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Volume 19 Issue 1 - September 2013

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  • September
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THE WHOLENOTE PREVIEW✒ Paul EnnisWhat does Benjamin Britten’sopera Noye’s Fludde set in SouthAfrica and sung in Xhosa have incommon with the story of a youngQuébécois woman blessed with perfect pitch butafflicted with a learning disability? Or the returnof the team behind the cult classic Koyaanisqatsiwith a new film premiering to a live accompanimentby the TSO? Or with Jim Jarmusch’s vampirelovebirds who live like glam rockers? Or MychaelDanna’s first score since winning the Oscar earlierthis year? They’re just a few of the films in the 2013edition of the Toronto International Film FestivalCan a Song SaveYour Life? Above:Noye’s Fludde.(TIFF) that appear to be of particular interest to The WholeNotereaders. Yes, we’ve scoured the list of 288 features in this year’s festivaland noted a number that look appealing.Visitors marks Godfrey Reggio’s first film in ten years and his fourthcollaboration with Philip Glass. Its world premiere takes place at theElgin Theatre Sunday evening, September 8, when members of the TSOwill provide a live score. Judging by the hypnotic trailer on the film’sinscrutable website (, this black-and-white digital4K projection could be the musical highlight of TIFF. The subtlety andrestraint of the haunting score evident in the trailer finds Glass’ repetitivepulse backgrounded in the strings to allow precise woodwind tunesto come to the fore.Here is the official pitch for the new film: “Visitors reveals humanity’strancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeeredby extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond thehuman species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experiencebeyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised ofonly 74 shots, Visitors takes viewers on a journey to the moon and backto confront them with themselves.”Next, from the team behind the unique, unforgettable and energeticU-Carmen eKhayelitsha (in which Bizet’s Carmen was adaptedto a cigarette factory outside of Capetown and performed in Xhosa)comes a Xhosa version of Benjamin Britten’s opera, Noye’s Fludde,again directed by Mark Dornford-May and again starring South Africanopera star Pauline Malefane (this time as Noah!).Atom Egoyan’s new film Devil’s Knot that dramatizes the falloutfrom the notorious 1993 West Memphis murders marks Toronto-basedcomposer Mychael Danna’s first film score since his Oscar win for Lifeof Pi. Danna, who began his career with Egoyan, has scored all his films.On paper this one looks promising as it harkens back to the director’smasterpiece, The Sweet Hereafter. As Piers Handling, CEO of TIFFputs it: “Egoyan is a master at telling tales about deeply misunderstoodoutsiders, their families and communities, andtheir darkest fantasies. In Devil’s Knot Egoyan iscompletely at home sketching the small-town livesof ordinary people befuddled and angered by thesenseless killing in their ostensibly safe town.”Only Lovers Left Alive features a rich and diversesoundtrack, something that we’ve come to expectfrom Jim Jarmusch. Only Lovers Left Alive is a comicbonbon that will no doubt prove addictive to globallovers of cinema. It never wavers from its core lovestory between two vampires living a bohemian lifestyle,even as it’s stuck in a 1970s rock star groovethat spins vinyl.Talking about the film’s soundtrack on the Greek website Flix,Jarmusch explains: “Music is of primal importance for the film. It wascomposed by Jozef van Wissem, a historian of the lute, but also a guitaristand avant-garde composer, with a well-defined rock and roll side. He isthe main auteur of the film’s music. Additionally, Carter Logan, ShaneStoneback and I have a band called SQÜRL, and we’ve contributed tothe film’s score, even though van Wissem called the shots.”“There are also some beautiful original songs heard in the film, somesongs by Yasmine Hamdan, whom I admire. I fell in love with her musicfrom the very first time I saw her perform in Morocco and I couldn’tbelieve what a wonderful creature and extraordinary musician she was.All her songs mean something to me. I really like Denise LaSalle’s R&Bsong ‘Trapped In this Thing Called Love’ which the film’s protagonistsdance to in a crucial, sort of make-up scene in the film. And of courseWanda Jackson’s ‘Funnel of Love’ which we treated with a kind of remix,while preserving its main elements.”“Of course music couldn’t but have a central part in a film whosemain hero is a musician. But music is very important to me anyway.All the vinyl albums that you see at the hero’s house didn’t make theirway there by chance. Almost all of them are mine.”Watermark is Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky’s follow-upto Manufactured Landscapes. Three years in the making, it connects 20diverse stories that take place in ten countries all dealing with how weuse water and how water uses us. It’s also the third part of Burtynsky’swater project, which includes a book and a major photographic exhibition.From a WholeNote vantage point Watermark has a dynamic(mostly) electronic soundtrack that makes major use of Gavin Bryars’(Room 021) Cuisine (Trio) and One Last Bar Then Joe Can Sing as wellas four excerpts from the ambient, modern classical and drone worldof the Dutch musician known as Machinefabriek. Moondog’s Introductionand Overtone Continuum and parts of works by ambient musicianTim Hecker, multi-instrumentalist Aaron | continued on page 7010 | September 1 – October 7, 2013

13 14SEASON OF EVENTSSEASON HIGHLIGHTSFeatured ConcertsBrentano Quartet plays Beethoven +“A Late Quartet” film screeningCecilia String QuartetShauna Rolston and FriendsMike Holober with U of T Jazz OrchestrasGryphon Trio with James CampbellNathalie Paulin with Steven PhilcoxNimmons’N’90 birthday concertDavid Braid plays Gershwin with UTSOOperasDon Pasquale, Albert HerringRussell Braun conducts opera scenesDistinguished VisitorsVijay Iyer, jazz pianistStephanie Blythe, mezzo-sopranoTracy Dahl, sopranoSir Thomas Allen, baritoneGabriel Prokofiev, DJ/composer/producerPaul Chihara, composerAlice Parker, composer/conductorPutu Evie Suyadnyani / Vaughan Hatch,world music artistsFree EventsOver 100 free public performances, masterclasses and TICKETS416-408-0208STUDENT TICKETSAlways *FlexiMIXPick any 4 or more concerts& save up to 20% ***Except for Opera Tea **On adult prices onlyVisit a complete list of events or todownload our season brochureSEASON OPENING CONCERTGabrieli ConsortFamous for their award-winning recordings on DG Archiv and theirappearances on the most distinguished stages worldwide with ArtisticDirector Paul McCreesh - the Gabrieli Consort makes its Canadian debutin a performance of varied English music by composers across thecenturies, from Tallis and Purcell to Elgar and Britten. The ensemblewill be joined by members of the U of T Schola Cantorum, Daniel Taylor,conductor, and organist Matthew Larkin in an evening of beautiful music.Sunday, September 8, 20137:00 pm. Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square adult, senior, student. Call 416-408-0208The Faculty of Music gratefully acknowledges thegenerous support of our presenting sponsors.UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, FACULTY OF MUSIC, 80 QUEEN’S PARK. WWW.MUSIC.UTORONTO.CA

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