Music for Farms: An intimate evening of music in Toronto

J&E003janetmayacroppedAs a tie-in to the Toronto International Film Festival’s premiere of documentary film Stolen, this unique concert featuring musicians, composers, and farmers John McDowell (piano and African drums), and Emmanuel Vukovich (violin and African drums) will be held at Toronto’s Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Avenue, on Friday, September 18 at 8pm.

McDowell is best known as composer of the score to Oscar winning documentary Born Into Brothels and has toured with platinum selling rock/world music band Rusted Root and with singer Krishna Das. His world music band Mamma Tongue has performed at venues and festivals internationally. Juilliard and McGill trained Vukovich is the recipient of Canada’s first Golden Violin Award, as well as the Canada Council for the Arts Orford String Quartet Scholarship. As a member of the former Lloyd Carr-Harris String Quartet, which won the prestigious Fischoff Competition, he has toured throughout North America and Europe. Both musicians have collaborated on the sound track to the film Stolen which is premiering at this year’s TIFF.

“Music for Farms” is an international initiative which works to revive and sustain local organic agriculture and farming communities through the arts. The duo will weave an evening of music inspired by an exploration of connecting opposites – such as in their original work based on Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parcifal legend, the meeting of Eastern and Western classical music in their own transcription of Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin’s Swara Kakali, in their personal backgrounds of jazz and classical music, and finally in their own lives of practicing music and farming side by side.

Program will include:
-Parcifal by Emmanuel Vukovich and John McDowell 
-Beethoven Sonata, Op. 8, second movement 
-Argentinian Tango pieces and Black Orpheus – arranged by McDowell/Vukovich
-Swara Kakali by Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuin – arranged by Vukovich/McDowell 
-Selections from film scores by John McDowell

The performers will also share some of their experience as farmers and present an excerpt from a film about music and farming entitled Bach in a Barn. Violinist Vukovich states: “Traditionally, music (and all artistic culture in general) was inter-connected with our relationship to nature. In agrarian society this was expressed most strongly in the various seasonal rituals – such as harvest festivals. As we began to migrate to large urban centres, artistic-cultural life began to separate from agricultural life. Today, we go to concerts in the city, and we get most of our food from farms out side of the city. This has often created a void and famine of culture and arts in rural farming communities, and a corresponding disconnect and abstraction in the arts.” To this end, the proceeds from this event will go towards the creation of a foundation which works to connect world-class music-making and artistic culture with local sustainable agriculture and farming communities.

Tickets are $15 (students/seniors) and $20 (adult) in advance (check back shortly for more information on how to purchase), and $20 (students/seniors) and $25 (adults) at the door. For more information, call 416 922 3618 or 773 484 8811.