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Volume 10 Issue 6 - March 2005

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  • Toronto
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. WoRLD View by Karen

. WoRLD View by Karen Ages Before the removal of the Tai- composer Alton Clingan 's "Circle iban regime post 9-11, all music of Faith'' .· March I. The w ? rk, ? e­ making was banned in Afghanistan. veloped m collaborallon with Ftrst It's hard to imagine a country with Nations spiritual leaders and artists, no live music and no music even on sets the 1854 speech by native Amerthe radio, but that was the situation ican orator Chief Seattle, which exfor many years. March 11 at the Jane amines race relations and contem­ Mallett Theatre, Small World Mu- plates the future of First Nations sic presents defiant expatriate musi- people. The work . featur s native cians Radio Kaboul and vocalist actor Gary Farmer, mtertnbal drum Ustad Farida Mahwash in a concert group Whitefish Juniors, the Gryphof music and song from the Afghan people. i;in Trio ana others. "Afghanistan has suffered 23 scene, autorickshaw have recently . Rising stars on the world music years of war," says ensemble lead- been nominated for a Juno Award er and rubab player Khaled Arman. in the category world music album "Most of the musicians have not of the year for their second CD Four survived. They couldn't stand the Higher. The brainchild of vocalist/ weight of war and emigration. Now, keyboardist Suba Sankaran and tabsome of our instruments are disap- la player Ed Hanley, this fine enpearing because nobody is able to semble dishes up a rare blend of Inplay them." Prior to the Taliban, dian classical music and jazz. Don't Farida Mahwash rose to fame miss their March 12 concert at Glenn through her broadcasts on Radio Gould Studio, which will include Kaboul, and earned the title "Ustad" two new works by Suba's dad, the (meaning "master", a title rarely aforementioned world renowned virgiven to women) in 1977. She left tuoso mrdangam player Trichy Afghanistan in 1991 and has since Sankaran. The elder Sankaran, who settled in San Francisco. Mah":'ash has taught south Indian music theoand the ensemble were recognize ry and percussion at York Universifor their efforts to preserve Afgham ty since 1971, will be a featured music with a BBC Radio Award for guest performer. World Musi in 2003. . By the time you read this, musical In 1969, Bntish composer David traveler and vocalist Jayne Brown Fanshawe hitch-hiked down the Nile (of Maza Meze fame) will have just through Sudan and into Uganda, tape returned from six months of Canarecorder in hand. "In many ways da Council sponsored study in that safari was my most fruitful; Greece, where she explored Parapractically all the recordings in Af- dosiaka (folk song), Rebetica and rican Sanctus stem from that jour- Laika (urban popular styles), and ney," he writes. African Sanctus, his drumming. "I really lucked out with monumental work for choir and Af- my teachers who were also busy rican field recordings was first per- performers. They always included formed in 1972, and will be given me in their music making - from intwo renditions in Toronto this formal jams at parties to formal conmonth. It's on the program of the certs outside Athens. Through them Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's I got to hear, meet and play with March 8 concert titled One World, One Music. And Proteus World Music will feature excerpts of the many great musicians working in the traditional music scene here." Jayne will join long-time friend work in its March 23 concert S pirit - and colleague Maryem Tollar, one ual Kaleidoscope. Described as "an of Canada's finest Arabic singers in exploration of spirituality from a concert titled "Something Old, around the world", the program also Something New", at the Music Gal-. features works by Charles De- lery, March 31. Jayne will present muynck (Proteus' artistic director), some of what she's recently learned, Ben Steinberg, Chan Ka Nin, Nor- and Maryem will serve up some of man Gabriel Nurmi, and Trichy the riches of Arabic music, includ­ Sankaran's trio will perform devo- ing songs made famous by Egyptional Hindu songs. African Sanetian singer Orn Kalsoum. Also featus and Demuynck's "Kaleidoscope" tured will be a new work by huswill incorporate live interactive vid- band and wind player Ernie Tollar, eo created by mixMotion for this "World Wasla"; instrumental/vocal event. backup includes familiar faces.Lev- Still on a cultural/spiritual theme, on Ichkanian, Kathleen Kajioka, Deb Music Toronto presents the Cana- Sinha and Sophia Grigoriadis. dian premiere of the late American 36 ROM Sundays presents The Toronto Jewish Chamber Choir March 6. Dundas St. 's Lula Lounge will be alive with the sounds of Portuguese Fado, March 16. Guitarists Nuno Cristo and Larry Lewis join singer Sonia Tavares in this highly emotional and expressive genre. Visit www.lula. ca for details on this and related events. March 19, U of T Scarborough WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM presents Percussive Fusion, featuring the Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble (Japanese Taiko drumming) and multi-traditional percussion duo GaPa, at the ARC Theatre. Every Sunday at 8pm, from March 6 to April 10, Arabesque Dance Company presents an Arabic nightclub, with live musicians and a different belly-dancer each week. March 21, U of T's Faculty of Music holds its end of term World Music Ensembles concert. Worlds of Music Toronto presents a concert of associate artists and their bands, March 3, and their end of season workshop participant recital April 7. Both take place in Hart House's Arbor Room. And York .University's Department of Music presents a variety of world music concerts: March 11, Chinese Orchestra; March 15, Drum and Dance Festival; March 17, Celtic Canadian Ensemble; and March 31, World Chorus. All events take place in McLaughlin Performance Hall. Please check the daily listings for times of these and all other events. Karen Ages is a freelance oboist who has also been a member of several world music ensembles. She can be reached at 416-323-2232 or worldmusic@thewholenote. corn. Toronto Musicians Association News by Brian Blain The TMA instrument bank continues to capture the interest and enthusiasm of our members and the public. We have had more instrument donations, and are working on our documentation to facilitate the relationship between lender and recipient. We hope to have that ready soon. We do have some students who·need- specific instruments - we have a sixteen year old who is serious about playing the cello, but is now using a school instrument. She does not have the financial resources to buy her own cello, and a loaned or donated instrument would help her immeasurably in achieving her goals. We also have a family of three (a mother and two children) who would like to join a brass band. Again they do not have the resources to buy instruments, and a loan to get them started would be very much appreciated. If you can help, or have some ideas about where to find instruments, please contact Corkie Davis ( The Encore Symphonic Concert Band, under the baton of Musical Director and trumpet virtuoso, John E. Liddle, played a sold-out charitable concert on February 20, 2005 in Mississauga supporting the Knights of Columbus "Tsunami Disaster Fund." The Band was .established over fifteen years ago by a number of TMA-members who wanted to play varied music in a concert band setting in their retirement years. Over the years, its current and past members and guest artists have included a veritable who's who of TMA alumni. lncluded in the Honour Roll are Eddie Graf the Band's resident arranger and composer, Jimmy Guthro, Fred Davis, Jimmy Shand, Bob Clegg, Tony Antonacci, Bob Martin, Russ Little, Alex Dean, Dave Johnston, Johnny Cowell, and Bobby Herriot. The oldest member of the Band, Jimmy Atreo, is approaching his 91st birthday. While the primary purpose of the band is to provide a weekly opportunity to "make music", it has raised upwards of 0,000 for a wide range of Toronto and area charities. Messages for the Band can be left at the Toronto Musicians' Association at 416-421-1020 or the Vice President and Band Manager, Laurie Brookes, at 416-297-6823 If you watched the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards, you saw and heard some of Canada's most legendary performers backed by one of Toronto's hottest bands, The Dexters. TMA members Lou Pomanti, Peter Cardinali, Bernie Labarge and Jorn Andersen backed up Colin James and Gordie Sampson. Peter Cardinali also played with Tom Cochrane, Jeff Healey and Ian Thornley on the Guess Who's "American Woman." Band Leader and Music Director Lou Pomanti also did a number of arrangements, including one for "These Eyes", performed by jacksoul. The TMA invites WholeNote readers to give us your feedback on this column. If you have any suggestions for news items relating to members of the Toronto Musicians' Association, please forward them to Brian@Blain. corn. Please include the word "WholeNote" in the subject line. MARCH 1 - APRIL 7 2005

BooK Shelf hy Pamela Margles Wayne Ensiice started interviewing women jazz musicians after he rt:alized that his previous book about jazz included no women at all. His subjects have been confronted with everything from disbelief that women can be jazz musicians to comments like 'not bad for a woman'. which. unbelievably, are often intended as compliments. This is a hook that really benefits from the accompanying CD of recordings by some of the artists interviewed, although after reading the book you will still need a trip to the CD store. The music of Harry Freedman has been frequently recorded, most recently on the Canadian Composers Portraits series from Centrediscs (CMCCD 8402). Gail Dixon concentrates her new study on the music. not the man. For Freedman's life and its impact on his music we can look forward to Walter Pitman's upcoming joint biography of Freedman and his wife, soprano and teacher extraordinaire Mary Morrison, to be published by Dundurn Press. The reissue of Carol Oja 's ground-breaking biography of Colin McPhee should bring new attention to that elusive, fascinating character. At least his music has found champions among performers, notably Alex Pauk. whose recording with the Esprit Orchestra on CBC Records (SMCDS 181) includes Tahuh-Tabuha11. It's a shock to realize how many of McPhee 's scores - and not just early works - have never been located. What's left now is the need to collect his letters and writings, which from Oja 's samplings sound wonderful, and if possible, track down some of the lost music. Jazzwomen: Conversations With Twenty-one Musicians Edited by Wayne Eustice and .Janis Stockhouse Indiana University Press 387 pages illustrated plus CD .95 This collection of interviews reveals so much about jazz that at first you could overlook that all the subjects are women. Each interview, with an illuminating introduction and discography, covers a remarkable amount of material, autobiographical and aesthetic. We really get to know the backrounds, instruments, styles and personalities of these important musicians, a remarkably thoughtful and articulate group. These are fearless, adventurous women. All were child prodigies. They are all driven by an inner vision and the gift to pick up what they need by listening - to recordings if not live performances. Most controversial are their differing views on whether women have an identifiable sound. For drummer Dottie Dodgion, women are more suppo'tlive, without the need to dominate as soloists. Violinist Regina Carter says that 'we are nurturers. We just bring a different energy. totally'. Saxophonist Virginia Mayhew hopes women can get rid of ·machismo playing' where 'music is about competition'.Yet singer Abbey Lincoln feels women are not innovators. 'If the women were really a part of this music like they say they want to be, they would have done it a long time ago'. To have these musicians so well presented in their own voices makes this hook essential reading. Now there is no excuse to leave them, as well as the jazzwomen like Jane Bunnell and Carla Bley not included here, out of any book on jazz. The Music of Harry Freedman By Gail Dixon University of Toronto Press 198 pages illustrated .00 With his love of jazz rhythms, his direct engagement with the world around him, and his feel for orchestral colours, Canadian composer Harry Freedman creates openly appealing music. So it's odd that Dixon feels the need to ·make it more accessible'. Odder still is her means of doing so, concentrating on detailed theoretical analysis of his 'deployment' of pitch classes, intervals and rhythmic patterns, rather than offering backround and interpretation. Dixon, a professor emeritus at University of Western Ontario, studies the chronological development of Freedman's music. focusing on select compositions. Unfamiliar terms like wedge techniques, skyscraper chords, motto chords and boge11for111 are left unexplained, as are confounding pronouncements like ''he subscribes to the Boethian philosophy of art as a rational and intellectual phenomenon that must contain and exhibit craft". The lack of a comprehensive index (only Freedman's compositions are indexed) indicates how little weight the author gives to people, events and places. Canadian electronic music pioneer Hugh LeCaine, for example, identified merely as a 'prestigious academic.' Interviews with Freedman are unreferenced/undocumented, and he is rarely quoted directly. is It's as though Freedman were alone in his endeavours. But Bartok applied the Fibonacci series to his compositions long before Freedman, Tchaikovsky used a slow final movement in a rather well-known work, and French composer Olivier Messiaen, the most important composition teacher or the late 20th century. who Freedman studied with briefly. intemionally never imposed his own compositional style on his students. Dixon concludes with a fascinating study of Freedman's compositional process, where we finally get a sense of the moods and textures that inspire him. Dixon acknowledges that Freedman broke away from serialism because he felt that too much attention is paid to the notes, and not enough to the music. It's unfortunate that her study largely does the same thing, missing the spirit of its subject. Colin McPhee: Composer in Two Worlds By Carol J. Oja University of Illinois Press 378 pages illustrated .00 paper MARCH 1 - APRIL 7 2005 WWW. TH EWH OLENOT E. COM Composer and pioneering ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee was a reluctant Canadian. After establishing himself as concert pianist in Toronto, he abandoned his native country as soon as he could. His musical rnlent, sophisticated wit, and marvelous way with words (he called the Andrews sisters 'those Rhine maidens of the jukebox') eventually brought him into the cultural elite of New York. With his wealthy anthropologist wife. Jane Belo, he spent eight years, until the onset of the second world war, in Bali, reviving, preserving and notating authentic Balinese gamelan music. But his homosexuality and depressive neuroses wrecked the marriage, and he ended up in debilitating poverty. Even though he retained no ties to this country, in later years it was Canada, ironically, that provided him with commissions and the North American premiere, in Vancouver under Leopold Stokowski, of his most important work, Tabuh-Tabuhan. The reissue of Harvard professor Carol Oja 's well-written study of McPhee's life and music, originally published in 1990, shows him to be not just an inspired avatar of world music, but a composer with a distinctive, prescient voice. A catalogue of McPhee's rnmpositions, thorough annotations, a comprehensive index, and an extraordinary collection of documents, including photos McPhee took in Bali, a concert program written in Banok's hand, help make this a compelling study of a fascinating. perplexing and 'unjustly marginalized' Canadian composer. The Universiry of Toronro Wind Ensemble, conducred /Jy A lain Trudel. pe1forms McPhee 's Concerr for Piano and Winds il'ith Lydia Wong. piano 011 Sat .. April 2 in rile MacMillan Thearre at 8. 00 -7

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