News

Here is some timely info about what I’m up to.

18 Oct 2018

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November 2019

*** Please scroll down here for the latest news and projects ***

An interview that I did with Northrop Frye about the champion of the arts and crafts movement, William Morris, has recently been published online in the Journal of Wild Culture here.

REBEL ANGEL

rebel-angel-poster
Photo and design: Tim Wilson

Rebel Angel is a feature-length documentary about the cultural figure Ross Woodman (1922-2014) which also features his wife, Jungian author Marion Woodman. Through the prism of his extraordinary life, it is a film about inventing yourself, and what it might mean to be a rebel angel. Film maker Chris Lowry first met Woodman when he was a student at Western University In the 1970s. His pure artistry as a lecturer made him unforgettable, life changing. Later, in 1981 Woodman helped Lowry, John Walker and Atlantis Films to make the award-winning portrait documentary about his friend Jack Chambers, Tracks and Gestures. Woodman played a key role in the regionalist art scene in London, Ontario in the 1960s. A champion of creative imagination, he was also an original interpreter depth psychology in the context of his profound knowledge of world literature and religions.

To see the trailer and find out more, please visit rosswoodmanfilm

The film is partly funded by grants and donations, produced in association with the London and Middlesex Historical Society, a registered charity.

Article in Western News and the Alumni Gazette:

Alumnus to explore life of ‘Rebel Angel’

Photo memoir Book

AFGHANISTAN: BEFORE THE RAIN OF FIRE

This photo book is a memoir of travels in the mountains of Afghanistan in 1977, looking at the beauty and dignity of this extraordinary country “before the rain of fire”. It was at the end of a long period of peace, just a few months before a coup d’etat that triggered the ongoing armed conflict.

Please preview the book (hardcover on Amazon or ebook on Blurb.ca).

Special Price $70 including Toronto delivery if you order direct from Ecotone chris@ecotone.ca ($18 less than Amazon)

Here is the French version on Amazon too.

“I was blown away by the book. Searing and powerful memories… Brilliant story, wonderful photos!
—David Edwards, former Canadian diplomat

Chris Lowry’s photos and narrative do not pretend to offer an explanation and analysis of all this war and repression, but they challenge the viewer and reader to re-assess “Afghanistan” and its people and landscapes, as if seeing and considering them clearly for the first time.”
Grahame Russell, international human rights lawyer, Founder/Director of the NGO, Rights Action

Music: Chris Lowry and the Echotones

The Echotones are an intimate cabaret-style group of Toronto-based artists who bring fresh interpretations to the work of great songwriters. Our new show features music by by Randy Newman, Tom Waits, Al Green, Daniel Lanois, Bob Dylan, Jesse Winchester, Delbert McClinton, John Prine, and more.

Here is our arrangement of Jesse Winchester’s ‘Talk Memphis’.

If you would like to receive notice of our gigs please let me know! For other songs and videos of Chris Lowry and The Echotones, scroll down on this page.

Music Recordings and Videos

Chris Lowry and The Echotones perform shows that focus on singer-songwriters like Randy Newman, Tom Waits and Jesse Winchester (coming soon). For a quick reminder of the quality of both Waits’ melodies and his lyrics, check out these recordings from one of our recent concerts:
Tom Traubert’s Blues

All The World Is Green

Music video from Invitation to the Blues: The Songs of Tom Waits — Chris Lowry sings with the Echotones: Tom Melville on keyboards, Daniel Kölsch on sax and clarinet, and Will Melville on guitar, mandolin and vocal harmony.
Videography by Jana Gracia.

FROM THE ECOTONE YOUTUBE CHANNEL

My interpretation of Cohen’s Song of Bernadette has attracted almost 5,000 (!) views on YouTube:

and… from our Songs of Randy Newman performance (Tom Melville on piano):

Shows focused on songwriters to date:

Bob Dylan — 3 different repertoires (2014, 2015, 2017) Bill Gilliam on piano
Leonard Cohen (2015) Bill Gilliam piano, Julie DiSensi and Diane Niec, backup vocals
Randy Newman (2016) Tom Melville on piano
Tom Waits (2017) The Echotones
Jesse Winchester (2018) The Echotones

SONGS OF BOB DYLAN

John Berger, the art critic and artist, looking at a painting of Aesop by the great Velazquez, says that he identifies “with his skepticism which is never cynical – The storyteller – not the novelist, not the fashionable literary creator – Often nomadic – A traveller who goes from place to place and tells stories that he has lived, or that he is making up – A traveller who is completely free from institutions.”

Here is one of those long, song poems, of which Tom Waits said “It is like Beowulf and it ‘takes me out to the meadow’. This song can make you leave home, work on the railroad or marry a Gypsy. I think of a drifter around a fire with a tin cup under a bridge remembering a woman’s hair. The song is a dream, a riddle and a prayer.”

With your mercury mouth in the missionary times,
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes,
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes,
Who do they think could bury you?

Here are some more of our arrangements of Dylan music, with Bill Gilliam on the piano:

Girl From The North Country
Love Minus Zero (No Limits)
Frankie Lee and Judas Priest

MIND MULCH, CRANIUM COMPOST

Here’s a piece I published in the Journal of Wild Culture online, The War On… Scarcity—a PDF version for your summer reading! Steal this book – compliments of Ecotone.

Lowry – War on Scarcity

I was Senior Editor of the original Journal of Wild Culture, and I am delighted to be part of the new digital JWC.

Ecology and imagination, irreverence and mischief. wildculture.com.

YOU CAN ORDER THE CD FROM ECOTONE OR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FROM BANDCAMP

I have uploaded my album, Chris Lowry (The Road Back Home) produced with local music legend David Woodhead, now available for you to download from Bandcamp.

To order the CD for $20 please email chris@ecotone.ca

If you’re looking for any of my work, you can find a lot of it here. Browse articles about my experiences with organizations such as Green Enterprise Toronto, Médecins Sans Frontières and Street Kids International, video clips from cartoons and docs that I have produced, or listen to some music.

thanks,
Chris

Home page photostream, photos by Chris Lowry

Email chris@ecotone.ca.

31 Mar 2011

Andalusia without sky

No Comments News, Photographs

This is a series from Southern Spain —Granada, Seville, the Alpujarra range, the coast at Nerja, and Cordoba. I was traveling to meet a colleague at a film conference, and spent a week exploring this magical region, Andalusia, alone. I had a recently broken heart. I think that brought a heightened awareness, a kind of hyper vigilance, to my eye. Perhaps the photos have something sorrowful, hungry, and of course, downcast, in them. Taking the title from the photo of a mural that has the Spanish word for sky, ‘Cielo’, scrawled above the horizon, these pictures formed an exhibition at Rapp Optical gallery in Toronto called Andalusia: Sin Cielo (no sky).

Andalusia is the heart of Moorish Spain, where for some 800 years (710 to 1480) lslam held sway. By 1200, the vast majority of Iberia’s 7 million inhabitants, nearly all born there (now Spain and Portugal), were Muslim. In the Middle Ages, Cordoba was a magnet for the finest minds of the known world and burned like a torch in the gloom. After the first convulsions of Reconquesta in the 1200s, the Moorish Kingdom of Granada continued for three more centuries. The cathedrals of Cordoba and Seville have mosque architectural details and orange groves within them, and thankfully the delicate, transcendent wonders of the Alhambra Palace in Granada were not destroyed when Christendom established its hegemony in Europe and the Spanish Inquisition followed.

All rights reserved. Please contact Ecotone for reproduction rights.

31 Mar 2011

The Future of Travel

No Comments News, Words

Train station, Amsterdam (Photo by Chris Lowry)

Many of us enjoy traveling to far-off places – usually by air – sometimes for only a weekend. Southern Ontario attracts large numbers of visitors arriving by plane. Heck, they just expanded Pearson Airport to accommodate increasing traffic. It’s normal, it’s a way of life that’s taken for granted…and it probably won’t last much longer.
Read more

28 Mar 2011

A Taste of History: Toronto’s Craft Breweries

1 Comment News, Words

It may surprise you to know that in the mid-19th century, every town in Ontario had a brewery and a tavern or two. During the 18th century, British soldiers in Canada were entitled to six pints of beer a day, and it was often quite strong beer, as much as 12% alcohol by volume! In The Canadian Settler’s Guide, the19th-century Canadian writer Catharine Parr Traill wrote that beer was the best beverage to provide “some cooling and strengthening…much required by men who have to work out in the heat of the sun.”
Mill Street Brewpub in the old Distillery District
Read more

25 Mar 2011

The Brewers Plate

No Comments Events, News
The 4th annual Brewers Plate April 6 at the Wychwood Barns was a sold-out success.
For Info and tickets for April 2012 click here.

 

 

Read more

25 Mar 2011

New Article in Alternatives Journal and Other News

No Comments News, Uncategorized

Update from Chris Lowry (March 2010):

In March I gave a guest lecture to Dror Etzion’s MBA class at McGill University, for the second time, by Skype, on a laptop in my Toronto office, on the subject of local living economies and green business. A virtuous carbon footprint, to be sure, but I would have loved a trip to Montreal!

My new article on energetic responses to ‘peak everything’ featuring conversations with Jeff Rubin, Richard Heinberg and James Lovelock, is in the Spring issue of Alternatives Journal.
http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/articles/greener-pastures

25 Mar 2011

Patterns of Place

No Comments News, Photographs

Whenever I see an interesting texture… I like to capture it. Check out this Flickr gallery of some of my recent pics.