Trent Voices: Jason “The Human Kebab” Parsons, DJ and Hype Man for Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

November 13, 2017

Jason “The Human Kebab” Parsons is DJ and Hype Man for Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker. On stage – when he’s not attached to his turntables – he’s a perpetual motion machine. On the mic he’s constantly urging the crowd to get into it – to really participate. His energy is infectious, which is definitely one of the aspects of the band that resonates with their legion of fans.

USS has been described as “a science experiment put to music” and they are, in a word, experimental. They mix elements of rock, hip hop, grunge, electronica, drum and bass, and more, creating a sound that is altogether their own. They are modern music in a blender.

#TrentVoices caught up with The Human Kebab via Skype for a conversation that ranged from the serious to the silly: from the origins of his unique stage name to jamming with Maestro Fresh Wes to touring the world making music to the impact of his Trent experience. But what we kept returning to was the importance of community – in this case, both the USS and the Trent University ones.

For a full archive of our podcast interviews, please visit our #TrentVoices podcast page.

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Trent Voices Women In Power Part 1: Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet

November 10, 2017

The new season of Trent Voices, The TRENT Magazine Live/Trent Alumni Affairs podcast show, is kicking off with a "Women in Politics" mini-series that will feature interviews with successful Trent alumnae politicians, both past and present, including: Hochelaga NDP MP Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet '74, Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson '85, and long-standing Peterborough mayor Syvlia Sutherland '68. We'll also revisit interviews with Peterborough-Kawarthas Liberal MP and Minister for the Status of Women Maryam Monsef '03 and Peterborough city councillor Diane Therrien '10 -- hopefully adding fresh new content to these conversations.

This week, we start with Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, a Canadian anthropologist, unionist, and politician, who was first elected as an NDP MP in the 2011 election. She represents the electoral district of Hochelaga. Since November 2015, she has served as the NDP's Whip.

During our far-reaching conversation, we discuss her evolution from museum guide to union representative to Federal politician; gender representation in politics; and how gender and ethnic diversity have changed the nature of political discourse in the House of Commons.

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Margaret Laurence Lecture: Michael Lista “Outside the Whale: Literature and the Left in the Age of Trump”

March 14, 2017

With two well-received collections of poems and a fearless collection of essays, Canadian investigative journalist, essayist and poet, Michael Lista, was welcomed to Trent University as the 2017 Margaret Laurence fellow.

His talk Outside the Whale: Literature and the Left in the Age of Trump focused primarily on the role the literary left will play in a new political climate of right-winged politics and nationalism.

Mr. Lista has worked as a book columnist for The National Post, and as the poetry editor of The Walrus. He is the author of three books: the poetry volumes Bloom and The Scarborough, and Strike Anywhere, a collection of his writing about literature, television and culture. His essays and investigative stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Toronto Life, The Walrus, Canadaland, and elsewhere.

From the School of the Study of Canada:

He’s been a book columnist and noted poet and during his visit at Trent University, Michael Lista was ready to defend his craft – and the literary left – particularly at a time when the political elite seems on the verge of stepping into the ring at the slightest comment.

On February 9, 2017, speaking to a crowd at Traill College’s Bagnani Hall, he shared his own experiences in writing both ahead of, and following the U.S. election.

Throughout his address, Mr. Lista painted a picture of struggles facing literary writers who have, by and large, been described as left leaning. Now, he suggests, they are under fire much in the way they held the right to the fire for so long. He says, “It has resulted in a new, drawn-out battle, pitting literary writers against one another. It’s taken the focus, to some extent, off those who would normally be the target of the writers.”

This year, Mr. Lista has been named writer-in-residence, filling a fellowship established in 1988 as a tribute to and in memory of Margaret Laurence, Trent University’s fourth chancellor. It is co-administered by Department of English Literature and Canadian Studies Program and brings promising writers who are in the early stages of their careers to Trent University.

Mr. Lista has worked as a book columnist for the National Post, and as the poetry editor of The Walrus. He is also the author of three books and his essays and investigative stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Toronto Life, Canadaland, and numerous other publications.

Kate Taylor, an English major at Trent, says she was compelled to take in the address after Mr. Lista spoke to her advanced creative writing class earlier in the day. “It’s very interesting to hear a writer read their own work and describe the process and annotations they give to their own work that you don’t get when you read it on a website,” she says.  

 

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Trent Voices: Christopher Ward “Is This Live, Inside the Wild Early Years of MuchMusic”

December 13, 2016

From the first Canadian VJ (and Trent alumnus) Christopher Ward, Is This Live? captures the pure fun and rock ’n’ roll rebellion of the early years of MuchMusic television.
 
Christopher Ward joins us by Skype to talk about his latest book. We talked to Ward last year in a wide ranging interview about his career as an award-winning songwriter, music journalist, and author. You can find that podcast here. But when we heard that he was working on a book about the early days of MuchMusic, we made him promise that he'd come back to talk to us about it.  He graciously agreed.

From Penguin Random House:

On August 31, 1984, the Nation’s Music Station launched, breaking ground as the Wild (Canadian) West of television—live, gloriously unpredictable, seat-of-the-pants TV, delivered fresh daily.

The dream child of TV visionary Moses Znaimer, and John Martin, the maverick creator of The New Music, Much was live and largely improvised, and an entire generation of Canadians grew up watching the VJs and embraced the new music that became the video soundtrack of our lives.

The careers of Canadian legends like Blue Rodeo, Corey Hart, Jane Siberry, Bryan Adams, Platinum Blonde, Glass Tiger, Colin James, the Parachute Club, Honeymoon Suite, Barenaked Ladies, Maestro Fresh Wes and Sloan were launched when Much brought them closer to their fans. Much also gave us international acts (Duran, Duran, Tina Turner, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Madonna, Motorhead, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and covered the second wave of music activism with events like Live Aid and the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour. Ranging from Toronto’s iconic studio at 299 Queen Street West, to Vancouver’s MuchWest, MuchMusic’s programming travelled across Canada and connected the Canadian music scenes in an unprecedented way.

With stories of the bands, the music, the videos, the specialty shows, the style and the improvisational approach to daily broadcast life at Much, Is This Live? is told by the people who were there—the colourful cast of on-air VJs, the artists who found their way into our living rooms of the nation as never before, and the people behind the cameras.

As our tour guide to the first decade at MuchMusic Christopher Ward delivers a full-on dose of pop culture nostalgia from the 1980s and ’90s, when the music scene in Canada changed forever.

 

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Trent Voices Literary Series Part 3: Linwood Barclay

October 21, 2016

We are extremely excited to stream our #TrentVoices Literary Series. The impressive alumni lineup, which includes a who’s who of Canadian authors, is perfect listening for the chilly days of autumn.  Pull Up a chair, a cozy blanket, and a comforting beverage.

We hope that you’re as excited as we are.

This week:

From linwoodbarclay.com: Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's follow-up, No Safe House. Last summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, was released. Book two, Far From True was released earlier this year.  The finale, The Twenty-Three, was released this fall.

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Trent Voices Literary Series Part 2: Yann Martel

August 12, 2016

We are extremely excited to stream our summer #TrentVoices Literary Series. The impressive alumni lineup, which includes a who’s who of Canadian authors, is perfect listening for the dog days of summer. Tune in from your dock, deck, patio, or summer sanctuary.

We hope that you’re as excited as we are.

This Week:

Yann Martel

From Penguin Random House Canada: "Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs—tree planter, dishwasher, security guard—and traveled widely before turning to writing. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children."

His most recent work Is this year’s New York Times Bestseller The High Mountains of Portugal.

 

Also in the series:

Leah McLaren: August 5th -- click here for the the full interview.

From the Globe and Mail: “Leah McLaren is a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She’s published two novels, The Continuity Girl (2007) and A Better Man (2015) both with Harper Collins Canada and Hachette in the USA. The first was a Canadian bestseller, though the second is actually much better. Leah is the Europe correspondent for Maclean’s and is a regular contributor to the Spectator magazine (UK) as well as Toronto Life for which she won a gold National Magazine Award in 2012. She’s been writing a column in the Globe since1999. She lives in Ontario and London, England where she shares a home with her husband and two boys.” 

 

Linwood Barclay: September 2nd

From linwoodbarclay.com: "Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's follow-up, No Safe House. Last summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, was released. Book two, Far From True was released earlier this year.  The finale, The Twenty-Three, will be released this fall."

 

Janette Platana: September 9th

From Tightrope Books: "Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open."

 

Richard B. Wright: TBA

From Simon and Schuster: "Richard B. Wright is the author of thirteen novels and has won the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the CBA Libris Awards for Author and Book of the Year. His most recent novel is 2016’s Nightfall. He lives in St. Catharines with his wife, Phyllis."

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Trent Voices Literary Series Part 1: Leah McLaren

August 5, 2016

We are extremely excited to stream our summer #TrentVoices Literary Series. The impressive alumni lineup, which includes a who’s who of Canadian authors, is perfect listening for the dog days of summer. Tune in from your dock, deck, patio, or summer sanctuary.

We hope that you’re as excited as we are.

This Week:

Leah McLaren:

From the Globe and Mail: “Leah McLaren is a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She’s published two novels, The Continuity Girl (2007) and A Better Man (2015) both with Harper Collins Canada and Hachette in the USA. The first was a Canadian bestseller, though the second is actually much better. Leah is the Europe correspondent for Maclean’s and is a regular contributor to the Spectator magazine (UK) as well as Toronto Life for which she won a gold National Magazine Award in 2012. She’s been writing a column in the Globe since1999. She lives in Ontario and London, England where she shares a home with her husband and two boys.” 


Also in the series:

Yann Martel: August 12th

From Penguin Random House Canada: "Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs—tree planter, dishwasher, security guard—and traveled widely before turning to writing. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada, with the writer Alice Kuipers and their four children."

His most recent work Is this year’s New York Times Bestseller The High Mountains of Portugal.

 

Linwood Barclay: September 2nd

From linwoodbarclay.com: "Linwood Barclay is the #1 internationally bestselling author of thirteen novels, including Trust Your Eyes, A Tap on the Window, No Time for Goodbye and that novel's follow-up, No Safe House. Last summer, his thriller Broken Promise, the first of three linked novels about his fictional upstate New York town Promise Falls, was released. Book two, Far From True was released earlier this year.  The finale, The Twenty-Three, will be released this fall."

 

Janette Platana: September 9th

From Tightrope Books: "Janette Platana’s cheerfully disturbing, gleefully outraged, and chillingly beautiful stories break open the lives of apparently ordinary people who struggle and sometimes succeed in living without compromise, refusing to sacrifice the world they sense to the world they see, and where things can be true without ever being real. The range of this accomplished and poetic voice may cause vertigo, owing, as it does, as much to the Clash to Stephen King, to Caitlin Moran as to Flannery O’Connor, and something to David Sedaris. A Token of My Affliction will make you laugh while breaking your heart wide open."

 

Richard B. Wright: TBA

From Simon and Schuster: "Richard B. Wright is the author of thirteen novels and has won the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the CBA Libris Awards for Author and Book of the Year. His most recent novel is 2016’s Nightfall. He lives in St. Catharines with his wife, Phyllis."

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Trent Alumnus Mark Quattrocchi ’08 Cycles Around the World for Charity

July 19, 2016

On July 7th, 2014, Trent alumnus Mark Quattrocchi ‘08 departed on a two-year cycling journey around the globe, travelling across 40 countries, 5 continents, and 35,000km, all while raising money for Free the Children’s Adopt-A-Village program. The impressive trip has raised over $48,000 in support of education in underprivileged communities around the world.

Beginning in Sanya, China, where he spent time as an international teacher at a Canadian school, Mark cycled home to his small town of Rideau Ferry, Ontario, turning his dream of biking across the world into a reality. Mark experienced vast cultures, unique food, beautiful off-the-beaten-path landscapes, and friendly hospitality along the way.  It’s a journey he’ll never forget.

Cycling anywhere from 70 to 130km each day, then camping out in a tent by night, the trip was both physically and emotionally strenuous for the 28 year old. Yet, despite facing difficulty along the way, Mark’s passion for education and the success of his fundraising efforts for Free the Children continued to motivate him.

In June 2016 Mark’s spectacular journey came to an end when he cycled across the border into Canada and arrived at home. Raising money for Free the Children’s Adopt-A-Village program along the way, Mark’s ride has helped to build schools in Rural China, India, Kenya, and Ecuador. With each school costing $10,000 to build, Mark is still working towards his ultimate goal of raising $50,000 for the charity, which will support the completion of a fifth and final school in Nicaragua. To support Mark and Free the Children, click here.

Mark completed his Bachelor of Education at Trent University in 2012, having already completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Greek & Roman Studies at the university.

Having accomplished his goal of biking around the world, Mark is currently focusing on writing a book about his experiences. He is also speaking about his ride in locations around Eastern Ontario. He calls his talk, “Finding Your Bicycle Ride.”

Visit Mark’s website, www.oneadventureplease.com, to read about his experience.

Listen to the full podcast to hear about Mark’s cycling trip across the world.

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Trent University School of the Environment Seminar Series, Part 2

June 15, 2016

The four-part series showcased the breadth of research undertaken by scholars and scientists associated with the School of the Environment, which launched in September 2015 and brings together experts from a variety of disciplines who are teaching or studying environmental topics.

"Each meeting features two short presentations, one by a scientist and one by an arts or policy person, so that every session captures a bit of the diversity of scholarship that goes on here," explains Professor Bocking, who is also chair of the Environmental and Resources Studies Program.  "It's a way for researchers at the School to gain a better understanding of what everyone else is doing and to encourage collaboration and sharing."

Trent Voices will be playing two of these events.  This is the second installment. For the first seminar (the loss of trust from green energy prospecting in Ontario, presented by Stephen Hill; approaches to improving sustainability of crop production systems in Ontario, presented by Mehdi Sharif), please see: http://trenttalks.podbean.com/e/trent-university-school-of-the-environment-seminar-series-part-1/.

In this episode:

Poisoning a lake: The fate and effects of nanosilver added to a natural lake ecosystem, presented by Chris Metcalfe. Sketching a global history of ecology and environmental conservation, presented by Stephen Bocking.

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Trent Voices: Athena Reich Subverts Lady Gaga

May 11, 2016

Chatelaine Magazine recently named Athena Reich the “World’s Top Lady Gaga Impersonator.”  But to label her an impersonator would tell only a fraction of the story.  Reich, a talented artist in her own right, subverts Gaga with her own unique brand of feminist and queer music and drama – going so far as to incorporate her own pregnancy into a show called #ARTBIRTH, where Gaga delivers a baby live on stage.

 

How Gaga is Reich?

 

Billboard Magazine once printed a photo of her, mistakenly thinking it was Gaga.  Then there’s the fact that Gaga herself tweeted in support of Reich’s work.

 

In 2015 she starred as Lady Gaga in #ARTBIRTH at the Laurie Beechman Theater in NYC, which received multiple run extensions and a Time Out Critic's pick.

 

Reich is hardly limited to her impersonator role.  As a singer/songwriter, she has released 5 full-length albums and numerous singles. Her music videos have charted #1 on MTV LOGO and her song "Love is Love" won Best Pop Song at the Outmusic Awards.

 

As an actress, her credits include While Collar, The Perfect Murder, "An Evening with Donald Kempinski" (Little Fella Films), "Hush: Inside the Waiting Womb" (LA / NY).

 

Her music can be bought on iTunes or streamed on Spotify.

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