A Tribute to Jonah Poplove

"Immortal"

Small World Music Centre, Toronto

Behind the Scenes of "Immortal" Tribute Production

Photo Still Taken by Nam Hoang

On September 24th, 2017, the world lost an incredible artist.

 

Jonah Poplove, a native of Ottawa, took his own life after suffering from years of severe depression. His funeral on September 26th, 2017 was attended by hundreds, and his final resting place resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

In January of 2018, the production of a tribute short film was initiated to commemorate and honour the memory of Jonah. In Collaboration with The National Youth Orchestra of Canada, DanceTeq Toronto, and The Grigori String Quartet (With Guest Violist, Carolyn Farnand), the tribute production aims to spread awareness of mental illness and well-being of artists.

Jonah was a phenomenal friend, incredible musician and singer, loving teacher & mentor, occasional mandolin player and electric violinist, exciting improviser and busker, and a totally badass chess player.

 

This page was published to document and share the process of creating this production for our friend.

Immortal

 

Behind the Scenes photographs and footage screenshots of production, "Immortal".

A Production dedicated to The Late Jonah Daniel Poplove (1993-2017)

 

Filmed May 2018 in Toronto, Canada 

 

Directed, Produced, & Edited by Stelth Ng

 

Grigori String Quartet

Stelth Ng, Violin

M Gillian Carrabré, Violin

Matt Antal, Viola

Tess Crowther, Cello

Guest Violist

Carolyn Farnand

 

Dancers

Tyler Gledhill

Anna Pogulyaeva

 

Choreographer 

Jeremy Nasmith

Cinematography

Luke Saagi

 

First Assistant Camera & Gaffer/Key Grip

Alex Marshall 

 

Make Up Artist

Maria Tomski

Colorist

Erik Bayley, Alter Ego Post Inc.

Lighting Technician

Reza Moghaddas

 

Behind The Scenes Photography

Shiyang Peng

 

Behind The Scenes Video

Nam Hoang

 

Venue Director

Alexander Bordokas

Production Assistant

Connor Kent

 

Music

Phantasy Quintet

 

Composer

Ralph Vaughan Williams

 

Audio Recording & Production

Matt Antal, SMO Studios

 

Special Thanks To:

 

National Youth Orchestra of Canada

Small World Music Centre

DanceTeq Centre Toronto

The Poplove Family

Barbara Smith

Marcy Tepner

Dedicated to The Late Jonah Daniel Poplove (1993-2017)

Thanks & Notes on this Production

The name of this production is inspired by the famous "Immortal" Chess Game that took place on June 21, 1851 in London between Chess Grandmasters, Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky.

 

The bold sacrifices and poetic risks made by Anderssen to secure victory have made it one of the most famous chess games of all time. Anderssen gave up both rooks and a bishop, then finally his queen, checkmating his opponent with his three remaining minor pieces.

 

The game has been called an achievement "perhaps unparalleled in chess literature".

This Immortal Chess Game is shown as the very last shot of the film; played on a chess board that Jonah gifted to me in 2014. 

Using the struggle between black versus white, as well as the costume choices for the musicians and two dancers, the symbolic opposition between the two sides are representative of the conflict and peace that Jonah fought with during his life.

The choice of music, Vaughan Williams' Phantasy Quintet features instrumentation that includes two violas, two violins, and a cello. Vaughan Williams was Jonah's favourite composer, and the two viola lines in this composition share the spotlight throughout the composition.

 

The first and third movements of the Quintet were selected for this production, with the first movement representing a biographical sketch of Jonah, and the last movement, as a peaceful resolution of his spirit. 

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Thank you to the Poplove Family, and Marcy Tepner, for arranging the loan of Jonah’s own viola for the recording and filming of this production.

 

In the first movement, the Viola 1 Solo was played and recorded by Matt Antal on Jonah’s Viola. The following movement was then switched, with Carolyn Farnand performing the Solo Viola Line throughout the movement on his viola as well. We wanted to make this production as personal as possible, and felt that recording on Jonah's own viola would truly immortalize Jonah's Voice & Memory.

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The viola shown in the production was constructed by Ottawa-based luthier, Guy Harrison.

 

Jonah used and performed on this sole viola for the majority of his life and career. The opening and closing of the viola case in the beginning and ending of the production respectively represents one final performance - a 'Rebirth' - of his soul and voice. 

As in the tribute, he always has been, and always will be surrounded by his closest friends and all those who love him dearly.

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Last Note

This is far from over. This is just the beginning. We can no longer afford to allow 'taboo' subjects such as depression, anxiety, and mental illness to be pushed to the backs of our minds. What's more painful than talking about our struggles is having to endure the loss of someone close to us - when we could have done something.

 

We must do more than just send our thoughts and prayers.

 

We must act.

 

We must talk.

 

We must open up the conversations and support groups and let our friends in need know that we are here for them. Behind every smile we see hides a history of struggles we know nothing about.

 

The time is now. 

Thank You To All Our Sponsors & Donors for Supporting This Production!

SPONSORS

National Youth Orchestra of Canada

Small World Music Centre

DanceTeq Centre Toronto

The Poplove Family

Barbara Smith

Marcy Tepner

 

DONORS

The Yang Family

The Lin Family

Chris Soong

Ann Sia-Lin

Rimoun Marbain

Tyler Liu

Dejia Lu

Michelle Zheng

Michael Lam

Jessica Buckerfield

Rosalind Zhang

Roland Gjernes

Rahim Ladha

Christopher Lau

Laura Telford

Alison von Criegern

Bonnie Crowther

Bryan Holt

Stephen Sitarski

Rahim Ladha

Lauren Tyros

Alison Hackney

Anita Pari

Alana Mistry

Rebecca Yu

Elsa Marshall

Anne Lockard

Megan Shung Smith

C Chen

Warren Cohen

Jasmine Michel

Miya Capogreco

Alisa Klebanov

Kathleen Desson

Flora Liebich

Valerie Jerabek

Hali Krawchuk

Deanna Bourne

Boris Ulanowicz

Erik Johnson-Scherger

Lindsey Herle

Grace Bruno

Jeanne-Sophie Baron

Catherine Gray

Carolyn Farnand

Sunny Chan

Anna Norris

Stefan Saalmink

Cheryl Calof

Nicholas Piper

Deanna Choi

Yeganeh Sotudehnia

Shuying Zheng

Asha Weber-Juggoo

Dominique Trudel

Julien Simard

Gabrielle Israelievitch

Basia Walczak

Jaeyoung Chong

Yolanda Bruno

Marta Roller

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