Formula 1 Excitement

Recently I wrote an arrangement of Brian Tyler’s Formula 1 Theme for piano. It’s a great piece - very dramatic, always gets my blood pumping at the beginning of a race! I recorded a video of myself playing it and put it up on Youtube last weekend, in honour of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Well, thanks to a little help from Reddit, the official Formula social media team noticed it and ended up posting it on their Youtube, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Cue my phone blowing up with notifications from excited fans from around the world! It’s been an exciting couple of days watching the video gain traction, with hundreds of thousands of views between all three sites.

I also gained a few hundred new subscribers on Youtube so I guess I’ll have to think carefully about what my next upload will be!

Here’s the video. Enjoy!

Marla

Open for Business

As of this week, I’m embarking on the journey of freelancing! It’s exciting to have the possibility of working on any kind of project. Currently the plan is to juggle a combination of contract audio work - editing, engineering, mixing, etc. - with freelance music gigs - arranging, composing, scoring, notation, etc. I’ve already made some contacts for the first and I’ve landed my first job for the second, so I’m hoping I can get up and running quickly.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what my ideal balance would be, so at this moment I will be taking anything that comes my way and applying to anything that looks intriguing to see what piques my interest the most.

I’m surprised I’m not more apprehensive about diving into the freelance world but mostly I’m just excited. It feels good that I’ve developed the skills and network of contacts that being able to do this is a feasible option, and I’m planning to take full advantage of that to build the most fulfilling career for myself as possible!

So if you or anyone you know need any of the above services or anything even remotely related - hit me up!

Marla

Seeing Sound: A Showcase of music by Canadian female composers

Earlier this year I was contacted by Clarisse Tonigussi of the Canadian Women Composers Project. She had heard of me through a friend of a friend and was interested in performing some of my music at a concert she had coming up in the fall in Toronto.

Fast-forward a few months later and that concert is fast approaching. Seeing Sound: Where Music and Visual Art Meet is promising to be a great night of art and music. Ms. Tonigussi, a soprano, will be performing over an hour of music by Canadian female composers, accompanied by pianist Narmina Efendiyeva. While she sings, artist Alexandria Harding-Costa will use the music as inspiration to paint a masterpiece that will be auctioned off at the end of the night, proceeds going to Sistering, a Toronto charity supporting at-risk women.

Two of my pieces will be on the program: There Will Come Soft Rains, which I wrote in university but has never been performed by a soprano (for which it was originally intended); and Night, a more jazz-influenced piece that is getting a brand-new classical spin. I’m very excited to see my music included in such a great event and it’s very unfortunate that family obligations will have me across the country while the concert is going on.

The concert will take place at Grace Church on the Hill in Etobicoke, 300 Lonsdale Rd., at 7pm on Saturday October 6th. Tickets can be purchased by clicking the event link above. I hope you will consider supporting such a great cause at what promises to be a highly enjoyable evening!

Marla

On the Job Hunt

I’ve been at Studio 18 just shy of five years now. It’s been a fantastic place to work - the people are amazing and I’ve learned so many useful skills.

However, I’ve decided recently that it’s time to move on. At the very least I’d like to move into a different genre of television. But I’m curious as to what else is out there. Maybe a further leap into film would be fun. Or something that uses similar skills in a different context, like sound for video games. I’m keeping myself open to any options that come my way!

What I’d really like, I think, is the chance to make more use of my music background. Music editing seems like a field that would be a lot of fun. Or maybe there are more music-related jobs out there I haven’t even thought of. I’m just beginning my job search journey… I’m excited to see what I will find!

Marla

Overdue Update

It came to my attention that I haven't updated my website in a long time, so I'm going to fill you in on everything that's happened in one fell swoop!

Countermeasure has been very busy lately - we just got back from Japan a couple of weeks ago! It was both a wildly successful tour and my first chance to see the country where my dad's side of the family came from. A life-changing experience, for sure!

I've started a mixed barbershop quartet called West Train! We competed in the Ontario District Barbershop Harmony contest in April and placed third in the province, a result we were very happy with given how we'd only pulled the group together a short while beforehand. Excited for future performances!

I've had probably my busiest spring at work to date, working on four different shows including season six of Top Chef Canada for the Food Network and season three of Home to Win for HGTV. Things are wrapping up just in time for us to start on season six of The Amazing Race Canada. Never a dull moment!

The musical I mentioned in my previous post went well and was a rewarding experience. I've also been taking voice lessons since I've been focusing on my singing so much lately, and they've been paying off. Not much to report on the writing/composing/photography front these days - too busy with everything else!

I'll do my best to keep this website more up to date but we all know that can be a struggle... :)

Cheers!

Marla

South Pacific

After a busy summer I'm finally getting back to some creative projects. I've been doing some arranging (for my friend Laura's Youtube channel, Stories 2 Songs), as well as undertaking some significant self-improvement efforts, like voice lessons and dance lessons. Why all these lessons, you ask? Well:

I was cast in a musical!

I'll be in the ensemble for Etobicoke Musical Productions' South Pacific, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. I've never been in a musical before so I'm very excited. I'm also finding it a great opportunity to better myself - I sing a lot and I've danced in the past but musical theatre is a different style than I'm used to for both, so I'm taking the chance to brush up on my skills.

The musical is playing at Meadowvale Theatre in Mississauga at the end of October. If you're interested, tickets can be purchased here!

Onwards and upwards!

Marla

The Funny Thing About Post Sound

The Amazing Race Canada aired tonight. As there often is for a big show, there was a little do put on by production company so that all the people who worked on it could get together and watch the premiere airing live on TV. 

For many at the production company, it's a wrap party, of sorts. Video editors and writers are all finished their jobs. For the team that was there for the shooting in May, it's more of a fun throwback, a payoff for a job well done in the past.

For me and the post-production audio team, we're just getting started. 

The Amazing Race Canada has an extremely accelerated schedule. On most shows, we sign off on a mix weeks, even months before it airs. But due to the time-sensitivity and confidentiality of Race, we finalize mixes only a week before air, sometimes less. So for us it's more of a "celebrate the beginning of a busy summer" kind of party.

The other funny thing, though, is that we've SEEN the final cut. Most of the people at that party have not. The location crew especially won't know the overall picture; they'll only know the one team they followed around for that particular leg of the race.

That means that I get to chuckle quietly to myself as everyone else roars with laughter at the quip of a person that they know well but I am just getting to know.

It's an interesting feeling. :)

Work Update

It's been awhile since I've mentioned what I'm doing at work! 

Airing right now is Top Chef Canada All-Stars, the Food Network reality show that pulls contestants from the first four seasons of the show. That was a fun one to work on. Pretty tense!

We're also working on season two of Home to Win which premieres next weekend. Home to Win is HGTV's flagship show where all of their star hosts (think Scott McGillivray, Bryan Baeumler, the Property Brothers, Mike Holmes, etc.) renovate a house and give it away at the end of the season.

I'm also working on a new series called The Art Show for CBC, the first show that I'm editing and mixing all on my own (usually I just do the edit - I've mixed some things here and there but never a whole series). Each 5-minute episode features a kid who talks a bit about what they like to do and then does a craft of some sort. It's really cute and I'm enjoying working on it!

The Amazing Race Canada begins filming soon and that'll take up most of the summer, as usual. That one's always a whirlwind!

Busy busy!

Marla

B.C. Tour

Countermeasure recently announced a B.C. Tour! It'll be our first time out to the west coast. I'm extra excited because I have a lot of family out there that I haven't seen in awhile, and who haven't seen me perform.

Our dates are as follows:

March 11 - Vancouver
March 12 - White Rock
March 14 - Nanaimo
March 15 - Sidney
March 17 - North Vancouver
March 18 - North Vancouver

For show locations, times, details, and ticket info, check out our (brand new!) website.

It's always a great time, touring with these folks. :)

Marla

Crank It Counter-Krokwise

Countermeasure was busy over the holidays with little caroling gigs and benefit concerts, but it's been awhile since we've had a show longer than a couple of songs. 

With that, I present:

Crank It Poster.jpg

This Sunday, a double-bill with the Harvard Krokodiloes who are here on tour. The show's at 3030, a bar in the Junction where Countermeasure's sound guy, Chris Poole, is the resident audio technician, so we'll have home field advantage! Should be a good show. You can buy tickets here. Hope to see you!

Marla

European Tour

First of all, Merry Christmas! I'm having a nice lazy Christmas this year so I thought it would be a good time to talk a little bit about the tour that Countermeasure went on this past summer. It was an incredible experience, one I'll never forget.

We left at the end of July and flew to London, England, where we spent about four days and performed a few shows. That was an exciting weekend - seeing the tour kick off, performing in new venues every day, putting our feelers out to see whether European audiences would like us as much as they did when we were there the previous year (they did). After that weekend we boarded a bus to Edinburgh, taking in the beautiful English countryside.

We stayed in Edinburgh for three weeks, and it's one of my favourite cities I've ever been to. It really started to feel like home. The point of the trip was to perform at Edinburgh Fringe - we did 14 hour-long shows in total, plus several promotional shows of a handful of songs around the city. It was really a fantastic experience - never before have we had the chance to take multiple runs at the same show in such a condensed period of time, and was really incredible to see how much it solidified our skills. Our show enjoyed an unexpected amount of attention and traffic, considering it was a first-time show in the Fringe. It was pretty thrilling. You can read some of the reviews here and here.

After Edinburgh, we headed to Italy for a week. This was kind of the 'vacation' part of the trip - we had several days off before Vocalmente, the vocal festival in Fossano which was the reason for this stop. Italy is beautiful, but I have to say I never felt quite at home as I did in Edinburgh. But I enjoyed the heat more than the cool rainy Scottish weather!

Our involvement in Vocalmente mostly consisted of taking part in the Swingles Camp, a series of workshops put on by our friends the Swingles. But we also opened the festival in a double-bill with local group VoXes, in one of the most incredible concerts I've ever sung in my life. We were singing in the moat of the gigantic medieval castle in the middle of Fossano, for probably close to a thousand locals, who gave us one of the warmest receptions we've ever seen, including a double encore. What a night!

After a month away it was a bit of a drag to return to regular working life, but it was also nice to be home. It was an amazing tour, with success far beyond our expectations. It'll be hard to top that in the future (but, I always say that with each new thing Countermeasure does, and somehow it always happens)!

Marla

Hello again!

It came to my attention I haven't updated this since July....

Some things have happened since then, mostly Countermeasure things - our official album release, our European tour. Once I'm on holidays I'll have lots of time so I'll update about these events!

Then creative projects got put on hold for a bit for the moving process and then a busy patch at work. But over the holidays and in the new year I should have some more time, and I've got various projects on the go - a short story, two songs, new ukulele videos, more photos. Hopefully I can get back on regular updates!

Until next time, which will be a lot sooner than the last time,

Marla

Made to Measure

Countermeasure has finally finished our second full-length album, Made to Measure. I listed to it for the first time a couple of days ago and I've had it on repeat since. I'm incredibly proud of this project and I can't wait to hear what people think of it.

We're having a release concert in a week, July 14, at Harbourfront Centre. It should be a good show, and it's also the warmup for our tour (we leave in three weeks! Ack!) More about that later.

For tickets, click here. For a little preview video, click here.

Can't wait! :)

Marla

#TodaysLake

I had an idea last year as I was riding to work more often than not. I ride along the waterfront and I'm always astounded by how different the lake is, every single day. It's always beautiful but depending on the sun, clouds, time of day, wind, wildlife, etc. it always presents a new picture.

Once I started riding this year, I decided to stop every day and take a picture of the lake as it was on that particular day, and tag it on Instagram as #TodaysLake. It seems that Instagram doesn't have a way of searching instances of a hashtag by a specific person, so I may think about porting them to another platform so they're more easily searchable, but you can browse through my Instagram account (which is largely #TodaysLake photos, lately) here.

Here are a couple of my favourites so far:

April 13

May 2

Hope you enjoy!

Marla

Ukulele Adventures

As mentioned in my last post, I got a ukulele! Hooray! It's a little baby soprano one. I already play guitar to some degree, so it hasn't been too much of a stretch to apply that knowledge to my uke. Lots of fun. I've played more ukulele in the last week and a half than I've played guitar in years.

To be more accurate, Sam gave me the ukulele since I'd been playing his tenor uke a lot. So what else could we do now that there were two of us and two ukuleles? Make a cheesy uke duet video, of course!

More adventures to come, I'm sure. Enjoy!

Marla