Morag Northey and Good Vibrations

I was so happy to receive Helena’s message, including me in an invitation to enjoy cello music at Fish Creek Park last Tuesday evening.

By that point, I had been spending a lot of hours through the night, chasing down the Neowise Comet and so, it was lovely just to bring my lawn chair and park it, alongside several sister-friends, and be lulled into evening by the beautiful sounds of many cellos.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Mary and, in these Covid-19 days, it was amazing to hear her beautiful voice carried across the required distance and plunked right into my heart. So, thank you, Mary, for listening to me go on about my University registration frustrations and know that I was just so happy to be out in the park, sharing time.

I previously attended a Moonlit walk with Morag Northey in Fish Creek Park, thanks to my friend, Pat. Morag is a lovely, generous and talented woman who has done so much for our community by sharing her intesne love of music, cello, humanity and life.

Morag and Good Vibrations (adult cello players) were being documented during their performance last Tuesday night and they did each of their pieces twice through. I was so taken by the beauty of the music, in combination with the reflections of the park in the glass panels that surrounded most of the perimeter of the performance. I liked that I could see the reflections of my friends there, as well.

This was a magical evening and I’m very grateful to Helena for organizing.

Thank you, cellists, for the magic of the evening. I’m very grateful for this opportunity!

Cello

I am not a trained musician.  My daughter used to play the oboe.  I thought that even at her young age, she played the most wondrous and beautiful music.  There wasn’t a time that she performed that I didn’t sit in the audience weeping quietly.  This sometimes annoyed her because she knew of the potential of her instrument and she understood the path that she was on with the instrument.  I only knew that the music sounded magical and it moved something in me.  Brings to mind the question, is connoisseurship necessary for the appreciation of music?

I know absolutely nothing about the cello…how it is played…what is required…but I do know that when I hear a cello, I get shivers.  It is so beautiful.  I’ve selected, based on my reading of The Cellist of Sarajevo, a few pieces and posted them here.  I’ve been listening to these while writing this morning.

It is now time to feed those shivering birds and get out for an off-leash experience.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

One Book One Calgary

This past November, the Calgary Public Library provided the city with a beautiful initiative, One Book One Calgary; talks, discussion groups and events around the book, The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.  An excellent guide has been provided by the Public Library, with questions and contextual information.  I attended a couple of the events and was excited to hear, in panel; Steven Galloway, Author, Heather Slater, Director, Artistic Operations, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and Michael Green, Curator and Creative Producer of Calgary 2012 as they explored, along with us, the role of Arts in Society.  An excellent session that ended abruptly, as if on cue, with a four-truck fire alarm. :0)

I am inspired by the story of the Cellist of Sarajevo,  Vedran Smailović.

Regarding the book, we are cautioned as readers of fiction rooted in true world events, that there is a potential for misunderstanding/misinterpretation and that for the most part, the reader needs to take responsibility to inform themselves and to read other books, both fiction and non-fiction, that might give light to historical events and the impact those events had/have upon the ‘real-time’ characters in the situation.  The Cellist of Sarajevo is another such-book.  The essay by Walter Trkla supposes that Steven Galloway does not care.  I think that this may not necessarily be true…but certainly, when writing about someone else’s history, it is a supposition that can be taken.  I’m not certain that Walter Trkla and Steven Galloway have been in conversation.

“In The Cellist of Sarajevo, the uninformed reader is not able to separate fact from fiction. One might assume Galloway does not know, nor does he care, if the reader knows the facts, since for most people in the West, including Galloway, our news is derived from media manipulation of events. As Galloway himself states, one of the people he interviewed, “Nenad Velicaovic, a Bosnian writer, shouted at him one day telling him to ‘Go home and write about Canada’. ‘You know nothing about Sarajevo.’ And he was right.” Galloway does not join the history of Sarajevo, he runs from it and in the end fabricates it. Galloway’s novel and its historical backdrop are manipulated writing that brings into question his main message on the impact of war on the individual.”

Vedran Smailović

I’m thinking of other writing based on history…closer to home, the stereotypical “Cowboy and Indian” stories.  I would not be too far off to state that, the viewpoint of the settlers of the west and those of the First Nations inhabitants of the day, would see these adventures of the west in a completely different light.  I would also guess that the writer had NO first hand experience of the west, when taking the plunge to write about it.  I think that it’s really important that we all educate ourselves about what is going on in the world so that we can be discerning readers.

Recently, I read The Wars by Timothy Findley.  I know from much of my recent research that Findley successfully coloured the events of 1916 and based his fiction on truth.

As a result of the One Book One Calgary initiative, I was prompted by a friend to enter the Art for Peace contest, with three different age categories.  Just today, I was notified that I am one of the winners, whose name was drawn for a prize,  and can’t be more thrilled!  Support your public library…it is more than a quiet place for research and silent reading…these days, a library is so much more!