In 2019, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council, I set out to compose a body of musical works for later release in some published format. In the process of composing this work, the many twists and turns of life at that time, impacted my writing. I found myself composing the work around a central story that eventually took the form of a short story, and script for a play.
The pandemic, announced in the spring of 2020 and my father's passing a month later, left me without options to maintain the studio where I was working. The NAE Project, for the time was entirely on hold. Somehow, in the painful day to day of adapting to the new world order, the restlessness of several stay-home orders culminated in a successful application for grant funding from the Ontario Arts Council to continue work preparing NAE (the play and musical work) for performance, when circumstances permit.
Thus, in the spring of 2021, I am pleased to announce the launching of The NAE Project, second phase - to prepare the work for performances to live audiences. So far a stellar cast of musicians and actors and actresses, singers and dancers are signed on to begin rehearsing this year. Our hope is to perform for Toronto based audiences in the fall of 2022.
The concept of NAE is that of a rice seedling (Nae means seedling). The rice seedling is a symbol of boundless possibilities and hopefulness - but each seedling is the result of thousands of years of meticulous selection and the trials of nature. The mission of The NAE Project, is therefore to stand at the precipice of thousands of years of tradition and look into the future with optimism and confidence.
The production, entitled NAE, is an original work composed in 2019 in the form of a classical Japanese musical drama. Though set to suite a modern stage and presented for a modern audience - NAE brings audiences into the world of traditional Japanese arts in a new way. It is a mythical tale, set in a historical famine that occurred in the 13th century Japan; depicted in music, acting and dance.
We are very excited to prepare this work - especially as the arts community, one of the first (I can testify) to lose work, incomes and leases, will certainly be one of the last groups to be able to re-engage with the public when all of this pandemic madness is done. We're very pleased to have this project to get our feet spinning for when we can hit the road running again. And we hope you will come out and support us when we go live!
For more information on NAE, The NAE Project and how you might get involved or support us, please visit: