Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Songwriters Circle

On Monday night I took a group of friends downtown to the Library and Archives building for a neat little concert that was part of the Ottawa Writers Festival. Not being a writer, I had hardly taken notice of this festival. This sounded interesting enough though and having missed the Great Lake Swimmers show on Friday I sure felt like I needed a concert. Plus Justin Rutledge was there so that pretty much sealed the deal for me. The other two artists were Glenn Noutio and Kyrie Kristmanson.
I really had no idea what it was going to be like but it turned out to be quite an intimate and informal affair of wine sipping and trading song writing info between the artists. After waiting for Junot Díaz to finish a reading from his new book 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' we were let in to the auditorium and introduced to the artists. Glenn Noutio, since he is a super-gay guy, had to make that obvious every time he opened his mouth. I know not all gay guys are like that but really so many are. We know you are gay, now stop reminding us. Kyrie Kristmanson has this amazing voice and she sang a couple a capella and the rest with a guy on double bass. I bought her cd even though it did not have 'Blackwind' on it. Check her out here. Justin was, of course, amazing with his strong voice and sweet guitar. Check out some of his stuff here.They took turns performing and talking about the lyrics and how the songs came to be. I love hearing that kind of background. To me it makes the songs mean something more. I get a deeper satisfaction from them. It turns out that Kristmanson is studying music in Lyon, France. She is transposing some of the first real recorded non-religious music into a more modern playable style. It was written by wives of men who were off in the crusades and apparently it is often said that these 40 women invented love and courtship as we know it today. Rutledge is currently working on a play/reading of a new book by that famous Canadian author whose name is escaping me right now. Was it Ondatje? Anyway, he wrote some songs for one of the characters.

Overall it was a great night although a reaction from one of my friends was 'I liked my Backstreet Boys concert better'. Read into that however you want. It wasn't really a true concert though. But I did like it better than any Backstreet Boys music I have ever heard.

These pictures are courtesy of Lenny Wu (a fellow Radio3 listener and blogger)
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