Schubert: Source & Inspiration

Canadian musicians Andy Maize and Danny Michel talk about Art of Time Ensemble's latest concert

Danny Michel. Barn
photo by Ilia Horsburgh.

Toronto's Art of Time Ensemble is known for making connections between different musical styles, and the company's latest show is no exception. On stage from April 5 to 6, Schubert: Source & Inspiration features five Canadian pop musicians, including Carole Pope (Rough Trade), Andy Maize (Skydiggers) and Danny Michel, performing original works inspired by Schubert's "Piano Trio No. 2."

We caught up with Andy Maize and Danny Michel to find out more about their involvement in this genre-blending concert.

Theatromania: How has Franz Schubert influenced you?

AM: I would say that Franz Schubert has influenced me by being yet another part of my ongoing musical educationbroadening my horizons in an appreciation of classical music in addition to my love of rock and roll, popular, roots and folk music.

DM: Well, truthfully he hadn't until I became involved with the Art of Time Ensemble. İ wasn't familiar with his work beforehand so I was surprised to learn that when his songs are stripped down to their basic chord structure, they end up resembling pop songs quite closely.

Theatromania: Can you tell us a bit about your song in the production?

AM: I have two songs in the production, "City of Sirens" and "It's Alright By Me," and I'm also singing a third selection, "The Shadow of My Doubt," written by the Art of Time's creative director Andrew Burashko. Both "City of Sirens" and "It's Alright By Me" have been influenced as much by the mood created by Schubert's "Piano Trio #2" as they have been by a literal reinterpretation of the composer's musical themes.

DM: "Motorcade" is a moody tale about a couple traveling through Central America. The melody from the Schubert piece has a gorgeous melancholic quality that complements the lyrical content and just seems to "fit" beautifully.

Photo: Andy Maize

Theatromania: Have you learned anything new from this experience?

AM: This experience once again confirmed for me the appreciation that I have for music of any genre with melody and emotional depth.

DM: İt was interesting working with strings within a format that is less rhythmic as most of what I do musically is based predominantly on rhythm. İt's like being out in a boat in a fog storm trying to learn a new navigational system. Ultimately, it was an adventure and I think we got somewhere unexpected and great.

Theatromania: What excites you most about this performance?

AM: I'm excited to perform new arrangements of "The Shadow of My Doubt," "City of Sirens" and "It's Alright By Me" with a fine trio of musicians for an appreciative audience.

DM: Getting to play with such accomplished musicians and friends. Also, I was excited by the process of discovery both in learning Schubert's work and how to orient myself without my usual compass of a drummer.

Catch Andy Maize and Danny Michel in Art of Time Ensemble's Schubert: Source & Inspiration, April 5-6 at 8pm in the Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Fri, 2013-04-05 - Sat, 2013-04-06


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