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Why Ecotone? Creative tension, and the wild. An ecotone is a transition area between two adjacent ecological communities. The area of overlapping landscapes where the “foreign” species encounter each other and blend together is an ecotone, the tension created when competing species meet, perhaps to establish new interdependence (in Greek tonos means “tension”).
November 2022
After a wonderful World Premiere screening in the Wolf Performance Hall in my home town of London Ontario in October, I am pleased to offer Rebel Angel online, worldwide, for a small rental fee, through Vimeo on Demand here. Support independent film making and stream the film!  HERE IS THE NEW TRAILER.

Unbelievable. I laughed, I wept. I was overwhelmed. A glorious celebration and a beautiful film in every way.

—Karen Mulhallen, Poet, Editor of Descant magazine, Professor Emeritus Ryerson University

So much love there with zero sentimentality! I can’t remember watching a movie like that before. Threads of love running all through it: your love for Ross, his love for art and poetry, the love in the eyes of all his friends and colleagues remembering him, the love between Ross and Marion, and your love for film making.

—John Hoedl, Jungian Analyst, president and of the International Society for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority

Far-reaching and filled with things I didn’t know about Woodman’s life and relationships and experiences, and about London and its art scene. It is a wonderful study of a cultural moment in Canada’s maturing cultural life. I screened the whole thing a second time and found the ideas more universal — i.e. less specific to Woodman. It seemed to say things about you (or me) or anyone who has fallen under the intense spell of the Romantic vision.

—Johanne Clare, author and Professor, George Brown College

 

Design: Larry Rossignol, painting is Sun/Gate by Sky Glabush

“Ross Woodman lived for most of his life in London, Canada. He taught there for almost fifty years – poetry — a passion, some might say, far from anything important in the real world. He died in the spring of 2014 at the age of ninety-one. I thought he was destined, like most academics, to be forgotten. Yet to many who knew him, he was unforgettable — an inspiring enigma, wrestling with gods and demons, speaking to us from some other plane of existence…”

Rebel Angel is a feature documentary (89 minutes) about the cultural figure Ross Woodman (1922-2014) which also features Jungian author Marion Woodman and their extraordinary marriage. Through the prism of his deeply troubled life life, the film explores the dynamic betweeen creativity and madness in movies, poetry and art. The film reveals Woodman’s influence as a collector, critic and friend of many of London, Ontario’s most significant artists and poets in the 60s and 70s. At the same time Rebel Angel is a love story, featuring Ross’s wife, the internationally acclaimed Jungian analyst and author of several books on feminine psychology, Marion Woodman.

From the Archives: Short Documentary about the Butterfly Peace Garden in Sri Lanka

Here is the Vimeo link

When I worked as a program director with Médecins Sans Frontières — Canada , I made this short doc about the work of my friend Paul Hogan in Sri Lanka.

Upcoming Music Performances

New name for our band:

Chris Lowry and the Cool Blue North

Chris Lowry performs regularly with his band, called the Cool Blue North (formerly the Ecotones) in Toronto. With our sense of irony pitched in your key, we are Sitting on Top of the World. To be notified of our next gig, please email chris@ecotone.ca

Here’s a link to our version of Steve Goodman’s blues song inspired by Melville’s epic, Moby Book. “Call me Ishmael, Ishmael is my name…. and I served under Captain Ahab, when he sailed the bounding Main…”

Music video on YouTube, Chris Lowry and the Ecotones perform Moby Book

For more music videos, please scroll down.

Watch for our new album coming in 2023!

 

Writings

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.

 

View the photos here.

If you would like to buy a copy of the book in English or French (e-book OR hard cover) please contact Chris.

“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

 

Here is a new, short piece about some beautiful paintings. Please read Matthew Schofield: At Play with Memory and Imagination in the Selected Essays section of the site.

Here is a review of the very fine work of Toronto-based painter Andrew Rucklidge, Northern Alchemy: Through Rocks Toward Essence.

 

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 you, compliments of Ecotone.

Lowry – War on Scarcity

One of my articles on wildculture.com was used by the defense lawyer in a class action court case against Monsanto in Mexico this year. The story helped to demonstrate international interest in the issue. This was an important win in an ongoing struggle. Read it here:

Bioloco in Oaxaca

I was the Senior Editor of the original Journal of Wild Culture, designed and published on paper for a few years in the mid-1980s, in the days of wax rollers and paste-up artwork (so much more fun!). I am delighted to be part of the digital JWC. And I am a proud Luddite, at home in the virtual world, yet with a deep love of the unmediated, the tactile, and the hand-made.

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

 

 

MUSIC: Chris Lowry and the Cool Blue North

We are an intimate cabaret-style group of Toronto-based artists who bring fresh interpretations to the work of great songwriters including Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Jimmy Webb, Leonard Cohen, Lhasa de Sela, John Prine, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Jesse Winchester and more.

Mural in Oaxaca, Mexico by Instagram @yescka_art — photo: James Cullingham

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, *for performance notifications only* send your request to chris@ecotone.ca

Music video San Diego Serenade, Tom Waits
Tom Melville on keyboards, Daniel Kölsch on sax and clarinet, and Will Melville on guitar, mandolin and vocal harmony. Videography by Jana Gracia.

Here is our arrangement of Jesse Winchester’s ‘You Remember Me’ at Duggan’s Underground.

Shows focused on songwriters to date:

Bob Dylan — 3 different repertoires, Bill Gilliam on piano
Leonard Cohen — Bill Gilliam piano, Julie DiSensi and Diane Niec, backup vocals
Randy Newman — Tom Melville on piano
Tom Waits, Jesse Winchester, John Prine and Steve Goodman  — The Ecotones

 

YOU CAN GET THE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FROM BANDCAMP

I have uploaded my 1999 album, The Road Back Home produced with David Woodhead, now available to download from Bandcamp.

IF YOU WANT THE CD please email chris@ecotone.ca (pay $20 plus shipping by etransfer, shipping cost depends on your location)

Home page photostream, photos by Chris Lowry

Contact: Email chris@ecotone.ca.