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Birds & Whales, Newfoundland and Labrador


It’s very much about the place.
And I think to perform something so specific and so unique about this place, you really need to be from it and live it and understand the place. So the whales, the birds, the wind, unless you experience that and know that, I don’t think you can
truly communicate it in your playing. The waves are definitely an inspiration, and I think I make a connection to one of the first pieces you study as a cellist, and there’s many open strings, and you’re crossing them and they roll like waves. Seabirds took a lot of experimenting, so I went to hear seabirds. So I came down by the harbour one day. In Newfoundland we have a lot of puffins, and gannets, and so they’re higher pitched, so you move up on my instrument to a higher string. So I imagine they sound something like this: For a humpback whale it would be on the
low end of my strings, so I have a low C string. Perhaps the humpback will sound like this: Never thought I’d say this, but I do miss the wind, and I think that helps the waves crash harder. And I just listen and it just sounds like home.

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