banffcentre

Week 2 in Banff

It's concert time at Three Ravens Restaurant!  

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Pedja and Jenny

Pedja and Jenny

but first, meet Jenny Bilfield...

We had the most distinct pleasure of spending the week with President and CEO of the Washington Performing Arts, Jenny Bilfield. Her mind-blowing expertise in arts management, curated concerts, and the non-profit world were unbelievably helpful, informative, and inspiring. Speaking with her in earnest was an unforgettable experience, gaining her personal and specific insight to some very important next steps for b&h.

 

Pedja and Geoff

Pedja and Geoff

and we can't forget Geoff Nuttall...

As first violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet based in San Francisco, Geoff Nuttall’s energy is electrifying. As you can imagine with electrifying energy, he was tireless in his offerings as a performer, coach, and mentor. Being privy to Pedja’s personal networks adds such depth and humanization to the concept of a “Concert in the 21st Century”, as Geoff spoke with such transparency about his career as a chamber musician. Every day we are so encouraged to connect with artists as part of this thriving (not dying) culture.

 

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finally, our concert at Three Ravens...

Our project proposal for the residency application was this: a multi-course, multi-sensory restaurant/concert experience. Through the support of the Banff Centre, the faculty and staff for the “Concert in the 21st Century”, and the staff of Three Ravens Restaurant, we were able to collaborate with Executive Chef Sébastien Tessier and his amazing culinary team to make this concert a complete success. Here's the play-by-play:

 

 

logistics

Location: The breathtaking Three Ravens Restaurant. Unobstructed views of Canadian Rocky Mountain range.

Tech setup: 5’10” C6 Yamaha brought to the space and placed perfectly to highlight the natural mountainous backdrop. Subtle but exciting light design and spotlights (shout outs and thanks to our production manager, Stuart Bremner!).

Guest setup: two long tables of twelve guests (even the President and VP Arts and Leadership of Banff joined us for the evening!). Full place settings with individual menu cards.

the flow

Five courses. Each had a musical component and a culinary component which were paired together, getting to weave together the sense sight and hearing with taste, touch, and smell. We prefaced each piece verbally, and Chef Sébastien presented his inspiration from our music, connecting to his courses.

 

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the music

Inspired by the diversity of a fully coursed meal, we used the bombastic and introspective Sonata for Violin and Piano by Francis Poulenc (inspired by Federico García Lorca’s poem “The Six Strings”), peppered with selections from Manuel DeFalla’s Suite Populaire Espagnole. Using the connecting thread of nationalism and Spanish folklore, the two pieces created a witty arc full of levity, color, idealism, and complexity.

 

 

 

the meal

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Interpreting our program in such a refreshing way, Chef Sébastien used the musical textures and moods to craft a beautifully artistic menu, which parallel to our musical program was full of wit, levity, color, and complexity. Taking pride in the local and seasonal ingredients, he led us on a culinary journey through Alberta, from quail and pickled root vegetables to prawns and smoked sablefish, elk and bone marrow to japonaise cake with lavender meringue. Drooling yet? Take a look at the menu card to see the full descriptions, and you’ll be in a puddle. Tasting an earnest and refined musical impression is an incredibly unique experience we’d highly recommend.

 

 As we start week 3, we are so eager to work with new guest faculty, see the projects of our colleagues formalize, plan future collaborations and continue developing this dream-like business we have in b&h.

  

B&H with Pedja Muzijevic

B&H with Pedja Muzijevic

For more photos and videos, check out our instagram! @bowandhammer

Week 1 in Banff

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Greetings from beautiful Banff, Canada! 

 

"Concert in the 21st Century" at the breathtaking Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is off to an amazing start! We feel pretty pampered living in luxury at the Banff Centre (we don't even need to make our beds!), and sharing this residency with 17 other artists from around the world is giving us lots of future travel ideas! Their stories and projects are astoundingly (though not unexpectedly) diverse, and with the help of the unstoppable production team, we're getting to see all these ideas come alive.

 

Pedja Muzijevic is our fearless residency leader (he fondly refers to himself as "mother" more days than not), hailing from NYC as a curator, pianist, and presenter. Through his dryly hilarious anecdotes, he's revealing such discernment of programming and concertizing within the performing arts industry. He performed a solo concert Friday, "Bach and Co.", featuring C.P.E. Bach, John Cage (screws, nuts, washers, tape purposefully set inside the piano), and Henry Cowell. What. ... It was such a beautifully cohesive program! Featuring Chris DePape's lighting design (more on him below...), we became part of Pedja's perfectly quirky and unquestionably intelligent world for the evening. Absolutely delightful

The prepared piano for John Cage's  Interludes  

The prepared piano for John Cage's Interludes 

 

A true display of community building and networking, Pedja has invited colleagues for a week at a time to share their quirks and anecdotes with us, and boy are there lots of them (colleagues, quirks, and anecdotes)! Last week we were joined by actor/director Daniel Pettrow and lighting designer Chris DePape.

 

Daniel Pettrow and Pedja   Muzijevic

Daniel Pettrow and Pedja Muzijevic

Daniel Pettrow is an actor, director, and visual artist hailing from the Wooster Group (New York City), the Centres Dramatiques Nationaux (Paris), Bluemouth Inc (Toronto), and the Heifetz Institute (Virginia), just to name a few. Leading each planned workshop activity with "I have no idea what is going to happen", he heightened our awareness through physicality, spontaneity, and laughter (so much laughter), challenging our perspectives of performance limitations and interpersonal connection. We fully intend on maintaining this new depth (especially the laughter) in our rehearsal process and performance.  

 

Chris DePape  

Chris DePape 

Chris DePape comes from Calgary, Canada. A true master of lumens, Chris gave us an awesome glance into the world and language of lighting design. We were able to ask a ton of questions, even get DIY advice (tin foil triumphs again!), and see his artistry live at Pedja's recital. We are really looking forward working with him next week in prep for our concert!

 

 

 

 

 

Though that all sounds horribly boring, don't worry, we've had a little bit of fun while we're up here as well! As though there isn't enough beauty at the Banff Centre itself, we took a trip to the Fairmont resort at Lake Louise to spend the day. Cross country skiing, ice skating, snowball fights, and ice castles may have all been part of the day.

Lake Louise!  

Lake Louise! 

 

Stay tuned for Week 2, where you'll meet Chef Tessier from the Three Ravens Restaurant where we will be presenting our project performance for this residency!

 

 

  

  

Our rehearsal studio  

Our rehearsal studio 

  A local music lover

 A local music lover

 

For more pics, check out our instagram @bowandhammer.