7 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 10 - July/August 2007

  • Text
  • Festival
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  • Jazz
  • August
  • Toronto
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  • September
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SoME THING NewBY }ASON VAN EYKJune's series of youthful new musicconcerts closed off the seasonwith mixed results.Tapestry New Opera Works' partnershipwith Theatre Direct Canadadelivered a very positive experiencefor adults and children alike in theirworkshop production of SanctuarySong. This rather touching new operafor young people, inspired bythe true story of an Asian circus elephantand her remarkable journeyto freedom, has been developed intoa well-paced, well-written and musicallycoherent creation by composerAbigail Richardson, librettistMarjorie Chan and the creative partnershipof Tapestry and TheatreDirect. The compact forces of fourstage performers, a three-piece orchestraand a two-person technicalcrew managed to create a much larger,captivating world that engagedboth children and adults alike. Withsuch positive results, a full productionfor Sanctuary Song surely can'tbe too long in the making.Overlapping with Sanctuary Songwas Arraymusic's own Young Composers'Workshop, which showcasednew works by emerging creatorswho incorporate improvisationinto their practice. As with any projectthat involves high artistic risk, theresults were mixed. Where one workdemonstrated a successful search fornew sound worlds another hadn't yetfound its full voice. Or perhaps itwas the noisy venue that caused problemswith receiving these musicalexperiments? While the GladstoneHotel ballroom is a cozily social environmentintended for musicalevents, the various noises bleedingin from the street and the hotel lobbyseemed to pierce this concert'smore delicate moments, making itdifficult to grasp the full intent ofthe young composers' works. Perhapsa new venue is in order fornext year's edition?Until then, we can explore the variouslocations of this summer's rangeof new music concerts.Already underway is New Adventuresin Sounds Art's 9th annualSound Travels festival, which bringssonic experiments to the TorontoIslands in ways that enticingly explorenew territory. The festivallaunched on June 24 with the unveilingof Barry Prophet's Synthecycletron- a self-powered, interactivesculpture which produces soundat the tum ofa pedal. Prophet's sculpturejoins a series of other outdoorand indoor installations, as well asconcerts, site-specific performances,soundwalks, artist talks and workshops,which all begin on July 22.Sound Travels hits its peak with aconcert weekend running August 10-12, which will feature world premiereworks by composers-in-residenceBarry Truax and TrevorWishart alongside those by RoseBolton and Randy Raine-Reusch. Aswell, new works by local emergingartists Hector Centeno, Tony Leung,Charlotte Scott and Monica Clorely,all created under the mentorship ofTruax and Wishart, will be featured.Full details for this wide-ranging festivalare available at, or by e-mail( and phone (416-910-7231).Another far-reaching SummerMusic in the Garden series, whichalso started on June 24, fills theToronto Music Garden with freeevening concerts all summer long.New Music seekers will want to takenote of a few dates. On July 22 accordionistKimberley Pritchard willperform a series of works by Nordheim,Lundquist and Hatzis linkedby a theme of evolution as a creativeforce in music composition. TheRosetta String Trio performs fromGyorgy Kurrag's ongoing compositionSigns, Games and Messagesalongside works by Beethoven andGideon Klein on August 12. Finally,on August 23, composer/performerDavid Mott delivers a soloshow of his compositions and improvisationsfor baritone sax. or call416-973-4000 for information.Every summer we can alwayscount on the talented young musiciansof the National Youth Orchestraof Canada to bring us polishedprograms including new works. Thisyear, under the baton of conductorYoav Talmi, the Orchestra will premiereAblaze by Alberta composerAllan Gordon Bell and will also tackleBell protege Kelly-Marie Murphy'sFrom the Drum Come A ThunderingBeat.. .. If you can't maketheir August 8 date at Roy ThomsonHall, perhaps you can catch theOrchestra in London (July 25) Ottawa(July 27), Stratford (July 29)or Kingston (July 31), as part of theirOntario tour. Full details are availableat or by phoneat 1-888-532-4470.Speaking of concerts outside the city,those who are feeling a little summerwanderlust won't be wanting for18 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COMnew music events. There is a significantscattering of interesting concertstucked within nearby festivals.Some of the offerings are so uniquethat you might just need to plan adaytrip or two.The Elora Festival, which getsunderway July 13, is no stranger topresenting new works. On July 14cellist Yegor Dyachkov and pianistJean Saulnier launch the ChamberSeries in a recital of modern musicincluding a world premiere fromMontreal-based Michael Oesterle.Later in the same series, the eastcoast Sanctuary Trio brings itsuniquely lyrical and spiritual contemporarymusic to Elora for a July 22concert. In the Choral Series, theElora Festival Singers present twoprograms of new spiritual works, thefirst (Paradise Found on July 29)includes the haunting compositionsof young American Eric Whitacreand the second (Summer Lessonsand Carols on August 5) includestwo newly commissioned works byCanadians Tim Corlis and JohnBurge. For the full festival schedule,times and locations or call 1-888-747-7550.Closer by, the Brott Music Festivalis celebrating its 20th anniversaryseason. As part of its Canadian Contemporarymini-festival, Brott invitesconductor Gary Kulesha to lead theNational Academy Orchestra in a freeconcert titled Symphony Unplugged.On August 4 in the Studio Theatreat Hamilton Place, Kulesha and theNAO will premiere Barbara Croall'sSpring from the Canadian Four Seasonsalongside Larysa Kuzmenko'sConcerto for Piano and Percussionand Linda C. Smith's Wilderness.This is bound to be an intriguinglycolourful evening of music. Full detailsare available at or by phone at 1-888-4 75-9377.The steadily expanding StratfordSummer Music festival takes a specialfocus on Glenn Gould this year,in honour of the upcoming Year ofGlenn Gould, but also has a fewSound Travels, in more ways than oneother interesting events up its sleeve.The Festival continues its annualHarry Somers lecture series, this yearwith CBC radio host Eric Friesenspeaking on the topic of GlennGould: The Last Romantic. As aformer broadcasting colleague ofboth Harry Somers and GlennGould, Eric is in a unique positionto share his personal and professionalperspectives on two of Canada'sgreatest musical figures. Friesen willbe joined by pianist Stephen Runge,who will perform selections from theSomers repertoire at City Hall onAugust 2. But a truly special spectaclewill take to the skies on August5. Sky Orchestra, a flotilla of hot airballoons drifting overhead at dawn,will serenade sleepers, joggers andmorning sightseers alike with ambientsound-dream music and readingsfrom A Midsummer Night's Dreamby actors Patrick Stewart and JanetSuzman. Details are available or519-271-2101.But those who are looking to makeone last big trek before the end ofthe summer will surely want to closeout the season with R. MurraySchafer's Princess of the Stars. Runningfrom August 28 to September3 on Bone Lake at the heart of theHaliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve,this musical-theatrical spectacleplays out the prologue to Schafer'sepic Patria series. Described as "themost significant, remarkable andunique music theatre creation in Canadianhistory", Princess of the Starscommences at daybreak with hauntingmusic and builds to an epic andmythical water battle weaving magic,mystery and enchantment. Detailsare available atwww.patria.orgor by phone at 705-754-4167.Come out and celebrate the festivalseason. Satisfy your summercravings with some thing new.Jason van Eyk is the Canadian MusicCentre's Ontario Regional Director.He can be reached at416-961-6601x207 or ULY 1 - SEPTEMB ER 7 2007

Jazz Notesby Jim GallowayA couple of news releasesabout "August" events caughtmy eye almost simultaneouslyrecently, thrown into odd juxtapositionby the quirks of aninternet search. One was fromAugust a couple of years back,and one was yet to come.I confess I nearly sent youoff on a merry cross countrydance in connection with thisfirst item, before realizing the ~~~--=event was long over. It was L_ _____ ____ ____on Sunday August 14 2005 1885 drawing by E.W Kemble of CongoSquare dance "The love Song"that Stratford Summer Musicended its season with a presentationcalled From Motown ToHeaven . The pairing of Detroit withHeaven may seem a bit of a stretch,but Knox Church must surely havebeen host to an interesting eveningfeaturing as it did the Brazeal DennardChorale (a long-establishedchoir from Detroit), with guestsDoug Riley and Measha Brueggergosman.Doug would have neededno introduction to jazz buffs, especiallyfans of the Hammond B3, butjazzers might have been less familiarwith Ms. Brueggergosman, who begansinging in the choir of her Baptistchurch in Fredericton, NewBrunswick. The evening was to bea combination of traditional spiritualsand the music from the 60s and70s that became known around theworld as the "Motown Sound".I imagine an evening where a lotof feet are tapping and bodies swayingto the music, which is where thesecond news release flowed rightalong from the first - namely thatthis coming August 4 0.1.P., 190Richmond St. East, Toronto, has anevent from 2 to !Opm showcasingemerging choreographers.(The 0 .1.P. Dance Company, apre-professional dance company designedfor dancers who may be graduatingfrom their community dancestudio and looking to improve theirskills, can be contacted, those two random bitsof information got me thinking aboutjazz and dance - after all, some ofthe key elements are common to both- improvisation, syncopation and individualexpression. The roots of jazzdance are in African culture wherelife, marriage and death were celebratedin dance. Cultural beliefs wereexpressed through dance and thisculture eventually reached NorthAmerica as a result of the slavetrade. In New Orleans, for exampie,in the first halfof the 19th Century,in Congo Square, situated justoutside the French Quarter, slavesgathered every Sunday afternoon andwere allowed to sing and dance.Drums, chimes and stringed instrumentswere the main instrumentsplayed and the use of drums is significantas they were at that timebanned in every other American colony,probably because they wereconsidered too close a link to Africa.Today Congo Square is a historicalsite located inside what is nowcalled Louis Armstrong Park.European influence was inevitable,but this was a two-way streetand as early as 1789 an Americandancer by the name of John Durangwas using "shuffles" based on themovements of slave dancers in hisroutine. A big influence on Americandance was the Minstrel Show inthe second half of the 19tl' Centuryand in the early days of vaudevillewhich followed , a popular "jazzdancer" was Joe Frisco who had anact (called by some the "JewishCharleston") which was a series ofshuffles, camel walks and turns.The evolution of the music andjazz dance went hand in hand, orperhaps step by step. As the musicchanged, so didjazz dance. We havehad the Charleston, the Black Bottom,the Lindy Hop, Jitterbugs, HipHop and jazz steps such as the fishtail,the mooche, the shimmy andthe snake hips. And I remember onetime just before going on stage witha group led by the great MarshallRoyal, a mainstay of the Count Basieband for many years when hesaid simply, "Let's play some shakeassmusic."Jazz dance has its special stepswith their own descriptive names.For example in addition to the aforementionedCamel Walk we have theCat Walk which involves walkingwith a bent back and crossing oneleg in front of the other, the JazzDrag which is similar to the cat walkbut you drag one leg behind, theMoon Walk in which you move backwardswhile appearing to be goingforward (think Michael Jackson).Some of the great early names injazz dance well worth checking outare Bill Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, BunnyBriggs, Buck and Bubbles, andmy own favourites - the NicholasBrothers. In more recent times dancerslike Gregory Hines and SavionGlover have kept the flame burning.I certainly haven't tapped all thesources, but I hope I have shown aconnection between jazz and dancethat some of you might like to explore.A footnote (apt phrase!):Nothing to do with jazz dance, but isthere anyone out there who remembersWilson, Keppel and Betty?And the other footSince writing this I caught trumpeterRoy Hargrove during the Torontojazz festival. Roy is one of today'smost exciting jazz players. His musicis contemporary, but he most certainlyknows where the roots are andit is not easy to remain motionlesswhen he is performing. He obviouslyfeels the same way, because whenhe wasn't actually blowing he wasdoing little dance steps to the music,reminding me of just what I had beenwriting about. When the musicmoves you, you move to the music.Happy toe-tapping.Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicianswith a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers ClergySunday, September 9th - 4:30 p.m.Jazz Vespers returns for its 10th season.We wish all of our Jazz Vespers friendsa summer of grace and peace.Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street(north of St. Clair at Heath St.) 416-920-5211Admission is free.An offering is received to support the work of the church, including Jazz Vespers.?ali Music on the HillThursdays, 12: 1 5 · 1 :00 pmAll concerts are free and are held at the historicSt. John's York Mills Anglican Church19 Don Ridge Drive, Toronto, 416-225-6611Sept 6 - Bellamusica Chamber EnsembleMaria Thorburn, soprano. Ines Pagliari, violin.Michelle Kyle, cello. Marianne Gast, piano.Sept 13 - Helena Kameka, Juno-nominated singer-songwriter.Sept 20 - Glynis Ratcliffe - music theatre and cabaret.Sept 27 - Ralista Tcholakova, violin.Oct 4 - Janet Catherine Dea, soprano.Kristin Moss Theriault , harp.Oct 11 - William Shookhoff, piano.Jessica Lloyd, mezzo-soprano. Art Janssons, violaNear York Mills subway. Close to Yonge and the 401.Free parking. Beautiful venue. Great music.Supported by the Toronto Arts CouncilWWW.THEWHO LENOTE .CO M 19

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