Sunday, February 28, 2010

Next Up - The Town Musicians of Bermen

Our next offering is a Canadian version (set in Newfoundland of the Town Musicians of Bremen. March 20, 2010 at the St Catharines Centennial Library at 1 pm.

Cello-Vision Niagara This Week Interview

  • Mike Zettel
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  • Feb 23, 2010 - 8:20 PM
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Cello-Vision at NAC an audio-visual journey

Cello-Vision at NAC an audio-visual journey. Cellist Gordon Cleland and multi-media artist Marinko Jareb combine their talents for “Cello-Vision” which is being performed Friday, Feb. 26 at the Niagara Artists’ Centre. COURTESY PHOTO

Audiences walking off St. Paul Street into the Niagara Artists’ Centre this Friday night will be greeted with sounds unlike anything they’ve heard before.

The other-worldly music, courtesy of multi-media artist Marinko Jareb, is not a part of the main working he’s performing in but more of a warm up act.

He likens the electronic composition to a palette-cleansing, something to prepare the ears for what is coming next.

“Very distinctly, we want to clear out people’s eardrums, give them an other-worldly sound,” he said.

The work that follows is a collaboration between Jareb and St. Catharines Chamber Music Society cellist Gordon Cleland.

Cleland initiated the project years after Jareb approached the Niagara Symphony with a similar concept. Then director Daniel Swift put out a call to individual musicians after explaining to Jareb the logistics and expenses involved with hiring the full orchestra to play alongside his images.

The work, a chance to bring chamber music to a whole new audience, also involves Toronto actor Peter Higginson and the direction of Stray Theatre director Peter Feldman.

The nearly 90-minute program involves four pieces of music: Sonnets by Nicole Carigan; Gallery Suite by Robert Muczynski, who wrote nine movements based on paintings by Charles Burchfield; After Reading Shakespear by Ned Roren, which involves Higginson reading out selections that inspired the muisc; and finally La Rosa Variations by Milton Barnes, a piece with a Spanish stylistic flair that commemorates the expulsion of the Hebrew people from Spain in 1492.

Cleland said the music, although classical in style, is contemporary. And by pairing it with Jareb’s visuals, the entire performance surrounds the audience.

“The idea is you’re pulled right into the entire piece,” he said. “You’re pulled right into it and you experience music from the inside.”

The music, he said, was written specifically for the cello and takes the instrument in every direction it can go.

“Pretty much anything you can imagine a cello being able to do is going to be done,” he said. “It really uses the instrument to its full potential.”

Jareb said the collaboration allowed him the opportunity to expand his horizons beyond the techno and house music he creates visual for at Toronto and Montreal parties. The challenge was in slowing down the pace from the typically quick percussive fare he works with, and using more subtle imagery appropriate for the lyrical music.

“When you’re ‘rocking the show’ it’s got to be a lot more punchy and over-the-top,” he said.

While all the still images and video components that make up the show will be pre-edited, in order to synch with the music they will be switched by him live.

“He’s (Cleland) not going to be responding to my visuals,” he said. “It’s sort of the other way around.”

Cello-Vision will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at 354 St. Paul St.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cello-Vision Feb 26, 2010 7:30 pm at NAC


St Catharines Chamber Music Society in association with the Niagara Artists’ Centre proudly presents “Cello-Vision”, a multimedia and theatrical chamber music recital by acclaimed cellist, Gordon Cleland.

Gordon Cleland initiated this project to bring chamber music to a new audience and enlisted new media artist, Marinko Jareb and Toronto-based actor, Peter Higginson to add a new dimension to an exciting repertoire of contemporary classical music. Peter Feldman, a director with St. Catharines' Stray Theatre, will direct the performance which is scheduled for Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 7:30pm at the Niagara Artists’ Centre, 354 St.Paul Street.

The program involves four main pieces of music. The show begins with Sonnets by Nicole Carignan, then moves through Gallery Suite by Robert Muczynski which consists of nine movements based on 20th century paintings of Charles Burchfield. After Reading Shakespeare by Ned Rorem is another series of nine movements. Peter Higginson will read the selections which inspired Rorem's music. Finally La Rosa Variations, composed by Milton Barnes, is a piece with Spanish stylistic flair commemorating the expulsion of the Hebrew people from Spain in 1492. Marinko Jareb will provide a video backdrop for the entirety of the performance.

Gordon Cleland - “This evening of contemporary music and performance art is an experiment to see how far we can push a chamber music concert in Niagara. We have a very talented and unique group of individuals collaborating on what is guaranteed to be an exciting and innovative performance.”

Marinko Jareb - “I am used to performing multimedia visuals for techno and house music warehouse parties in Toronto and Montreal, so it will be an exciting challenge to create a mix of visuals that will complement the subtleties, tones and textures of classical music.”

Stephen Remus, NAC director -“We’re looking forward to supporting the presentation of work by two of NAC members working in very different disciplines. Hopefully Cello-Vision will combine not only chamber music and digitally manipulated images, but will mix audiences as well.”


“The show is definitely worth seeing…driven by some great actors. Stage veteran Peter Higginson was the perfect Lear.”

- Mooney on Theatre reviews King Lear presented at University of Toronto’s Hart House Theatre


Gordon Cleland is the principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony and has extensive experience as a chamber musician, notably with pianist Karin Di Bella at Brock University (a cofounder of the St Catharines Chamber Music Society). Gordon has broadcast frequently for CBC and has performed on TV5, the international French television network in addition to teaching cello and string techniques at Brock, adjudicating music festivals across Canada and running a private studio in Niagara. Gordon began his musical training in London, Ontario and completed his studies with a Master of Music degree from Boston University.

Marinko Jareb is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and DJ. Marinko was signed to Helsinki, Finland based, Mono Records which released two EP’s and one full length album of electronic music by Marinko under the name DJ Machine. Marinko has performed and shown his work internationally. Working in multimedia, video, toy design and sound, Marinko has formalized his own visual practice with a new gallery and studio space, The Disco Gallery, located at 24 James Street in St.Catharines.

Peter Higginson is a Toronto based actor with over 50 years of stage and screen experience. He is connected to the Niagara region through his relationship with the Essential Collective Theatre Company as an actor and a member of their Board of Directors. Selected credits include: 2007, Prospero, ‘The Tempest’, Anthony Kilgallen, ‘The Paris Letter’; 2008, Lear, ‘King Lear’, William K, ‘Criminals in Love’; 2009, various roles in ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Clyomon & Clamydes’. Peter has also been involved in a variety of film and voice over projects and is presently preparing for a short new one character play, ‘Catcher’, that will be presented as part of the New Ideas program at the Alumnae Theatre, Toronto in March.

Peter Feldman Most recent productions: Criminals in Love, Possible Worlds, True West, St. Catharines; A Lie of the Mind, Village Theatre, Waterdown; Salt Water Moon, Hamilton Players Guild. Directed over 60 (mainly fringe theatre or university) productions in NY, Netherlands, UK and Canada, incl. Toronto and Vancouver. Taught theatre courses at 6 colleges and universities, incl. 20 years at Brock University (3 of them as Chair of Dramatic Arts). Was Co-Director of The Open Theatre, the award-winning NY theatre ensemble, and previously Assistant Director of The Living Theater, NY. Guest leader of acting and directing workshops at many community theatres and universities. Published articles on acting, theatre training, etc. in Drama Contact, Canadian Theatre Review, Theatre Research In Canada, Theatrum, Theater (formerly Yale Theater), Gestus, The Drama Review. He lives in St. Catharines, where he directed for Theatre Arts Niagara and co-founded Stray Theatre, a troupe of actors most of whom he trained himself and whom he has directed in plays by Sam Shepard, Samuel Beckett, and Canadian playwrights George F. Walker and Jason Sherman.

Tickets are on sale at the NAC and at the St Catharines & Area Arts Council Office or 905-934-8148 for further information.

$20/$15 for students