7 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 3 - November 2008

took place in de

took place in de Hartmann.Absolutely. You feel that, and for me that is a remarkable aspect of thisunique collaboration, unprecedented in the history of music.Stylistically or even philosophically, whose music do you feel theirs isclosest to?I am now more inclined to speak of influences than of similarities.First, what I feel most is that both were raised in the Orthodox Church.The influence of Orthodox liturgical music is apparent in a great numberof the pieces, but evoked rather than melodically borrowed. In somepieces the influence of Armenian folk music can be heard, not dissimilarto Komitas ' music. Sometimes you even hear things reminiscent ofSatie's music- its simplicity andWhat is the organizing principle used in this music?There's a strong melodic element, which, unlike the music of the Germanicclassical tradition, is not repetitive .. . when you hear each piece,you feel that it is complete, that a complete sentiment has been expressed,that it holds together, and that the melodic writing is logicaland coherent in the way it is orabsenceof elaboration. Therewas a time when Gurdjieff tookde Hartmann to hear the musicof the dervishes, which was alsoan influence. The structure ofthe scales they used and the remotenessof the instruments to the piano, however, make that influencedifficult to detect. Yet another influence was the fact that de Hartmannwas Russian. You can hear this music as an amalgam from the crucibleof Gurdjieff and de Hartmann's understanding . It is also importantto remember that this music is actually part of the teaching that Gurdjieffabsorbed and brought to the West in a form designed specifically forthe Western mind. It was originally written just for the relatively smallgroup of people who were interested in and were working with theseideas. It was only published in the 1990s, at the insistence of Jeanne deSalzmann, who felt that this music should be heard throughout the world.Do you see any connection between it and the way Bart6k worked, notatingand preserving traditional melodies from Eastern Europe?Something Gurdjieff expressed was that there are truths or understandingsabout human nature preserved in folk dances and folk music . Bar-m£infqniat6k had a great feeling for his Hungarian roots and the really essentialelements of music that were preserved in its folk traditions. Similarly,this is what Stravinsky did in his earlier works. So even though it seemsunlikely that Gurdjieff and de Hartmann actually knew these two composers,I feel there is a common understanding, an appreciation, of theinner content of folk music."Gurdjieff taught that our thoughts, feelings, and physicalexistence are all part of one whole, and this music . . . "Grace Church on-the-Hill300 Lonsdale Rd10rOfiLO 1·, ~·rn ~-~N U R H A N A R M A N ~·Mij• 'r.!"'M USIC DIRECTO R\ r,s,rr..-Tomnlo's Chambe , o,chesl, a '\;? I ~Friday, Nov 14, 8 pm~ .MARY-BETH BROWN Violinist ,JANACEK SuiteSCHUBERT Rondo '-SARASATE ZigeunerweisenMACMILLAN Two SketchesDVORAK Serenade ,Friday, Dec 12, 8 pmDARKO BRLEK ClarinetistROYER MisticoWEBER Clarinet QuintetHOLST St. Paul's SuiteGRIEG Selections from Peer GyntMENDELSSOHN Sinfonia No. 10Single tickets: , , - off onl 905 825 9477...ganized around a tonal centre.A formally distinct part of thecollection is the "Sayyids,"which begin with a kind of recitativefollowed by a dance-likesection. It is as if, in the recitative,there is a kind of recognition of one aspect of the human condition,which is then somehow objectified in the dance section. The two sectionsusually use different melodic material, but are still related. Leavingaside all analysis ... Gurdjiefftaught that our thoughts , feelings, andphysical existence are all parts of one whole, and this music, I feel, hasa way of touching our whole being. I have played many programmesfor people who have never heard this music before, and without tryingto understand it from a musical point of view, they feel moved by it. Noone can tell you exactly why. The why has to do with being more perceptiveof one's own condition, one's own- to use Gurdjieff' s word,consciousness. One 's receptivity to any music varies, but it appearsthat if a person, for whatever reason, is receptive, this music can be verymoving.l!JJtorontoERROL GAY, MUSIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTORCatherine Manoukian, Artist-in-ResidenceCek6rating Creative LivesSunday, December 7, 2008 at 3pmToronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St.Grace H_ong m· . . ~ Ines Pagli anv1ol1n : ~-,~, violin'?!APPLEBAUM Action StationsVAUGHAN WILLIAMS The Lark AscendingPUCCINI"Christmas Eve at Cate Momus"VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Serenade to MusicRIMSKY-KORSAKOV Suite from Christmas EveANDERSONSleigh RidePre-concert talk at 2:15 pmTickets: Adults , Sr/Std at the TCA Box Office or TicketMasterSpecial Rates: Children/Youth up to 18 years and groups of 10 ormore . Call Orchestra Toronto office at 416-467-71 42 for www.orchestratoronto.cato ro ntdartsbo un c i IAn ar m's length bodyo! theCi1yof To rontoSeason Presenter:Canada Trust~ ONTARIOARTSCOUNCIL ouo,~.uufConcert sponsor:TRIDELJI-\ (ONSEILDBARTS [{l'ONTARIO ~ .• • Ouur; ·DH'on~R lo12 WWW . THEWHOLENOTE.COM N OVEMB ER 1 - D ECEMBER 7 2008

World ViewOld Instrument, New Voiceby Karen AgesA theme of last month's issue was anniversaries - and, among otherthings, 11 groups celebrating their JOth seasons were named. But onewas left out: Nagata Shachu (formerly the Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble)also celebrates JO years this season, with a CD release concert atRyerson Theatre on November 29. 1 spoke with founder and director ofToronto's best known Taiko drumming ensemble, Kiyoshi Nagata.Born in Toronto, Kiyoshi received his first training at the JapaneseCanadian Cultural Centre, beginning in 1981 at the age of 12.Instruction was provided by a local Taiko group (Suwa Daiko), whichhe joined a year later.KN: I played with them for 10 years, directing the group for the last 6;along with the drums we also learned other instruments such as bambooflutes, and dancing; then I went to Japan, where I lived in Tokyo,working part time and studying with a local group, with the intention ofjoining the Koda Drummers. I finally got an interview in 1992, wasaccepted as an apprentice, and was eventually accepted into the groupin 1994, but declined the offer because of the rigorous lifestyle: livingcommunally, waking up at 4:30 am, daily lOK run, practising all day,etc. It was very intense and a great experience, no regrets, but not thelifestyle for me.Has any of that experience carried over into your current musical life?Musically I've been influenced by Koda - their goal is to take thetraditional instrument and say something new with it - we take thisancient instrument and find a new voice for it through original compositionsand recordings. This is a big event for us as it's our tenthanniversary and our 5th CD. (The CD is dedicated to the memory ofone of Kiyoshi's first instructors, Daihachi Oguchi, grand master drummerfrom Japan and founder of the original Toronto group Suwa Daiko,who recently passed away at the age of 84).After returning from Japan, Kiyoshi felt he couldn't go back to what hewas doing before, given the training and experience he now had underhis belt.I started soloing around, working with other musicians, and formed across cultural percussion group called Humdrum with Ritesh Das ontabla, Patrick Parson from Ballet Creole, Zhou Wei, a Chinese bambooflute player, and classical percussionist Jurij Konje; we did severalshows in Toronto and parts of Ontario, but everyone had their owncareers and we eventually disbanded; I was invited to start a group atthe Toronto Buddhist Church in 1994, and also one in Burlington(they 're both still around, he coaches occasionally), and in 1998, startedmy own group. Because I was teaching the 2 local groups, and in 2000started teaching at the Faculty of Music and 2 years later at the RCM,I had a large pool of people to draw from; so I chose the most talentedstudents, and other times we'd be performing and people would askfor private lessons etc. We now have an ensemble of 7 dedicated members.And what's your rehearsal schedule like?We have a studio out in Scarborough, in an industrial area where wecan pretty much make as much, well, I don't want to say "noise" ...we can play our drums to our hearts' content, at any time of the day;everyone gets paid for performances and a certain number of rehearsals;the group meets twice a week, for 3 hours each time, and throughoutthe rest of the week members are expected to come and practise ontheir own. Mostly, we're so busy, we practise for the next show. Ifwe're not so busy, we do some stretching together, training exercises,and go through our repertoire of 60 pieces, all memorized.Of the 60 pieces, how many are traditional and how many are composedby yourself or other members of the group ?Around 10 pieces are traditional. The other 50 are composed by me orother members; for me (in composing) I'd like to think that I have thatconnection to tradition. In order to create something new I have tohave a good foundation and be deeply rooted in where it all comessmall world presentsChinese music virtuosoLIU FANGThursday Nov. 13, 8:00Enwave Theatre,231 Queens Quay W. @ 416 973-4000'Masterful, graceful and riveting.'- Charlie Gillett, BBCChile's legendary bandINTI-ILLIMANISunday Nov. 16, 8:30Phoenix Concert Theatre,4 1 O Sherbourne St. @ www.smallworldmusic.comSoundscapes, 572 College St.'pure exhilaration.'- Washington PostSix-String StarsINTERNATIONALGUITAR NIGHTThursday Nov. 20, 8:00Studio Theatre,Harbourfront,235 Queens Quay W @ 416 973-4000 Iharbou rfrontcentre. co m'Superb ... artists at the top of their field'.- Lane Series, Vermont~ smallworldmusic.comto ro nt dart sbou n ci ICanada Councilfor the ArtsConseil des Artsdu CanadaPA_ ONTARIO ARTS COUNCILM CONS Ell DES ARTS DE l'ONTARIOT HE 01'tT

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