David Fallis discussed Apocalypsis with Murray Schafer

David Fallis discusses Apocalypsis with Murray Schafer

We are working on Murray Schafer’s spectacular musical creation ‘Apocalypsis’, and the composer himself dropped by to observe our rehearsals this weekend.
Everyone wanted to meet him. There are hundreds of people involved in the show, and everyone wants that brief brush with the great Canadian composer.

When my turn came, I introduced Mr. Schafer to a young trumpet player in the show. Murray talked with Jair animatedly, for a long time, pouring over the full score and describing how, when he was young, he was not sure if he wanted to be an artist or a musician, so he ended up being both. That is clearly and beautifully displayed in his full score – as much a musical score as a work of visual art. Good news for Jair who is discerning his own future path, with many choices to pursue at age 15.

Jair plays in the first half of Apocalypsis with the Hannaford Youth Band led by Anita McAlister. His Dad John Castillo is singing with Pax Christi Chamber Choir who, in the second half of the performance, joins eleven other choirs and 12 string quartets. Based on the dream-like vision of the universe imagined by 16th-century astronomer Giordano Bruno, it’s 45 minutes of music that provide the perfect accompaniment for morning yoga practice.

I’m assistant conductor to David Fallis for the show, so I have all kinds of interesting duties. Turns out I will actually be on stage to conduct part of the massive group on stage with my counterparts, Dallas Bergen of Univox , Kelly Galbraith of Cantores Celestes and Rich Foty. But I have various duties including rehearsing bits of the music, liaising with Zimfira Poloz of the amazing Hamilton Children’s Choir and occasionally reading lines. Yesterday I got to read the roles of John the Divine and the Archangel Michael, which was both thrilling and a bit bizarre. All in a days work in the theataah.

Here are some photos of special guests who dropped by to rehearsal. Can you identify any of them?
If you’d like to read more about the show Jörn Weisbrodt is blogging almost daily on the Luminato site.

Apocalypsis rehearsal

Guests at Apocalypsis rehearsal

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3 Responses to Meeting Murray Schafer

  1. Emily says:

    Looks like the famous visitor is Adrienne Clarkson and husband John Raunston Saul to me! This really does sound like a fascinating undertaking. Can’t wait to hear and see it! And kudos to you for being invited to be Assistant Conductor. But, then, we in Pax Christi Chorale know full well that you are the very best conductor for choral singing!

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      You get the prize Emily!

      • Steph martin says:

        My airplane reading has been John Ralston Saul’s new book ‘The Comeback’ on the revival of Aboriginal culture in Canada. I heard an interview on CBC radio,and while still in bed, went online and downloaded the book instantly, and started reading it on my ‘kindle.’ What a strange and wonderful modern world we live in!

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