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Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019

  • Text
  • Composer
  • Song
  • Reviews
  • Piano
  • Performance
  • News
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  • Live
  • World
  • Choral
  • Education
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  • Classical
  • March
  • Music
Something Old, Something New! The Ide(a)s of March are Upon Us! Rob Harris's Rear View Mirror looks forward to a tonal revival; Tafelmusik expands their chronological envelope in two directions, Esprit makes wave after wave; Pax Christi's new oratorio by Barbara Croall catches the attention of our choral and new music columnists; and summer music education is our special focus, right when warm days are once again possible to imagine. All this and more in our March 2019 edition, available in flipthrough here, and on the stands starting Thursday Feb 28.

Until then, we have

Until then, we have Against the Grain Theatre’s Kopernikus to look forward to. Since the company’s past productions have audaciously reinterpreted operas of the classical repertoire, it seems a natural fit for AtG to move towards shaking things up in the unexplored world of Canadian opera (there are over 300 Canadian operas to choose from!). In the company’s press release, stage director Joel Ivany proclaims Kopernikus as “Canada’s greatest opera ever written” and promises an “an epic journey of fire, life, death and ultimately, hope.” His passion for the opera, and the stellar team that surrounds the production, does indeed give much to hope for: hope that Kopernikus receives the recognition it deserves and hope for a leading opera collective to guide us in towards a new era of (re) discovering our own Canadian works. Kopernikus is not only a work of great vision and originality, it is also the legacy of a deeply spiritual and intellectual man. From life to death and timeless mystical spaces, the opera transports its listeners on a journey without the usual grounding semantic references. What then, is a listener to do? As Paula Citron reminds us, in her 2001 article on Kopernikus for Opera Canada, Vivier said it best on opening night in 1979: “... Let things go and just listen to the sound.” Against the Grain Theatre presents Claude Vivier’s Kopernikus on April 4 to 6 and April 11 to 13 at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. Sophie Bisson is a PhD student in musicology at York University and an opera singer who is passionate about Canadian repertoire. Her doctoral research focuses on Canadian opera. Inna Perkis and Boris Zarankin Founders & Artistic Directors To The Letter: An Epistolary Celebration “ And none will hear the postman’s knock without a quickening of the heart.” — W. H. Auden FEATURING Allison ANGELO, soprano Andrea LUDWIG, mezzo soprano Inna PERKIS, piano Ernesto RAMIREZ, tenor Giles TOMKINS, bass baritone Kathryn TREMILLS, piano Boris ZARANKIN, piano Julia ZARANKIN, host APRIL 14, 2019 3:00 pm Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre 427 Bloor Street West To order tickets or subscriptions, please call 416.466.6323 or visit us at OFFCENTREMUSIC.COM Beat by Beat | In with the New Musical Creation Through Community Engagement WENDALYN BARTLEY Community-engaged arts practices have experienced tremendous exponential growth over the last few decades with many musical presenters taking on this mandate alongside their usual concert production activities. At the heart of this artistic practice is a dialogue between professional artists and community organizations with the outcome being a collective artistic expression. The process involved is considered as important as the final artistic result. In this month’s column, I’ll be looking at a cross-section of different community-based projects to give you a bird’s-eye look at different community-focused events in March. First though, a very preliminary view of an intriguing work in progress being co-produced by Soundstreams and Jumblies Theatre. Anishinaabe composer Melody McKiver has been commissioned by these two organizations to compose a work for string quartet and recorded voices. As synchronicity would have it, I was introduced to McKiver in a local restaurant, in early February, by Jumblies’ artistic director Ruth Howard, just before Soundstreams presented a performance of Steve Reich’s Different Trains, also a work for string quartet and pre-recorded tape. (My concert report of that evening can be viewed on The WholeNote website). Little did I realize at the time McKiver’s upcoming connection to what we were about to hear that night. Wanting to find out more about the project, I spoke recently on the phone with McKiver who was just ending a residency at the Banff Centre that brought together various Indigenous composers and performers. In our conversation, McKiver told me that Reich’s music has been a major influence and inspiration, particularly while studying for an undergraduate degree in viola performance at York University where they spent endless hours listening to Different Trains –.“at least 100 times,” they said. The new commissioned work is titled Odaabaanag, which means trains or wagons in Ojibwe, and is their response to Different Trains, composed in 1988. They will be using Reich’s methodology but looking at a different subject. Different Trains is Reich’s reflection as a Jewish-American composer on the Holocaust which he, living in the USA during the war, did not personally experience. McKiver’s work will also be for string quartet and recorded voices and will be McKiver’s reflection as a young Anishinaabe composer who did not live through the residential school era, but lives with the impact of what happened. In much the same way that Reich created his work from the speech rhythms of various interviews he conducted, McKiver will be interviewing Indigenous elders from their community—the Lac Seul First Nation—as well as others from Sioux Lookout in Northern Ontario, the home of a large Indigenous population. They will use excerpts from these recordings to form the melodic and rhythmic content of the work. Currently, McKiver is in the beginning stages of the compositional process, conducting the interviews and transcribing and reviewing the recordings to find those key phrases to use in the composition. The first elder they interviewed was Garnet Angeconeb, a well-known residential school advocate. I was shaken up when McKiver told me the story that Angeconeb spoke about in 20 | March 2019 thewholenote.com

Melody McKiver improvising in Jumblies' touring project, Four Lands of Sioux Lookout, 2016. the interview. During the 1930s, the Lac Seul First Nation community was flooded causing the loss of their entire land base. The cause of this flooding was a hydro dam project which the community was not told of and almost overnight, up to 40 feet of water appeared, destroying people’s homes and livelihoods. It was an apocalyptic moment, McIver said, that continues to have an ongoing impact on the community. While Jumblies and Soundstreams are based in Toronto, McKiver has been given the opportunity and flexibility to work from their own land base. “This is so integral to being an Indigenous composer, to still live on my ancestral homelands and to be able to share this work.” They’ll be providing excerpts from the interview tapes as well as Skyping in to dialogue with Jumblies’ community groups in Toronto. “There will be a long discussion process throughout the creation of the work,” McKiver said. “People won’t just be meeting the voices of my elders through the format of a string quartet, but the community will be able to listen to a 20-minute story rather than just a threeminute excerpt used in the string quartet. This way they can become acquainted with the stories and teachings that are being shared with me in multiple ways.” Working with these stories has profound meaning for McKiver and navigating the transition point between the recorded stories and the string quartet form is challenging. McKiver seeks to “honour the stories that have been shared with me and this process is giving me a moment to deeply reflect on the teachings that I have been gifted. An important part of the process for me is to find a way where I can amplify these voices in a manner that is respectful.” A work-in-progress performance is planned for May 2019 with the premiere performance scheduled for November 2019. Additional plans include a potential tour to Sioux Lookout as well as possible inclusion of interdisciplinary elements arising from the overall process. As well, there will be a companion choral piece composed by Melody’s mother, Beverley McKiver, using the same themes and source material to be performed by the Gather Round Singers, Jumblies’ mixed-ability, mixed-age community choir. History of Bathurst Street Sounds The History of Bathurst Street Sounds is another community-based partnership project, bringing together the Music Gallery, A Different Booklist, 918 Bathurst and Myseum of Toronto. On March 24, people can learn about the history of Bathurst Street soundscapes during a panel discussion and photo gallery launch at A Different Booklist to be followed by a parade to 918 Bathurst St. for an exhibition of Bathurst St. music archives. The history of music on Bathurst St. largely centres around various clubs, shops and the prominent Western Indian community historically located on Bathurst around Bloor. The extensive cluster of influential clubs in the Bathurst area included The Trane Studio, Lee’s Palace, the Annex Wreckroom/Coda, and even Sneaky Dee’s, originally located across from Honest Ed’s. Clothing stores such as Too Black Guys helped supply the apparel for many golden-age hip-hop videos, and even Honest Ed’s was once a destination for record buyers before its tenant Sonic Boom moved elsewhere. Various calypso mas ensembles were associated with spots in the area and the bookstore A Different Booklist has hosted a variety of Afrocentric cultural activities over the years. With all the changes happening in the neighbourhood and with the reconstruction of the Bloor/Bathurst intersection and much of Markham St, this event offers a rare opportunity to listen in to soundworlds both past and present. Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan Gamelan music originates from Indonesia where its unique and complex sound textures have provided an essential and vital role Kurt Weill RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF Mahagonny in German with English surtitles The search for everlasting happiness under the imaginative allure of Kurt Weill’s melodic style! Robert Cooper C.M., Music Director The VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert Chorus Narmina Afandiyeva, Pianist VOICE B OX OPERA IN CONCERT Guillermo Silva-Marin General Director Elizabeth DeGrazia Beste Kalender* Evan Korbut*, Cian Horrobin, Joshua Clemenger, Danlie Rae Acebuque and Edward Larocque *Winner of a 2018 Stuart Hamilton Memorial Award for Emerging Artists 416-366-7723 | 1-800-708-6754 | www.stlc.com Michael Barrett SAT.MARCH 30 at 8:00 pm & SUN.MARCH 31 at 2:30 pm thewholenote.com March 2019 | 21

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)