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Spectrum Composer Graham Campbell muses about Personal Journeys and Noisy Dogs

Imagine living with 9 dogs who start barking and howling every morning at 5am. This was my experience in the fall of 2010, when I lived on a farm in Spain for a month. I wanted to improve my Spanish, and also experience a life far removed from my routine as a musician in Toronto. One day after picking olives I wrote a song named after the farm, La Ananda. This piece will be performed at Spectrum's upcoming concert on December 6th, Journeys, which will feature music inspired by the transitional periods of our lives.


The words I wrote for La Ananda are not just about those crazy dogs who were so excited for each day to begin, but also about how a completely new experience can quickly feel familiar. After only two weeks on the farm I felt like I hadn't spoken English in years. It was a strange feeling, but it reminded me that Toronto also used to be an unfamiliar place, and now I can't imagine living anywhere else. The very first piece I wrote after moving to Toronto, entitled As You Near Me, will be performed on December 6th, immediately followed by my most recent composition, Snow Rider. I wrote Snow Rider about winter cycling, something that has defined my experience of living in Toronto. I think biking is a great way to get acquainted with any city, and biking year round in Canada…let's just say it has it's benefits.


Also featured at this concert will be some music I wrote inspired by the music of Brazil. One of the best things Toronto has to offer any music lover is it's amazing Brazilian music community. I'm one of many Canadian musicians who may not have become so enamoured with Brazil's many unique styles of music had I not moved here. I'm grateful so many Brazilians have brought their music to Canada and enriched our lives.


I'm excited to share my music on December 6th with such talented musicians as the Ton Beau String Quartet and guitarist Alex Goodman. Expect to hear some works for two guitars, as well as appearances by special guest vocalist Anna Atkinson and percussionist Mari Palhares.


-Graham Campbell

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