We have a voice, still…

In 2003, Allison Crowe and bandmates performed live in the Victoria, BC television studio of The New VI (later renamed A Channel) – for a nationally broadcast one-hour special called “Tidings”.

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Allison’s set that night includes “Whether I’m Wrong” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTB07RkNzX4 – soon featured by the UNESCO-endorsed “New Songs for Peace” project @ http://www.newsongsforpeace.org/spotlight-200403.html and http://www.newsongsforpeace.org/songs-crowe1.html

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This is the first song video of Allison Crowe we posted to a then new website called YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a6hmQbRcIM

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Revolution in the air

Digging 50 years of Beatlemania in North America helps to unearth a Canadian cultural treasure in Allison Crowe’s home province on the Atlantic. The Beatles landing at New York City’s JFK International in February 1964 was emblematic of the new – the “jet set” – a revolution in air travel that made it possible for jet planes to cross the Atlantic in record times. In the era of propeller planes and the refuelling stop-overs needed to make the trip between Europe and the USA, the key North American terminal – GIA – was located in Gander, Newfoundland.

Gander International’s VIP Lounge played host to Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Fidel Castro, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill and Jackie O., among countless others, during those years GIA was popularly known as the “Crossroads of the World”.

Then a thriving global hub, in 1959 a new terminal opened and its construction and furniture featured creativity of leading designers – including chairs by Charles and Ray Eames -http://eamesoffice.com/charles-and-ray , “Primasteel” seating by Robin Bush, and a six-foot mural painted by Kenneth Lochhead – http://www.kennethlochhead.com

Gander International Airport – departure lounge photographed by Zach Bonnell

The advent of jet travel, however, soon redirected the flow of international air travel. With Gander facilities no longer bustling, it’s uniquely preserved a “time capsule” quality. Today, GIA is viewed as a marvel by art historians, architects and design aficionados – ”It’s still one of the most beautiful, most important Modernist rooms in the country, if not the most important,” says Alan C. Elder, Curator, Canadian Crafts and Design, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. (Recently renamed, the Canadian Museum of History is this nation’s most-visited museum).

Gander, and such nearby communities as Lewisporte, Twillingate and more, earned international renown in 2001 as GIA became haven for dozens of international aircraft grounded when airspace was shut-down in the wake of the 9/11 NYC attacks. The character of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians opening their hearts and homes to thousands of people – flight passengers and crew – during the crisis is legend – http://www.snopes.com/rumors/gander.asp#smvFTOCIkq43PMEj.99

Less-known, across even its home and native land, is how Gander long-served as “Crossroads of the World”. Awareness of GIA’s style is enjoying a renaissance in our internet age – with features in The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/travel/tmagazine/20TGANDER.html , Institute http://www.instituteartist.com/feature-Gander-Airport-Simon-Norfolk , “dwell” magazine – http://www.dwell.com/rewind/article/aviation-preservation – and more – http://itraveltree.com/virgin-atlantic-welcome-to-um-gander-canada

Most recently, Bloomberg’s high-end “Pursuits”, (a publication “for the world’s richest people”) put Gander International on its cover, with a fashion shoot – http://ca.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416276333&WT.mc_id=PUB_COM_DISC_GLOBAL_082813_Pursuits_Fall13 – calling it “the world’s coolest airport”.

GIA image – showing mural – from series by Zach Bonnell on flickr

In a fab, 18-photo, flickr gallery, Zach Bonnell of St. John’s, NL is our guide on a magical mystery tour of GIA @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachbonnell/sets/72157623762605690

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“Imagine” peace again – and again

Among her interpretations of songs by the Beatles, during the group’s collective and solo years, chanting the mantra – peace and love – here’s “Imagine” performed “Live at Wood Hall” by Canadian musician Allison Crowe.
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Gerry Deiter, assigned by ‘Life‘ magazine, was the only photographer present for the entire eight-day Bed-In staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel in 1969. His collection of images from that happening come together in the book “Give Peace a Chance: John & Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace” – compiled by Joan Athey and edited by Paul McGrath.
And Joan Athey’s graciously allowed Gerry Deiter’s photographs to accompany the music to make this video.
Since it’s Groundhog Day leading us into the week celebrating 50 years of Beatlemania in North America+ – here’s an encore version of “Imagine” recorded by Allison at home – with peace signs courtesy of Top Pun.
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Whether I’m Wrong

A performance of the topical song “Whether I’m Wrong” (the first video ever posted to Allison Crowe’s YouTube channel):

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Snow

for Shannon

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It Came Upon a Midnight Clear ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 1)

Peace on the earth, good will toward all…

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In the Bleak Midwinter ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 4)

Next in the “Tidings Concert” set-list from Allison Crowe is this song – “In the Bleak Midwinter” – with words from Christina G. Rossetti – and music added later by Gustav Holst (“The Planets“+). Allison’s vocal and piano arrangement and performance once again bridging heaven and earth :)

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What Child Is This ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 9)

What Child Is This“, one of the traditional carols and hymns in the “Tidings Concert” repertoire, in this arrangement by Allison Crowe finds its melody in the 16th Century, Greensleeves, and words from the 19th Century’s William C. Dix and The Manger Throne. The passion – timeless :)

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Up to the Mountain ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 10)

Continuing as best we can, (counting, that is,), in reverse chronology – presenting the songs of “Tidings Concert” – here’s a tune written by Patty Grffin, an artist Allison Crowe discovered while watching a favourite television show, “Sons of Anarchy“. This particular song, not in the SoA soundtrack, was recommended to Allison by Canadian acoustic soul-singer Bob Benvenuti (seek him out!): “Up to the Mountain“.

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The First Noel ~ “Tidings Concert” (song 12)

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The First Noel“, one of the traditional carols on Allison Crowe’s “Tidings Concert“, album never fails to get me singing along. More reason to be thankful – to wit, I don’t use a webcam :) Instead, here’s Allison, whose “resonant, rich, gorgeous voice seems as much a manifestation of Christmas as an instrument for singing holiday songs” says the wise man and blogger, Allan Showalter (of “1HeckofaGuy.com” – http://1heckofaguy.com/2011/12/12/its-beginning-to-sound-a-lot-like-allison-crowe )

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