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Testimonials

Michael’s commitment as an accomplished brass musician and as a virtuoso performer of the alphorn is of major stature. He is a pioneer of contemporary repertoire for this beautiful and neglected instrument which comes as close to any instrument to echoing the true voice of nature. He is also a tireless educator and experimenter using the alphorn to bridge the chasm between man and the rest of animate creation. He performs for concert and out-of-door audience alike, emphasizing Canada’s unique soundscapes and the living sounds of our land. His original theory of ‘natural pitch-resonance properties’ developed after twenty years of field research will change the way the world listens.”

Farley Mowat

Canadian Author,  World Leader Environmental Issues

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I have known Michael Cumberland for more than 30 years in a variety of capacities. As a tuba and alphorn player, he has performed in dozens of my works, and I have written pieces especially for him. Together we have created the role of Tapio, which he has performed in And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon (The Patria Epilogue) for almost eighteen years. He has also been a board member of Patria Music/Theatre Productions for the past fourteen years, contributing his many talents as an organizer and fundraiser; and in the official capacities as Secretary, Vice-President and President.

 

I have also known Michael as a very talented and appreciated school teacher who has introduced much creativity into his music classes.

 

And finally, as a human being, Michael is reliable, honest and hard working. He has a wonderful sense of humor. His life is devoted to improving the world around him.

 

R. Murray Schafer

Indian River, Ontario, July 13, 2007

Canada’s pre-eminent composer

Educator, Environmentalist, Scholar, Visual Artist

Winner of the first Glenn Gould Prize and,

Molson Award for the Arts

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“When Mike Cumberland began speaking at a small conference not far from Algonquin, Park a month ago [March, 07], it was late in the day, the last one of the weekend, and everyone was tired. Not for long. Five minutes into the program, the room was infused with the same patient energy and enthusiasm Mike brought to his insightful music program. His descriptions of intuitive and simple lines of communications demonstrated that the methodologies he had chosen almost never failed to bring out the very best in the challenged individuals with whom he was working. I was personally very moved by his efforts - perhaps the most memorable and inspiring of the entire weekend event. I only hope that his efforts are fully supported and allowed to continue. They set a high and achievable standard that can only serve as a model for other efforts in this area."

 

Bernie Krause, PhD

Glen Ellen, California

Founder, Wild Sanctuary; Past Member of The Weavers; One the First players and distributors of the Moog Synthesizer in the 60’s; Soundtrack composer for Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, Dr. Doolittle, and Apocalypse Now.

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“One of Port Hope’s Treasures”

 

Peggy Foster

Northumberland News

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"Port Hope schools really 'Made it Happen' in 2007! The Accessibility Advisory Committee is truly amazed, delighted and proud to be part of a school community like yours. We think you are the best - surely in Ontario and maybe in the entire country!

 

Mr. Cumberland's presentation of the soundscapes video created by Cameron and Kyle was very moving and wonderfully appropriate for the occasion. They are to be congratulated for their work..."

 

Barb Winfield & Hilda Ed

Accessibility Advisory Committee, Municipality of Port Hope

 

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“Wonderful style in the traditional method of Le Ranz des Vaches and Swiss Alphorn Folk playing.”

Dr. Guy S. Métraux

Swiss Historian,

Author of Le Ranz Des Vaches 

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“North America’s Number 1 Alphorn Player”

 

André Farrer

Past President, Swiss Club of Toronto

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“Your interpretation is fantastic and the recording is very well successful. My sincere congratulations with you and also with your accompanist.” (Regarding the DVD: “Le Cor Magique”.

 

Jozsef Molnar

Founder of the Alphorn Academy of Switzerland

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“… virtuoso playing… a triumph of musicianship, projecting a playful quality in the horn, as well as able to project tenderness, romance and poignancy. A well thought out program.”

 

Evelyn and Larry Hall

Port Hope Evening Guide

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“Michael and his alphorn were a great success and a great way to start the Open Ears Festival.”

 

Peter Hatch

Artistic Director, Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound

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“Michael’s playing is technically wonderful. More importantly he forces us to stop for a moment of deeper reflection upon the simpler past and spirit of music.”

 

Matthew Jaskiewicz

Past Conductor Warsaw Chamber Opera, Music Director Toronto Sinfonietta

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“Michael is a great person to work with – a thrill – and great audience appeal.”

 

Cathy Redsell

Kinston Horn Quartet & Treasurer A.F. of M. Local 518

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“He may very well be the (John) Cage or Miles Davis of alphorn, but in another sense he seems to have done for the alphorn what Paul Horn did in the Taj Mahal for the flute.”

Bart Plantega

Radio Patapoe, Amsterdam

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“A wonderful experience for all of us… we learned a lot about the alphorn and the traditional style of alphorn quartet playing… Michael is a very patient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher. He had a relaxed kind manner with the students who responded quickly and easily, especially when he played along with them.”

 

Nina Brickma,

Horn Faculty, Wilfred Laurier University;

Horn, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Canadian Chamber Ensemble

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“The musical opening of the documentary is stunning, grabbing the listener’s attention immediately…The work begins with Tapio for alphorn and echoing instruments, a haunting work that employs older Lydian and Mixolydian modes, and has an opening reminiscent of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra. What is truly innovative is the use of the outdoor acoustic to allow the instruments to interact with their own echoes, as well as being echoes of the soloist. This interplay is used to great effect.”

 

Charlene Biggs

Music Department

Cambrian College

(Review of R. Murray Schafer Canadian Composers Portraits Series)

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Contact Mike Cumberland

mc at mikecumberland dot com

Toronto Canada

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