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Volume 27 Issue 1 - September / October 2021

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Blue pages and orange shirts; R. Murray Schafer's complex legacy, stirrings of life on the live concert scene; and the Bookshelf is back. This and much more. Print to follow. Welcome back from endless summer, one and all.


BLUE PAGES 2021-22, Continued ● Mississauga Chamber Singers ● Music Toronto ● SoundCrowd ● Upper Canada Choristers ● Mississauga Symphony Orchestra ● Opera Atelier ● Soundstreams ● Wychwood Clarinet Choir ● Music at Metropolitan ● Music at St. Andrew’s ● Music in the Afternoon (Women’s Musical Club of Toronto) ● Music Gallery ● Orchestra Toronto ● Pax Christi Chorale ● Peterborough Singers ● Sine Nomine Ensemble for Medieval Music ● Tafelmusik ● Toronto Chamber Choir ● Toronto Mendelssohn Choir ● Toronto Mozart Players Arts Services ● Eric Alper Public Relations ● International Resource Centre for Performing Artists ● Linda Litwack Publicity Publicity-1174901622575289 ● Achill Choral Society CANARY PAGES 2021/2022 ● Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto ● Annex Singers ● Bel Canto Singers ● Canadian Celtic Choir ● Cantabile Chamber Singers ● Chorus Niagara ● Chorus York ● City Choir ● Cummer Avenue United Church Choir Directory of Choirs ● Echo Women’s Choir ● Ensemble vocal Les voix du coeur ● Etobicoke Centennial Choir ● Exultate Chamber Singers ● Georgetown Choral Society ● Harbourfront Chorus harbourfrontchorus ● Jubilate Singers ● King Edward Choir ● Leaside United Church Choirs ● Men of Note ● Milton Choristers ● Mississauga Chamber Singers ● Novi Singers Toronto ● Oasis Vocal Jazz ● Oriana Choir ● Pax Christi Chorale ● Peterborough Singers ● Serenata Singers ● Society of Singers ● Tempus Choral Society ● Toronto Chamber Choir ● Toronto Children’s Chorus ● Toronto Classical Singers ● Toronto Concert Choir ● Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir ● Upper Canada Choristers ● Vesnivka Choir ● Village Voices Community Choir ● VIVA Singers Toronto ● VOCA Chorus of Toronto ● West Toronto Community Choir westtorontocommunitychoir ● Windsor Classic Chorale GREEN PAGES 2021 Summer Music Festivals & Series SUMMER MUSIC EDUCATION 2021 Camps, Programs & Workshops ● Brott Music Festival ● Collingwood Summer Music Festival ● Domaine Forget International Festival international-festival ● Humbercrest Summer Concert Series ● Markham Village Virtual Music Festival ● Music Mondays ● No Strings Theatre - Many Voices Many Stories ● Something Else! Festival ● Stratford Summer Music ● SweetWater Music Festival ● Symphony in the Barn ● TD Niagara Jazz Festival ● CAMMAC ● Creative Strings Workshop Online csw_online6 ● Domaine Forget de Charlevoix International Music and Dance Academy academy ● Interprovincial Music Camp ● Lake Field Music ● No Strings Theatre - Teen Summer ● Orchestra North UX ● Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy education/vocal-academy ● Summer@Eastman ● Tuckamore Festival Young Artist Program 30 | September and October 2021

DISCOVERIES | RECORDINGS REVIEWED I have enjoyed the extended hiatus since the last issue and took advantage of the break to spend almost a month away from my computer and my stereo system; a kind of purge during which the only music I experienced was the sound of waves pounding the shore of Lake Erie, loon calls across Canning Lake and the wind in the trees in my backyard accompanying the chattering of squirrels and chirping birds. Oh, and some homemade string music with a few friends. It was lovely to be “unplugged.” When I was back at my desk, I found solace in a unique recording by two (now) local musicians Amber & Zebulun whose selfdescribed “ambient instrumental post-rock music” provided a perfect background as I faced the daunting task of editing nearly a hundred reviews that had been filed in my absence. South of North, East of West ( also rewards as foreground listening, but its gentle ambience was just what I needed to help keep me focussed. Born in Yellowknife NT, and raised in Marysville ON, Amber Walton-Amar is a classically trained cellist. Husband Zebulun (Zebulun X Barnow, although I had to do some Googling to find that out), originally from Marquette MI via Chicago IL, is a multi-instrumentalist who seems to be responsible for the plucked and bowed bass lines, drum kit and melodic mallet instrument layers here. They have been making music together for more than a decade since first getting together in a Chicago-based Tom Waits cover band (an unusual context in which to find a cello). The liner notes tell us “South of North, East of West is about who you are, as defined by where you are. […] The meaning of each of [the] four directions is defined by its opposite, its relationship to the others. If we remove the meaning of our origin, of our destination, we are either lost or exactly where we should be.” With intriguing titles such as Cognitive Dissonance, Advice by Coincidence and Forgiving Garden, the music itself is mesmerizing; mellow and melodic, generally slow-paced with long cello lines, often in tandem with bowed double bass, soaring over compelling rhythm beds. It did indeed place me “exactly where I should be.” A disc that I had spent some time with before my self-imposed exile from technology provided a welcome re-entry into the craggy world of contemporary string writing upon my return. Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir has embarked on a long-term multidisciplinary project DAVID OLDS with the Spektral Quartet and video artist Sigurdur Gudjonsson entitled Enigma. Ultimately there will be a 360-degree immersive film magnifying the music when it is performed in the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and later taken on a national planetarium tour, but like so many current projects that has been put on hold during COVID-19. What we have at this point is a Sono Luminus audio recording of the striking three-movement, half-hour-long quartet (DSL-92250 Like much of her music, which has garnered the Nordic Council Music Prize, the New York Philharmonic’s Kravis Emerging Composer and the Lincoln Center’s Emerging Artist Awards, Enigma is replete with extended techniques, extra-musical effects, unusual timbres and juxtapositions. There are few melodies per se, but rather moments and strings of events that constantly surprise and command rapt attention. Ranging from near silence, eerie harmonics and glissandi to percussive bursts, scratches and scrapes, there is also a meditative final section reminiscent of medieval harmonies that gradually rise in pitch and fade into breath sounds or, perhaps, the gentle lapping of waves upon a shoreline. The three-time Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet is obviously well within its comfort zone with this challenging though beautiful music, even while the listener is sometimes left discomfited. The final disc this month is the most traditional, although there was a time not too long ago when the music of Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) was considered outside the mainstream. There has been a wealth of discs released in recent months in celebration of his centenary – you’ll find Tiina Kiik’s appraisal of one of them in the Modern and Contemporary section of this issue. Another is A Piazzolla Trilogy (BIS 2385 SACD which features violinist Karen Gomyo who was born in Tokyo, raised in Montreal and studied at the Juilliard School at the invitation of Dorothy DeLay, before embarking on an international career as soloist and chamber musician. She is heard here performing a selection of unaccompanied Tango Etudes (1987), joining guitarist Stephanie Jones in Histoire du Tango (1986) and as soloist and director of L’Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire in Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires). What we're listening to this month: We Want All the Same Things Erin Propp & Larry Roy With an all-star line-up, this album reaches into the everyday and blurs the edges, with songs that are at once deeply personal and achingly relatable. Saskatchewan Suite Saskatchewan All Star Big Band The Saskatchewan All Star Big Band communicates the beautifully unique history of Saskatchewan in a live recording with one of Canada’s most talented composers, Fred Stride Aufs Lautenwerk Daniel Lippel Three iconic Bach suites in a period Well temperament on an adjustable fret guitar, highlighting the subtle coloristic differences between keys. Drifting, Volume 3 of the New Lullaby Project Aaron Larget-Caplan Beautiful 2-5 minute guitar solos in the malleable genre of lullaby. Simple and yet complex - by over 55 composers in 10 countries. September and October 2021 | 31

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