Tag Archives: music

How Cuban Music Made Me a Better Historian

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By Karen Dubinsky “If you want to learn anything about the history of this country, you have to start listening to Carlos Varela.” This advice, offered by a colleague who was helping me make my way through a Cuban film archive a decade ago, proved remarkably true. I arrived in Havana in 2004 to research child migration conflicts. But what… Read more »

Concert tonight: “What is Toronto?”

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How might historical themes be translated into musical composition? A group of musicians will engage with this question tonight as part of “What is Toronto?” This concert will explore the iconic events, places, and unique qualities that define perceptions of Canada’s largest city, both past and present. The event is organized by Spectrum, a group of Canadian composers who create… Read more »

“A Proud Canadian” or a Canadian too proud? Understanding Stompin’ Tom’s nationalism

By Kaitlin Wainwright Last Wednesday, Canada lost its “national troubadour”, an “icon”, and “one of [its] most prolific and well-known country and folk singers”; a man who ranked 13th in CBC’s The Greatest Canadian list. Stompin’ Tom Connors is credited with writing three hundred songs, many of which are loudly and proudly Canadian. Upon his death, online tributes poured in… Read more »

History Slam Episode Thirteen: Musician Del Barber

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Del-Barber-Final-Edit.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadLast Saturday night in Ottawa, a young musician took the stage at the National Arts Centre and sang about a dream he had had. The dream was interesting because all his favourite historical figures – from Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie – had shown up for a party… Read more »

Was the Past a Happy Place?

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By Ian Milligan Was the past a happy place? Could we take a large array of information and learn whether there was an emotional content to it? I’ve been increasingly curious about how we can apply a host of tools that data miners are using on contemporary information to large repositories of historical information: could we learn something new from… Read more »