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Thomas the Rhymer

Snider Visiting Artist Martin Arnold & his band perform

The Snider Visiting Artist Initiative is pleased to present a performance of Thomas the Rhymer by the current Snider Visiting Artist Martin Arnold and his band.  The free concert will take place on April 4, 2012 at 7:30pm in the Leigha Lee Brown Theatre.

Martin Arnold’s special project, Thomas the Rhymer, is a unique musical composition combining talent from a wide array of musicians of varying levels and musical interest.  In January of 2012, Arnold put out an open call for performers to be a part of his project regardless of musical experience or aptitude. As part of the process, Arnold would work with each member of the band to come up with music that makes use of all of her/his particular skill sets. Whether you could play the piano, the banjo, or an amplified tin-foil pie plate, Arnold had a place for you in his band. As such, the April 4th concert will incorporate varied instruments including the bowed banjo, the melodica, and even a vocoder.

Thomas the Rhymer was a 13th Century Scottish laird and reputed prophet.  He is the protagonist of the ballad of Thomas the Rhymer and is also the probable source of the legend of Tam Lin.  The many versions of the ballad deal with the supernatural subject matter of fairy-folk and recount the story of Thomas the Rhymer kissing the Queen of Elfland and then travelling with her into Fairyland.  The legend of Tam Lin revolves around the rescue of Tam Lin by his true love from the Queen of the Fairies.

About Martin Arnold:

Martin Arnold holds a Ph.D. in Music from the University of Victoria in British Columbia.  A multi-talented artist, he is a composer, a performer of music, an arts administrator, a writer and a teacher and his many compositions have been played nationally and internationally by a wide variety of performers and ensembles.  Arnold is a an active member of Toronto’s improvisation and experimental jazz /roots/rock communities performing on live electronics, banjo, melodica, guitar, and hurdy-gurdy.  He also records with improviser and songwriter, Eric Chenaux in a number of contexts and plays electric guitar in the Ryan Driver Quartet.  He performs on a number of internationally distributed recordings released by labels such as Constellation, Fire (U.K.), Beniffer Editions and Rat-drifting, and has two albums entirely devoted to his compositions in print: Tam Lin on Autumn Records (Vermont)  and Aberrare on Collection QB/DAME  (Montréal).

© University of Toronto Scarborough