At altitude approximately 30,000 feet the other day, en route to Toronto, I had an idea that excited me. Then I looked out the window and saw the view in this photo. Somehow that view seemed to be encouraging me to make my idea happen, so here I am....I am going to do a “pop-up” concert next week, in Stratford!

So, here was my thought process:

Where? St. James in Stratford, of course! But which of the two pianos? “My” beloved Yamaha C7 in the sanctuary or formerly MY & my mother’s Hornung & Møller in the beautiful new community hall? Well, that was a fairly easy decision...as the Yamaha is basically my soulmate, and we haven’t been together in a couple of years, it will be in the sanctuary. 

When? Why not mark the day I became a mother 26 years ago, and dedicate this event in gratitude to my greatest teacher, my late son Kieran? So August 19, Kieran’s birthday, it is. A check of other local arts organizations to make sure there is no conflict with other concerts, and 7:30pm is chosen as the start time.  

What will I play? My feeling about this event was that I wanted to design it to be very intimate, and really invite the listeners to have an experience outside of the everyday. Play the music that I play for myself on those occasions where I look to my favourite pieces for solace. Create a space where one can just think one’s thoughts, feel one’s feelings, or just zone out. More of a meditation than a performance.

So it will be about fifty minutes of those pieces of music that just really do it for me. Some of this music I have only dabbled with for years and never performed. I have played only four of the ten pieces publicly before. The music has been curated into a pretty satisfying (in my humble opinion! 😁) flow, without interruption.  For a change, there will be no Grieg on the program. (No offence, Edvard.) There will be music from a wide range of styles...from Vivaldi through to a couple pieces in jazz idioms. (You might know one of my only regrets is that I didn’t become a jazz musician. Yet.)

It would mean a lot to me to share this music with you. On August 19. Come, and be comfortable, and let the music wash over and in you. If not this time in Stratford, maybe it’s a program I will be able to bring to a venue near you. 

Sandra Mogensen