Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Piano and the Media

It has been a busy two weeks, which featured two quick trips to Toronto.

It's a long story, or could be, but I am going to write only a very brief summary here: both for the record and as a place to store the various links that I will post as we go along.

The story actually began back in the forties, or maybe even the thirties, when Sue's parents, who were not yet her parents, came to know the Goulds. The Goulds had produced a little Gould named Glenn, who would go on to become a world-renown pianist.

As a girl, Sue took piano lessons from Glenn Gould's mother, and Sue's family ended up purchasing Glenn Gould's first piano as he moved on to finer instruments which better suited his prodigious talents. At the time, although they didn't realize it until years later when they first peered into the inner recess, he inscribed the piano to Sue.

As, you can see from the inscription, that was in 1955, and Sue would faithfully practice on the piano for many years. But Sue wasn't Glenn Gould, and as time moved on and her interest waned, and she lost touch with the instrument.

Without going into the piano's meanderings from then until now, let's just say that it arrived at her sister's house a few years ago. But what to do with this bit of Canadiana? It shouldn't be left sitting unused and unappreciated in someone's private living room.

And then, connections were made with the Glenn Gould Foundation, and Sue and Heather gladly donated the piano to them. The foundation wanted to know it's history as well as the whole family connection to Glenn and his parents, so Sue and Heather spent a lot of time piecing together their memories. Sue had her personal memories, while Heather, the youngest who remained in the family home or close to it long after Sue had moved away, had learned more background from her parents.

For weeks, the two collaborated, and Heather wonderfully wove the two threads together into one narrative, which will be unveiled in installments on the foundations website. Once this is completed, I will likely post of it here.

Although this complete written narrative is to be unveiled later, it was completed in time for the inauguration Glenn Gould Day in Toronto on September 25th, Gould's birthday. The foundation also wanted to make a bit of a splash for that day, so in preparation, they asked the sisters to come to their office for a video interview. And so, we made our first foray to the big city a week before the official unveiling.

Before recording the video, the ladies visited with Glenn outside the CBC studios.

They then visited the Glenn Gould display inside, where Sue posed with Glenn's later piano.

In this next photo they are standing next to a photo of a very young Glenn Gould playing what they believe became Sue's piano: the one that they have now donated.

Then, they were off to the very cramped Glenn Gould Foundation office for the video interview.

This is the full video as posted on the Glenn Gould Foundation website which, I warn you, is 33 minutes long. The cover frame is of Heather and her dad, for he plays quite a part in the story.


It had been a nerve-wracking ordeal for Sue to prepare for and then sit through an half hour video, but the interview was done soon enough, and home we came.

But in point of fact, it was not done, for the CBC got hold of the story and wanted to run with it on September 25th, Toronto's very first Glenn Gould Day. First, they called Heather for a phone interview (sorry, no link), but that wasn't enough to satisfy them. No, they decided that they wanted both ladies to appear for interviews both on radio and television on the exact day.

For the second time in a week, or just slightly over, we made the four-hour journey to Toronto, and Sue and Heather took the train to downtown the next day.

But first: on the night prior to their media appearances, Sue's sleep was interrupted by a CBC reporter whose job it was to post a web page. This is the link; while it isn't as complete as the piano's history that will eventually be published, it is much fuller than my brief overview above. It recounts more of the relationship between the girls' parents and Glenn's parents and, among other things, how their father, Louis Morton, would help to make sure that Glenn's piano got to their family cottage on Lake Simcoe, for Glenn didn't want to be without it, even for a weekend. It also mentions the since-lost postcard that Sue received from Glenn from Vienna while he was on his European tour.

On September 25th, Glenn Gould Day, they were interviewed for the news Toronto: At 6:00. This is the link for the whole televised news hour, which I wish I could embed, but I can't. Their interview is only two minutes, which you can see by advancing to the 48 minute mark. It will take a few minutes to buffer to that point, but it beats listening to 48 minutes. (I wish I could capture just their short segment for posterity, but I haven't been able to manage that feat yet.)

They did the radio interview next although it aired first. link

That about wraps up the media frenzy for this blog, with the fuller written account yet to come, but there was also one more bit of exposure for Heather in her local paper. This link contains a few more photos as well a clip of Glenn Gould.

I almost forgot about the chair: Glenn's special chair, the chair he took with him for concerts all around the world. You see, it was made by Sue and Heather's father, Louis Morton who was an extremely gifted DIY-er. There is a photo of Glenn in his unique and somewhat famous chair at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio. It is between Sue and Heather in the following photo.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Flying the Pride Flag

There are things to report that I must get around to sometime, but I'm just going to report briefly this morning.

Yesterday, the Pride flag was flown at townhall.

A number of happy people showed up for the first ever Pride celebrations in our hometown. Here are three: Danica, Sue and Bob (my photographer friend).

Events will continue today, and we will be there, weather permitting.

Meanwhile, I will leave you with a few more photos.

Monday, September 24, 2018

On the Move

Gotta head out for a few days, so I'll post these and run.

I went out to wander with the camera for a few minutes early Saturday evening (which now really becomes late afternoon if we think in terms of light). I ended up at the far end of Riverside Park, near the boat launch.

If you squint, especially at this resolution, you may be able to see the two docks near the middle of the frame.

From one of the docks, I took a shot of this fellow getting ready to launch. I really like the way that it turned out after some cropping and nudging in Lightroom.

The green space and tree near the launch as I was walking back to the car: I have any number of shots of this tree, but why not one more?

When we return later in the week, perhaps I can begin to get some autumn shots.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Tornado

Let me be clear: Eastern Ontario is not exactly tornado alley, not like Southwestern Ontario where we lived for more than 3 decades. Not that it was an everyday occurrence there, but I did once teach sisters whose house was flattened by a tornado.

All that being said, it did happen on Friday, only about a half hour from us.

Meanwhile, and I'm sure not at the peak of the ferocious winds that we experienced, the kids had fun being kids.

Addendum: Many parts of Ottawa were without power yesterday, and some still are. Consequently, it seemed that quite a few people ventured from the western part of Ottawa out to our town where they might find either nourishment or fuel or both. Our local gas stations were drained dry, and both restaurants and grocery stores were kept very busy.

Friday, September 21, 2018

My Nil Report

It's been awhile, so I thought that I would just pop in with kind of a nil report. In other words, there's nothing significant to report, but I can at least report that there's nothing significant to report. lol

Last weekend, which was when I last posted, we were obliged to take off to Toronto for a few quick days. We take the back roads whenever feasible, but even then the Toronto traffic was quite frenetic on a weekend. And we weren't really in Toronto but the western outskirts.

Sue and her sister, Heather, had an appointment to attend on Monday, so I took a few photos as they headed out. I'll post one here and a few at the end of this post ... because I have them, and I don't know which is best. Not that I'm much of a people photographer, but I try.

So, on Tuesday we drove the 4+ hours back home, and it was pleasant enough in the lighter weekday traffic. Something I ate or something other was affecting my system and still is to some degree, and that night I woke up at 2am after about only 4 hours of sleep. And this was after a few nights on an unfamiliar and smaller bed, so I was already a little knackered.

My head and spirit were not in a good place but got a little better after a short nap come late morning. My naps are inevitably short, but they still seem to help, and I was less groggy and miserable afterward. I had another wee kip later in the day, and my two subsequent nights have been good with me sleeping until almost 5:30 after getting close to 7 hours of sleep. Seven hours is about my outer limit these days although I could perhaps do with about three weeks of 9 hour sleeps to begin to make up my deficit. That won't ever happen although I may approach the recommended and blessed 8 hours once a year. I did say approach. Sigh.

We're in a bit of a dilemma about Thanksgiving (in two weeks) and making our annual autumn trip to the cottage. We were planning to head there next week and stay for about a week before driving back home for Thanksgiving here with Shauna and the kids. But Heather can't make it then and would like us to visit with her for TG and afterward. We could also touch bases with her kids and families over the holiday weekend, but it will be crowded in the small cottage.

However, it is very tempting, but our Shauna is not necessarily keen on a crowded weekend in this small venue, especially sine she did did this a few weeks ago for an extended family rendez vous. And then there's my back and the lack of comfort at the cottage and wondering just how long I can manage. There is also the issue of my sleeping in the best of times and small, strange beds do not constitute the best of conditions.

So that is pretty much my nil report, but I feel like I have now done my duty.

I leave you with three more sister pics.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Brief Foggy Walk in the Park

Fog is an opportunity to capture different photos of the same places. Although it was starting to lift when I got to the park and was almost gone less than a half hour later, I was able to click the shutter a few times.

I have two views of the river. This first photo is has the same dock which you have seen here recently.

While the next one was taken from the on dock looking upriver.

Walking along the path, I looked away from the river and glimpsed light beyond a tree and toward a lamp and fence. There is some fog in the distance.

Near the river again, by the boat launch, I was attracted to the vivid reflections of this fisher's boat.

Then I came to the gate of an adjacent park. I was running out of both fog and time, but I managed to frame a shot through the gate a shot of a lady walking her dog. There's just a touch a fogginess helping to soften the photo.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

More Phone Finds

Sometimes I am surprised by what I find on my phone. It can be because I never knew that a certain picture was there or because, in my diminished capacity, I had forgotten tits existence.

After my birthday supper at their place, Danica invited herself to ours for a sleepover.

The next day we went out for breakfast/brunch and then had a stroll downtown before being forced to return home to escape the increasing heat.

It was Labour Day and nothing was open downtown save the new craft shop in the old, Queens Hotel.

And that is where she got me to take this shot, which I found quite clever. She moved from place to place while I panned the camera.

What could be finer than a pano with 3 Danicas?

Well, nothing much really, but I also uncovered a few more photos from the morning.

The first two photos show the difference between shooting again the window light (even with the tiny flash turned on) and shooting with the light.

This shop has a tremendous display of plants, and it's not even the flower shop.

We spent some time on one the the docks that are there for the convenience of upriver cottagers who might want to come to downtown for shopping or a meal. They will be removed for the winter relatively soon now.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Very Next Night

I could see from the cloud cover that there would at least be some sort of sunset, so I returned to the park. And there was a sunset: not one of the spectacular ones, which I always always miss, but it was at least something to work with.

I went back to the dock where I had taken the speculative shot on the previous evening, which I now repost.

But the angle toward the setting sun wasn't right from that spot. Well, it never is absolutely right from this park because the sun dips below the tree line on the opposite bank too early. It would have to be one of those sunsets where the whole sky lights up to maximize this spot, but those are few and far between.

So, I headed to the other side of the dock (that you can't see above), stepped onto it, and took this photo.

No, it wasn't really that dark or saturated, but you have to give up something in photography, or at least I do. To get the sky close to being correct, you pretty well had to underexpose the photo. And then, I added warming in post, primarily with a software filter that tries to mimic an 85A warming filter that photographers might have put over their lenses in the days of film. Well, we can do that in post now, and most photogs no longer carry many filters beyond a polarizer and a neutral density.

From there, I sauntered along the path toward the left if you're referencing the above photo. Different stopping points seemed to lead to somewhat different lighting, probably depending on where I was in relation to the clouds.

In this view, the magentas seemed to be more pronounced, so I tried to emphasize that in post.

I did take this one picture of the path which I was walking although you can scarely see the path in this photo, parly due to the quality of the compressed, low res photos which I post here, and partly because it was getting dark. Anyway, it gives you a bit of a clue as to what it was like walking the park.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

My Last DIsh?

For awhile now, I've had a bit of a hankering for poutine. If you don't know about the concoction, I did post about last year, but it was in response to a question., and your queries  will be answered there if you are uneducated with regard to fine cuisine — which is generally purchased from a truck and comes in a box. It has been two years since I last had the courage (or audacity) to consume a dish. But I wanted tho eat it one more time before I die, the date of which has likely been hastened now that I've gone and done it.

Sue doesn't want anything to do with this marvellous dish, so when she was going out near lunchtime, I seized the opportunity to beat a hasty path to the nearest chip truck. I was also getting anxious because the chip trucks could be closing down anytime now, or at least operating on reduced hours, so it was time.

Off I went to the Potato King ...

... to order this sublime concoction. Fries, cheese curds, and gravy. Mmmm mmmm. Doesn't it look incredible? Don't you want one? Okay then, two?

And I ate it here. (No, Sue wasn't with me, but that's about where I was, and iCloud is giving me fits downloading the shot that I took at the time.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Phone Surprises and Not Suprises

Sometimes I find surprises on my phone. While I am getting used to Danica putting silly photos on my screen, I was surprised to see that Jonathan has joined the party after our weekly family supper last night.

This next one isn't a surprise because I took it quite deliberately yesterday. I may have taken a similar shot previously, but here it is along with what I posted on FB.

Because it's a long and arduous trek only to be undertaken by the best and bravest.

We have had some fab sunsets lately, but with their earlier times, I have missed them as we seem to be finishing supper and the tv program that usually goes with it. Last evening, however, I had a little more time, and it looked like there was a gap on the horizon for another display. But when I looked again, the whole sky was cloud covered. Just in case it changed again, I headed to the park without much hope.

Well, the cloud didn't lift at all, so I didn't even bother taking out my camera. But I did ambulate about the park, enjoying the cool, calm and relative solitude. In time, I did take out the phone for a few shots.

This one I took as an experiment for a proper shot at another time. In addition to getting a more level photo (definitely!), I might put my tripod right in the water to eliminate some of the distracting foreground clutter. While it is a good principal to include a foreground element, this is just clutter. Or I might choose another composition entirely. (Note the cloud cover in passing.)

One more for this post. I sat on a bench for a bit, and one lonely leaf begged to have its photo taken, Autumn is coming on now, folks.

I made other discoveries on the phone, some that I knew about and others that I had just plain forgotten. Stay tuned. Unless I forget, of course, which is a rather distinct possibility.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Foggy Brain and Light Trails

These pictures were taken before my last few posts, even before the Back to School photos from a week ago.

Somehow, they slipped my mind, or what is left of it. I seem to suffer from Foggy Brain syndrome.

But I was reminded when I posted the Light Up The Night. "Oh wait a second, Brain, what about the other light trail photo? Are you there, Brain? Brain?"

There is a park n ride near an overpass on the highway, so I drove over just to see if there might be a sunset to catch. Well, yes and no. Yes, there was a sunset of sorts, but no, it wasn't a very exciting vantage point.

I mean, it was worth trying, but they aren't exactly portfolio shots.

Oh, wait a minute: AC does not have a portfolio.

Well, then I turned my attention to the highway. Although I guess I had missed the heavier traffic returning from cottage country after Labour Day weekend, I was able to get enough of it in the photo. They are the white lights. Beyond the white lights are the red lights cars exiting the highway on the off ramp. On the near side are the tail lights (fewer in number) of cars travelling westward, away from the city.

I deliberately placed the farm in the background as a point of interest although perhaps it distracts from the main point of the photo.