8 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 8 - May 2013

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
  • Musical
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Singers
  • Festival
  • Vocal
Includes the 2013 Canary Pages choral directory.

steph0n poffBeat by Beat

steph0n poffBeat by Beat | In With the NewEar ExpansionIn last month’s column, I spoke about the act of listening, andhow music creators have been evolving compositional strategiesthat bring more awareness to the ways we listen. When we slowdown and open our whole being to engage with the sounds our earsare receiving, we truly do enter into a realm of perception that transcendsnormaleveryday life. Thiscan, of course,happen whenwe are listeningto traditionalmusic, but whenthe creative andartistic intentionis focusedon creating shiftsin our perceptionof sound, itis easy to feel asif we are slippinginto an “alternativeuniverse.” Thisis how MusicalWENDALYN BARTLEYThe JACK Quartet.Toronto blog-writer John Terauds describes his experience of listeningto Ann Southam’s music as performed by Eve Egoyan — a concert Iwrote about in that same column in April.The Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound on May 31 and June 1in Kitchener presents a perfect opportunity to stretch our listeningawareness even further. This year’s festival, “Between the Ears,” offersa wide range of events including concerts, sound installations, aregatta of origami boats in a reflecting pool, performative sculptures,late night improvisations and a street market. On May 31, some wildthings are in store for festival-goers, including the percussion music ofAustralian composer Erik Griswold. His pieces have been described asthe place where music and kinetic sculpture merge. Imagine a percussionistplaying an array of temple bells and bowls accompanied by thesounds and rhythms created by a cone-shaped pendulum spilling 50pounds of rice through a large funnel. This is Griswold’s work Spill.In his piece Strings Attached for six percussionists, the gestures ofthe performers become a living sculpture. Their mallets are attachedwith nylon ropes to a lighting rig, thus visually magnifying theirmovements.Other features of the Friday evening event include a performanceof James Tenney’s Having Never Written A Note for Percussion — astunning acoustic experience sure to stretch you wide open. Infact, my body can still remember the reverberations I experiencedback in 2000 when this piece was performed at the Tenney farewellconcert in Toronto. A single note on an instrument of choice isplayed as a tremelo for “a long time.” It begins at the threshold ofhearing and rises in volume to an extreme threshold before returningagain to silence. A simple concept yet the complex sonic results areunforgettable.The festival evening will wind down with Hit Parade by ChristofMigone. Participants lie face down and pound the pavement with amicrophone. Everyone has their own amplifier positioned as far awayas possible and can take breaks after each 100 hits. A sonic playgroundextraordinaire!June 1 bringsa performanceby current andfounding membersof the legendaryimprovisingensemble CCMC(who also werethe founders ofthe Music Gallery),and a cutting edgeelectronic piece,La chambre desmachines, createdby Martin Messierand NicolasBernier who digitallytransformsounds made from machine gears and cranks. The night ends at theWalper Hotel with the members of Freedman (Justin Haynes, JeanMartin and Ryan Driver) performing on a ukulele, a suitcase and astreet-sweeper bristle.Xenakis and Beyond: Just preceding “Between the Ears” is anotherfestive gathering called “Random Walks: Music of Xenakis and Beyond”running from May 24 (in Toronto) to May 25 (in Waterloo). Presentedby the Fields Institute, the Perimeter Institute and the Institute forQuantum Computing in Waterloo, this two-day event will focus onthe music, ideas and influence of Greek composer and architect IannisXenakis. Concert presentations of his string quartet, percussion andelectroacoustic music will be intermingled with lecture and discussionsessions. Xenakis was a 20th-century “heavy weight,” whoseideas continue to have a profound impact across many disciplines.Part of the festival will be devoted to exploring and taking stock of therange of this influence on, among others, composers, mathematicians,architects and computer scientists.Xenakis’ music is often quite physically demanding on theperformer, requiring a high level of technical prowess. That shouldbode well for some extraordinary concert experiences. Performersinclude the JACK Quartet, renowned for its “explosive virtuosity,”OPENEARSBETWEENTHE+EARS FESTIVALMAY 31 st - JUNE 1 st , 2013 - KITCHENER, ONVISIT OPENEARS.CA & CAFKA.ORGpresentsA rare performance ofGyorgy Ligeti’sPoème Symphoniquefor 100 metronomesScott Carter’s Disonar fordisintegrating drywalldrumset and concreteguitarsLa chambre desmachines – futuristintonarumori boxesChristoph Migone’s HitParade – smashingamplified mics into thepavementErik Griswold’s kineticmusic: a giant funnel+ 60 lbs of rice + 6drums + 75m of rope60+ installations,concerts and microperformances18 | May 1 – June 7, 2013

BlackCMYKPantoneTariq Kieranand an extensive list of percussion soloists and ensembles, includingMontreal’s Aiyun Huang and Toronto’s TorQ Percussion Quartet. For agreat essay on Xenakis’ string quartet music, I recommend the articlewritten by James Harley, accessible through a weblink on the festival’shome page (google “Random Walks”). Noted speakers include musicianand author Sharon Kanach who worked closely with Xenakisfor many years, and composer/computer programmer Curtis Roads,former editor of the Computer Music Journal who also pioneered aform of computer sound creation known as granular synthesis.More on string quartets: May seems to be the month not onlyfor experimental music festivals, but also for string quartets specializingin contemporary music. Besides the JACK Quartet mentionedabove, the Mivos Quartet from New York will be offering two concertswith slightly varying programs on May 24 at Gallery 345 and May 25at Heliconian Hall. The young players of this quartet came togetherin 2008 after graduating from the Manhattan School ofMusic and set out to expand thequartet repertoireMarion Newmanand Derek Kwanby commissioningin The Lessonand collaboratingwith a wideof Da Ji.cross-section ofcontemporarycomposers. A thirdquartet — the TorontobasedMagenta StringQuartet — will bepresenting works byToronto composersEatock, Gfroererand Vachon onMay 25 at EastminsterUnited Church.East and West: The East and West musical dialogue continues intwo extraordinary events this coming month. First up is a productionby the Toronto Masque Theatre of The Lesson of Da Ji written by twoof Toronto’s own: composer Alice Ping Yee Ho and librettist MarjorieChan. Traditionally, masque is a fusion of music, dance and theatrewhich flourished in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. Thisnew work, which runs from May 10 to 12 at the Al Green Theatre, willbe a contemporary take on the older form based on the true story ofthe Shang dynasty concubine Da Ji and the King who took revenge onher secret lover. The music will blend European baroque instrumentswith various eastern instruments including the pipa, erhu and guquin,which Da Ji learns to play as part of the narrative. A traditional PekingOpera dance performance will complement the blending.Ticketsstart at !2012-2013 ConCert SerieSMUSiC For CHinAFeaturing taiwan’s Chai Found Music Workshopand world premieres by Alexina Louie,Dorothy Chang and Fuhong Shi.MAY 14, 2013 At 8:00 pMKoerner Hall, teLUS Centre for performance and LearningFor tickets call 416.408.0208 or visit soundstreams.ca2013-2014 subscriptions are now on sale!Visit for May 1 – June 7, 2013 | 19

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