1 year ago

Volume 26 Issue 6 - March and April 2021

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96 recordings (count’em) reviewed in this issue – the most ever – with 25 new titles added to the DISCoveries Online Listening Room (also a new high). And up front: Women From Space deliver a festival by holograph; Morgan Paige Melbourne’s one-take pianism; New Orleans’ Music Box Village as inspiration for musical playground building; the “from limbo to grey zone” inconsistencies of live arts lockdowns; all this and more here and in print commencing March 19 2021.

The WholeNote VOLUME

The WholeNote VOLUME 26 NO 6 | MARCH/APRIL 2021 Wholenote Media Inc. Centre for Social Innovation 720 Bathurst St., Suite 503, Toronto ON M5S 2R4 PHONE 416-323-2232 | FAX 416-603-4791 Publisher/Editor in Chief | David Perlman Chairman of the Board | Allan Pulker EDITORIAL Managing Editor | Paul Ennis Recordings Editor | David Olds Blog/E-Letter | Sara Constant Social Media | Danial Jazaeri, Colin Story Listings Editor | John Sharpe SALES, MARKETING & MEMBERSHIP Concert & Event Advertising / Membership | Karen Ages Production & Operations / Advertising Art | Jack Buell, Classified Ads | Website/Systems Support | Kevin King Circulation/Subscriptions | Chris Malcolm & Sheila McCoy SUBSCRIPTIONS +HST (3 issues)* *additional international postage applies THANKS TO THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS Camille Kiku Belair, Gloria Blizzard, Max Christie, Paul Ennis, Robert Harris, Richard Marsella, Jennifer Parr, David Perlman, Colin Story, Steve Wallace CD Reviewers Sophie Bisson, Stuart Broomer, Max Christie, Sam Dickenson, Daniel Foley, Raul da Gama, Janos Gardonyi, Richard Haskell, Tiina Kiik, Kati Kiilaspea, Roger Knox, Pamela Margles, Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, David Olds, Ted Parkinson, Ivana Popovic, Cathy Riches, Terry Robbins, Michael Schulman, Michael Schwartz, Adam Scime, Andrew Scott, Adam Sherkin, Bruce Surtees, Andrew Timar, Yoshi Maclear Wall, Ken Waxman, Proofreading Karen Ages, Sara Constant, Paul Ennis, John Sharpe Listings Team Ruth Atwood, Tilly Kooyman, John Sharpe, Gary Heard, Colin Story Design Team Kevin King, Susan Sinclair Circulation Team Lori Sandra Aginian, Wende Bartley, Beth Bartley & Mark Clifford, Jack Buell, Sharon Clark, Manuel Couto, Paul Ennis, Robert Faulkner, Soudy Gaeeni, Terry Gaeeni, James Harris, Micah Herzog, Jeff Hogben, Bob Jerome, Chris Malcolm, Luna Walker- Malcolm, Sheila McCoy, Lorna Nevison, Garry Page, Andrew Schaefer, Tom Sepp, Julia Tait, Dave Taylor. an Ontario government agency un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario STORIES & INTERVIEWS 18 JAZZ NOTES | Listening Fast and Hearing Long | STEVE WALLACE 20 TEACHING MUSIC | Up Close and Impersonal? A New Kind of Educational Intimacy | COLIN STORY 22 COVER STORY | SHHH!! Means Listening to This | MAX CHRISTIE 54 REARVIEW MIRROR | Toronto ‘woke leftist’? Sounds like a plot | ROBERT HARRIS 20 Volume 26 No 7 May 7 – June 24, 2021 Free Event Listings NEW! Weekly online updates: 6pm every Tuesday for Friday posting May/June print edition listings: midnight Monday April 19 Display Advertising, reservation deadline 6pm Tuesday April 20 Classifieds deadline 6pm Saturday April 24 Publication Dates Friday, April 30 (online) Friday, May 7 (print) Upcoming Dates & Deadlines WholeNote Media Inc. accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported on or advertised in this issue. Printed in Canada Couto Printing & Publishing Services Circulation Statement February 2020 4,000 printed & distributed Canadian Publication Product Sales Agreement 1263846 ISSN 14888-8785 WHOLENOTE Publications Mail Agreement #40026682 DISCOVERIES: RECORDINGS REVIEWED 28 Editor’s Corner | DAVID OLDS 30 Strings Attached | TERRY ROBBINS 33 Vocal 36 Classical and Beyond 39 Modern and Contemporary 45 Jazz and Improvised Music 49 Pot Pourri 51 Something in the Air | KEN WAXMAN 52 Old Wine, New Bottles | BRUCE SURTEES LISTINGS 24 By Date 27 Classified Ads Summer Music Education, 2021 Read the up-to-date new profiles as they arrive online under the tab “WHO’S WHO!” at Next Three Issues: Vol 26 No 7: May 7, 2021 Vol 26 No 8: June 25, 2021 Vol 27 No 1: September 14, 2021 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: WholeNote Media Inc. Centre for Social Innovation 503–720 Bathurst Street Toronto ON M5S 2R4 COPYRIGHT © 2021 WHOLENOTE MEDIA INC 4 | March and April 2021

FOR OPENERS | DAVID PERLMAN If This Were a Podcast If this was the preamble to a “For Openers” podcast (now there’s an idea!), instead of just words on a page, I’d start each episode with 15 to 20 attention-grabbing seconds of arrestingly musical noise. Then, once I had your attention, I’d lure you further in with a few carefully scripted off-the-cuff remarks, like these, as to why that particular soundbite was the perfect lead-in to this particular episode. Next, I’d drop in a choice quote about the snippet we’d just heard (“It’s a sort of bizzaro polka with some incredible combinations of sounds and, as you can see from the smiles of the musicians’ faces, a treat to perform.”) After that, we’d listen to the whole piece (about five minutes). And after that, the big reveal – “my guest this episode is …” And away we’d go. No more script, and only a few holds barred. If this were a podcast, by now I’d have told you that today’s opening soundbite (and the choice quote) come courtesy of percussionist Ryan Scott, director of Continuum Contemporary Music, one of several presenters around (a topic for another time) who have really latched onto the e-letter, with its capacity for embedding music, as fundamental to maintaining contact with their audiences. The pandemic-inspired Continuum newsletter I found this piece of music in is called “Throwback Thursday”. It features performance videos from back in the day when videos like this were the icing on the cake, not the cake itself – more like souvenirs, for those who were there or wish they had been; moments in real musical time, with live audiences attending on sounds flung live into the air, unfiltered, and the players in turn feeding off the energy of that attentiveness. This particular “Throwback Thursday” segment revolves around a Continuum concert from almost a decade ago (February 12 2012) titled ORGANized. It took place at the Music Gallery, back in the Music Gallery’s St. George-the-Martyr days. The clip, I’d have explained by now, is the premiere performance of a commissioned work titled Remix for Henk, which opened the concert. And I’d have mentioned that not only did the piece set the tone for the evening, but the whole evening would likely not have happened had the composer of the piece not introduced Scott and his co-director Jennifer Waring to Henk de Graauw in his shed in Bramalea … . (But that’s their story, not mine.) And then, if this were a podcast, we’d listen to the whole piece, right through (five minutes). After that – the moment you’d have been waiting for – I’d introduce my guest: Richard Marsella, composer of Remix for Henk, executive director of Regent Park Community Music School, the eponymous “Friendly Rich” of the band Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People (you can look them up). And, drumroll please, the writer of a community arts story in the current issue of The WholeNote, on the postpandemic community-building potential of musical playgrounds. I’d probably start by asking my guest to connect the dots: from the music he composed for Continuum almost a decade ago, inspired by Henk de Grauuw’s musical workshed, to the piece he just wrote for us, inspired by post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction in New Orleans. After that? We’d gallop off in all directions. If it worked, you’d be left with some things to think about in terms of the nature of community arts, as well as suggestions for other samples of arrestingly musical noise to go look for. If this were a full-fledged launch party for the current issue, to take the podcast idea one step further, there would be way more planning involved, and a compelling argument for inviting supporters of our magazine, like you, to join the audience (live and/or virtual, as permitted) at some appointed moment in real time, for the event. There would also for sure need to be more than one guest, given the range of content the issue covers. In any issue of the magazine, like the one you have just started reading, figuring out a running order that connects the dots is always a challenge – figuring out how to paint a larger picture, without compromising the integrity of each separate piece. A bit the way good concerts do. But a launch party like this would be a whole other challenge, and one that, come to think of it, I’d probably be lousy at, given the kind of choreography required for the kind of occasion it would need to be in order not to crash and burn. I get too easily distracted by delightful coincidences. In this case, for example, I’d be obstinately insisting to my co-curators that the next guest after Marsella has to be Max Christie and his story about Ottawa’s SHHH!! chamber duo, which digs into why the things that make small indie ensembles most vulnerable right now will very likely be the things that will help them bounce back faster. Why? Obviously because, as it happens, clarinetist Christie shows up as a member of the Continuum ensemble in Remix for Henk! It’s the kind of segue I find as irresistible as the Sunday New York Times crossword. “You can’t plan coincidences like that one,” I’d be arguing. “Yeah, but so what?” someone would need to be brave enough to say to me. I am not for one moment suggesting, by the way, that eight or nine WholeNote launch parties a year is on the agenda. But it sure sounds like a good idea for the launch of Volume 27 in the fall. So let’s pretend for a moment: that these next couple of hundred words are the final paragraphs of my opening remarks at an upcoming Volume 27 season launch party (date to be confirmed): “An Evening with the WholeNote” (virtual and real). We’ve bumped elbows with some of you, live at the door, on the way in, and informed you that there’s an .00 cover charge for the event. You’ve happily paid, and some of you have even said keep the change, it’s a good cause. And we’ve said thank you. Others of you, dozens of dozens, have arrived at the venue through some virtual portal and paid your .00 cover charge* some other way (a three-issue subscription is , for example). Whichever way you bought in for your .00, you did. So thank you for that. The important thing is you are here, in spirit, sharing a musical moment in common time, witnessing the attentiveness of a live audience responding to music carried through live, virus-load-reduced, shared air. And then I’d wrap up my remarks by saying “a warm welcome, dear friends, to Volume 27 no 1. Who the hell would have dared hope, a year ago today that we’d make it this far.” “Because that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Gathered here today we are a microcosm of the “cultural ecology” without which the titans of our so-called “cultural industries” would have no source of sustenance.” It’s a picture we try to paint every issue, including this one. *As for the .00 cover charge, if you already think it’s a good idea, you don’t have to wait till September. Contact our circulation department and jump in right away, with a threeissue subscription (as some of you already have done, so thank you for that.) Your will take you all the way to September 14, 2021, Volume 27 no 1. And you will have helped us get there. March and April 2021 | 5

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