7 years ago

Volume 19 Issue 7 - April 2014

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  • April
  • Toronto
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Rick Sacksplays

Rick Sacksplays MalletKatinstrumental textures and turntable-based sounds in Lizée’s explorationof Bach’s themes.Music Gallery: Lizée pops up again this month in the Continuum/Music Gallery co-production “By Other Means” on May 4. In a concertthat explores non-traditional techniques and new musical devices,Lizée will combine her turntable techniques with the sounds of Atarivideo games. She will be joined in this evening of sonic experimentationby international composers Salvatore Sciarrino, Hugo MoralesMurguía, Erik Griswold, and Canadian Thierry Tidrow. Extendedtechniques are highlighted also at the Music Gallery’s April 12 concertfeaturing Toronto-born musicians Noam Bierstone and Bryan Holtperforming an evening of avant-garde Scandinavian works for celloand percussion, including two by Finland’s Kaija Saariaho. Thisseason the Music Gallery has been spreading beyond the walls oftheir home at St. George the Martyr church and producing eventsin other Toronto venues. On April 16, they venture into the heart ofKensington Market and its fringe-arts haven Double Double Landto bring Brooklyn-based vocalist Julianna Barwick to Toronto foran experience of spiritual ambience from a one-woman choir. Shewill be joined on the bill by another Brooklynite, Vasillus, as well asCastle If and Toronto’s Christian Duncan with her astonishing fiveoctavevoice.Additional concerts to bring in the spring: April 22 pianistChristina Petrowska Quilico celebrates the CD release of Glass HousesVolume 2 featuring compositions by Ann Southam. Diana McIntoshpresents works arranged for piano, toy piano, mouth percussion,voice, live electronics and tape on April 16. The Toronto SymphonyOrchestra presents the Canadian premiere of Vivian Fung’s workAqua on April 11.Works by contemporary composers are increasingly beingprogrammed by more traditional concert presenters and ensembles.Here’s a quick look at what’s available this month. Works byArvo Pärt can be heard in concerts by INNERchamber Concerts inStratford, April 6 and by Masterworks of Oakville Chorus & Orchestraon April 12 and 13. The Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Societypresents works by Michael Coghlan on April 6 and Claude Vivieron April 23. The New York Chamber Music Festival presents a worldpremiere by Michael Oesterle along with other Canadian premieres byvarious composers at the Heliconian Hall April 18.And speaking of world premieres, at noon on April 24 in theRichard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre forthe Performing Arts, percussionist Rick Sacks presents a recital onMalletKat/keyboard, titled Polar Bears and Lullabies, that includesthe premiere of a new work by Sacks titled “Necessary Outcome: AMeditation on Richard Dawkins” along with other works.The end of the academic year in April provides an opportunityto hear what’s cooking among the students of the various musicprograms. On April 10, Brian Current conducts the Glenn GouldSchool New Music Ensemble in Behind the Sound of Music, anotherworld premiere by the prolific Nicole Lizée. April 25, the RoyalConservatory Orchestra performs Murray Schafer’s Adieu RobertSchumann. Up at York University, a concert of new compositionsfrom the students of Matt Brubeck (April 1) is followed by a concert onApril 2 by York’s New Music ensemble.Quick Picks:Canadian Music Centre: April 13 “Microexpressions: The 21stCentury Virtuoso”; April 24 “Lunch Time Concert.” Beckwith,Beauvais and Uyeda; April 25 “Mid-Atlantic: A Voyage in Song.” Worksby Branscombe, Coulthard, Morawetz and others.Musideum: Association of Improvising Musicians (AIM):April 3, 10, 17Larkin Singers: “Modern Mystics.” Works by Tavener andothers, April 5Syrinx Concerts Toronto: “Walter Buczynski BirthdayCelebration,” April 13Symphony on the Bay. “Celebration of film composer MychaelDanna,” May 4Wendalyn Bartley is a Toronto based composer and electrovocalsound artist. sounddreaming@gmail.comwww.NewMusicConcerts.comRobert Aitken artistic directorIntroductions @ 7:15pm | Concerts @ 8:00pmcall box office numbers for single ticket pricesFriday April 18, 2014 • 8pmJörg Widmann, clarinet/directionfeaturing five Canadian premieresBetty Oliphant Theatre | 404 Jarvis St. | 416.961.9594Saturday May 17, 2014 • 7:30pmGallery 345 | 345 Sorauren Avenue | SPECIAL EVENTProceeds to benefit New Music Concerts. Tickets 0, 2 for 0 | RSVP 416.961.9594Wednesday May 21, 2014 • 8pm Mazzoleni Hall, Royal Conservatory | 273 Bloor St. W. | 416.408.0208 co-production with 21C Music Festivalfeaturing new works commissioned by The Royal Conservatory and Roger D. Moore28 | April 1 – May 7, 2014

Beat by Beat | World ViewSmartphoneSerendipity NotThe Only WayANDREW TIMARArecent article, “The five types of music discovery” by StuartDredge (The Guardian March 19, 2014), examines current wayssome people “find new bands and songs.” He wonders whatfuture search methods may be employed and his answer appearsto centre on the smartphone holding the key to such searches.Dredge argues that the popular music industry is anxious to discernconsumers’ tastes and choices in order to deliver what it feels listenerswant, characterizing it as “music discovery.” It’s a process drivenby commercial interests increasingly tied to mobile apps. Dredgeproposes five platforms for music discovery. They are “friends, thecrowd, curators, algorithms and serendipity,” all of which he links tosmartphone and tablet platforms. Some of these domains use socialnetworks as a “music discovery funnel.”Dredge’s extended discussion of the role of digital music discoveryin the commercial environment may puzzle, disturb, fascinate or elicita combination of those responses from readers of this column. I havemy own reservations. First of all there are clearly many more kindsof music and many more ways to discover them than he cares to dealwith. Yet it got me thinking. Are there/will there ever be apps with thepotential to create new audiences for world music, opening ears to atransnationally coloured musical palette?Can commodified music discovery serve as a possible metaphor, oreven a model, for the expansion of awareness of musics seen from aglobal perspective? How can various world musics grow their participantsand audiences in our multicultural and multiethnic society? Inaddition to apps, which currently focus on the search and acquisitionof popular commercial music genres, I can think of many other platformsthrough which this process occurs. They include: recordings onvinyl, tape, CD and other digital media; broadcasts of various types;the online blogosphere and social media; the live concert hall, pub,club, community centre; Meetups, hands-on playing workshops andcommunity groups meeting in consulates and embassies.Those interested can seek, discover and experience music fromoutside one’s culture of birth by all these means and I’ve touchedon activities at many of them over my years at The WholeNote. Evenfaith-based congregations present an opportunity for such discovery:see the end of this column for an example.Yet another platform for world music discovery is the performancecourses offered at Canadian schools, conservatories, colleges anduniversities. Once a rarity and to a degree a novelty in the 1970s and1980s, they are slowly becoming embedded in an increasing numberof music schools alongside the received canon of classical Westernmusic offerings.Gamelan: I’m going to examine this process through a case studyof the introduction of the instruments and repertoire of the gamelanbegun in Canada in the 1980s. Emblematic of interactive communalmusic making, at its core gamelan is orchestral music indigenous toseveral regions of Indonesia. It’s played on multiple types of tunedand untuned percussion instruments but also often features wind andstring instruments, as well as solo and group vocals. The source of thismusic is about as geographically removed as possible from Toronto,but it’s a subject close to my heart. For over three decades its study,performance and teaching have been my musical staples. During thattime I’ve witnessed the incremental growth of the gamelan scenewhich in 1982 had no resident Canadian performers. Then only aGrebel Gamelan at the Rockway Mennonite Church, February 2, 2014.handful of LPs and the very occasional Indonesian touring groupbooked in our larger halls gave any hint of the musical treasuresawaiting our discovery.In the U.S. gamelan music touched down earlier. Theatrical gamelanperformances were staged daily by a visiting group at the 1893Chicago World’s Fair, of which audio recordings still exist captured onearly cylinder technology. The inauguration of the formal study andperformance of gamelan music by Americans however dates fromthe mid-1950s when Mantle Hood began teaching Javanese gamelanprivately in his California home. One of the founders of ethnomusicology,Hood first offered the course “Music and Dance of Java” at UCLAin the 1964-65 academic year; the Javanese musician Hardja Susilotaught the dance component. From that single course today dozens ofacademic gamelan programs flourish in North American colleges inaddition to up to 200 active community April 1 – May 7, 2014 | 29

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