Pedalling to Ecuador (Photo by Maxi Corrado on Unsplash)

Pedalling Closer to Ecuador

My collaboration with InConcerto and MusicaOcupa is getting closer. Since I first revealed details about this wonderful project last November, I am so grateful to have secured individual donations and more grants to fund this commission…from the SOCAN Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. These grants along with support from the Toronto Arts Council will allow me to spend March and April composing this large-scale work.

We’ll be in Quito for the festival on the 2nd week of June. We’ll be purchasing gold-standard carbon credits to offset emissions from this plane trip and the others I will take this year. It is the least we can do in our battle against climate change.

I’m really looking forward to starting to compose Pedal Music. I’ve dabbled before in reworking existing well-known compositions, but never on this scale. I’m looking forward to the artistic challenge of balancing the respect for the original (Handel’s Water Music) while creating something new. The idea of musicians moving around on bikes while performing the piece is also something intriguing that I will have to take into account in what I devise for them to play. How about the drone of a bicycle chain? It’s almost like a real-time tape part that the musicians will play to!

I’m also really looking forward to visiting Ecuador and discovering more of their natural wonders and culture. Lisa and I have been reading the Moon Travel Guide book for Ecuador by Bethany Pitts. What a special place on our planet! I’m definitely bringing my hiking boots.

But first I need to actually compose some new music! And also listen to Water Music a lot. If you have a suggestion of a specific recording I should listen to, please let me know.

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