September 29, 2019
Show at 3:00pm
Silence Presents provides an accessible venue for touring and professional artists to perform for the Guelph community.
“800-year-old music played on harmonica”
That’s how multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bird describes his latest work, felix anima, interpretations of the music of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). It isn’t easy to put into words the beautiful and haunting experience of listening to Bird’s latest album. Contemplative, uplifting, sacred, transcendent. Bird’s thoughtful approach to combining harmonica, a droning Shruti box, and a range of other instruments, offers contemporary audiences a whole new way of encountering the medieval abbess’ impressive musical works.
“…spectacular, sublime, moving and beautifully interpreted and produced. A true piece of art from an exceptional, mature artist, interpreting the music of a genius” – Russ Christianson , M.I.R., B Comm.
The melodies heard on felix anima comes from the celebrated Hildegard of Bingen, an abbess in 12th century Germany, still known today for her impressive theological, scientific, dramatic and musical works. A saint, a Doctor of the Church, a mystic, a feminist, and a visionary, Hildegard of Bingen has captured the imagination of audiences, artists, and musicians around the world.
In Bird’s words: “Like all exceptional music, it remains timeless.”
The artwork for the CD, also created by Bird, is a beautiful visual that combines the transcendental with the electric, producing a stunning mandala of sacred inspiration and hypnotic form that reflects and enhances the music itself. The CD has already received considerable praise from everyone encountering it and was featured on CBC’s classical streaming “First Play” series.
“Hildegard von Bingen on harmonica? Absolutley! Jeff Bird’s new album, Felix Anima, is a stunner .”
Jeff Bird is a founding member of the seminal folk group Tamarack. With Cowboy Junkies he was part of the legendary The Trinity Session and continues to record and tour the world with them. He has realized 16 recordings of his own as a soloist and collaborator, and has scored music for film, television and dance. He is also an experimental filmmaker and performance artist whose work has been showcased at festivals from Dawson City, Yukon to Vladivostok, Russia. As a multi-instrumentalist Bird has appeared on over 100 recordings and has worked with such diverse artists as Jane Bunnett, Loreena McKennitt, Natalie Merchant, Scott Merritt, Townes Van Zandt.
Witek Grabowiecki studied piano and accordion from a very early age in his native Poland. Since immigrating to Canada in the late 1980’s he has been active on the Canadian jazz scene as well as many other diverse musical settings. His sensitive touch and musical prowess are a joy to behold.
Anne Lindsay has established herself as one of the most engaging and versatile instrumentalists in Canada. She has three award winning CDs of her own and has been named Jazz Violinist of the Year (National Jazz Awards) and Solo Instrumentalist and Producer of the Year (Canadian Folk Music Awards). Anne has played on hundreds of recordings and is a featured performer with Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo, The Skydiggers and John McDermott. She was the resident fiddler for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the stage production of The Lord of the Rings and is an exuberant fireplug of a session-player-to-the-stars (Led Zeppelin, The Chieftains, Blue Rodeo, James Taylor, Roger Daltrey).
Gary Diggins has worked for over three decades as an expressive arts therapist. His work combines counselling, mindful practices, and music as medicine. In addition to Gary’s therapeutic practice, he continues to perform Internationally as a cornet player and multi-instrumentalist artist. He plays a range of acoustic instruments from around the world. Combining ancient sounds with modern music, the airwaves become a canvas for imaginative soundscapes.
Gary has appeared on dozens of recordings and composed for three films. His musical collaborations have taken him to India, Israel, Europe, and throughout North America. Gary has collaborated with artistic organizations ranging from Cirque du Soleil to Canadian composer, R. Murray Schaffer.
Please join Jeff Bird, Witek Grabowiecki , Anne Lindsay and Gary Diggins in concert to celebrate the timeless music of Hildegard of Bingen.