8 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 2 - October 2005

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WORLD View by Karen Ages

WORLD View by Karen Ages Tms MONTH'S world music offerings include tastes of India, an Asian-western blend, Georgian singing, Old-time/bluegrass, Portuguese Facto, and some Klezmer/ jazz in a theatrical context. If you're an early bird in picking up WholeNote, you can still catch the last two events of this fall's Small World Music festival: both at the Al Green Theatre, autorickshaw (last month's cover story) performs September 30 and October 1; and Sidi Goma closes the festival October 2. This 12- member ensemble of African-Indian Sufis from Gujarat (India), presents a program called "Sacred Joy" which promises to be an exhilarating evening of drumming, dancing and Sufi mysticism. Sacred space The highlight for me this month, will be the latest work by awardwinning multi-disciplinary artist Peter Chin, STUPA, a large-scale dance and music work which explores the concept of sacred space both physical and metaphysical. The work takes its name from the dome-shaped Buddhist monument found in many parts of Asia. Inspired by Chin's many years of study and research in that part of the world, this "ritual meditation", employs seven dancers, six musicians and one person meditating on stage throughout the performance. Chin not only choreographed the work, but also designed the costumes, wrote the text and composed the music. The latter, he explains, features an unusual combination of eastern and western instruments. These include Indonesian Gamelan instruments, kacapi (20-stringed zither), suling (Indonesian flute), Tibetan ritual horns including a human thighbone horn (used to accompany "wrathful" characters), Tibetan cymbals and bells, as well as per- Geo. I I , D cussion, violin, trombone and double bass. The music itself uses a scale that is a combination of the Indonesian "slendro" and "pelog" scales (the western instruments can tune to this) and there is also a segment inspired by the overture to Handel's oratorio Belshazzar. Most of the music was composed through working directly with the dancers, the music coming out of the sometimes angular, non-metered rhythms of the choreography . Incidentally, the musical director for the work is autorickshaw's own Debashis Sinha (also on percussion), and Andrew Timar, featured in last month's "How I met my Teacher" will be on kacapi, suling and Tibetan horns. Those interested in the integration of music and dance won't want to miss this work, running October 13-15 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Those among you who attended WholeNote's June 6 World Music Salon will recall the Georgian a capella vocal ensemble Darbazi. One of its members, Andrea Kuzmich, has recently returned from Georgia where she has been doing field research for her Master's thesis in ethnomusicology, focusing on the cultural complexities of Tbilisi folk music ensembles. If you enjoyed Darbazi, you might enjoy her trio Zari, which will perform at Mezzetta's Cafe (St. Clair west) on October 19. Recommended by fiddler Erynn Marshall (who was also featured on the June 6 Salon), Camp Mountain, a Virginia old-time/ bluegrass stringband with dancer, gives two performances and a workshop this month. They perform October 22 in Guelph (see our Further afield listings) and October 23 at the Flying Cloud Folk Club in Toronto. To attend their fiddle , banjo, guitar and flat- ~ & Co. Limited CONSERVATORS & PURVEYORS OF Fine & Rare Violins 20 I Church St. , Toronto, ON. MSB I Y7 Tel: 416-363-0093 • Fax: 416-363-0053 Email: Canada's foremost violin experts. Proud of our heritage. Excited about the future. foot dance workshops (Oct 22, Toronto) call Erynn at 416-516-3796 (www.hickory jack .com). Rooted in Portuguese folk music and Facto, singer Dulce Pontes performs October 27 at Roy Thomson Hall. One of her Mark Johnson and Yves Candilu in STUPA Oct 13-15 country's most beloved artists, her first album (1992) is one of the best-selling records of all time in Portugal. Part of the "Rejewvenation" conference being held at U of T October 28-31, Queer Jewish Weddings features performers Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg of the Klezmatics, jazz pianist Marilyn Lerner, Yiddish singer and actress Adrienne Cooper and juggling diva Sara Felder. This world premiere explores the cultural, historical, emotional, political and comical aspects of queer Jewish weddings, October 29 at the Al Green Theatre. Bound to be entertaining! Don't forget to check the daily listings for details on all of these events. Karen Ages is a freelance oboist who has also been a member of several world music ensembles. She can be reached at 416-323-2232 or at 24 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM O CTOBER 1 - N OVEM BER 7 2005 Back to Ad Index

SoME THING New by Jason van Eyk IT's INTERESTING TO SEE how events independently conceived and executed become connected, how uniting themes develop. This is often the case in Toronto's new music scene, where ensembles and presenters offer their own separately conceived concert seasons, all of which make up the wonderful richness of our musical scene. Still, occasionally and unsuspectingly, coincidental similarities in approach create the illusion of an overall plan. This is no truer than in October's offerings. Individuals celebrated This month's concert trend might be termed a celebration of the individual. It's a trend that was foreshadowed in the season's first event on September 19th -- New Music Concerts' presentation of the Turning Point Ensemble in an all-Barbara Pentland programme. Arriving at the concert hall for a bit of the pre-concert chat, I caught the tail end of a dialogue between NMC artistic director Robert Aitken and Turning Point conductor Owen Underhill about a perennial habit of new music programming - namely how rarely works from the recent past are re-visited. This particular evening focused on Barbara Pentland's music was presented as a challenge to that very habit. Underhill and Aitken continued to illuminate the audience to her work and life, Pentland having been one of Canada's pioneering composers of the post-war period, a determined innovator, and an exacting artist in the interpretation of her works. Hearing the two men talk reminded me ofmy own private illuminating discussion with Aitken the day I I . before. We discussed NMC's next concert, on October 16th at the Music Gallery, which focuses exclusively on the work of German composer and clarinetist Jorg Widman. I was curious as to what had inspired Aitken to develop a concert solely of Widman's music? Why specifically this composer? And why at this time? Well, as he reminded me, New Music Concerts has a long history of catching emerging talent before they launch off onto international recognition. For example, NMC had brought world-renowned American minimalist Steve Reich to Toronto before he blazed up into a stellar international career. Likewise, Widman is an up and coming talent in Germany, and very quickly in all ofEurope. His achievements at an early age are already great - a Hochschule professorship at age 26, a publishing contract with Schott (putting him alongside the greatest contemporary composers), two opera commissions from Kent Nagano, and a string of other commissions so long sometimes he doesn't bath or shave to leave time to compose. Many don't receive this type of reward and recognition until much later in their careers. It will be a special treat to catch Widman's star rising. As the Pentland pre-concert chat ended, the A-list concert crowd that NMC attracts took their seats. I was lucky enough to sit beside Lawrence Cherney, artistic director of Soundstreams Canada. Beside him was Brian Current, a young and very talented Canadian composer who is also on the rise - a winner of the CONTINUES -- ·l l : " ., ~_,.~i; ,. Violins, violas, cellos, and bows Complete line of strings and accessories Expert repairs and rehairs Canada's largest stock of string music Fast mail order service Back to Ad Index

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