Artio is a ground-breaking choir directed by Jean-Louis Bleau at the Conservatory at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. “A Wilderness of Days” was written for their performance called “Sound of the Hollow” which featured music, movement and drumming exploring the turbulent and conflicted emotions that can often consume us as we journey through life. Internal battles that rage and draw us into a world of darkness and despair, a world where we struggle to see the beauty that surrounds us, the “sound of the hollow”. The music is a setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “Alone”.
The title, “A Wilderness of Days” is a quote from Alberta expressionist painter and architect Maxwell Bates(1906-1980), who was born in Calgary and lived there most of his life. As a member of the British Territorial Army during WWII, he was captured and held in a prison camp in Thuringia from 1940-1945. He wrote of his experiences in a book entitled “A Wilderness of Days” in which he writes that on the day of his liberation, he felt neither elation or joy, but regarded the rest of his life as a wilderness of days.
Artio is accompanied by pianist Colin Redekop.
Recording engineer: John Abram. Recorded live at the TransAlta Pavilion, Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB on May 6, 2017.