Monday, June 01, 2009

Uh the Scream & the Book is Dead

I was playing around with the new Microsoft Bing search engine and...since the first impulse one has...or at least my first to do a vanity search...I discovered this great resource. The fantastic Scream literary festival (held annually in Toronto) has archived recordings of past performances. The Scream originated from the fact that every year there would be "The Dream in High Park", a performance of A Midsummer's Night's Dream and on one Monday the stage would be dark. Peter McPhee decide to hold a literary reading series there. The audiences were amazing. Three hundred sitting outdoors in a natural amphitheatre listening to writers on a summer night.

I performed in 2000, reading with a band we called "Uh Maybe," consisting of John Kameel Farah on keyboards and John Pennyfather on percussion. My performance starts after about a minute (where I assume I was futzing with equipment, getting set up.) For those who aren't Canadian, Mike Harris was the arch-conservative Premier of Ontario. It's amazing to hear. after all these years, this recording of my reading with two old friends on a balmy summer night in Toronto, surrounded by huge trees, bright lights, and a sea of audience. It seems an entirely other world, an entirely other time, back then.

Here's a link to the current festival site. The festival has expanded to include a variety of events over about a week and takes place in the middle of July.

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