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Thread: Vancouver B.C. - Birthplace of the Historically Informed Performance movement...

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    Senior Member Nudge and a Wink's Avatar
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    Default Vancouver B.C. - Birthplace of the Historically Informed Performance movement...

    Singlehandedly reclaiming Canada's cultural heritage one post at a time...

    Not very many people know that Vancouver B.C. (my hometown by the way!) is actually the birthplace of the HIP (historically informed performance) or "period instrument" movement in classical music but you will after reading this....

    Long before HIP music was even a gleam in the respective eyes of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Trevor Pinnock, Christopher Hogwood or John Eliot Gardiner, the "New Vansterdam Consort" was busking on either Hamilton Street or West Georgia in front of the Queen Elizabeth Theater (you don't need a permit for either one but you can only spend 60 minutes on each before having to move - don't ask it would take too long to explain Van's arcane rules and regulations in re "busking" - a permit costs 118.31 CDN + GST by the way which is why most buskers hang around the parks where you can play for free without needing the required permit but the less musically tolerant of my fellow Vancouverites are forever posting handmade "No Buskers Allowed!!!" signs (notice the three exclamation points) which just inevitably get torn down within minutes of being posted and do nothing but make the buskers laugh but I digress...) ...

    Anyway... where was I?... Oh yeah, sorry the brain kind of jumped the tracks there because I started laughing when I remembered the time that I paid this guy in the park with a soprano sax 20 dollars CDN to keep playing ""Pop Goes The Weasel" over and over and over whenever we entered the park to eat lunch each day while attending UBC but with the added twist of playing the tune with the weirdest syncopation imaginable in order to intentionally antagonize one of my friends who would be driven to becoming a near-homicidal maniac as a result... Cruel? - maybe... funny? oh hell yeah...

    In case you're feeling a twinge of sympathy for my "friend" (notice the quotation marks) you need to know that he was needlessly antagonizing me by continuing to wear a vintage 1980's blue satin Edmonton Oilers Starter jacket despite my repeated requests that he stop doing so - the Oilers usually beat the Canucks like drums when they would roll into town so it's kind of a sore point with some of us... and by "us" I primarily mean "me"...

    In retrospect the "music" the park busker was playing is probably what "be bop" or "hard bop" would have sounded like if John Coltrane was a white dope-smoking bandana-wearing tie-dyed hygiene-challenged aging hippie loitering around the streets of downtown Van but once again I digress...

    Anyway... Vancouver was the birthplace of the "New Vansterdam Consort" and it's successor offshoot "The Even Newer Vansterdam Consort" who were the founders of what we would now consider HIP or Period Instrument performance techniques...

    Here's a picture - circa 1960...


    This picture was taken before the guy on the right was able to afford a proper lute (which are pretty freaking expensive by the way)... Even though this is nothing more than an example of your really cheap made in Asia average run-of-the-mill country and western or worse "folk" guitar, he would insist that it was a real honest to goodness "classical guitar" that he - get this - stole from Django Reinhardt's hotel room and would continue to belabor the point until reminded that the "classical guitar" is actually kind of boring as all hell (according to one of the threads found on the Classical Music forum" that contrary to what you may be thinking I had nothing to do with...)...

    However I did write a really nice piece on "Catholic guitar masses" as they were played here in Vancouver within that thread but no one was reading it so I placed it in the "Religious" section of the forum to reach a larger audience where it currently languishes unread ...It's an unjustly neglected classic but one that will one day be rediscovered and given the acclaim it deserves...but yet again I digress...

    There is one and only one song in the repertoire of "The New Vansterdam Consort" ... Corellis's Concerto grosso in D major, Op. 6, No. 4 which is actually pretty cool sounding but trust me that after about oh say 15 or maybe 20 minutes or so it becomes every bit as irritating as "Pop Goes The Weasel" (played with or without the really weird syncopation on soprano sax) when they keep playing it over and over and over...

    Ask them to play Pachelbel's Canon and they get this peculiar "puzzled monkey" look on their face as if they've never heard of it... I mean honestly who's never heard Pachelbel's Canon before?

    Ask them to play Bach's Air on a G String (insert your own joke here - you don't need my help) and again they give you the peculiar "puzzled monkey" look as if they've never heard it...

    Ask them to play Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring and (no surprise here) they get that peculiar "puzzled monkey" look on their faces as if they've never heard it...

    Anyway, this is my latest attempt to recapture all of the myriad glories of Canada's musical heritage one post at a time... I hope you leave better informed than when you arrived...

    Also to derive maximum enjoyment it is absolutely crucial that you have at least a rudimentary grasp of the concept of "evolution" as it relates to music... (I'm adding this last bit for those forum members who may be a little slower on the uptake than our resident "geniuses" are...) and if you're not familiar with the word "Vansterdam" it's worth looking up... this post will make a lot more sense... trust me...
    Last edited by Nudge and a Wink; Nov-15-2017 at 03:53.

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