It's midwinter. Bleak (even after a much-needed January thaw north of the 49th parallel). Maybe, like me, you're craving something fun?
I went looking for music that would make me feel happy. Flipped through my CDs (does that date me? could've said LPs, no, wait, that's cool again, but I digress...). Danced around my kitchen to the usual suspects: REM, Beatles, Black Eyed Peas. Played 'Walking on Sunshine' by Katrina and the Waves (remember that?). Shifted gears and bopped to Kye Marshall's jazz. Felt my groove coming back.
Then I thought: I need to get out.
So I did a little research and found a show. Put on my best frock and took myself to the Royal Conservatory of Music's beautiful new Koerner Hall in Toronto.
Quartetto Gelato was playing. Even their name makes me laugh. And their music, well, it was just what the camp doctor ordered. High-energy, hilarious, happy.
Who are Quartetto Gelato? Four musicians who blend classical music and opera with other genres, including folk songs, gypsy music, and tangos. (They're on tour - check out the schedule to see if they're coming to your town. And keep tabs on the CBC Radio site - they recorded the eve. You'll love the between-song bantering...) The evening was a giant love-in for this gorgeous foursome and their special guests, Ethel.
So, what's your favourite feel-good music? Who do you listen to when you want to sing and dance? Who helps you chase grey skies away? Share your faves with the rest of us by commenting below. As always, I invite you to email me directly: Julia (that familiar symbol) wearethenewradicals (punctuation) (familiar suffix).
Two New Radical updates (New Radicals are people like you and me who've discovered how to use the skills acquired in our careers to work on the world's greatest challenges - and that includes musicians who chase the winter blues away. For more, please see archived articles.)
1. Check out this post from MaRS on the Top 10 ingredients for social innovation, along with an invitation to an evening on social innovation.
2. Margaret Atwood (author of Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, among others) was just given the Crystal Award at the 2010 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Here's what she said, "The future of the planet will depend on a great deal of human creativity, and it is heartening to see an organization focused on economies recognizing the contributions made by artistic creators and thinkers... Language, music and visual art are a part of the human heritage that is much older than economies as we know them today. They are who we are, while money is a neutral tool that enables us to do what we imagine." Read Margaret Atwood's full remarks on her blog. More on New Radical artists coming soon!