8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 8 - May 2002

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Zoroaster was called

Zoroaster was called Zarathustra or Zarthost, but in a Greek transliteration was known as Zoroaster. His teachings were centred on Ahura Mazda, the highest god and creator of the material and the spiritual world, the source of the alternation of ligl}t and darkness, the sovereign lawgiver, and centre of nature. Zoroaster sought "the secret formula of the fire in the water", the unification of passion and purity. Witness the ethical dualism rooted in the Zoroastrian cosmology as this mystical work confronts the karmic forces of the former Toronto Stock Exchange. NEw Music /COMPOSER TO COMPOSER experience: reconstructing an imagined emotional event that unfolds in a compressed time frame. Linda Bouchard Composer Linda Bouchard Lastly, on the 2gii and 30" of May, will be featured in a New ~usic Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the TSO will Concerts Portrait Concert, 26 May, premiere my new piece at the Glenn Gould Studio. Under PENSACOLA, a "melodrama" for the direction of conductors Linda orchestra, with spatiaiized brass and Bouchard and Henry Brant, the New electronics, on a concert with music by Music Concerts Ensemble will per- two dead composers (Ravel and form Bouchard' s Le Scandale, Bruckner). I assure you it will be an Traces, and a new work for 2 flutes, engaging, sculptural experience, for string quintet, percussion & harp, which my deadline is looming and to along with Murakami's Unity, and whichlmustmwgoanlre-submerge ... Brant's Ghosts & Gargoyles. Extracted from a recently prepared QUICK PICKS artistic statement, Linda Bouchard Check out the following in the had this to say about her music: "My concert listings, or in the new work is often inspired by nature's music online concert calendar at ·geometry, structure arid textures. As www. tororuohear&now. com if writing music could begin by star- May 03 8:00: Amici. ing with a magnifying glass at na- May 04 8:00: Music Gallery. ture's elements: water-gas-rock for- Composer Now: Barry Prophet. mations-chemical reactions, creat- May 04 8:00: toneArt Ensemble. ing from these images a series of Only Canadian. ' abstract landscapes. I seek to ex- May 07 8:00: Soundstreams press emotional experiences in their Canada/Music Toronto. most raw forin, without a literal or May 15 8:00: Music Gallery. VFO: narrative setting. Like a collage of · Lerner/Lee & Takase(Bauer. . different perceptions that eventually May 16 8:00: Music Gallery. VFO: forms a whole picture, I attempt to Pol Wechsel & CCMC. . create a world from "real time" COMPOSER TO COMPOSER MICHAEL FINNISSY Interviewed by Paul Steenhuisen Born in Tulse Hill, London (1946), Michael Finnissy has long since established himself as one of the most prolific, challenging and interesting living composers. His music ranges from miniatures to the encyclopaedic 5-hour solo piano work The History of Photography in Sound, and from light-hearted pieces for amateur music lovers to the extremely complex, playable by only the most committed virtuosi. On May l 6 1 h, at the Glenn Gould Studio, pianist Eve Egoyan will give the world-premiere of Finnissy's new 20-minute piece Erik Satie, like anyone else, written especially for her. Given this all-too-rare opportunity to hear Michael Finnissy's music in Canada, I jumped at the opportunity to interview him by phone at his home in Southern EnglanP,. STEENHUISEN: What drew you to Satie's music? FINNISSY: I probably started listening seriously to Satie's music around the same time I found Ives and Varese, when I was twelve or thirteen. I remember hearing a broadcast of Parade, and I found a piano-score of Relacli.e in the library of the office where my father worked. I got hold of Rollo Myers' book too, for a school prize. Satie didn't seem so odd when you'd been fond of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. I don't think Satie was well thought of at the time (1958-60) - . in fact, he was damned with the usual faint praise as a miniaturist, or an eccentric. I found him very classical - mathematically precise, Apollonian, concerned with balance and proportion. I suspected that there were darker sides to him, the Rosicrucian music, the late Nocturnes, even the Gnossiennes: a sort of perverse erotic charge. At that time, as a self-taught composer, I was interested in composers who had found mysterious and personal ways to write, without necessarily advertising their tool-kit in book form. Satie seemed very authentic to rrie, unfavourable comparisons between him and Debussy, or Ravel, or Chabrier; or Stravinsky in terms of 'technique' made no sense, and still don't. STEENHUISEN: How is the piece about Satie? FINNISSY: It's me thinking about Satie. Thinking in quite an orderly fashion, as befits the subject. Thinking about his music, re-inventing it. It's a fantasy. But it contains reasonably accurate information too, beginning with plainsong (the Propers for his birthday, near enough!). Then follows a longish section which quotes from Chabrier's opera Gwendoline. Chabrier's harmonic language - chromatic chic, with sensational (rather than functional) unresolved 7th and 9th chords - was obviously influenced by his trips to Bayreuth: I have emphasized the rootlessness and ambiguity of this material by CONTINUED May 1 - June 7 2002

Will classical music lovers be able to . compose themselves? Feed your curiosity. For the past fifty years a group of pioneering composers has been producing significant rT)Usical works .that have received international acclaim. Their stories tell of Canada's musical coming of age. Every Wednesday night in May, CBC radio honours one of these groundbreaking · artists with a full-length documentary. Part biography. Part concert. These stories are certain to hit the right note with music lovers across Can,qda. At go to Spotlights, click on Impressions _for a playful interactive examination of composer Jean Coulthard's music. The Canadian Composers Portrait Series · In Performance (Radio Two) Wednesday nights at 8 pm · ~·' CBC " • radi~ May 1 - June 7 2002 21

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