Gathering from across Ontario and Quebec, it has become a tradition to enjoy some extensive Persian hospitality (aka. feasts!) in between at-home, music room rehearsals of Ladom Ensemble. This is the same room where the group’s cofounder trained as a pianist for many years since arriving in Canada in 1998. Stews of herbs, eggplant, lime, and pomegranate, atop crisp-bottomed basmati rice, also began to fuel Ladom rehearsals and concerts once the group formed out of Pouya’s university years.
The group gathered at the University of Toronto’s music program as individuals from Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Quebec, and earlier still – Iran. The Canadian spread of the group reaches even further across the world as their all-original repertoire incorporates inspirations from Argentinian jazz/classical tango, Serbian folk dance, and Persian classical dulcimer, amongst others. Ladom doesn’t pretend to represent any one tradition, but rather expresses a more authentically Canadian fusion. Ladom has a musical identity combined from many sources and reflects a beautiful new world with a Western classical toolset.
Most recently, accordionist Michael Bridge somehow manages to bring his whole heart and ballooning talent to Ladom shows despite being extremely active performing around the world, from orchestras to Oktoberfest. Sock-foot on stage, Adam Campbell passes around a twinkle-in-the-eye during performances, and always brings the bottles… as part of his hand percussion toolkit! Cellist Marie-Christine’s crush on Toronto has not waned since she finished her studies, and she always delivers morning lattes for her hosts when she’s in town for concerts. Pouya always emerges from rehearsals declaring, “They’re such sweethearts!” In performance and composition, the pianist has a deep love for the music, and a profound humbleness that makes bragging impossible, although warranted. All are Master’s graduates or soon-to-be, alumni of the University of Toronto, and active musicians in various contexts.
While Michael thinks he’s speaking Farsi when he’s speaking Serbian, and Adam’s Anglophone accent endears him to francophone audiences, the words of Ladom’s reviewers couldn’t be clearer. CBC’s Errol Nazareth gave a glowing review of Ladom’s first, self-titled album: “I can honestly say that this is the first time I have heard such a fascinating mix and it really works well. The music can be very elegant and contemplative and it can also be rocking and fiery and there is no denying of the passion of the four musicians investing in their playing.” Of Ladom’s CD release show, Jane Harbury, renowned Canadian publicist, wrote, “The joy was universal and the standing ovation totally spontaneous.” Keywords: Joy, passion… and food! After one taste of Ladom Ensemble, you’ll join their new world of music.