Artists in the archives


Mabel Brady (1).jpeg


By Gabriella Hamley
Marmora - Many Marmora residents know personally or have heard of George Danes from his volunteering at Marmora Library or from his piano, keyboard or trumpet playing at various local events but very few know about the other activity he enjoyed so much: composing and arranging music. Shortly after his change-over
from cottager to a permanent Marmora resident 10 years ago, George joined the "Carpe Diem" String orchestra as a cello/trumpet player, and soon started arranging and composing music for the group.

George's music is beautiful. It has delighted all who are fortunate enough to hear it-  musiciansand audiences alike. Festival adjudicators and orchestra conductors perked up their ears, wanting to know the composer/ arranger's name. His arrangements of Elton John and Billy Joel's music have been performed by various symphony orchestras. Most recently, there was a concert in Apsley where the program consisted solely of his music.

George was very prolific. Once he started composing, there is no stopping him;  the music just poured out of him. The number of his compositions in the past ten years must be over a hundred.  In July 2004, George hired
fifteen talented musicians from Peterborough, Quinte and Kingston symphony orchestras and under the name
"Sterling Silver Strings" recorded two CDs of some of his work with them at the Pinnacle Music Studios in Belleville. One CD is called "Songs Without Words" and the other "A Touch of Brass" which includes some
selections featuring his son George Jr. as a solo trumpet player.

George liked to describe his music as "the music of the 3 R's":it's Romantic, Reflective and Relaxing."   A lot
of his arrangements are well known and readily recognizable tunes, such as "The Way We Were", "Georgia On
My Mind", "Moonlight Serenade", "The Entertainer" and some short and popular pieces by Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Elgar Gershwin etc. mixed with Georges original compositions.



Marmora and Lake - Local photographer Dick Kane became interested in the art when, as a teenager, he received his first camera, a Brownie box camera, as a gift from his dad. He made his initial sale after taking a black and while photo of his school's chapel, tinting it with coloured pencils and selling copies to his classmates .  The love of photography remained with him, but it wasn't until the birth of his second child in 1976 that he bought a Canon AE 1 and became a serious photographer. A later trip to the west prompted the purchase of a Nikon with two lenses. He recalled with a laugh during a conversation in his century plus village home, "I guess because of the cost involved, I felt that I had to make use of the camera. Guilt was at work."  Over the years he has trekked through woods, fieldsand marshes seeking the idealshot, but health concerns now dictate that his forays into the world of nature are limited to lanes and byways that can ac- accommodate a car. A windowmount steadies his digital point and shoot Nikon Cool- 5 pix 8800 camera which he j says can "do amazing things." 1: Kane chooses his shots with an unerring eye, mindful of detail, lighting and mood.  He prefers to work with veryintense colours as evidencedby the wonderful picture of afull blown orange and yellowtulip against a jet black back-  ground he enhanced digitally.  He uses his computer to adjust for brightness, sharpness and contrast, and has created collages with interesting results.

 One of these, entitled Song Sung Blue, now at the Artisan Gallery in Belleville, is one of his preferred pieces.  He explains the process saying, "I take my photographs, use one as a background and  then using the computer 1 cut pieces out of the different  photographs and make scenes that don't exist."  He prints his own work and although he gets good results from his current printer, he chuckles,  "There is another one that I am lusting after!"  His wife's favourite is a gentle· photo with a dream like quality, entitled November Drizzle, taken at Marmora's north end boat launch ,  proof that one doesn't have to go far afield to find worth-while subjects. Another one, Missing Stairs, taken some time ago at a decrepit mill in Hastings, depicts a 'late afternoon,  watery light 'filtering through a window to illuminate the nearby flight of stairs and. ancient interior. In spite of its low key atmosphere, it is one he particularly likes. He commented, "I guess it was the light that attracted me to it, because who would go fora set of dusty old stairs with two treads missing and turn into a photograph?"







Violet Deacon - Milliner and quilter                                                                               

Photo of George Cocayne,  borrowed from "This Other Eden,  Canadian Folk Art Outdoors"  by Phil Tilney,  1999

Photo of George Cocayne,  borrowed from "This Other Eden,  Canadian Folk Art Outdoors"  by Phil Tilney,  1999

George Cocayne - Folk Artist, carver, 1906-1986