Pete Johnston’s Stranger Still (ON)

Stranger Still is a song project by Toronto composer Pete Johnston that explores the words of Hants County Nova Scotia-born poet Alden Nowlan (1933-1983). Featuring Mim Adams and Randi Helmers (voice), Rob Clutton (bass), and Johnston (guitar), Stranger Still is either deceptively odd or deceptively straightforward. Nowlan’s rural lyricism is paired with music that combines plainspoken folk singing with medieval counterpoint, minimalism, progressive rock, and Scandinavian folk music. The resulting songs are an exploration of how Johnston’s roots in rural Nova Scotia have shaped the music he has made since moving to Toronto in 2001. In Exclaim! Magazine, Bryon Hayes states that, “the music of Stranger Still feels minimal in nature, but is maximal in effect… As a debut, it is a stunning, nuanced effort from a talented set of performers.”

Saturday 17 September, 3pm, Studio Theatre, River Run Centre, $20/$15 [buy tickets]

Pete Johnston website

Photo by Jeff Elliott Fedge

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