy. He drives a convertable, and races a horse on the country lanes. But he becomes the bad guy in this movie. The personal ad draws to replies, and one with a picture. Things get good. Things go bad. She leaves a note behind, and leaves. And badguy kid has to read the note. Ah, he might be unable to read, but he's not stupid. This kid has been stealing from him all along. Still, he misses the girl. Happy ending, she comes back. See this one. I was worried right until the end. Last Kiss. Italian with English subtitles. This is also a 'study' or an 'essay'. This film looks not at relationships, but at Break-Ups and Infidelities. This story follows around a couple, but also a small flock of their friends and family. Again, it tries to touch most of the interesting stereotypes. We have the three amigos who want to sail with Greenpeace. No? Okay, maybe they'll just sail around the world? Still no? Well, how about just buying a Volkswagen bus, and driving around Europe? But why? Because  has fallen out of love with his wife and baby, and feels this will help,  is able to get any woman into bed with him, but feels unconnected to any of them,  doesn't want to be trapped in the life his father has left for him (running a religious artifact store). Each of the other people in this movie have a rich character as well, and make it hard for me to draw them clearly for you. Go see this one. It resolves well, and kept me sitting on the edge of my seat. That's all I know.