Saturday, November 03, 2007

Good Thoughts for Oliver Schroer

Just listening to CBC this morning as i prepare a workshop for CAW workplace trainers i learned that Oliver has had to go back into hospital for further treatment for the leukemia he has been living with for the past while. Apparently, there are problems with a scheduled bone marrow transplant. Oliver is a local (i.e. Toronto) and national wonder of the fiddle. His most recent album, Camino, is a magical collection of pieces he composed and recorded along the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. I'll be listening to it and thinking good thoughts for Oliver as i drive up to Port Elgin this morning.

I found this video of Oliver's score to this fellow making noodles. It's called Bazoku Noodles.

1 comment:

emilyn.stam said...

To whom it may concern;

We are on a seemingly impossible mission, but are passionate about our goal and confident in the generousity of individuals and businesses throughout the great country of Canada.

Our dear friend and mentor, Canadian musician and composer Oliver Schroer, is in his fourth round of Chemotherapy treatment for Leukemia at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. This great man has been helping others for years, and now we would like to help him.

Oliver Schroer has been a huge inspiration to many of Canada's youth over the past several years. He has gone into small communities that normally wouldn't have the opportunity to work with professionals such as himself, and poured out endless love and energy. He has used his talents and resources as a producer, composer, and musician to educate, but more importantly, inspire youth. Because of Oliver, there are countless children, as young as 7 years old, composing pieces of music that are coherent, unique and creative. Through his encouragement, young children have formed their own folk bands, such as the "Klezmer Katz" and the "Truffles Tune Band", which are run completely by these inspired children under the age of 13.

Oliver has spent the past four years, among many other things, directing two groups of talented young fiddlers from British Columbia in a project he named “The Twisted String”. The idea was to produce a group of energetic youth to perform Oliver’s new, muti-part compositions that he would normally only be able to perform live by using electronics such as a loop and effects pedal. The group has been very successful, performing at numerous festival and venues around BC and recording a CD, receiving rave reviews wherever they go.

Since Oliver relocated to Toronto for treatment in March, two of the older members of the two groups have created yet another generation of Twisted String groups. Many of the members Oliver has yet to meet, yet the group members feel they know him through the music and look forward to meeting him someday.

Oliver thrives on giving and building relationships with people. Though these relationships often start as musical ones, Oliver takes the time to pay attention to his students' other interests. Many times he has been seen discreetly giving a child a book by a favourite author, a cd by a mutually favourite musician, or quality art supplies to a budding artist. He has even given away his own favourite high quality bow and lent out 2 of his own professional grade violins to his students in need.

Oliver Schroer is not just a world class musician, but a self-less giver, who has spent years encouraging others. Now it is time for us to give to and encourage him.

We have just been notified that in February there will be a benefit concert for Oliver in Toronto. It was an immediate dream for the Twisted String members to be in Toronto to perform at the benefit in support of Oliver, and visit Oliver in the hospital, inspiring him to keep on fighting and encourage him with our joy of his music.

In total there are 20 fiddlers from the original project, and 15 from the second generation of fiddlers. Some of the older members have jobs and will be able to afford their flight, but most are only in highschool or just starting university and will not be able to make the trip without major financial assistance. Due to the lack of time, it will be impossible to achieve this goal without outside help. There is next to no time for us to put together fundraiser concerts and earn the money ourselves.

Oliver has told us how much the Twisted String project means to him. What higher honour could we show him, than to have groups of teens playing and enjoying his music? What more encouragement to keep fighting and survive the battle of cancer than the inspiration of younger generations following in his footsteps? We know that for him to meet the generation of Twisted String and be re-united with the old one will be priceless to him, and inspire him to keep going in the fight for his life.

If you can in any way provide assistance to our cause, in the form of ideas and fundraising suggestions, financial support or flight donations, we, along with Oliver Schroer, would be eternally grateful.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Chelsea Sleep and Emilyn Stam
On behalf of The Twisted String

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