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Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Musical
  • Choral
  • Singers
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
  • Jazz
  • Festival
In this issue: our sixteenth annual Choral Canary Pages; coverage of 21C, Estonian Music Week and the 3rd Toronto Bach Festival (three festivals that aren’t waiting for summer!); and features galore: “Final Finales” for Larry Beckwith’s Toronto Masque Theatre and for David Fallis as artistic director of Toronto Consort; four conductors on the challenges of choral conducting; operatic Hockey Noir; violinist Stephen Sitarski’s perspective on addressing depression; remembering bandleader, composer and saxophonist Paul Cram. These and other stories, in our May 2018 edition of the magazine.

Reilly. Their 2000

Reilly. Their 2000 concert at the Victoriaville festival (FIMAV) became the CD Campin Out. In 2004, they provided the finale for probably the greatest international showcase ever afforded to adventurous Canadian jazz – a week of the Gulbenkian Foundation’s Jazz em Agosto festival in Lisbon. The concert has been released as Live in Lisbon. For a sense of what the music felt like at the time, here’s something I wrote for the Campin Out liner notes: “The two streams in Cram’s music, the improvised and the composed, come together in a very special way. The composition is less about giving the improvisation structure than the improvisation is about giving the orchestration fluidity and vice versa. Part of Cram’s ambition is to have Paul was like an exponential version of a Johnny Appleseed of the arts … in his wake enriching lives far beyond his own awareness. the composed portions move with the energy and spontaneity of collective improvisation, and it’s something he achieves frequently here. The music is rooted in modern jazz. Mingus and Gil Evans come handily to mind, and more particularly the writing of Carla Bley, both for the wit and the exchange of melody and texture; but Cram takes that principle of restless movement further afield. This is a tour that takes in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and dances the tango and the waltz, all the time expanding the image pool with in-flight films of other locales and times, some of them pointed out by a guide plucked from a 50s TV detective series.” In 2012 Cram led a 21-member Upstream Orchestra at FIMAV. Jeff Reilly describes his magical way with an orchestra: “That orchestra was a natural extension of Paul’s ‘Ellingtonian approach’ (as he called it) or getting as many people as he could onstage to delve into the deep experience of releasing the subconscious (what he called ‘the bottom 90 percent’) through improvised sound. He loved the collective roar of an orchestra in full cry, and I was always delighted when he asked me to conduct. Paul’s ability to coalesce a group of musicians into a collective sound was the result of the sheer force of his creative imagination – he loved and lived this stuff and it just seemed to happen around him wherever he went. I learned a great deal from Paul, about music, about sound, about people and about love. Music is a bigger, better thing because of him, and we all benefited from what he brought to us.” Tom Walsh, present from Beyond Benghazi to that 2012 concert, and one of Canada’s finest improvisers, had a special empathy with Cram, sharing a view of band-building with him that can seem like mad science and private language: “We had many, many conversations and shared many inside jokes about the ‘tricks of this trade.’ Maybe a certain player’s real talents are covered up. How do you ‘game’ it out of him or her? How do you expand a jazz player’s linearity into ‘cosmolody’? How do you ‘gift’ permission to a classical player to hear and feel outside his or her role?” It was that kind of thinking that brought a special vitality, a sense of risk and promise, to Paul Cram’s large ensembles – rare qualities in any music. Archival Note: Gregg Simpson has recently uploaded recordings and much more archival material, downloadable at https://conditionwestrecordings.bandcamp.com/music. There’s an intense set of early music, Live at l’Opale, Montreal, 1983, by the Paul Cram Trio with Simpson and bassist Lisle Ellis; and the orchestra set, Live in Lisbon. Stuart Broomer writes frequently on music (mostly improvised) and is the author of Time and Anthony Braxton. His column “Ezz-thetics” appears regularly at pointofdeparture.org. OPEN 20 YEARS May 30 to June 3 Featuring: Nico Muhly, Nadia Sirota, Studio Dan, Penderecki String Quartet, TorQ Percussion Quartet, Blue Dot, Ben Reimer, Barbara Croall, Onion Honey, Nü Ears Ensemble, Nakamura/ Taxt, No Hay Banda, Mark Vuorinen, Portal Dance, Cynthia Hiebert, Jason White/Pam Patel, Jason Doell, Stereoscope, Sound of the Mountain, Ballantyne/Harms Info and Tickets: openears.ca openearsfest 84 | May 2018 thewholenote.com

Anthony de Mare Maarja Nuut & HH Kronos Quartet Simone Dinnerstein Dinuk Wijeratne Jherek Bischoff Katia and Marielle Labèque TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY MUSIC FESTIVAL MAY 23-27/2018 TODAY’S MOST INNOVATIVE MUSICIANS AND COMPOSERS BRING US FRESH NEW SOUNDS AND IDEAS. KRONOS QUARTET JHEREK BISCHOFF DINUK WIJERATNE ANTHONY DE MARE MAARJA NUUT & HH VOX CLAMANTIS KATIA AND MARIELLE LABÈQUE SIMONE DINNERSTEIN 8 CONCERTS 5 DAYS 21+ PREMIERES TICKETS & PASSES ON SALE NOW! TICKETS START AT ONLY ! 416.408.0208 rcmusic.com/performance #21Cmusic #KoernerHall THE 21C MUSIC FESTIVAL IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF MICHAEL AND SONJA KOERNER

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