appearance on CBC's "Fuse" program
Just had a fun experience, performing in my hometown of Ottawa on CBC Radio's "Fuse" program, hosted by Alan Neal, with Emm Gryner. The idea of the show is to pair two conceptually diverse artists together for the first time and see how things click. They've done everything from mixing a classical piano/cello duo with pop musicians and well beyond, and for my appearance, Alan was very keen on having me appear with this renowned Canadian pop vocalist. Admittedly, she was someone that prior to my preparation for our meeting I hadn't heard of, but I was delighted to have the opportunity to dive into her musical world for a few days, with it's mix of indie, folk, pop/rock colors and her original songwriting and intimate singing. After a flurry of back and forth emails in the few days preceeding the event in which we "pitched" ideas to each other about which of our own tunes we thought might work, we met for the first time on the eve of the event in Studio 40 at Ottawa's CBC studios. She's a petite woman, and quite exotic, sharing with me some Asian heritage, and seemed very keen to just "go for it" and try things out. We eventually settled on a few of my tunes: "Lushly" from my opera Quebecite in which she bravely sang the lush and poetic words of librettist George Elliott Clarke over my melody; Summer, gamely playing electric bass; "Final Invocation" from my Suite for NY doing wordless vocals seemingly for the first time live alternating with my more exploratory musical journeys in between, and we jammed out on two pianos with Neal Young's "Ohio". We also did an all two-piano version of her hit song "Girls are Murder", and I accompanied her on her beautiful tune "Blackwinged Bird". What was surprising compared to the edited copies of the show they had provided me with to aid in my preparation was just how detailed and lengthy the questioning of us by the host turned out to be come performance day, so much so that it really ended up being interviews with performance rather than the other way around. And I must say that having done many, may interviews over the years, I was particularly struck by the originality of Alan's questions. All in all, quite an enjoyable show.