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Posts Tagged ‘Gladstone Hotel’

PHOTO: Gladstone Hotel

On Tuesday, July 26 (that would be today) Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel will host a fundraiser for an art instillation called THE HAPPINESS PROJECT: IN THE HOUSE.

The instillation is an extension of the music album The Happiness Project by Charles Spearin who plays for the famed indie collective Broken Social Scene.

Interested in learning about people’s definition of ‘happiness’ Charles interviewed his neighbours and then took their spoken words and wrote music to accompany their responses. The resulting compositions are moving, insightful, inspirational and they eared a Juno music award.

For The Happiness Project: In the House local artists are enlisted to interpret songs from the album and are challenged to weave their own experience of the songs, as well as their own definition of happiness, into the works.

Each artists’ installation becomes a unique expression which also includes an interactive element.

The exhibit has already been hosted in Montreal and Kingston to critical acclaim.

The Happiness Project : In the House presented by Artist Bloc and Apple Crisp Festival in Kingston, Canada in March of 2010.

The Happiness Project at POP Montreal

It will make its Toronto debut on October 1st, 2011 as part of Scotiabank‘s Nuit Blanche.

The project is curated by Artist Bloc, a Toronto artists collective which was co-founded by Agi Gutkowska.

With their Gladstone Hotel fundraiser, Artist Bloc is aiming to raise funds for the Toronto exhibition and promises that the night will be filled with live music by bands and DJs.

More information is available on the Artist Bloc website.

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Photo: Jensen Gifford

There is popular music and unforgettable music. O&AL belong in the latter category.

An acronym for Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, O&AL is a London, Ontario band fronted by singer/songwriter Olenka Krakus and members Sara Froese, Evan Brodie, Christian Hegele, Simon Larochette,  Jeff Moon and Kelly Wallraff.

Influenced by her Polish roots and Canadian upbringing, Olenka delivers songs that resonate with passion. The songs don’t just play for you, they speak to you. And many of them relate specifically to her Polish heritage, especially her memories of Communist Poland and the country’s folklore.

Olenka Krakus Photo: Rob Nelson

Supported by a mix of instruments such as the cello, violin, accordion, trumpet, saxophone, lap steel, mandolin and glockenspiel the music resonates with an eclectic mix of traditional Eastern European ballads and North American country and folk tunes.

It’s a sound reminiscent of Arcade Fire, Cat Power, Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello but which manages to exist entirely on its own.

When Olenka and her band recently played at Toronto’s Gladstone hotel (as part of the NXNE festival) the crowd gave them a rousing ovation. And rightfully so.

Here is a taste…

It’s the sort of music that you can listen to over and over again and with every listen it creates a deeper impression.

The band’s newest album And Now We Sing is packed with memorable songs. It’s really worth checking out.

"And Now We Sing" album cover by Patrick Schmidt

"Motel Blues" lyrics

The band is also set to play a string of shows later this summer and fall so, if you get an opportunity, make sure to go. The truly great thing about small concert gigs is that they are so intimate and the bands always give it all they’ve got.

In the meantime you can listen to some of the tunes online on the CBC Radio 3 website.

And have a look at this interview that we conducted with Olenka during her NXNE show.

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