On Saturday, September 19, I had the rare pleasure of reading ten poems I wrote during lockdown, accompanied by one of this city’s great musicians — flutist-extraordinaire (and WCMA’s new Classical Musician of the Year!) Mark Takeshi McGregor — in George Wainborn Park. Here is a short video of two:

Our improvised beat poetry reading was part of a 57-event tribute to John Cage called 19 Waltzes for the Distanced, produced by the amazing people at Blueridge Chamber Music Society. CMC BC sponsored three performers that day, including Jeremy Berkman and Katie Rife in addition to Mr. McGregor. A “Waltz”—in John Cage’s definition—is a group of three randomly-chosen addresses where participants can Perform, Listen, and or Make a Record. Thereby 19 Waltzes for the Distanced translates into 57 randomly chosen locations across the city of Vancouver.

Videos, sound recordings, and documentation from each event will be uploaded to 19Waltzes.com as they’re received. Mark and I had a lot of fun. Hopefully some of the people that stopped to listen did, too. And plans are now in the works to make a video of a few more of the poems with Mark in our Adaskin Salon. Kudos to Blueridge’s ever-inventive team!

(Video: Tom Hudock)