Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Gratitude and Satisfaction

September 13, 2009

The biggest event on my calendar every year is The Alder Fork Festival. Last night’s version was a rousing success.  The music was great, the cake looked fantastic, and we raised a substantial amount of money for the Eating Disorder Awareness Coalition of Waterloo Region.  Thank you again to The Clark Institute, Matthew Blacquiere, Dave Fallis, the members of my band, the fantastic volunteers, and everyone who came out and supported such a worthwhile cause.  I am already contemplating next year’s version.

The exuberance of the crowd, and the talent on display were the two highlights for me. This was arguably the best festival in the 10 years I’ve run it. The performances were top notch, and the whole evening ran without a hitch. If you missed this year’s event you will still be able to contribute to in the coming weeks, when a recording of the festival is released for sale. All proceeds of the sale will be donated to EDACWR.

Something To Do In Kitchener Tonight

September 12, 2009

If you are looking for something to do in Kitchener-Waterloo  tonight, that’s Saturday September 12th, please come on down to The Registry Theatre (122 Frederick St.), for some great music in support of an awesome cause. Dave Fallis, Matt Blacquiere, The Clark Institute, and The Alder Fork have teamed up to support the Eating Disorder Awareness Coalition of Waterloo Region. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $10 with all proceeds going to EDAC.  Hope to see you there!

Oh Ca-na-da

September 8, 2009

I have often written about my appreciation for the CBC in its various forms.  The fact that Canadians have a large national broadcaster, makes it possible for our creative people to find an outlet (there are of course other non-CBC channels, like Bravo, that follow a similar mandate). After changing direction a few years ago, CBC Radio 2, has embraced a very pro-Canada identity. From the Obama playlist to their most recent endeavour, The Great Canadian Song Quest, the folks at Radio 2 have been waving a giant Canadian flag at their listeners.  Canada is a very patriotic country, despite assertions that we are much more passive then the United States or most other nations for that matter.  Canadians beat their chests in more subtle, but no less constant ways, usually promoting our superiority in matters ranging from beer and comedy to health care and rates of violent crime.

As for The Great Canadian Song Quest, it seems to be a neat idea, similar to that of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois and Michigan albums.  The details are available here.  Essentially, the plan is to pick 13 places in Canada and pair them with 13 songwriters to immortalize them in song.  This is a potentially great idea on several levels. First, the idea of the CBC commissioning work for several Canadian artist is, in my opinion, exactly the sort of effort they should be involved with.  Much like producing home-grown television programs, I’d like to see the CBC find opportunities like this one to promote the creation of Canadian music.  Second, the outcome of this contest is bound to be at least a few enjoyable and/or fun songs about places in Canada. I can only hope some of the locations are obscure (think the Hip’s Bobcaygeon). Last, even though the listeners of Radio 2 is probably made up of people who already appreciate the breadth of contemporary Canadian music,  a project like The Great Canadian Song Quest will draw wider attention to some unique talent. Although I will reserve judgment until the project is over, kudos to the folks at the CBC for dreaming it up.

Where In The World Is…

August 31, 2009

Although Rockapella brought geography and acapella music to a generation of youngsters, this post is not about them, or the Carmen Sandiego line of video games. Instead, I have an update on a previous Alder Fork Podcast guest.

Laura Smith is a very talent B.C. based musician and songwriter. You can hear her on the June 15th, 2009 episode of the podcast.  Her music is available here. She has a tour diary and some live videos on her youtube page. I mention her today because she is setting out on a West Coast tour and I am privy to the dates. If you get a chance to check her out live, you will be very pleased. Here is the list:

September 1st 8pm-10pm Melodies in Mind on CJSF 90.1FM, Vancouver, British Columbia

September 6th 8pm The Railway Club w/ City of Glass and Isobel Trigger, Vancouver, British Columbia

September 8th 11:30am UVIC BBQ – w/ City of Glass, Victoria, British Columbia

September 8th 3:00pm CFUV 101.9 FM live acoustic performance/interview, Victoria, British Columbia

September 8th 9:00pm Logan’s w/ City of Glass and We are the City  Victoria, British Columbia

September 10th 8:00pm The Habitat w/ Immaculate Machine, Kelowna, British Columbia

Friday, September 11th at the Ironwood in Calgary

September 12th 4pm-6pm The Empress w/ Colleen Brown (early show!), Edmonton, Alberta

September 14th 8:00pm The Exchange w/ Eldorado, Shiloh Lindsay and Joseph Blood, Regina, Saskatchewan

September 15th 8:00pm The Park Theater  w/ Living in Red, Patrick Keenan and guests, Winnipeg, Manitoba

September 18th 10pm Houstons Western Canada Music Awards Brandon, Manitoba

September 26th 8:00pm Rifflandia Festival  Metro Theatre, Victoria, British Columbia

First Star I See Tonight

August 25, 2009

Please take a second to click on this link and marvel at our universe. Each dot on that picture represents a galaxy of around 100 billion stars. Amazing.

New podcast is up and as always you can find it over there–> In this episode I talk about eating disorders. You can find lots of information and statistics about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of eating disorders by visiting the website of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre. This topic is relevant because of The Alder Fork Festival, which is raising money for the Eating Disorder Awareness Coalition of Waterloo Region.

The music comes from two True North Records artists, Madison Violet, and Le Vent Du Nord.

A Twin Engine Beechcraft

August 17, 2009

New episode of the podcast is up and as always can be reached over there –>. It’s been a long summer off and it’s nice to be back into the swing of things.  Music by The James Clark Institute, The Alder Fork, and Urban Moon.

As promised I discuss a bit about other benefit concerts.  Live Aid actually came up as a topic of discussion when I was on Random Green Dots (a Sound FM show) the other night.  I was only 3 on that memorable day, so I’ve only seen clips from that day.  It was such an outlandish idea, yet it achieved its stated goals.

If You Twist And Turn Away

August 16, 2009

It is with great pleasure that I announce the return of The Alder Fork Podcast. As we gear up for the big festival in less than a month, the podcast will feature several episodes with appropriate topics.  The episode, which will be up as of Tuesday August 18, will feature a discussion of previous benefit concerts.  Most of those festivals were on a much larger scale and featured a who’s who of popular music.  The Alder Fork Festival will be a low key event, yet it maintains the sense of optimism about the power of people and music to make a difference in the world.

As an undergraduate student I took a number of courses on music history, tracing people’s efforts to make sound from the ancient past up to the Twentieth Century.  For our ancestors music was often a powerful spiritual experience, connected to worship, storytelling, and community bonding.  Right through the time of the great composers and into the last century music was a special treasure, and truly gifted musicians could only be enjoyed periodically if at all for most.  The evolution of recording technology has meant a steady bombardment of music is now the norm for most people.  It follows us wherever  we go, and a great many people prefer it that way.  While this has meant that a greater number of musical performers can find a piece of people’s days, it has meant that music isn’t quite as special as it once was. Yet even today, a well constructed melody can illicit irreplaceable feelings in the listener.  At its core, music is still spiritual, and still soul moving in its way.

Perhaps then, this is why we have come to so often associate music with causes.  Of course, the rise of the rock star has contributed to the relationship, but when it comes to events like Live Aid, it is the most poignant songs that bring us to contribute.  The whole event becomes an out of body experience shared by millions, in a way no ordinary telethon possibly could.  While my little festival cannot provide such a thrill to the millions, for those of us who are deeply involved it will be a magical night.  I have worked very hard over the years to create as many of these mystical nights as possible.  The fact that I can use them to help a very worthwhile cause heightens the feeling.

I have provided people with many reasons to come to The Alder Fork Festival. A short list would read: 1) It’s a great cause 2) The music is top notch 3) The venue is fantastic 4) It’s a fun way to help people out 5) There will be cookies. But the real reason to come is the magic of such an event.  The magic begins when a group of caring people gathers to listen to passionate musicians in the name of worthy cause.  Out of that foundation, the possibilities are endless, and that is all I ever wanted.

I Can’t Find Nothin’ On The Radio, Yo Turn To That Station

August 15, 2009

I’m going to be chatting on the University of Waterloo’s radio station tonight at 8pm.  You can stream it here: http://soundfm.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=9&Itemid=78

Click on the big “listen live”. If you live in Kitchener-Waterloo you can also find it on the dial at 100.3 FM.

I will be playing a tune or two and chatting about music, the festival, and who knows what else!

A Poster and Some News

August 10, 2009
Festival Poster by Caillin Kowalczyk

Festival Poster by Caillin Kowalczyk

This fantastic poster for this year’s Alder Fork Festival. High school friend, and gifted artist Caillin Kowalczyk put this together for the event.  He made the very first festival sign back in 2000 when it was The Mid-Summer Festival of Peace and Tranquility and he was the bass player for Urban Moon.  You can see more of his work, and even pick some up for yourself, here.

In other Alder Fork related news, CBC Radio 3/New Music Canada has added the band to its featured artist page. Here’s what they had to say about the album:

Hamilton native Peter Snow’s latest CD “The Colour I Remember Most” is an inventive collection of rock, electronic, folk & pop songs that resonate long after you’ve hit the stop button.

Thanks CBC Radio 3/New Music Canada!

For more info about the band and the festival head over here.

The Review Is In

July 24, 2009

Jade Sperry, a photographer and blogger of note, was kind enough to review my album.  She sums it up quite nicely by saying, “Overall, I found this CD to be powerful, haunting, visionary and imaginative from The Alder Fork and comes highly recommended from this writer.” You can read this review in a few place depending on your fancy:

NXEW Blog (poke around this one for awhile)

Jade Sperry Photography

Jade’s MySpace Page

If you have arrived here thanks to that review you can find all kinds of info about the band, including how to buy the album, here.