The Sound of Community
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The Sound of Community

“Good morning, friends! It’s great to see so many faces today.” So begins the daily music singalong sessions with musician (and friend) Mendelt Hoekstra on Zoom. Mendelt creates connections for adults and youth with developmental disabilities across Ontario. Participants attend from their group homes, independent living dwellings and classrooms. Rachel and Janneke attend while at…

Radical Hope
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Radical Hope

At 76 years old, Bruce Cockburn is one of Canada’s most decorated musicians: 37 albums, 13 Junos and a recipient of the Order of Canada. As Cockburn makes his way around North America for his 50th anniversary tour (second attempt, due to covid), one of his encore songs may catch listeners by surprise. “When the…

Thought I heard…
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Thought I heard…

Long ago, I was sleeping in on a Saturday, half-listening to CBC radio when a folk song came on, “Thought I heard a red-winged blackbird / red-winged blackbird on my road.” This was repeated twice in the refrain. As the singer went on to sing a verse, then the same refrain, again and again, soon…

Patterns

Patterns

“Time keeps on slipping . . . into the future” (“Fly Like an Eagle,” Steve Miller Band, 1976). Have we lost a year? The pandemic has disturbed our patterns and sense of time. Immanuel Kant argued that the human mind imposes structures of time and space. The Biblical creation account depicts time and space as…

Review of ‘Harmonize the Moon’ by Michael Feuerstack

Review of ‘Harmonize the Moon’ by Michael Feuerstack

What’s getting me through is Harmonize the Moon, a new album from Montreal songwriter Michael Feuerstack. Feuerstack has refined his trade through a catalogue of excellent albums with an expanding set of musical tools (even two records’ worth of other people singing his songs), but the pandemic has reduced his sonic palette to the essentials:…

Hope born of grief

Hope born of grief

All of my dead came flooding back to me. The friends, the suicides, the murders, the babies, family members, the old and the much too young. They all came flooding back as I listened to Carolyn Arends singing “To Cry for You.” Blessed are the ones who weep / ‘Cause every tear is proof /…