7 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 2 - October 2005

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  • Toronto
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  • October
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T Steve Reich

T Steve Reich prestigious Barlow prize (only the third and the youngest Canadian to do so) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. Aitken's earlier comment about having brought Steve Reich here when his star was still rising, reminded me that Soundstreams has an all-Reich concert coming up at the end of the month, October 30 at the MacMillan Theatre. I pointed out to Cherney the "solo composer celebration" similarities between the upcoming Widmann and Reich concerts. So then, why Steve Reich? Well, Cherney felt that, among all the international composer guests we have had in Toronto the past few years, very few represented the highly influential minimalist school, of which Reich is a pioneer. Reich also occupies ground rarely held by many living composers - his music is appreciated by a broad cross-section of the public, but also by new music aficionados. Plus, Reich has a strong Toronto connection, having worked for over 30 years with members of Nexus percussion ensemble. And why now? There are several reasons. Reich hasn't been to Toronto in more than 20 years. Soundstreams was given the opportunity to premiere Reich's You are (Variations) (2004 ), which he considers to be one of his best works. Finally, Soundstreams was able to collaborate with the University of Toronto to bring Reich in as a distinguished visiting composer. Certainly sounds like time is ripe. Later, looking back through the house program notes about the pioneering Pentlanc;I reminded me of another upcoming concert, Amadeus and the Artist celebrating a different Canadian woman pioneer - visual artist Doris McCarthy. I had looked around the Pentland audience for Lydia Adams. She's the conductor of the Amadeus Choir's Doris McCarthy concert on October 22nd at Yorkminster Baptist Church. Adams is a strong proponent of Canadian music in the choral community and I thought for sure she would be around to hear mezzo Judith Forst sing Pentland's Disaster of the Sun, which is set to poetry by Doris McCarthy. But I didn't see her. Finally, with all this talk about recognition for the individual, pioneering Canadian artist, I'd be remiss not to mention a sad and unexpected turn of events. Harry Freedman, one of Canada's greatest artists, activists, musicians, but first and foremost a composer, passed away on Friday September 16th at the age of 83. Often referred to as the nation's "most Canadian composer", Harry was widely regarded as one of Canada's most frequently performed musical creators. It always seems sad that we come to appreciate what we have once it's gone. As Walter Pitman says, beyond the body of some 200 musical works Harry has left to us for continued enjoyment, "he will be most remembered for his intense convictions framed by a free-spirited laugh and a radiant smile. Harry Freedman is and forever will be a piece of the Canadian mosaic and a part of everyone who experienced him." Jason van Eyk is the Canadian Music Centre's Ontario Regional Director. He can be reached at 416-961-6601 x. 207 or October News Roundup Coalition of New Music Presenters by Keith Denning OCTOBER 1s, in many ways, the first month of the season. Many of the Coalition's member groups, as well as others, get their seasons underway in October. Here follows a sampling of new music events across Toronto this month. Peter Chin, composer and choreographer, has created, with Tribal Crackling Winds, a new work for dancers and choreographed musicians called STUPA. This fascinating work runs from October 13th to 15th at the Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queen's Quay W. At the Music Gallery there are several terrific shows, including two featuring some ofmy favourite performers. On October 15th, composer and performer John Kameel Farah, along with astronomer John Dubinski present Gravitas. This fascinating work is an ongoing project to visualize and animate the dynamics of galaxies using computer simulations. Projected animations of the motion of galaxies are set to original music in the innovative synthesis of science and art. New Music Concerts presents German clarinettist and composer Jorg Widmann at the Music Gallery on October 16th at 8:00. Widmann is regarded as one of the world's great clarinettists, so don't miss this show! Nearing the end of the month, on October 27th, Esprit Orchestra presents a world premiere by Harry Freedman entitled Manipulating Mario. Also on the program are works by R. Murray Schafer and Dalbavie. Esprit presents its concerts at the Jane Mallett Theatre. Also on the 27th, the Music Gallery has an intriguing concert of songs by North American composers including Canadians Jean Coulthard, Harry Somers, Linda Catlin Smith, and Americans Ned Rorem and John Adams. Probably the biggest new music event of the month has to be Soundstreams Canada's concert on October 30th. Soundstreams will be bringing the great minimalist composer Steve Reich to the MacMillan Theatre at U of T. With members of Nexus, several of Reich's most famous works will be performed, along with the Canadian premiere of You Are (Variations). Finally we end the month, on October 30th, at the Music Gallery again. Accordionist extraordinaire Joseph Petric presents his concert Euphonia, featuring works for electroacoustics, live electronics, and of course, accordion, by Larry Lake, Yves Daoust, Bob Pritchard, Alcides Lanza. Yannick Plamondon's recent work DEFAIT, for accordion, electronics and string quartet, will be performed with Petric and the Penderecki String Quartet. All in all, a great month for new music in Toronto. If you are interested in joining the mailing lists of Coalition members, you can now do it simply and easily by visiting and clicking on "Mailing List Signup". From there, you can join the mailing lists of any or all Coalition members, and stay informed about everything that's going on. TRY something NEW! Your Visit to: • learn about the Toronto Coalition of New Music Presenters • view listings of new music events in Toronto and beyond • join the mailing lists ofToronto's exciting new music groups and more! ears deserve more than they've been getting. 26 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM Back to Ad Index O CTOBER 1 - N OVEMBER 7 2005

JAzz Notes by Jim Galloway Naturally Nat In the CD review section this month I have written about an album by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. On it is a number "Nature Boy", the one and only hit by a writer called Eden Ahbez, who was one of the original "hippies". There is an interesting background to the song. Ahbez tried to get Nat "King" Cole interested. At the time Cole was in fact looking to add a Jewish song to his repertoire and the melody of "Nature Boy" seemed to fit the bill. He tried it out a few times on his show, got some promising feedback on it and decided to make a recording. Now it gets really interesting. In those days of 78rpm recordings, there was an "A" side, which was considered to be potentially the more successful, and a "B" side which, in a sense went along for the ride. When the recording was first played on a New York radio station, there was a huge response to the "B" side and it went on to be a #1 hit. It doesn't end there because it so happened that there was an already published song called "Schwieg Mein Hertz" bearing more than a slight resemblance to "Nature Boy. Fortunately there was an out-of court settlement after the recording became a hit. But it then turned out that Eden Ahbez had given shares of the publishing rights to half a dozen other people! He ended up getting almost nothing in royalties. The happy ending? Nat Cole's widow got the rights in toto back to Ahbez and his one big song has become something of a standard. Ornette Concert highlight of the month has to be the rare appearance of Ornette Coleman on Oct 29 at Massey Hall. With him will be Greg Cohen & Tony Falanga, bass, and Denardo Coleman on drums. Coleman, one of a long line of important horn players who have come out of Texas, was born in Ft Worth on March 19, 1930. He began playing alto saxophone when he entered high school and later added tenor, playing rhythm and blues gigs around his home town until going on the road about 1950. He had been exposed to bebop which inevitably changed his approach to playing, but like Charlie Parker before him, had trouble being accepted because of his eccentric style. It wasn't easy to hold down a job and at one point he was stranded in New Orleans, having lost his tenor after being on the receiv- ing end of a bad beating from some hostile bar patrons. Using a borrowed alto he joined a band and it is some measure of his unusual approach that the bandleader, according to rumour, was paying him not to play before they finished the tour! He eventually moved to LA where he found some kindred spirits in the form of trumpeters Don Cherry and Bobby Bradford, drummers Billy Higgins and Ed Blackwell, (whom he had met in New Orleans), and bassist Charlie Haden. He met and married Jayne Cortez, and the couple had one child, Denardo, born in 1956, who, incidentally, will be playing drums with Ornette on his upcoming Massey Hall concert. Acceptance did not come easily and for years he continued to struggle to be heard. In 1959 there was a memorable breakthrough engagement at The Village Vanguard in New York and there was steady work for about a year followed by a grand total of two engagements in 1962. He dropped out for a couple of years during which time he learned violin and trumpet, re-surfaced at The Vanguard in 1965 and spent time in Europe all the while expanding his musical scope. A journey to Morocco in 1973 Ornette Coleman where he spent time with the Master Musicians of Joujouka influenced his own music and soon after he formed his Primal Time group. The '80s saw collaborations with jazzrock guitarist Pat Metheny and the Grateful Dead and gradually the accolades began to come in. Today, he still defies "pigeonholing", always expanding his artistic world. Ornette Coleman dramatically changed the way we listen to music. Early in his career he recorded an album entitled, 'The Shape of Jazz To Come.' The title was prophetic. Coleman is the creator of a concept of music called "harmolodic," a musical form which rejects the concept of rigid meters and conventional structure and harmonics. The musicians improvise equally CONTINUES Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicians with a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers Clergy Sunday, October 16th - 4:30 p.m. KELLY JEFFERSON, saxophone; PAT COLLINS, bass BRIAN DICKINSON, piano Sunday, October 30th - 4 :30 p.m. PHIL NIMMONS, clarinet; DAVID BRAID, piano Saturday, Dec 10, 2005 • 2 PM St: Lawrence Centre for the Arts Portickets, call (416) 366-7723 Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street (north of St. Clair at Heath St.) 416-920-5211 Admission is free. An offering is received to support the work of the church, including Jazz Vespers. Dave Snider Music Centre 3225 Yonge St. Pl-I (4 16) 483-5825 c Mai [: snide rm us i c @s n id c rm u s i c. com ww w. s n i d e rm us ic .com One of Toronto's Oldest Music Stores ... With The Best Selection of Pop, Jazz & Broadway Sheet Music in the city - For Beginners and Professionals - rsrampton l.§.urling ton Come in and browse over 25,000 sheet music publications. We have a wide array of Woodwind, Brass, Keyboards, Guitars and -1 Long&McQuade Accessories. Music Lessons offe red on site. - . w w w I a n 9 ~ m c q u ,1 d c Where the Music Begins OCTOBER 1 - NOVEMB ER 7 2005 WWW .THEWHOLENOTE.COM 27 Back to Ad Index

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