2013 October 18

Archive for October 18th, 2013


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October 2018

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

Songs of Innocence and Experience. 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.

Upcoming date: Friday October 26, Free Times Café, 320 College Street (Just west of Spadina) $10 cover, fully licensed with a great dinner menu. Reservations recommended.

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.


Photo and design: Tim Wilson

Rebel Angel is a portrait documentary about influential scholar, art critic and educator Ross Woodman (1922-2014). In essence, it is an inquiry into the dynamic tension between art and religion, through the prism of Woodman’s extraordinary character. The film will explore Woodman’s important role as a collector, critic and friend of many of London, Ontario’s most significant artists and poets in the 60s and 70s.

I first met Woodman when I was a student at Western almost 40 years ago. His pure artistry as a lecturer made him unforgettable, life changing. Later, in 1981-82 he helped me and John Walker to make the award-winning portrait documentary about his friend Jack Chambers, Tracks and Gestures. Now I have come full circle and Woodman is the subject of a film. He was among the most influential Canadian art critics of the 20th century, an internationally recognized iconoclast in the field of English Romantic literature, a scholar of the Baha’i faith in relation to the history of art and the variety of religious experience, and a passionately original interpreter of Jung and Freud in the context of world literature and religious texts. 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. Estimated release date, May 2019.

Art Review

Northern Alchemy

Rucklidge, Andrew. The Last Sheets. 2017, 38 x 54 inches, oil and egg tempera on toned gessoed panel

Web Series

Ecotone created a fascinating web series about international relations, science diplomacy, and digital diplomacy. Guerilla Diplomacy, with Professor Daryl Copeland, is currently featured on a number of international sites including these:

EUCLID University What is Diplomacy?

International Channels for Diplomacy Digital Diplomacy: The Power of Attraction

Music Recordings and Videos

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.

Exotic Tastes, Book Review

Taste of Persia: A Cook’s Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran and Kurdistan.

Photo memoir Book


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).

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the work of War Child Canada in Afghanistan and other war-torn countries.

Special Price $70 including Toronto delivery if you order direct from Ecotone chris@ecotone.ca ($18 less than Amazon, and more money goes directly to War Child!)

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

New article in Western News and the Alumni Gazette:

Alumnus to explore life of ‘Rebel Angel’


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


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.”

What a beautiful description of Bob Dylan.

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


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.


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.


Home page photostream, photos by Chris Lowry

Email chris@ecotone.ca.

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