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Volume 14 - Issue 3 - November 2008

from-I don't want to

from-I don't want to pull something out of thin air; yet at the sametime I can't help but be influenced by all the different kinds of musicand cultures that exist around me in everyday life. But to be really trueto the art form and what it 's about you need to have a good understandingof what the traditional music is before you can take a step forward.In addition to drums, Nagata Shachu incorporates other instruments,including shinobue (transverse flute), shakuhachi (end blown verticalflute), shamisen (3 stringed lute played witha large plectrum), and koto (a horizantalplucked zither).We're one of the only groups to combineall of these instruments; others usually justdo drums, maybe a bit of flute. There areother groups that do more fusion, with otherartists, but I'm fortunate to have artistswho play other traditional instruments; I'mstill looking within the box, looking at whatthe possibilities are within the frameworkof tradition. Sometimes it's all too easy tosay let's work with a guitar player or choir;I want to say let's look at what the possibilitiesare within the instruments that weplay. One of the great compliments I get fromJapanese people is, it sounds traditional but Iknow it's not.Kiyoshi NagataIn Japan, is drumming considered a Classicalor Folk art?More of a folk art. In post-war Japan people were looking to the west,to rock & roll etc; then a handful of pioneers in the sixties rejuvenatedthe art of drumming; instead of the drum accompanying dance or ritualor prayer, they formed these groups that performed on drums as amusical art in its own right. In the last 50 years it's gone from zeroTaiko groups to well over 10,000 in Japan. I think Canada has about 20-30 groups , and the US about 200-300, and still growing.Nagata Shachu acquired an agent a few years ago, and has been busy,touring parts of Canada, the US and Italy, averaging about 60 shows peryear. And yes, they bring their own instruments, each drum valued atbetween ,000 and ,000! They 're proud to be sponsored by fourmajor drum manufacturers in Japan, some of them in business for over 400years; "it means they believe in us, they 'reendorsing what we do".Other highlights this month: the Artists ofthe Royal Conservatory present Music inExile - Emig re Composers of the 1930's,November 7 at the new/old RCM location(273 Bloor Street West) . The concert commemoratesthe 70th anniversary ofKristallnacht(when thousands of Jewish businesses,homes and synagogues were attackedthroughout Germany in a single night just~ prior to the beginning of WW2), and fea­~ tures music of Jewish composers forcedili to flee the Third Reich, as well as Ger­~ man composers who resisted the Nazi regime.Small World Music presents Chinesepipa soloist Liu Fang, November 13at Harbourfront's Enwave Theatre. TheMaryem Tollar Ensemble presents theirCD release concert, Cairo to Toronto , November 16, also at the Enwave.Please see our daily listings for details on these and other events.Karen Ages is a freelance oboist who has also been a member ofseveral world music ensembles. She can be reached atworldmusic@thewholenote.com.New Music Concerts • www.NewMusicConcerts.com14Canada Councilfor the ArtsConscil des Arts PA OMTARIO ARTS COUNCILdu Canadi' JI-I\ COHSEIL DES ARTS. DE L'OfHARIOWWW. THEWHOLENOTE , COMCanadianHeritagePatrimoinecanadlenliDETHEIIISTITUTlrHEA IIATIOrHSN OVEM BER 1 - D ECEMBE R 7 2008

In with the NewNovember: In Like a Lionby Richard MarsellaAfter a quiet October, November comes in like a new music lion,reminiscent of the days when the Massey Hall New Music Festivalmade November the month for new music in the city of Toronto.Several major new music presenters are unveiling significant seasons.The 2008-2009 Esprit Orchestra season gets under way with a concerton Sunday November 23rd at the Jane Mallett Theatre. If you'vealmost, but never quite taken the plunge and gone out to an Espritconcert, there'll never be a better moment. It's something to witnesscontemporary works on a symphonic scale performed by an orchestrawith a total commitment to contemporary repertoire (rather than theapologetic go-through-the-motions-and-make-it-to-intermission approachsometimes brought to new music by players accustomed tomore traditional repertoire.) And if ever there was a concert designedto bridge the gap between the traditional and the contemporary, this isit. With works by R. Murray Schafer, John Adams, Aaron Copland,and Valentin Silvestrov, Esprit, in their 27th season, are hitting theground running."We've done the Adams twice before" says Esprit conductor AlexPauk. "It's a zappy piece, full of spark, always successful with ouraudiences. We've framed the whole concert as something that willappeal to a broad audience. Each piece is not only something worthdoing in its own right but connects back to a different musical tradi0tion. In the case of the Adams piece, the relationship is to minimalism,but infused with snap and humour. The Schafer is something we'veprobably done three times since its premiere 20 or more years ago. Itwas on the first recording we did for the CBC. It's Schafer at his mosthyper-romantic, evoking the castle of mad King Ludwig of Bavaria.Murray was in the region and something about it all just grabbed him.It's wonderfully atmospheric in the way that Strauss's Heldenlebenand some of Wagner is. The Copland is interesting too. He's probablythe most familiar of the four composers to a general audience, but it isone of his least performed works, and one that Andrew Burashko, oursoloist, particularly wanted to do. It's in a jazz-inflected classical traditionbetter known to audiences via Gershwin and Bernstein. And theSilvestrov is a tour de force-a symphony for violin and orchestra, ifyou will, the full blossoming of Silvestrov's highly individual voice.Think Shostakovitch for a comparison in terms of transcendence of theconstraints of the old Soviet Union. Or Mahler even, for its universal,resonating quality."Lawrence Cherney's Soundstreams takes the "hit'em early, hit 'emoften" approach this month, demonstratingthe organization's rangeand versatility. I admire whatSoundstreams have been doingover the last few years, as theysuccessfully explore new ways ofdelivering ideas, and making connectionsin the new music communityof Toronto, and Canada. Startingthis month, and continuingthroughout the season, Soundstreamswill present Salon 21 atthe Bata Shoe Museum. This informalprocess to connect curiouspeople in the community to newmusic through readings and conversation,is a 21st century ap- Choral conductor Maria Guinand,proach that will help bridge a gap November 5, Bata Shoe Museumin the new music community. November'stwo salons explore unique topics in music: on November 5th,Venezuelan conductor Maria Guinand launches a discussion on socialaction through music, as she discusses choral projects that bring hopeto Latin-American youth; and on November 18th, Glenn Buhr fromWilfrid Laurier University will provide a fascinating portrait of composerand mystic Arvo Part.And that's not all. On Friday November 7th, Soundstreams presentsUniversity Voices 2008: Youth, Music, Passion! at Metropolitan UnitedChurch, with Maria Guinand conducting Canada's most talented UniversityChoirs. One hundred and sixty of Canada's best student voiceswill perform music of the Americas including: a world premiere byvisiting Venezuelan composer Alberto Grau, and works by OsvaldoGolijov, Alberto Ginastera, R. Murray Schafer, Jose Evangelista,Claude Vivier, Eric Whitacre, Pinto Fonseca and more. And finally,on November 20th, don't miss Soundstreams' presentation of the EstonianPhilharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestraat the St. Anne's Anglican Church. The EPCC will performthe transcendent music of Estonian mystic Arvo Part including Orient& Occident and Da Pacem; excerpts of Paul Frehner's ethereal TheSeven Last Words of Christ; and the dazzling and radiant Beatus Vir ofAntonio Vivaldi, a revolutionary sacred work of its time.New Music Concerts has two compelling concerts coming up, twoweeks apart. First, the organization pays tribute to the great Germancomposer Karlheinz Stockhausen on November 15th at the EnwaveTheatre. "When polling our audience, the name of the composer mostfrequently mentioned is Karlheinz Stockhausen" said Robert Aitken,NMC's artistic director. "For that reason we planned this concert withLise Daoust and four other Montreal musicians who have worked extensivelywith Stockhausen and whose performances have met with hissatisfaction. Our original idea was to commemorate his 80th birthday,but with his passing at 79 on December 7, 2007 there is even morereason to present this concert with musicians who know exactly howhis music should be performed. " ...NMC's second offering, November 30th at the Music Gallery, offersCalgary-based composers Hope Lee and David Eagle who willlaunch their new CD, celebrating 25 years of marriage. On the Centrediscslabel, the CD features Lee's piece Fei Yang and Eagle's pieceBreath which will be performed at this concert by New Music Concerts'core string players Accordes, and Joseph Macerollo on accordion.This concert will also feature works by composer Sydney Hodkin-SUNDAY NOVEMBER ZTERRI HRON: BIRD ON A WIREComputer-assisted composition and improvisation for recorderTHURSDAY NOVEMBER 27TORQ PERCUSSION QUARTETWorks by Cage, Casey Cangelosi, Jude Vaclavik + moreSATURDAY DECEMBER 6REMOVABLE PARTSA series of love songs about voluntary amputationCreated by Corey Dargel • Featuring Kathleen Supove, pianoTHURSDAY DECEMBER 11WALLACE HALLADAY & RYAN SCOTTNew Music for Saxophone and PercussionFeaturing world premieres by Erik Ross & Andrew StanilandFRIDAY DECEMBER 12ALAN LICHT/AKI ONDA/MICHAEL SNOWCanadian excusive engagement with three free music mastersBECOME A MUSIC GALLERY MEMBER AND SAVEO N TICKET PRICES! Email info@musicgallery.orgThe Music Gallery· 197 John St. · Toronto MST 1X6416-204-1080 · www.musicgallery.orgBfB Canada Council Conseil des Ans

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2019)

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