Toronto’s Queer Songbook Orchestra comes to New Westminster’s Anvil Centre in January with Songs of Resilience, a concert of popular music as seen through a queer lens.
The Queer Songbook Orchestra (QSO) is an eleven piece chamber ensemble, made up of a selection of top queer and allied musicians working in Toronto today. The Orchestra has built a living archive of songs, acknowledging the contributions of LGBTQ artists while exploring the unifying and empowering elements of music. The QSO helps to shed light on such revelations as the contradiction of a public which adores the art, but shuns the artist.
The evening is a combination of music and storytelling that examines resilience in song, through the courage of the songwriter. The show takes an honest look at the contributions of LGBTQ songwriters and performers to the popular canon and celebrates the unifying and empowering elements of music within community. Community performers Vance McFadyen and Valen Oliver provide the live narration.
Throughout much of the twentieth century the lives of queer artists were hush hush, quietly and swiftly swept under the rug. The Queer Songbook Orchestra are lifting that rug, taking a look back at the last one hundred years of popular song with the queer lens intact, and revealing the backstories and personal narratives behind much of this music.
Some of the inspirational songs by LGBTQ artists include Joe Meek’s Telstar, KD Lang’s Constant Craving, Melissa Etheridge’s Come to My Window, as well as songs by Bronski Beat, Lesley gore, Elton John and more.
The QSO does not simply cover the songs from the original artists recording, but also commissions all new interpretations of the material from many of Canada’s top composers and arrangers. The songs are presented alongside the narratives that illustrate their place in the queer songbook
Queer Songbook Orchestra presents Songs of Resilience at the Anvil Centre (777 Columbia St, New Westminster) on January 28. Visit http://anvilcentre.com for tickets and information.
Songs of Resilience will also play as part of the 2016 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival as part of Club PuSh at the Fox Cabaret (2321 Main St, Vancouver) on January 29. Visit http://pushfestival.ca for tickets and information.