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Volume 10 Issue 9 - June 2005

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • Concerts
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Arts
  • Choral
  • Classical

SOME TH I NG New

SOME TH I NG New CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24 objects, various percussion, "one of a kind" instruments, piano and voice, Bolton creates a unique sonic mesh to render the texts of Gwendolyn MacEwen, Marjorie Pickthall and others. Both composers will draw on the broad vocal technique of internationally acclaimed soprano Janice Jackson to achieve their unique narrative sound worlds of multi-faceted female identity. STARTING ON JUNE 11 and extending to June 18, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre will present the world premiere of the long awaited The Midnight Court, an opera with music by Montreal composer Ana Sokolovic and libretto by Paul Bentley. As described in the April issue of this magazine, The Midnight Court is based on Brian Merriman's famous Irish epic poem, and takes a rather comic.and erotic path through a series of principal tales, including the predicament of young women who lack husbands, the lackadai- . in our own skin." The collection sical nature of young men towards tronic sounds, amplified found ·marriage, free love, and the misery of a young woman who married a withered old man. The Midnight Court of the title refers to a fairy court, under control of the Fairy Queen, played by the great Krisztina Szabo. Indeed, matriarchy and the power of women figure as important themes in this opera, reversing our more traditional understandings of gender roles and identity. Catch this run at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre before the production moves to Covent Garden for its European premiere. Call 416-973-4000 or go to www.queeootpuddingsmusictheatre.com CONTACT Contemporary Music tackles the issue of identity in music head-on with its "TRANS­ FORMED" coniert on June 2lst at the 519 Community Centre. CONTACT contextualizes their concert programming by saying "Often in life we feel transformed, undergoing a series· of changes, both physically and mentally, until we ultimately feel comfortable of works in this concert explores this statement related to issues of gender, including those of transgenderedness. Rodney Sharman's The Garden calls for a half female/ half male vocal soloist, while his Cabaret Songs wittily subvert other ideas of expected gender roles. Dolly Parton undergoes an aural sex change in John Oswald's Pretender, while Toronto Drag King Flare delivers some spoken word art, and transgendered Canadian composer Deitdre Piper brings a world premiere ·af her Personae. It sounds like a charged evening of musical mixed identities. Visit www .contactcontemporarymusic.com, or call 416-902-7010. So, go out and reflect on the musical mirror of your own identity. Get in touch with new realities through some thing new. Jason van Eyk is CMC's 0111ario Regional Director. He can be reached at 416-961-6601 x. 207 or jasonv@musiccentre. ea.) June News Roundup: Coalition of New Music Presenters TYPICALLY, JUNE IS a fairly slow month for regular new music programming. Notably, however, there are two significant festivals in southern Ontario this month. Soundstreams Canada gives us their Northern Voices Choral Festival from June 3rd till the 12th in Toronto. (For more, see columns by Jason van Eyk and Larry Beckwith in this issue.) In Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University presents Quartet/est from May 24th through June 12th, which is presented in part with NUMUS. This festival features the acclaimed Penderecki String Quartet with guests Anya Alexeyev (piano), Atar Arad (viola), and the Spanish group Trio Arbos. Quartetfest is described as "an intensive chamber music workshop and concert series designed for the ser\ous student of ensemble playing." Repertoire on the concerts include works by a host of 20th century masters including Shostakovich, Kurtag, Arva Part, Penderecki, Lutoslawski and Alban Berg. One concert is devoted to new music from Spain, and there are four additional matinee concerts called "Young Artists Concerts." For more information, visit www .quartetfest.ca. Indeed, June seems to be a time for festival announcements, and I'm pleased to announce that Toronto New Music Coalition has one coming up (albeit not till next year). The soundaXis Festival, scheduled for June 2006, is an exciting multidisciplinary celebration of arcnitecture, music and acoustics, spearheaded by Daniel Cooper, president of the Music Gallery and New Music Arts Projects, and festival manager Tania Thompson. For two weeks next summer, Toronto will be alive with concerts, installations, symposia, screenings and other events. There are proposed concerts and installations from Coalition members Arraymusic, CONTACT, Continuum, Earshot Concerts, Esprit Orchestra, Les AMIS, the Music Gallery, New Adventures in Sound Art, New Music Concerts, NUMUS, Soundstreams Canada, as well as many other groups and organizations from across the artistic, architectural and academic disciplines: Canadian Institute of Sound Ecology, Goethe lnstitut, the Institute of Contemporary Culture, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, OCAD, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Subtle Technologies, the Toronto Urban Studies Centre, and the architectural faculties of Ryerson, U of T, Waterloo University, and the University of Guelph. SoundaXis is timed to celebrate the great architectural activity in our city next summer - the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, Royal Conservatory of Music and the Opera House, for example - and is placed in the middle of the City of Toronto's proposed Year of the Arts. For more information, or to propose a way to participate in this exciting festival, please visit the soundaXis website at www.soundaXis.ca. IN OTHER NEWS, our website, www.torontohearandnow.com, has had a renovation and now has an exciting new style and greater functionality. Over the summer, it will undergo even more exciting changes, and will emerge by September as a major centre on the web for Toronto's new music scene. As the site's webmaster', I invite your comments and input. This month I will be working on the links section of the site. If you have interesting links to music sites on the internet, please send them to me. I can be found at kdenning@sym·patico.ca. Keith Denning JAZZ Notes by Jim Galloway Reflections on June Jazz JUNKETS IT's THE MERRY month of June and the festival season gets into full swing. The whole idea of performing songs and dances for an audience originated as a way to worship the god Oionysus, who first appeared in Greece in the area north of Attica known as Boeotia. The people honoured this son of Zeus, accepted his gift of knowledge (how to cultivate grapes for wine) and established a cult in his name, with a celebration in his honour every winter. So the first festival was a wine one! I'll drink to that! · At a rough count this month there are some 40 jazz festivals across Canada from coast to coast and it must be obvious that the festival circuit is now an important part of the jazz landscape. In addition to the festivals across Canada, there are, in the month of June alone, 30 major jazz festivals around the world. Whichever way you look at it, that is a lot of gigs and festivals are bigtime. Musicians scramble to get bookings and/or travel grants, agents and managers chase leads, all hoping for a spot on a festival stage. For "name musicians" the festival circuit is important for CD sales and maintaining a profile; for the hundreds of musicians who are building a career a spot on a festival stage can be a step along the way. One of the real problems in putting a festival together is that there are many, many more musicians than there are places to play. It is always a question of trying to fit a quart into a pint pot, and not being able to hire everyone who deserves to be in the event is one of the most difficult aspects of putting it together. For those of you who did not get a gig this year in Toronto, please take this as an apology. On top of that, reality is that jazz festivals have become an important factor in the economy. I can- 26 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM ) UNE 1 · ) ULY 7 2005

Top 0' the Senator's Sybil Walker - 'one of the best' not speak for other cities, but the festival in Toronto pumps more than million into the local economy and it may be reasonably assumed that similar events in other cities don't exactly hurt local coffers. And it is not only employment for artists that drives the festival engine - the service industries (hotels, clubs, restaurants, bars, production companies, printing houses and on and on) all benefit from the jobs created at festival time. And let us not forget how many tax dollars are generated in all of this. Don't, by the way, imagine for a minute that these benefits accrue to the respective festivals, most of which have budget headaches. Major jazz festivals across the country have combined forces to create Jazz Festivals Canada, a member-driven, not for profit organisation with a mandate to "represent the interests and act as advocate for the development of Canadian jazz festivals and jazz presenters." At present there are 19 member festivals stretching from Victoria to St. John's pooling information and in many instances submitting block booking offers. A case in point this year is Sonny Rollins who is appearing at three Canadian festivals - Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa, all working in conjunction with each other. The same applies to Canadian groups who have applied for Canada Council grants. The tours of successful applicants are co-ordinated so that groups, as far as possible, travel, for example, from west to east with a minimum amount of doubling back. Some critics claim that this makes for a sameness, with identical artists appearing across country, but it is the only way that touring can work, ·particularly in Canada where the geographical layout makes travel particularly challenging. THE CLUB SCENE is an important part of any festival as well as being a lifeline year round and there is a sad footnote to the Toronto Festival. When singer .Sheila Jordan finishes her engagement at the Top 0' the Senator on closing day, it is the end of the club as a full-time jazz venue. New owners have taken over, and with that comes inevitable change. Big vote of thanks to Sybil Walker for her tireless work over the years making the club one of the best this city has ever had. It will be sadly missed in the jazz community. BRASS !GRASS MUSIC & ARTS FESnVAL June 11 - 12, 2005 A free 2-day music & arts festival at Kipling Ave. & Lakeshore Blvd. W. Laeshore Arts presents over 20 performances on 3 stages featuring : Guido Basso * Chris Whiteley * Hilario Duran * Primal Therapy & more! Children's entertainment , Long & McQuade's istrument petting zoo, buskers, a midway, & artisans. Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicians with a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers Clergy June 12th - 4:30 p.m. BRUCE HARVEY, piano; GEORGE KOZUB, bass; TOM JESTADT, drums. June 26th - 4:30 p.m. BRIAN BARLOW, drums; STEVE McDADE, BRIAN O'KANE, trumpets; TERRY PROMANE, RUSS LITTLE, trombones; DOUG BURRELL, tuba. Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street (north of St. Clair at Heath SI.I 416-920-5211 Admission is free. An ollering 1s received to support the work of the church, including Jazz Vespers. Youth Arts Movement YAM presents a SKA-BEST of the BANDS competition showcasing brass based SKA on Sunday, June 12th at 1-2 pm & 3-4 pm. Hosted by CIUT Radio's DJ SKIP (89.5 FM). For information 416-201-7093 or visit www.brassinthegrass.ca ... ........... .. •:.:z:-;::-... » ' Y ''° '1)" HUMBER ) UNE 1 · )ULY 7 2005 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 27

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