Monday, 12 May 2008

The Lute Player Was a Spy! John Edwards on the Musicians in Ordinary

Musicians in Ordinary
Who knew that the world of lutenists had a history of espionage. John Edwards hasn't been investigated by CSIS, but he does play a mean lute. Edwards and soprano Hallie Fishel are Musicians in Ordinary (MIO). John was on the May 10th show to promote MIO's concert on Sat. May 17th (A Defence of Ryme: Poetry by Thomas Campion and Samuel Daniel).

During the course of our conversation, it was revealed that a couple of lutenists were suspected spies--Alfonso Ferrabosco and Nicholas Lanier. Because musicians in ordinary (lutenists and vocalists) were allowed into very private places, they were privy to very confidential information! Learn more about the rivalry between Campion and Daniel and hear some saucy lyrics at this concert at the Heliconian Hall,35 Hazelton Ave. (near Bay Subway) at 8PM, Single tickets $20 / $15 students & seniors.

Foresight: Speculative Fiction in Canada

Thanks to my second guest, Wendy Banks, Communications Officer for the Toronto Public Library for introducing me, and hopefully some of you, to hard and soft SF/Fantasy novels and poetry.

Presented by The Canada Council Heritage Series, Foresight features author-readings and book signings until the end of May. If you love the genre, Lillian H. Smith has the largest SF/Fantasy collection in North America.

Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival (May 15-25)
Last Saturday, I spoke with Scott Ferguson, Executive Director of Inside Out. We discussed the festival's attempt to find quality films to appeal to the diversity within the Queer community.

The Focus on Australia brings back an old favourite of mine, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and there are some big stars this year like Julianne Moore in Savage Grace.

I have also had the opportunity to screen some Black focus documentaries films that are worth checking out:

One of my favourites is The Believers
, the story of a transsexual choir. Each of the people in this film could have had a feature of their own, but combined their stories are powerful, hopeful, and genuine. How do you reconcile being a Christian and gay when some in the queer community have been damaged by the Church and distanced themselves from the institution; how do you integrate trans-sexuals into the Church of Christ, and how do you create a harmonious sound with voice effected by hormone levels?

U People
This film is the behind the scenes footage of music video shoot. This gathering of Black women (straight, gay, trans) leads to celebration and frank discussions about gender roles and sexuality. The documentary drags a bit, but the diversity of Black women on screen shocks you into realizing how rare these images are. We will sometimes see a Black woman on screen, but outside of Da Kink, how often do you see Black women in their infinite variety on the small or large screen?

On the Downlow
Join me on Saturday, May 17th for an interview with director, Abigail Child as we discuss the subjects of the film, African-American men who are "on the downlow" and honest enough with the camera to speak about their dual sexuality.

TICKETS: or for tickets: 416.967.1528 or in person at The Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor Street West, enter off Bloor.

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A Sweet Liar: Theatre Francais de Toronto's Le Menteur/The Liar

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