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Volume 19 Issue 6 - March 2014

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  • Toronto
  • April
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Beat by Beat | In With

Beat by Beat | In With the NewIn the Spirit ofGaudeamusWENDALYN BARTLEYBack in the December 2013 issue of The WholeNote, I wroteabout the developing collaboration amongst new musicpresenters in Toronto. This desire to build community andmutual support gets a big boost in early April when the Music Gallery,Continuum Contemporary Music and Arraymusic team up to present“Gaudeamus: Deconstructed and Reconstructed.” To understandmore about the significance of this Dutch-Canadian contemporarymusic summit, it’s important to look at the legacy of the GaudeamusMusic Week in Holland.Right after World War II in 1945,a yearly festival and competitionfor new music was held in a villagecalled Bilthoven, located near Utrecht.Imagining what Holland must have beenlike emerging out of the war, I find itremarkable that not only was a festivalcreated to promote Dutch composersin such a climate, but that also it wasnamed “gaudeamus” – from the Latinphrase gaudeamus igitur, meaning“Therefore let us rejoice.” The title of apopular academic song performed atuniversity graduation ceremonies inmany European countries since the early18th century, the phrase is in the samespirit as carpe diem (seize the day) withKoen Kaptijnits exhortation to enjoy life. So the Gaudeamus festival is a celebration,an invitation for hope, renewal and rejuvenation, an antidoteto the fear and terror of the war years. The Gaudeamus Music Weekeventually opened up to include international composers and has nowbecome one of the premiere forums for presenting the latest developmentsin the global contemporary music scene. The prestigiousGaudeamus competition is open to composers under 30 with the prizemoney going towards a commission for a new work.And now this spirit makes its way to Toronto bringing togethermembers from the Continuum and Arraymusic ensembles withseveral Dutch musicians to present two nights of concerts at the MusicGallery. On April 3, Gaudeamus will be “Deconstructed” during twosets of improvised music featuring both Canadian and Dutch improvisers.Part of the evening will feature three comprovised works byHolland’s Michiel van Dijk and Koen Kaptijn, along with Canada’sAllison Cameron. And in case you aren’t familiar with the term“comprovise,” it refers to a mixture of composed and improvisedmaterial and is the name of an American music series in the Bostonand New York areas that aims to avoid or shatter genre barriers andexplore the boundaries between composition and improvisation.Sounds like a perfect goal for a night of deconstruction.Then on April 4, Gaudeamus is “Reconstructed” again withcomposed works by composers who have either won the Gaudemusaward or had pieces selected to be performed at the festival. Thelineup includes Louis Andriessen and Yannis Kyriakides fromHolland and eldritch priest and Michael Oesterle from Canada.Louis Andriessen who turns 75 this coming April, is one of Holland’smost celebrated composers. Back in the 1970s, he turned minimalismupside down with his radical musicalresponses to American experimentalistsReich, Riley and Glass. He challenged thesecomposers’ trance-like states with a Europeansense of edginess and angularity, creatingpowerful and aggressive results. Toronto audienceswill be able to hear his high-voltagepiece Hout, a work that embodies his trademarkstyle of combining the rigours ofcomplex chromaticism with rhythms derivedfrom jazz and pop. The “reconstruction”continues with Cyprus-born composer andsound artist Yannis Kyriakides’ piece Tinkling,which is based on Thelonius Monk’s TrinkleTinkle. Kyriakides left his native Cyprus toLouis Andriessenlive in Holland and study with Andriessenand no doubt was influenced by Andriessen’sembracing of jazz influences. Kyriakides isalso drawn to interdisciplinary combinations of musical forms anddigital media, as is Canadian Michael Oesterle who will present anewly commissioned work. Rounding out the evening will be a pieceby Canadian composer, sound artist and author eldritch priest whoseinterests lie in sonic culture and experimental aesthetics.Another feature of the Gaudeamus summit will be a roundtableconversation during the late afternoon of each evening’s performanceto discuss whether there is still such a thing as a local sound identity,given that we can all be so instantly connected in the wired world.www.NewMusicConcerts.comRobert Aitken artistic directorSunday March 2, 2014 • 8pm | A Percussive Evening with Jean-Pierre DrouetThe Music Gallery | 197 John St.Introductions @ 7:15pmConcerts @ 8:00pmThursday March 20, 2014 • 8pm | An Evening with the Arditti String QuartetJane Mallett Theatre | 27 Front St. E. | 416.366.7723 co-production with Music TorontoFriday April 18, 2014 • 8pm | A Portrait of Jörg Widmann | Jörg Widmann, clarinet/directionBetty Oliphant Theatre | 404 JarvisWednesday May 21, 2014 • 8pm | Beijing Composers with Wei-wei LanMazzoleni Hall, Royal Conservatory | 273 Bloor St. W. | 416.408.0208 co-production with 21C Music FestivalIndividual Tickets regular | seniors / arts workers | students[Call Box Office numbers above for March 20 and May 21 co-production single ticket prices]Pick 3 (or more) each reg | senior/arts | students | Call NMC @ 416.961.959426 | March 1 – April 7, 2014 thewholenote.com

These conversations will include a collection of musicians, composers,programmers and a sociologist to weigh in on the topic. And finally,if you’d like an opportunity to play with some of the visiting Dutchimprovisers, a free workshop with members of Trio 7090 will behappening at the Music Gallery on April 5, from 10am to 1pm.New Opera: There is a new voice for contemporary opera arisingon the scene, and its name is FAWN. Collaborating with emergingcomposers to create contemporary chamber operas, the opera andnew music collective will be presenting excerpts of two of theirproduced operas by David Foley and Adam Scime, along with a newwork by composer Cecilia Livingston on March 14. This concert is partof the Emergents Series at the Music Galley curated by saxophonistChelsea Shanoff. Adding to the experience of FAWN’s repetoire will bea selection of compositions by Michael Vincent, who is also writingan opera for FAWN’s upcoming season. One characteristic of this newcompany’s vision is to foster and support emerging musical and visualCanadian artists. Their “Synesthesia” concerts offer previews of newworks in local art galleries.And then there is Tapestry which has been championing newCanadian opera for over 30 years. On April 4 and 5, they will becollaborating with Volcano Theatre in a showcase of work titled“Explorations” combining theatre, opera and dance. Volcano isknown for their physical energy and vision of creating work thatexplores identity, politics, history, and the contemporary humancondition. With both FAWN and Tapestry, we are witnessing anotherexample of genre expansion through the fusion of opera with otherartistic sensibilities and forms.Arditti String Quartet: New Music Concerts and Music Torontopresent the Arditti String Quartet on March 20. Well-known for theirspirited and technically refined interpretations of contemporary andearlier 20th century music, the contemporary string quartet repertoirewould be unimaginable without them. The program includesworks by some of the most venerable composers of our times, ElliottCarter, Hilda Paredes, Brian Ferneyhough and Helmut Laschenmann,each of which is part of their standard repertoire. Carter’s StringQuartet No. 5 is a perfect example of his signature technique of metricmodulation, which can be described simply as a change in pulse rateor tempo where each of the two tempos have a shared relationship,rather than a sudden shift. Hilda Paredes, originally from Mexico,wrote her second quartet “Cuerdas del Destino” in 2007-08, dedicatingit to the Arditti Quartet. Brian Ferneyhough, the master of the“new complexity,” wrote his Dum Transisset Quartet in 2006-07; ithas been widely performed and recorded by the quartet.Additional Noteworthy Concerts (see Listings for Details) :March 3: Wendalyn Bartley and Tina Pearson: Tales from the SonicLabiatory, Musideum.March 6: AIM Toronto, Musideum.March 7: Canadian Art Song Project CD launch, with works byDerek Holman. Canadian Music Centre.March 16 and 18:Talisker Players: “Creature to Creature: A 21st-CenturyBestiary.”March 19: Les Amis: Duo X[iksa] from Japan.March 19: University of Waterloo: Music by Carol Ann Weaver withRebecca Campbell.March 20: University of Guelph: Time and Space in Time. Slowpitch(turntablism and visual aesthetics).April 5: Essential Opera: Trio of new Canadian works.Wendalyn Bartley is a Toronto based composer and electrovocalsound artist. sounddreaming@gmail.comCANADA’S SHOWCASE OFFINE EUROPEAN PIANOSEXPERTS SINCE 1890BALDWIN BECHSTEIN BLÜTHNER FAZIOLIAUGUST FÖRSTER HOFMANN IRMLERPEARL-RIVER PRAMBERGER SEILERNew upright pianos starting from ,595Visit our website soon for news of upcomingsales, performances and special offerswww.remenyi.com210 BLOOR STREET WEST 416-961-3111(west of Avenue Road. City parking in rear, off Bedford Rd.)thewholenote.com March 1 – April 7, 2014 | 27

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