Voyageur Storytelling: Canadian Repertoire and Resources

Voyageur Storytelling

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we tell you about

Three Seminal Concerts

performed in other places

before 2002

Evolution of the Country Supper Storytelling Concert

The Mermaid of Yellowknife Bay: Yellowknife 1997

This concert, in Paul's experience, brought the storytelling concert to a pitch not achieved again until Chordelle: The Old Masters Concert in 2008. The difference between these and our Country Supper Storytelling Concerts lies in the presence of musicians. They make a huge difference, as Leslie had always found in her concerts and performances in Toronto. Janet and Maureen were wonderful collaborators, and this concert went over very well.

Many of its works carried over into the permanent repertoire. The Trans-Canada Canoe Route (now called Salute the Route!) was performed here for the first time, and appears often. It tied for first in the 2008 Great Canadian Humour Hunt with Stephen Leacock's My Financial Career. Eugenia, the Mermaid of Yellowknife Bay became a much-requested work as long as Paul lived there, but cannot be performed without a piano, and therefore has few opportunities now. Loomings almost always appears in our water-themed concerts.

The Mermaid of Yellowknife Bay

and Other Stories

This concert won the NWT Aurora Award for Modern Storytelling

We later named the style "Chordelle" (see 2008)

Prologue—Voice of the Bard: from Songs of Experience

... William Blake

Magnetic Rag ... Scott Joplin (Janet)

A Wandering Minstrel I ... Gilbert & Sullivan (Paul & Janet)

Articulations: A Storytelling Cycle

The Kallyope Yell ... Vachel Lindsay (Paul)

Come into the garden, Maud ... Tennyson & Michael Balfe

(Paul, Janet)

Mixed Bathing ... Terry Thomas (Paul)

The Lark in the Clear Air ... Maureen, Janet

anyone lived in a pretty how town ... e.e. cummings (Paul)

The Ash Grove ... Britten (Paul, Janet)

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

... Robert Frost (Paul)

Oh Lord Above! ... George Gershwin (Paul, Janet)

Saturday Night Waltz ... Aaron Copland (Janet, Maureen)

The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock ... T.S. Eliot (Paul)

Eugenia, the Mermaid of Yellowknife Bay

... Scott Joplin & Paul Conway (Janet, Paul)

Interlogue—Yawp of the Bard: from Song of Myself

... Walt Whitman


The Fountain and the Caves

Romantic Tales of Wet and Wildness: A Storytelling Cycle

Cascades ... Scott Joplin (Janet)

Kubla Khan ... S.T. Coleridge (Paul)

On the Road to Mandalay

... Kipling and Oley Speaks (Paul, Janet)

Loomings ... Herman Melville (Paul)

The Frolicsome Sea Captain

... Mozart & Conway (Paul, Janet, Maureen)

Out of the Rolling Ocean the Crowd ... Walt Whitman (Paul)

The Trans-Canada Canoe Route

... Sullivan, Conway (Paul, Janet)

The Ballad of Maria Simpson ... Conway (Paul)

Sicilienne ... Gabriel Fauré (Maureen, Janet)

Peter Kagan and the Wind

... Gordon Bok & Gershwin (Paul, Janet, Maureen)

Song for All Seas, All Ships ... Walt Whitman (Paul, Janet)

Eternal Father Strong to Save

... John Dykes & William Whiting (Janet, Maureen, Paul)

Epilogue—Final Yawp: from The People, Yes ... Carl Sandburg (Paul)

The End

Image: Terry Pamplin

Skylark Uncaged: North Bay Storytelling Festival 1999

Skylark Uncaged

Performed by Paul

The Chants were brief sung interludes between

the princpal parts of the concert

Pilgrim's First Progress ... John Bunyan

Chant from Psalm 137: By the waters of Babylon ...

The Bull Moose ... Alden Nowlan

Chant from W.B.Yeats: I sing what was lost ...

Crow's Elephant Totem Song ... Ted Hughes

Chant from H.D. Thoreau: I long ago lost a hound ...

The Caged Skylark ... Gerard Manley Hopkins

Chant from G. Gershwin: O Lord above ...

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ... T.S. Eliot

The Corner of X and Y Streets ... Ethel Wilson

The Choirmaster's Burial ... T. Hardy & B. Britten

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd ... Walt Whitman

Chant from Revelation: And I heard a voice ...

The Loon's Gift ... Voyageur

Kubla Khan ... S.T. Coleridge

Chant from W.H. Auden: Blessed Cecilia ...

Leslie also performed a set at this concert, but the content is forgotten. Together we performed "Q, A Psychic Pstory of the Psupernatural" by Stephen Leacock, to excellent effect. A member of the audience even shouted out to the narrator at a critical moment in the story: "No, no, don't give him the money!"

Image: Ralston Gudgeon

Animal Fair

Voyageur Storytelling was formed in Yellowknife in 1998 and first performed under that name in 1999, with this concert. It was repeated in Guelph at the Sherlock Holmes Public House in March, 2000. We arrived on Bruce Peninsula in the Fall of 2001, and used this concert to get started. It was revised, renamed as "Fowl Play and the Fur Flies", and performed in our first season of Country Supper Storytelling Concerts

Animal Fair

Prologue: A Fish Story ... Voyageur

Frog Went a'Courtin', Northern Style ... Voyageur

The Birds

The Colour of Birds ... Voyageur

The Raven ... Edgar Allen Poe

The Palace of Bird Beaks ... Traditional

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd ... Walt Whitman

The Rooster Prince ... Reb Nachman of Bratslav

The Loon's Gift ... Voyageur


Interlogue: I long ago lost a hound ... Henry David Thoreau

The Beasts

The Ungali Tree ... Traditional

Crow's Elephant Totem Song ... Ted Hughes

My Dog Crab ... Shakespeare

The Bull Moose ... Alden Nowlan

The Scotty Who Knew Too Much ... James Thurber

Peter Kagan and the Wind ... Gordon Bok

Epilogue: The Foolish Frog of Yellowknife ... Voyageur

Image: Anon.

Links to Concerts from Other Years

(This page is <2002. If that's the page you want, you're already there.)

Voyageur Storytelling, December 2012

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