Sunday, February 08, 2009

Vocal Chamber Music...on a Train

Ever had the feeling that the world of train travel was a perfect venue for chamber music? Look no further...

On February 15 at the Rocky Mountaineer Train Station in Vancouver, Heather Pawsey and friends are presenting Sound-Tracks,  a concert of railway-themed chamber music featuring works by Michael Bushnell, Jocelyn Morlock, John Oliver, Sylvia Rickard, and Leslie Uyeda.  With performances by soprano Heather Pawsey, cellist Ariel Barnes, flautist Kathryn Cernauskas, clarinetist AK Coope, and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, this concert takes place both inside three train carriages of the Rocky Mountaineer and in the station itself.

Sound-Tracks gets under way at 7pm on Sunday February 15 at the Vancouver Rocky Mountaineer terminal located at 1755 Cottrell Street just south of Terminal Avenue (across from Home Depot). Admission is free, but you'll need to book reservations at 604-606-7361 or concert [at] rockymountaineer dot com.

Here is the complete press release for Sound-Tracks:

All Aboard!! SOUND-TRACKS, a rollicking ride of contemporary classical Canadian music celebrating the mystery and romance of the rails, “hits the track” Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rocky Mountaineer Train Station (1755 Cottrell Street, Vancouver). This event is part of the New Music in New Places concert series, presented by the Canadian Music Centre.

Board three stationary carriages of the Rocky Mountaineer and Whistler Mountaineer trains (including the gracious Glacier Dome car, and luxurious, bi-level GoldLeaf Dome Coach affording a spectacular view of downtown Vancouver by night) with critically acclaimed musicians Ariel Barnes, cello; Kathryn Cernauskas, flute; AK Coope, clarinet; and Heather Pawsey, soprano for short, intimate “mini-concerts”, and then move into the renovated vintage station itself to join pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa for a full ensemble finish.

Just as the railway united the vast borders of our country, music brings us closer together and sets us dreaming of journeys, explorations and new discoveries. From coast to coast, Canadian composers and authors have been fascinated with the legends and lore of our iconic railways. SOUND-TRACKS celebrates this robust legacy with works that include Violet Archer’s Train at Night; Paul McIntyre’s At the Railway Station; Elma Miller’s Windwalker; Marjan Mozetich’s Duet in Blue; Eldon Rathburn’s Ghost Train; Sid Robinovitch’s Three Winter Songs; and Norman Symond’s Deep Ground, Long Waters.

Works from British Columbia highlight Michael Bushnell’s On Track; Jocelyn Morlock's Train; John Oliver’s 3 Trains; Sylvia Rickard’s Songs of the Loon; Barry Truax’s Steam; and Leslie Uyeda’s Classical Escapade (world premiere), among others.

Admission to SOUND-TRACKS is free but reservations are required on a first-come, first-served basis. To book a space, please call the concert hotline at 604-606-7361 or email

DRESS ADVISORY: As a portion of this concert will include moving from car to car along the platform, please dress appropriately for weather and wear footwear suitable for boarding railway carriages.

Critically acclaimed musicians Ariel Barnes, cello; Kathryn Cernauskas, flute; AK Coope, clarinet; Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, piano; and Heather Pawsey, soprano are particularly noted for their fearless and innovative approaches to contemporary music. Collectively, they have premiered hundreds of new Canadian works, many written specifically for them, with performances spanning North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The Rocky Mountaineer Station is located at 1755 Cottrell Street, Vancouver (east on Terminal Avenue, south on Cottrell Street, located beside the Home Depot) and parking is available. The vintage station is a renovated mid-1950s Canadian National Railways locomotive maintenance building with exposed timber and brick, 35 foot vaulted ceilings, and a full-length glass wall that provides a complete view of the track and rolling stock.

SOUND-TRACKS is part of the Canadian Music Centre’s "New Music in New Places" initiative to take Canadian music out of concert halls and in to alternative venues, and is made possible through the generous support and assistance of Rocky Mountaineer Vacations and Tom Lee Music. The Canadian Music Centre is an independent, not for profit, non-government agency that promotes and disseminates the music of Canadian composers. 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Music Centre, and SOUND-TRACKS is dedicated to the CMC in appreciation and celebration.

The Canadian Music Centre gratefully acknowledges the support of the SOCAN Foundation and the Government of Canada through the Canada Music Fund.

(Thanks, Heather!)

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