Tafelmusik program to chronicle Canada’s “soundtrack of colonization”

Posted on: February 24, 2017

“The music of Canada in the years from 1663 to 1763 was European, authored by Lully, Purcell and Handel. There’s nothing Canadian about it,” writes Trish Crawford in Wednesday’s (2/22) Toronto Star (Canada). “Alison Mackay, double bass player with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and creator of its numerous multimedia productions, solved this dilemma while devising a program to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.” For the ensemble’s “Visions and Voyages” program from Feb. 22 to 26, “Delving into diaries, archival records, ships’ manifests, account books and reports from religious missions, she has amassed an array of images to accompany the music, showing what was happening during this time in what would … become Canada. Calling the program ‘the soundtrack of colonization,’ Mackay focuses on the interaction with First Nations trappers and canoe-builders to bring in the indigenous peoples’ experience…. The music begins with excerpts from Sémélé by Marais and ends with selections of Rameau’s Les Boréades and Pygmalion…. This is not a history lesson nor a lecture, stresses Mackay, but a way of listening to this beautiful music through the lens of what was going on in Canada at the same time.”

Posted February 24, 2017