Thunder Bay

I've been in Thunder Bay for two weeks now! So far we have played two concerts. The first was a show with Sarah Slean, who played her own songs the first half of the concert and sang Christos Hatzis' Lamento and Parasol in the second. I realized after the concert that we are actually playing Lamento on the final Masterworks concert in Niagara this year as well! The second concert was John Estacio's Bootlegger's Tarantella, Afternoon of a Faun, Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Gotterdammerung, and Scheherazade. For that concert, there were quite a few extras who came in from Toronto as well as from Quebec and Manitoba, which was fun. Now we have one more week here-- Schubert 5, pieces by Oskar Moraetz and Paul Haas, and an amazingly cool piano concerto by Poulenc that I had never heard of before-- Aubade, Concerto Choregraphique pour Piano et 18 Instruments. Then, in a week, we are going on Tour! I'm actually not entirely sure where-- the schedule only says "East." So, I'm assuming various towns vaguely to the east of Thunder Bay. Last week I drove out to the township of Oliver Paipoonge, which is just 10 minutes along the trans-canada, to go to an archery practice! Unlike the archery team I was on in high school in Toronto, where we used recurve bows and trained for indoor competitions, the club I went to here uses exclusively compound bows and competes outdoors. Being in a more rural area, I guess it's natural that the archery traditions come more from hunting practices than in Toronto where it was more of a nerdy/historically-focused pursuit. (A membership at the club here also automatically gets you a year-long membership to the Ontario Association of Anglers and Hunters.) The compound bow took some getting used to-- it's more difficult to draw initially, but about halfway back it suddenly becomes much easier as the pulleys help you draw the weight of it. So it can store more energy than the equivalent recurve bow, an obvious advantage if you were, um, shooting bears or something.

I also bought a membership to the sports complex that's right beside the hall where we play, which gets you access to the gym, pool, and an unlimited number of drop-in classes. So far I've gone to yoga, kettlebell, and a core class.

Today I am going hiking with some friends from the orchestra to the Sleeping Giant, a mountain formation made of a spirit who was turned to stone when white people found out about his silver mine. Whoopsie.