A dark lab of musical exploration: LA timpa at Commonwealth Bar & Stage

LA timpa performing at the Commonwealth Bar & Stage, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Part of the Calgary Folk Music Festival Fall Concert Series.
© J. Ashley Nixon

It was a throw-back to my days, well-passed, of working in a dark room, developing photographs the old way. Chemicals, spiraling rolls of film and the red safety light to work under. The austere lighting at the Commonwealth Bar & Stage cast eerie shadows on the stage, forming the perfect mood for listening, if not photographing, the music of LA timpa, currently on tour with Cold Specks.

Submarines and factories

LA timpa stepped up on stage clad and hooded in full winter parka on what had actually turned out to be a rather warm day thanks to a Chinook breezing into Calgary. The military-like fashion and the ambient music from his keyboard tuned my mind down into deep places: submarines; and exploration through a dark abyss. Then the considered melodies accompanied by, not so much singing as, intriguing voice sounds, took me into hard-edged, contaminated industrial landscapes; a tannery in Yorkshire I used to work in, or an abandoned car factory I once explored in Detroit.

Animal instincts

I caught up with LA timpa (aka Christopher Soetan) after his gig, part of the Calgary Folk Music Festival Fall Concert Series, and he told me a little bit about his background and influences. His musical exploration is currently based on an EP released last year called Animals on the Toronto label, Slow Release. He’s a performer and a producer of moody experimental music that, while in a different music genre, reminded me of my first exposure to the psychedelia of Soft Machine from the 1970’s and Brian Eno’s work such as Ambient Music for Airports.

Four of the five tracks on his current EP contain the word animals. “Actually, it has nothing to do with animals, like actual physical animals at all,” he told me. “It’s a reflection of something conceived from events happening at that time which was me moving to Toronto and moving out of my parent’s place for the first time.”

Lagos links

Soetan was born in Lagos, Nigeria and his time there, particularly going to church, informed his approach to music. “Going to church every Sunday, and listening to beautiful melodies, and the choir, I think it transcends into the music that I make now.”

LA timpa is working on a new collection of music. “I don’t know if it’s going to be an LP or EP…it’s just going to be a project coming out.” We’ll have to see what that work is called, meanwhile, he continues his European and North American tour with Cold Specks, making the final set of gigs as they head across the Prairies back to Toronto.

You can hear Animals and see the LA timpa official video here:

More photos from the gig

For more photos of the LA timpa and Cold Specks gig at the Commonwealth Bar & Stage, please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications

Please go here for a review of the Cold Specks gig.



Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Music, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Star Gaiser scores a hat-trick against Grizzlys

Sarah Gaiser in action for Calgary Fire White against Olds Grizzlys in the Alberta Female Elite Bantam League game at East Calgary Twin Arenas.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Sarah Gaiser was the Girl on Fire today at East Calgary Twin Arenas, scoring a natural hat-trick of goals against Olds Grizzlys. Calgary Fire White scored four more goals making this their tenth win of the Alberta Female Elite Bantam League season.

Fire Hot in the Second

Hailey Wiltshire opened up the scoring for Fire White with the only goal of the first period. It was the second period when Fire White went hot and that did in the Grizzlys. Jordyn Hutt scored, then it was Gaiser with her first goal a minute later. She scored her second five minutes later with a tip-in from Jennifer Nixon’s shot from the blue line. And before the break, she was on the scoresheet again, assisted by Hannah Suto.

Seven goals at Seven Clubs

Chyenne Risling picked up her first goal of the season four minutes into the final period and Gracie Gilkyson made it seven at the old Seven Clubs Community Arena. Megan Yakiwchuk got the bare, consolation goal for the Grizzlys with four minutes to go in the game.

Final score: Calgary Fire White 7-1 Olds Grizzlys

Up next: There’s a bit of a break in the Alberta Female Elite Bantam League as WickFest (Female World Hockey Festival) plays out next weekend. Then it’s the return of Lethbridge Cyclones to ECTA’s on Dec 2, 2017.

Song of the match

Lots of ‘80s music today including Duran Duran’s Hungry Like the Wolf (1982), Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Come on Eileen (1982) and Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (1983). All good stuff in its time and still going strong. Or perhaps you’d prefer something a tad more recent like The Black Eyed Peas Let’s Get It Started (2003)? I’m going for a snatch of a ‘70s song from my all-time favourite punk bands played when the Fire White took a penalty in the second period: I Fought The Law by The Clash (1977). Nice timing, DJ! (Note: check out this version of the song from the Bobby Fuller Four from 1966. The recording has a magnificent Fender guitar sound and the light in the video is, well, just like ECTA’s: dim (I had to get that in somewhere this season).

More action from the game

For more photos from the game please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography


Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Hockey, Photography, Sports, Sports photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shutout Ali clinches Fire White win over Red

Calgary Fire White goalie Ali Kieren gets a shutout in the Alberta Female Hockey League (Bantam Elite) game versus Fire Red.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Ali Kieren got a shutout and Ryan Perrett picked up a pair as Calgary Fire White clinched a 3-0 win over their family rivals, Fire Red at Henry Viney Arena today. It was their ninth win of the season in the Alberta Female Bantam Elite Hockey League, further consolidating their lead in the table.

Fire White went into the break after 20 minutes with a single goal, Perrett’s first. Her blaster from the right faceoff circle gave the Red goalie Cienna Kinghorn no chance as it flew into the top left corner of the net.

No goals were scored in the second period, but the White’s built their presence on the ice, dominating play and repeatedly pinning the Red team back in their zone.

Perrett got her second goal of the game after seven minutes of the final period, taking a pass from Hannah Suto right in front of the net to beat Kinghorn again on her stick side. It turned into a three-goal game just over a minute later when Ashlynn Stitt scored from the right of the posts with traffic in front of the net.

Final score: Calgary Fire White 3-0 Calgary Fire Red

Up next: Fire White host Olds Grizzly’s at East Calgary Twin Arenas, Sunday, November 19 (10:00 am)

Song of the match

Hockey music fans across Canada were mourning the loss today of one of the founders of AC/DC. Sadly, Malcolm Young, the big, stay at home defender whose rhythm guitar riffs were a hallmark of the band passed away aged 64. In tribute, one of their many big hits, Dirty Deeds was played extensively during the final interval of the game. RIP Malcolm Young.

More action from the game

For more photos from the game please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography


Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Hockey, Photography, Sports, Sports photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The day after Remembrance Day

Girls of the Calgary Fire White hockey team helping to close down the Field of Crosses, Calgary for another year. Lest We Forget.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The Field of Crosses is an annual memorial to soldiers from southern Alberta who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives so that we might live our lives in freedom. It is a deeply moving tribute along Memorial Drive and the banks of the Bow River in Calgary with more than 3,400 crosses, individually identified by the name, rank, age and regimental or other military affiliation of comrades in arms.

The snows of fall covered the field through much of its annual presence this year between November 1-11. White on white, pitted by the red of poppies brought in their thousands by the people of Alberta, and beyond, humbly paying their respects to these soldiers, sailors and airmen.

The Day after Remembrance Day was a time to collaborate, across the ages and all walks of life. To enter this special place with dignity, taking care and time thinking about these fallen men and women and help take up and put away their crosses for another year.

We will not forget you.

With thanks and appreciation to Jen Stitt, to the girls of the Calgary Fire White Bantam Elite team, their coaches and parents who volunteered their time this morning.

For more images from The Field of Crosses, please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography



Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Documentary photography, Education, Heritage, Photography, Social documentary photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hutt on Fire holds off the Raiders

Jordyn Hutt breaks away to score her second goal for Calgary Fire White versus St. Albert Raiders in the Alberta Female Hockey Elite Bantam League.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Jordyn Hutt picked up two goals and an assist on Saturday night to give the Calgary Fire White a 4-2 win against St. Albert Raiders. The Alberta Female Hockey Bantam Elite League game started respectfully, with a minute silence in memory of those fallen fighting for our freedom. And there was a noble tribute by the Calgary team, who wore poppy decals on their helmets. Nice style, girls.

The balance of the first period went the way of the home side but St. Albert Raiders had a chance in the last five minutes with a power play. Nothing doing there as the Fire defense held tight. Going into the interval it was even Stevens.

The Fire started up immediately after the break with Jordyn Hutt’s first goal, assisted by Lizzie Mura coming up into the play from the defense. Halfway through the period, St. Albert equalized. Inspired by their goal and a power play opportunity soon after, their pace picked up and the visiting team put in some raids.  But with five minutes to go, Hutt picked up the puck on the halfway line to skate in and score a magnificent break-away goal.

The final period started up quickly, going four minutes without a whistle. Eight minutes in, the Fire took a penalty for body checking but the play went to four on four a minute later as the Raiders had one in the box for high sticking. But at precisely 11:11 on the clock, this eleventh day of November, the Raiders equalized. For a while, it looked as though the game might be heading into overtime but with four minutes to go, Mya Healey hit a humdinger from the outer edge of the faceoff circle that whizzed over Raiders goalie Natalie Balog’s left shoulder. Half a minute later, the Fire hit the net again, this one shot in from the right face-off circle by Mia Bierd, assisted by the Girl on Fire, Jordyn Hutt.

Final score: Calgary Fire White 4-2 St. Albert Raiders

Up next: Fire plays with Fire; White versus Red at Henry Viney on Saturday, November 18 (3:15 pm).

Songs of the match

There are three-star selections today as one of them is a bit elusive. First, the warm-up song, Whisky in the Jar, originally performed by Thin Lizzie in 1973. Get it Bone Saw? This version came before the Metallica recording but, in any case, it’s a traditional Irish song, and still best sung by Phil Lynott.  Second, for great timing is Psycho Killer by Talking Heads, played after the Fire took a 2-1 lead with Jordyn Hutt’s breakaway goal (This live recording is from the Old Grey Whistle test. Notice, it’s Tina Weymouth on bass, girls!) And third, is a song which might just well be played a few more times this season: Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash. Thanks to DJ Peter!

Which songs would you like to hear during these games? Let me know!

More action from the game

For more photos from the game please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography


Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Hockey, Photography, Sports, Sports photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fired up in Red Deer

Sarah Gaiser scores Calgary Fire White’s second goal in the Alberta Female Bantam Elite League game against Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Fire White put in their first appearance in Red Deer against the Sutter Fund Chiefs on Friday night and came away with their eighth win of the season. The first two periods didn’t have much to suggest where the game would go with both teams defending well. The first forty minutes of play resulted in just one goal, scored by Calgary with a power play 13 minutes into the second period. A shot from the blue line by Payton Evans was saved by Chiefs goalie, Brielle Guhl but the rebound was picked up by Jayna Barnden to put the puck away, five-hole, her first of the season.

The final period was barely started when Calgary went on their fifth power play. The Chiefs defense almost survived a wave of attacks but, with nine seconds left, Sarah Gaiser put the puck away, her fifth goal of the season. The visitors went into overdrive, playing some unrelenting, fast-paced hockey at Kinsman Twin Arenas, repeatedly pinning the Chiefs back in their own zone. Hailey Wiltshire got away from her marker and put through a speculative backhander that sailed stick side past the Chiefs goalie. Three goals up and the game was a clear win for White but there was more. With 1.3 seconds on the clock, Jordyn Hutt sniped one from the right of the posts over the goalie’s glove.

Final score: Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs 0-4 Calgary Fire White

Up next: Fire White host St. Albert Raiders at East Calgary Twin Arenas Saturday night, Nov 11.

Song of the match: Another One Bites The Dust (Queen, 1980)

More action from the game

For more photos from the game please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography



Posted in Alberta, Canada, Hockey, Photography, Sports, Sports photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

November Eleventh: another year to reflect #lestweforget

Pals together
© J. Ashley Nixon

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

For the Fallen
Robert Laurence Binyon, 1914

Lest We Forget. Peace not War

Remembrance Day, Calgary November 11, 2017

Posted in Documentary photography, Photography, Poetry, Social documentary photography | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments