My animated films with the NFB

In 1995 Cactus Swing was released.  A co-production between the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) & Salamander Productions.  The music is by the Alberta group Great Western Orchestra.  Group members, Stewart McDougall & Dave Wilkie are caricatured in the film as a coyote & prairie dog.  This was done in the days before computers. All the animation was hand drawn, painted on plastic sheets (cels) and recorded on film.  It was crazy creative work that took 3 1/2 years to make. The film is 5 minutes.

My 2nd film with the NFB was Fair Phyllis.  It was released in 2003 just after my son was born. Like Cactus Swing it used the hand drawn approach to animating the characters.  However, a computer was used to colourize the film and was recorded digitally. The film is 10 minutes and took 7 years to make.   FYI, since the main character is a shepherdess I spent a week on a sheep farm during lambing season doing research. One of the ewes I assisted in giving birth was called Phyllis. Pure coincidence.  You can order the film from the NFB website.  To learn more about the film or purchase, click on the picture above.


Juba was a an amazing experience!  I learned to drink strong coffee, drink beer and make beautiful music with this Edmonton-based African a ccapella group. Here's a look back with an interview with Lark Clark and a performance from Juba. In 1991 we travelled together to Zimbabwe to do research, hear music and connect with musicians. This song is one of the pieces that came out of that adventure.
This past January (2012) Juba met for brunch over at Scott's house. Warren was visiting from England and Lark from New York. It was the first time in many years that the orginal five were in a room together. After pancakes, coffee, sausages and with happy hearts we began to sing. We hadn't sung this song in over 10 years. 

Swingin' Sisters Club