What would life be without music? Sometimes I think that’s what we’re here for – to make music!
Last week I wrote about two fabulous musicians who live in Elphinstone and this week is about two more. But first I wanted to mention the wonderful couple, artist Pat Ridgway and author/musician Ian Ridgway, who threw open their idyllic garden for a magical musical evening last week. They’ve hosted other events at their home/art studio tucked away behind a woodsy lane off Pratt Road.
People were treated to the eclectic music of Smilin’ Jack Smith (Orville-Dorp) and Joe Mock (Mock Duck, Pied Pumpkin). Joe divides his time between France and Japan so it was a treat to hear him when he showed up for the Ridgways’ anniversary. The weather co-operated magnificently – what could be better than sitting on a lawn-chair surrounded by flowers and trees for an outdoor concert? Another local musician, Michael (a)Mazer(ed) us with his bluesy harmonica accompaniment on one of the pieces.
Anna Lumiere and Graham Ord have lived on a quiet street in Elphinstone since 2006. Anna plays the piano, keyboard and accordion and Graham plays saxophone and flute as well as percussion and electronics. Versatile musicians, they play in several groups. Anna’s group Mimosa includes saxophonist Karen Graves (about whom I wrote last week) and she also plays with Funktete. Graham plays with improvisation groups on the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver and, along with Anna, makes up Anagram. He teaches saxophone and flute lessons privately.
Anna is originally from Switzerland, and met Graham when they were both playing in Vancouver. Graham was raised in Vancouver and comes from a musical family. Their two sons play the piano, saxophone, violin and trumpet between them and sometimes the family play together as Hordes of Ords. Anna has composed songs for all her groups and is currently working on a solo album, to be released next spring. Some of her work has been used in television, film and by choirs. She studied jazz at Capilano College and the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Graham has performed and recorded everything from traditional Cumbia bands to Chicago improvisers to blues, rock, jazz and Latin bands, and has toured Europe, the U.S., Canada and Japan. He is a leading improviser on the Canadian scene. Anagram will be playing at the 101 Brewhouse on Aug. 22, and Hordes of Ords will be performing at the Rogue Festival on Aug. 25. A truly remarkable musical family.
The musicians I’ve spoken with all mentioned other great musicians living in Elphinstone, including drummer John Rule and singer Deanna Knight. How lucky we are to have such amazing talent here in our backyard. If you have your own favourite, drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org