I first experienced his music on an Easter Sunday CBC special called "Churchgoing" (no where near as religious as it sounded...included readings and a Monty Python sketch!). Metro and I were driving and suddenly this song came on:
He had just released his CD, Camino, to critical and audience raves. Camino was recorded over two months in 2004 as he and two friends walked the Camino de Santiago, an ancient trail that wanders across France and Spain. Schroer stopped in churches along the way to play his violin.(Hmm...the Camino is a pilgrimage, not merely a trail. Silly newspaper!)
The music recorded along the way, with rudimentary equipment that he and his friends carried for 1,000 kilometers, was soaring -- violin pieces played in old cathedrals along the way. It appealed to me also as an architecture buff, as you can almost hear the expanse of vaulted ceilings in this music. I immediately went out and bought the CD, and it is now one of my favourites, that I force friends to listen to all the time.
But in the end, succumbing to leukemia at 52, it will be his attitude that stands out:
His acceptance of his imminent death comes from how he has lived.
"As an artist, I found my own unique voice and have been able to publicly express that voice. I've gotten to collaborate with different wonderful musicians. What more does an artist want?
"I'm one of the burning-bright guys who fire it all up and then go down in flames."