Sun lovers get the blues when dead leaves scratch along the sidewalk in bone chilling autumn gusts, and days are short and bleak. You might want to hurry home and shut the door on this dark season, but there are remedies for the autumn blues. Stomp and crunch your way through leaf piles! Rejoice in the dark majesty of autumn skies! Greens and tropical blues have had their time. Now the crimson, gold and sapphire of autumn rule, and you can hear the rhythm of Canadian poet Bliss Carman’s classic verse as you stride through frenzied leaf cyclones that suddenly animate the sidewalk:
There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood--
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.
Is your jack-o'-lantern still out in your yard or on your balcony? Take a photo everyday, animate them, and watch Jack bite his own evil grin as he rots! Make yourself an autumn song playlist. It’s easy to do using Naxos Music Library, which is available to you from your home computer or in any Toronto Public Library branch. All you need is your library card to access a huge music collection. Using the jazz version of Naxos Music Library, I created an autumn playlist that includes the songs “Autumn leaves”, “Stormy weather”, “Autumn Nocturne”, “Lullaby of the leaves”, “Autumn in New York”, “Soon it’s gonna rain” and “My favourite things” performed by great artists such as Miles Davis, Vince Guaraldi, Charles Mingus, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald. Coltrane’s soaring, diving saxophone improvisation of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “My favourite things” is 13 minutes and 41 seconds of pure brilliance that makes me think of the erratic dance of falling leaves tossed by the wind. With these jazz geniuses playing the soundtrack for your autumn blues, you just might want to stay blue.
North York Central Library invites you to a musical performance that is all about the blues. On Tuesday November 18, award winning blues artists Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley, along with guitarist and musicologist Mike Daley, will perform blues poetry, which is a fusion of blues music and the African American oral tradition. They will perform work by Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes and others. Diana and Chris have played all over North America and Europe, and have won nine Maple Blues Awards and 6 Juno nominations. The performance begins at 7:00 p.m. Please call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.