“There are things you expect to hear from a classical-music composer like Andrew Balfour: that he grew up singing in a church choir. That he began playing an instrument at an early age – in his case, trumpet. That while other kids were grinding out guitar licks, miming Bruce Springsteen or David Bowie (he grew up in the 1970s), Balfour was air-conducting Beethoven.
Then there are the parts of Balfour’s life story that make eyes widen, as he talks, in even, measured tones, about being taken from his Cree mother when he was an infant in 1967, as part of the Sixties Scoop. Or when he tells you that he spent several years living in extreme poverty in downtown Winnipeg. Oh, and did he mention that he spent four months in prison?..”