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Volume 16 Issue 6 - March 2011

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  • Toronto
  • April
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Dancing DaysJASON VAN

Dancing DaysJASON VAN EYKThe effect of too many winter days indoors and the buddingpromise of spring seem to have inspired new music presentersto think of movement in March, and especially of the humandesire to dance. Or perhaps it’s my own craving for unbundlingweather – where we can move more freely – that’s making me seechoreographic connections. Regardless, no fewer than six concertsthis month touch on the subject openly or in more subtle ways.New Music Concerts’ celebration of British composer JonathanHarvey may be the most tangential to the theme, but I can’t gowithout mentioning it. Harvey’s remarkable training and uniqueopportunities for musical exploration have allowed him to gatherwhich he then infuses with the power of Stockhausen and his owninvestigation of the mystical. Early successes have since openeddoors for Harvey to compose for just about every classical genre,and for some of the world’s best soloists and ensembles. But his skilland imagination seem best applied to electroacoustics, which is themain feature of this March 6 concert at the Betty Oliphant Theatre.Programme notes for works like The Riot (the only non-premierehere) read like descriptions of choreography. Musical themes bounceabout sharply, join in polyphonic ensembles or re-combine in newScena for solo violin and large ensemble developsjust like a classical ballet. Be sure to arrive early for a pre-concertevent, where U of T’s gamUT ensemble will deliver the worldpremiere of Harvey’s Vajra. Harvey is in constant demand forcommissions, meaning his dance card is plenty full, so any chanceto catch a new work of his is a special one. To learn more or buytickets, visit www.newmusicconcerts.com.On March 17, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico will unveilthe results of her Glass Houses Revisited recording project in a liveconcert at the Glenn Gould Studio. The CD, released on Centrediscs,consists of extensive revisions to nine selections from the original1981 Glass Houses by composer Ann Southam, and was PetrowksaQuilico’s last Southam collaboration before the composer’s suddenpassing last November.In her incomplete programme notes, Southam explained the genesisof the work: “I have called these pieces Glass Houses in orderto identify them as minimalist music. The best known composer ofthis style of music at the time… The tunes in Glass Houses werethese tunes are spun out… until all tunes are present, at which pointthey wind back to the beginning.”Petrowska Quilico describes Glass Houses Revisited-Transcendental Etudes and to the complexity of Bach’s counterpointthat Southam was a celebrated composer of music for dance, havingwritten over 40 scores for the likes of Patricia Beatty and the NewDance Group of Canada (now the Toronto Dance Theatre) and forother companies and choreographers such as Danny Grossman,Dancemakers, Rachel Browne and Christopher House, includingHouse’s acclaimed choreography set to Glass Houses. To learn moreabout Ann Southam and her work, visit www.musiccentre.ca. ickets,Continuum returns to Toronto from the 2011 Montréal/NouvellesMusiques Festival for a March 20 concert at the Music Gallery.Titled “Step, Turn, Kick,” the programming here is grounded in theidea of “dancing in the mind.” At its core is a quartet of new piecesas a French baroque dance suite for the 21st century. Also featuredis the Canadian premiere of Marc Sabat’s John Jenkins, a work22 thewholenote.comMarch 1 - April 7, 2011

PHOTO WWW.JULIEANNEDEROME.NETmaster. Rounding out the concert are solos and duos by UK’s MichelFinnissy and Holland’s Martijn Padding that express an impulse tomove. To learn more about Continuum, visit www.continuummusic.org. Tickets will be available at the door.I’m very eager to hear Julie-AnneDerome in recital on March 24 atthe Jane Mallett Theatre. This newmusic specialist presents an ambitiousprogramme rich with Canadiancontent. She will open with thebrief but intense Ivresses, songes,sourdes nuit by Québec composerand other dramatic effects make itripe for use as a solo dance soundtrack.Chan Ka Nin’s very popularSoulmateskating-inspired Poetry on Ice, willoffer a nice counterbalance. AndJulie-Anne Derome.closing the evening is Tracking forin the sense of the title as “the coordination of speed and gesture fortwo points locked in a reciprocal force and action.” Put simply, theact of both leading and following, as in a pas de deux. Radford furtherexplains that tracking implies linked relationships between time,material and action, controlling energy and gravitational force. Allvery heady stuff, but it sounds very dance-like to me! More detailsare available through www.music-toronto.com.The Scarborough Philharmonic carries through the dance themeto April 2 with a new work by their Composer-in-Residence, AlexEddington. Entitled Dancing about Architecture, Eddington describesthe work for nine wind instruments and percussion as “a new‘‘’UNIVERSITY AUDITIONS AREUPON US!! CHECK IN WITHSTEVE’S FOR LEVEL-APPROPRIATEMATERIALS...GOOD LUCK!WE PROUDLY FEATURE:Dedicated RCM exam requirement bookWoodwind.Diverse repertoire, method & studyrs& public address systems/dj equipment.Band and string instrument sales.Ask about our teacherdiscount program.415 Queen Street West, Toronto OntarioM5V 2A5 (416) 593-8888educational@stevesmusic.comTMFRIDAY, MARCH 11Emergents IIIEarwax Ensemble, VOWLS + Gates 8pm /FRIDAY, MARCH 25Ethio T.O.Girma Wolde Michael’s Ethio Fidel + Canaille with Isla CraigNew World Series 8pm /SUNDAY, APRIL 17The Music ofNorma BeecroftPost-Classical Series 8pm //The Music GalleryMarch 1 - April 7, 2010 thewholenote.com 23

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