Emerge from your winter hermitages good musicians of Toronto and join us as The Complete Street Band gets ready for another incredible year on this city’s streets. Here are the dates and location of the first four rehearsals of 2014. Each rehearsal is always open to new musicians of all ages and musical abilities and this is a great time to join as we work on new tunes and re-acquaint ourselves with ones we’ve played before.
Saturday March 22
Saturday March 29
Saturday April 5
Saturday April 12
St. Stephen in the Fields Church (103 Bellevue Ave at College)
We have some incredible music and events planned for this year that you really (honestly, truly) won’t want to miss.
If all of this looks and sounds like way too much fun (and believe me, it is), then you’re in luck because the Complete Street Band is always open to musicians of all ages and musical abilities. Simply drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will keep you in the loop for when we restart rehearsals in September.
The Complete Street Band is taking a brief hiatus until mid-February. In the mean time, enjoy the following story, pictures, and lo-fi recordings, wherein our music is mixed with the soundscape of the TTC.
Picture this. It’s December and it’s raining. We are six members of The Complete Street Band, armed with melodica, flute, clarinet, tambourine, cajon and a pair of bongos. We board the Spadina streetcar, heading north.
Immediately, the minor chords of St. James Infirmary infuse the conversational din of the crowded car. Our destination: Spadina station, and we play the whole way there. Stepping off the streetcar, the driver brags of our value added service.
Through the tunnel and onto the platform below, we improvise with harps and trains. On the platform, waitin’ for the train, clarinet and flute sing intertwining melodies, the bass cajon thump reverbating all around, voices raise as the train arrives.
On the train, we traverse the city’s underground. Our music is somber at times, at others raucous. Throughout our trip we seek to fill each car with the ring of truth, inviting all passengers into a spontaneous shared experience, unplanned and unpredicted.
Such is the spirit in the last car on our travels that we can’t stop ourselves from playing until the moment the doors are about to close on our station.
Why do this?
Because we believe that music is a far too important element of the human experience to be relegated solely to professionals playing in clubs and in ear buds. Everyone should have the opportunity to play and everyone should have the opportunity to hear.
The Complete Street Band is a community street band open to musicians of all ages and musical abilities. We play on the street, in parks, and at community events throughout this city, making Toronto’s public spaces more inviting and exciting places to be.
Photography and audio recording (and fluting): Jamie Thompson, urbanflute.com
In case you were wondering why Toronto’s streets were so eerily eerily quiet during the month of August, that’s because The Complete Street Band took a well-deserved break to relax in the summer sunshine.
We are now back and holding a bombastic welcome back rehearsal to which everyone and anyone is welcome, be they young or old, amateur or professional musicians. So join us at our usual time and place:
Saturday September 8
St. Stephen in the Fields Church
103 Bellevue (at College)
To close, here are a few pictures from our impromptu performance in Trinity-Bellwoods park earlier this summer, taken from video footage shot by Ramya Jegatheesan. Thanks Ramya!