8 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 1 - September 2012

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  • September
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • October
  • Gould
  • Sept
  • Theatre
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  • Symphony

uilding atrium

uilding atrium afterwards, to rehydrate and let a few words fly. Certainlyit was in the spirit of the upcoming event.We made a bit of a motley crew: Pia Kleber and Ron Davis, whomreaders have already met in the story; our “cover boys” Billy Iannaciand Andrew Testa (more about them in a moment); choreographer/director Clarence Ford who arrived too late for the photo shoot, butstayed anyway, revealing off the record a wonderful idea for his performancethat I promised not to spoil; and rounding out the picture,Lorne Tulk, Gould’s recording engineer who, as the story has it, andas Tulk will corroborate, was the closest thing Gould had to a brother,and was the only one of our gathering one with a direct connection tothe man behind the ever-evolving myth.IANNACI AND TESTA will perform at GGV as two members of a threesome,with DJ Sam Pereira (who spins under the name LRS, and is offbackpacking in India so couldn’t join us for the shoot, but he and I communicatedlater). Their piece is called “Gould’s DNA” and, especiallyin the context of the fact that they have never worked with each otherbefore, it’s interesting to hear them describe the piece they are workingon. “What makes us powerful and creative is that we each bringunique talents to the table,” says Pereira. “Billy is a talented producer(dissecting and breaking down Gould’s music into Midi). Andrew isa talented musician (drummer and composer). I am a DJ/conductorkeeping our performance on time, while providing contemporary elementsof the DJ (mixing, scratching and EQ-ing). We are still workingon our performance. I’d say the most ‘Gouldian’ thing about it will bethat we’re composing three different songs that will be themed aroundhis ideas on music and technology.”Pereira cheerfully confesses to knowing next to nothing about Gouldbefore the project, “a generation thing, you know.” But his bio also statesthat he has performed all over the world and currently maintains thewidest syndicated live-to-air broadcast in Canada, with weekly listenershipthat ranges between 500,000 and 1,000,000. So the “generationthing” cuts two ways.Iannaci began his musical career as a singer/songwriter, and has sincegravitated much more strongly to the production side. Testa works bothas a drummer and on the production/engineering side. Both are evidentlygetting a huge kick out of the process they find themselves in,in preparing for the event, not least in the evident camaraderie theyare developing with Tulk. “This whole thing,” Testa says, “has openedour ears to classical music and has challenged us to work on somethinga bit out of our element and we plan to dissect artists like Gouldin future projects.”“Our other goal,” Iannaci adds “is to have people know more aboutmodern composition technology, the things that most likely Gould himselfwould have been doing if the technology was available to him–whatwe call the “chopping” of audio ... it would be the splicing of audio, andwe’re going to use that to kind of create completely new compositions.Also, the other thing that we want to be highlighting is the programMelodyne, which is going to be able to read Glenn’s performances, andwe’ll be able to apply those performances to modern instruments, aswell as add our own little compositional flavours into it ... so for instancewe’ve been able to take Gould’s playing and apply it to 8-bit (8-bit islike the Nintendo sounds) — just creative things like that.”Tulk is smiling as they speak. “I am just sort of laughing at what theywere saying, about how they were able to do w what they were able toaccomplish ... it’s a magnificent program, Melodyne. That’s what Glennwould appreciate, the creativity, the freedom ... you’re free to create asyou wish. I always loved the phrase that Glenn had more than 88 keysin him. He just had so ... there were so many other aspects of him otherthan the piano.”“Maybe he’d never have touched a piano again if he’d had these tools,”I say. “What do you think? Do you think he’d have been swept awayby all of this?”“No. No, no” is Lorne’s reply. His mind was too active for that. Hismind would have gone with the times. He was a digital man with ananalog skin, yeah, no question. And no, I don’t think he would havegotten swept away, he would have been part of the era. He was veryquick at filling in the blanks.”For an expanded version of this article visit THE SCENESNina Draganic,“Lobbyist”BY REBECCA CHUAAnight at the opera is often burnished into memory as somehowgrander, more glamorous and opulent than any othernight. Soaring melodies, impressive sets, ingenious costumes:the sheer spectacle tends to obscure the hundreds of hours of beaveringand, more accurately, the years of preparation that made it all possible.Everyone conspires to make the magic happen. So in that moment wheneverything falls into place, it all somehow seems inevitable and werarely, while caught up in the moment,stop to question it: to wonder about thescience behind the magic, to speculatewhat might have happened instead, toask “what if?” These are questions for thelobby after the curtain has fallen.This month, our spotlight falls on anindividual whose life is bound up withwatering and feeding the beast that isopera, almost always out of the limelightand behind the scenes, indeedmore often in the lobby than in the hallitself! But in terms of life’s twists andturns, for Nina Draganic, who is amongother things the curator of the CanadianOpera Company’s lobby concert series,one could also ask “what if?”When we look at the choices we makein life, how do we distinguish betweenthe pivotal and the merely sequential?Certainly, little Nina Draganic had a verydifferent idea in mind when, at the ripeold age of eleven, she persuaded her parents to bring her home a piano.And when the precocious teenager set off to Queen’s University, shehad her sights set on a performing career, and was soon well on herway to achieving it.Then an injury to her hand derailed her hopes, but her love of languagesbeckoned, taking her to Florence, Vienna, Leningrad and Berlin.It was a heady time to be in Europe, particularly during the fall of theBerlin Wall. But it was her experiences, both personal and professional(including a stint at the Berlin Film Festival) that were to equip her forher return to Canada.If she had any inkling, from the very beginning, that the CanadianOpera Company was the eventual home for her, she certainly could nothave foreseen the role she would play, or the path she would take to getthere. When she became general manager of the Canadian Children’sOpera Company (then the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, a smallautonomous organization with close ties to the COC) she found herselfimmersed in every aspect of administration, staffing, finance, production,touring, publicity and fundraising, experiences that were to standher in good stead when she became executive assistant to the generalmanager at the Canadian Opera. Yet anyone who might have thoughtthe position was akin to that of a personal secretary obviously did notreckon with the force of nature that was Richard Bradshaw.“Richard Bradshaw was a man who didn’t sleep much at night, he wastoo busy concocting things,” Draganic remembers with a smile. “AndRichard had a passion for emerging artists on the cusp.” When he floatedthe idea of a free concert series that would showcase performers of allgenres at all levels, she says, “My face lit up like a 400-watt light bulb!”Those were tumultuous days. After 40 years, the COC was finally in thethroes of constructing an opera house of its very own, and preparationsKAREN REEVES10 September 1 – October 7, 2012

RCM_WHOLENOTE_4c_fullpage_Sept 12-08-17 11:32 AM Page 1KOERNER HALL IS:“As Good as it Gets! ”TORONTO STARSUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2012 7:30PMMAZZOLENI CONCERT HALLDavid LouiecelebratesBach & GouldHarpsichordist David Louie performs anall-Bach program with Alison Melville,traverso; Kathleen Kajioka, violin; StevenDann, viola; and Margaret Jordan-Gay,cello, in celebration of a great composerand the Canadian musical icon whochampioned his works.MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 7PMKOERNER HALLGlenn Gould’sBirthday BACHanaliaWe celebrate Gould’s birthday with Bach likeyou have never heard it – on a harp, a harmonica,a capella, as bluegrass, as the blues, and withGould “himself”! Join Mark O’Connor, HowardLevy, Trichy Sankaran, Autorickshaw, Retrocity,Sylvain Blassel, the Dave Young Trio, and others,as they serve up a feast of Johann Sebastian Bachin honour of Glenn Gould. Tickets start at SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2012 7PM - 7AM FREE EVENTThe Royal Conservatory’sScotiabank Nuit BlancheSylvain Blassel will play the complete Goldberg Variations by Bach on harp,and Small Wooden Shoe “Reads Difficult Plays and Sings Simple Songs.” Toronto’saudacious Lemon Bucket Orkestra will perform, John Coburn and other visual artistswill create new works live, students from The Glenn Gould School will play musicall night long, and you are invited to come and make visual art with us!THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012 8PMKOERNER HALLHong KongSinfoniettaconducted byYip Wing-sieThe Sinfonietta makes its Toronto debutwith a program of Prokofiev, Stravinsky,and a new work for orchestra and sheng.FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2012 8PMKOERNER HALLRoyalConservatoryOrchestraconducted byUri MayerMaestro Uri Mayer, harp soloist SophieBaird-Daniel, and the RCO performGershwin’s Cuban Overture, Ginastera’sHarp Concerto, and Brahms Symphony No. 4.SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2012 2PMMAZZOLENI CONCERT HALLBarry Shiffman& FriendsBarry Shiffman will be joined byTimothy Ying on the violin, cellistAndrés Díaz, pianist Jean Saulnie, andGlenn Gould School students andalumni in a program of Arvo Pärt andJohannes Brahms.273 BLOOR STREET WEST(BLOOR & AVENUE RD.)TORONTOON SALE NOW!

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