Archive for music

SCIBA dinner

I had great fun being the EmCee for the SCIBA Children’s Book dinner. There were many lovely authors there at the dinnerand the four keynote speakers – Judy Blundell, Brandon Mull, Andrew Smith and Dr. Cuthbert Soup were charming and it is always so wonderful to hear writers talk about writing.

Because I believe in a little bit of quirky fun at these sorts of things, I made up a little “Cecil gets lost in their books” montage. So here I am, transported by their new books.   I had photo help from photographer Ben High. Oh.  And I also sang a song I wrote especially for the evening to help celebrate the awesomeness of Children’s Literature.  Yes.  A little ditty from me to you. Mary from Skylight Books filmed it for you to enjoy. Fun!

Thanks to all who came out last night.  I love you indie book stores!

Not only am I geektastic, I am on occasion, gleektastic

Last night I did an experiment. I sang showtunes and read excerpts from books at a dive bar. I did it because my friend Mack Mackenzie (buy his music, it’s awesome) was doing a music residency at Barfly in Montreal and since I was in town he asked if I’d like to do something. “You can do anything. Read. Sing. Dance. Whatever.”

Whatever! That. Means. Fun. Challenge.

So, I concocted a plan. I would sing showtunes. And then read excerpts from all of my novels, starting with Rose Sees Red.
It was pretty fun. I sang acapella, and maybe if I ever do it again (tempting!) I would maybe have a piano player. Because singing acapella is hard. But I thought that as far as readings go, it was a nice way to read a bit of everything.

So, for those that are curious. My set list was as follows:

Out Here on My Own / Fame  - then reading pages 21 to 23 from Rose Sees Red
Wouldn’t it Be Loverly / My Fair Lady –  then reading pages 11 -13 from Beige
There Are Worse Things I Could Do / Grease  - then reading pages 46 -47 from Queen of Cool
Maybe This Time / Cabaret  - then reading pages 140-142 from Boy Proof

And for my grand finale, I sang the best song about just being creative no matter what and not letting anything stop you. It’s called Die, Vampire, Die from the fantastic musical Title of Show.

I share my rendition of Die, Vampire, Die here with you, not because my rendition of it is so great, but in the spirit of the song which is a call to arms to not let anything stymie your creative expression. And boy, am I trying to express! So, enjoy the ridiculousness and fun!

Darth Vader is My Daddy

I wrote this essay for Red Room about the Vader Project.

I was born the day I saw Star Wars, and Darth Vader made me. Sure, he’s a jerk. And an emotional nightmare. And he’s made some really unhealthy choices in his life. But he’s my muse. And I do want to own his helmet.

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By the way, here is that song I wrote about Star Wars called “Nerdy Girl” in case you want to download it and enjoy!

Les Aventures de Madame Merveille! Comic Book! Opera!

I am here in Montreal, gearing up for the premiere of the opera that I wrote the libretto for (and conceived of the concept for!) Les Aventures de Madame Merveille, a live comic book opera, which was commissioned by ECM+ and the amazing artistic director Veronique Lacroix!

It’s an amazingly fun experience.  The music by Andre Ristic is fantastic.  The stage direction by Marie Josee Chartier is wonderful.  The art work by Michael Cho, Pascal Girard, Scott Hepburn and Cameron Stewart, projected and designed by Fou Malade  is incredible.  The orchestra! The singers!  Oh! The singers! They are mind blowing! Bravo to Pascale Beaudin, Pierre Etienne Bergeron, Michele Motard and Michiel Schrey.

I am so excited by this piece. It’s been almost three years in the making. And I am so happy to be able to share it with you!

So I hope you will come!  This Thursday and Friday May 6 & 7th to our show!

(or if you are a fantastic theater somewhere in the world, you should bring us to you!)

I took some pictures at dress / tech rehearsal today. behold!

Tickets are going fast! So you should call and get one!
please phone to order tickets 514-524-0173

Lieu : Maison de la culture Frontenac
2550 Ontario Est, Montréal

Billet régulier : 25$
Billet étudiant/aîné : 15$

La La La Opera!!!

Some of you know that I have been preparing for the debut of the opera that I wrote the libretto for. It’s an original comic book opera Les Aventures de Madame Merveille and it was commissioned by the ECM+ in Montreal.

It debuts May 6th & 7th and I am so proud of it. I hope if you are in Montreal or if you know people in montreal that you will let them know about it so that they will come.

This opera is a multi-media 3 dimensional comic book experience! In four movements of different “comic books” follow the adventures of a superheroine: Madame Merveille! The romance of a woman Katherine torn between two lovers! The adventure of a boy, Francois, and his dog Pax as they try to solve the mystery of a jewel thief! And the epic sci fi battle between The Malos and Gatos!

PROGRAMME
Les Aventures de Madame Merveille
musique André Ristic | livret Cecil Castelluccci
ACTE I : Madame Merveille, illustré par Cameron Stewart
ACTE II : Catherine, illustré par Michael Cho
ACTE III : François, illustré par Pascal Girard
ACTE IV : Le Docteur Klexx, illustré par Scott Hepburn

Two performances! 5/6 & 5/7

Maison de la culture Frontenac
2550 Ontario Est, Montréal

please phone to order tickets 514-524-0173

Gala opening:
May 6th at 19 h 30

régulier : 25$
student/senior/ECM+ member ticket : 15$
Gala Ticket (includes benefit soiree!) : 150$

Encore Performance:
May 7th @ 19h30

régulier : 25$
student/senior: 15$

CONCEPTEURS ET COLLABORATEURS
Véronique LACROIX Direction artistique et musicale
André RISTIC Musique
Cecil CASTELLUCCI Livret
Marie-Josée CHARTIER Mise en scène
FOUMALADE Vidéo
Anick LA BISSONNIÈRE Scénographie
Lucie BAZZO Éclairages
Pascale MATHERON Costumes

SOLISTES ET MUSICIENS
Pascale BEAUDIN, Soprano
Michèle MOTARD, Mezzo-soprano
Michiel SCHREY, Ténor
Pierre-Étienne BERGERON, Baryton
ECM+, 7 musiciens

Readergirlz: For the month of July!

I am so very happy to be a special guest for the month of July over at the Readergirlz. I’m there for THE PLAIN JANES and JANES IN LOVE and I’ll be joined by my partner in art crime Jim Rugg.

You can come and talk to me, I’ll be around commenting and answering questions on the blogs. And you can do your very own (legal) art attack. there’s a handy template to download and readergirlz will be posting your results! Send your piece to artsaves@slayground.net by July 20th, 2009.

On July 22nd, Jim Rugg and I will be doing a live chat.

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Also, (insider information alert!) if you have a quick, keen eye, if you look closely at the great sample pages that Jim sent to the Readergirlz, there are a few pages of the never before seen and now dead in the water JANES GO SUMMER. It’s a scene where Brain Jane was at Space Camp.

SXSW

Did you know that rock and roll is good for the soul?

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Oh what a treat to go to Austin, Texas to the annual rock blow out SXSW. I was there accompanying one of my BFF’s the divine Miss Melissa Auf der Maur.

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She played four shows and just blew everyone away. Her rock is heavy, heartwrenching and delightful. Don’t take my word for it. Billboard rounds up her show nicely as “Best Performance I Don’t Have Another Reason to Write About: Melissa Auf der Maur. No one could tell me if she’s on a label, but she played some really great new material: huge riffs, angry in a good way. ”

You can download some of Melissa’s new songs here.

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I hung out with a lot of Canadians. Aren’t Canadians the best? Yep. Pretty much. Take Nardwuar the Human Serviette and Dave from The Evaporators and Gavin from The Wooden Sky. They rule pretty hard. And so does my old Teenage USA label guy Mark DiPietro.

me and mark
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Rumor is that I have an unreleased album called For Lovers and Rats that has been collecting cobwebs in my sock drawer. Another rumour is that it is going to be available on iTunes and emusic very soon. I’ll keep you posted on that. If it’s true…

Most fun night, hanging with Adam and Josh from Tinted Windows. We weaved and wandered around 6th street. We ended up seeing way crappy bands, only because we chose our destinations by crazy weird band names and not anyone we really wanted to see, but who cares, it was more about the company and that was fantastic. One band we saw, I’ll call them Hot Potato Band to protect their identity, were writhing and jumping on stage so crazily that I could not process what I was seeing. I suspect their crazy jumping ways contributed largely to how awful they sounded.

“Why are they doing that?” I asked. “It’s bothering me and my eyeballs, not to mention my ears.”

“Cecil, I think that the stage must be very hot,” Adam said. “Clearly it is too hot to stand on. That is why they must jump.”

After that, their performance seemed kind of magnificent because the fact that they could even play on such a devil red hot stage meant they must be triumphant…

See, rock and roll, good for the soul, but perhaps bad for the soles.

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