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Volume 7 Issue 2 - October 2001

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • October
  • Choir
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Singers
  • Musical
  • Symphony

4.HEAR &Now· New Music

4.HEAR &Now· New Music , by Paul Steenhuisen Toronto's Music Gallery was long a prominent venue for new musie innovators in its space at 179 Richmond, and now settled again at St. George-the-Martyr Church at 197 John Street they are again host to a plethora of activity, as witnessed in this month's listings. (October 6, starting at 6pm, they throw open their doors to an evening of music, munchies and drink, to show off and celebrate the new space.) In addition to their concert activity, the Music Gallery is in the process of nurturing the Music Gallery Institute, under the guidance of Barry Prophet. The heart of the Music Gallery Institute is· three core instructional. programs: Creative/World Percussion, Multiple Guitar Ensemble and Computer-Assisted Music. The Creative/World Percussion Program introduces stUdents to tradjtional instruments that are shook, struck, rubbed, to .create rhythms, melodies and musical atmospheres. The Multiple Guitar Ensemble Program offers basic to advanced instruction in a group setting using compositions created for multiple guitar. As in most multipart compositions, some parts are simple and repetitive, some are more complicated and lyrical. The Computer-Assisted Music Program blends contemporary electronic technology with musi'

t(n ii1 tt•ti9 I tel(e1i]1 tt•ti9; Paul Steenhuisen 'nt.,.·nriUl(, un.•·o- Robert Normandeau has long been active on the international electroacoustic music scene; composing richly layered pi,eces based on primarily acoustic sounds. By stretching, ~ontorting, mutating, b~nding and morphing sounds we hear every day,he constructs imagined worlds in which we sense a million shades and nuances, rehear, and remember ourselves ·in a deeply self-actualizing ·listening process. Beyond the highly refined techniques for developing the material (projected through a cornucopia of loudspeakers), what I fmd interesting about this music is the issue of the perspective of .the . listener - where are we in relation to this sonic landscape? If we listen passi~ely, from a stationary, objective point, we remain engaged in the sensuality of the sounds, yet when we allow ourselves to move with it, it is as though we have wings, and are projecting through a multidimensional field, in a manner specific to this genre of electroacoustic music. ·· On October 26, we have the rare opportunity to experience this first-hand in Toronto, and in preparation for this, I spoke directly with Robert Normandeau, to know his work and ideas more closely. We walk into the performance space, sit in our chairs; cough, re !ox, look up and see ... Nothing! (laughs) Absolutely nothing! This is a main idea of acousmatic music, and "Rien a Voir" (Nothing to look at) is the name of the concerts we present in Montreal. It is a very strong statement from us to promote that kind of title. Often, when promoters realize there are not many people at their concerts, they try to turn them into more spectacular events, and we decided to go in the opposite direction, to present a very pure musical point of view. There's . no spectacle, but there is something VERY spectacular for the ears. You used the temi acousmatic tq describe your work. What is acousmatic art? "Acousmatic" defmes an aesthetic genre in the electroacoustic music field, a genre described as music that uses sound material as the source of musical inspiration. The acousmatic music composer .is an experimental music composer, working very closely with sound material, listening to it, trying to learn from it what can be developed into the musical structure. This is very different from the classical instrumental writing process, where the music often has a form before the material comes into it. Eve ry CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 O CTOBER 1, 2001 - N o v EMBER 7, 2001 whole note 15

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