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Volume 8 Issue 8 - May 2003

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HEAR AND Now New Music /

HEAR AND Now New Music / by Paul Steen.huisen KAFKA IN LOVE · David Lang narrating his Hendrix­ There is a goal, but no path to it. inspired piece Are You Experienced, What we call a path is hesiJaiion. pieces by John Oswald and Ronald Franz Kafka. Text used by Gyorgy Bruce Smith, Melissa Hui, Francoi~ Kurtag in Kajka-Fragmente, ·op 24. Houle, Johll Sherlock, Pannela At- Of substantial interest this month~ tariwala, Cam McKittrick, Gordon be Autumn Leaf Performance's Monahan, and the .hardcore Banglong-in-surfacing "water opera" on a C~n Allsta~s playing Nancar­ Kajka in Love. Performed in and row, Kime: ~essen, and others. around the water at Hart House Pool . Regarding his Schubert Re-mix!, one immediately considers ihe prac: ~nder_'s wor~ based on Schube~'s tical difficulties of such a feat - the ~1e Wmterre1se, Zender has said, Hans Zender demands of the space, the aeoustics, Ilove that Schubert work a lot. As Debussy's music and approach to families". Harry Somers' children's the smell; etc. · a conductor I have r~d a great deal orchestration. With Rain Cycles, opera A Midwinter Night's Dream, . But there is also the intrigue oflight of Sch:ubert, and. I really like to hear we will undoubtedly hear the influ- Tomson Highway and Rick Sacks' on water, reflection, movement, syn- other mterpretations'. of th~ songs, ence of spectcil thinking applied to CmibouSong, ThorarinnEldjam'srenchronized swimmers, and how this for example. The desrre to mcorpo- the instrumentation that priginally · dition of Ancient Nordic myth The might gel into the kinl of sublime stag- ~te an~ redevel()p these Schubert influenced Debussy in the late 19th Prophecy, am Lintinen/Lq>pi & ~ ing seen in tlieir last production, Lieder JUSt ~e ou.t of th~ blue. In Century. nen's Mas afuut Nosh make this a col- . Claude Vivier's Kopel'nikus _not to oth:r wor?s, 1t lS a kind 9f !fltelli:ctu- By email from Illinois; Smith lection of works for irxlividuals am mention the music itself . . Despite a al d1SCuss10n I am conducting "Y~th a writes, "Composed over 12 years families alike to share. noticeablelackofinformationonthe gre~t co~poser fr~m our trad1t1on. ago;ontheeveofthefirstGulfWar One of the highlights for me just work we do know that Kqtka in Love · It gives ~1se to a third level between the title refers to how certain physi: . may be composer/software wizard invol~es Yiddish & Sephardic song, classical !_llodels and modem com- cal situations can trigger subjective Zack Sette I's Pacamambo, on a stoas well as music by Gyorgy Kurtag. mentary '. . . . memory. Here, it is the sound of ry (in French) by Mouawad, per- ·. Logically, thiswQuld.involve'Kilr- . Des~nbmg h1~ ~ork as "com- rainonarooforagafnstawindow." formed by Montreal's Chants Litag's Katka~Fragment, op. 24, an pos~ mterpretation , Zender also "The piece is built from a simple bres. Settel writes that '"the most hour-long collection for violin.and descnbes the ~rfoT?1er as coautho; ·melody, layered into different tex- important aspect of the piece, and it's voice, consisting of forty-one phras- of the work. I believe we haven t tirres that are made from superim- one that was only obvibus once itwas es take~ from variolis Kafka works. really understood the task of the per- posing it at different tempi, as well presented, is that it's a work for an Since the work details the roman-· former. We have always seen the as through the use of such devices as ages, and not just for a 'young auditic escapades of this Austrian-born performer as a medium to the o~gi- hocketing and phasing. The· suling ence ', as it was originally intended. writer, the subject matter leads nal text. And we hav~ thereby firi~ed (ban:boo flute) states a very ornate . to be. The electronics are fairly subseamlessly to Yiddish song, the tra- .to see the performer s own creative version of the melody over the com- servient (as opposed to the En/ant des ditimtofKafka's last love, the Polish- ~o~~nen~. The fact alone that an plex textures that arise from the tech- . Glaces) and are mostly for accombom Jew Dora Diamant who had md1v1dual mterprets a work tpday, niques mentioned above, and the gui- panirnent, with a couple of momenfled her Orthodox famiiy · for the ~twas written by ~ther irxlividu- tars function firstly as part of the tary exceptions." broader intellectual currents of Wei- .at m a completely different epoch, ensemble and then later as soloists. Most, but not an, perfonnancesdurmar Germany. It was Dora Dia- can ~nlr ~7tion because the inter- I was struck by how the rich timbres ing Musicools take place at the Isabel mant, an independe~t spirit who fled P~ting irxliv~d~ ~his own boc!Y, of the bronze instruments would · Bader Theatre - see listings (or comher Polish Hasidic family to pursue ~psyche,~ spmtual i:iower to giv~ ·seem to provide the hlmnonic col- plete information. her Zionist dreams, who persuaded life to what 1s e~coded m the te~t.," our for a piece, which is something An interesting related listerrlng ex- . Kafka to leave his parents and live ~or.pre-~g~ chec~ o?t ~s IS- quite unusual in traditipnal Western perience for children would be James .with her in Berlin the year before he sue s ~terv1ew with artistic drrec- music. Both of those .discoveries Rolfe's Mechanical Danny if there died tor Petei: Hatch, and then for advance have had an enormous impact on the were a CD of it yet - there isn't but E~aging preparation for this risky listening go ~ the original Schubert music that I have since written." there should be!), as well as a work spectacle could include listening'to and Boulez ·p1~s ~t Zender ~d Toprepareforthislisteningexpe- likeBerio'sOpusNumberZoo. Kurtag's work (the Kafka-Fragmente S~~ work with, m order thattherr riente, I would recommend followbeing the most obvious, but also any vanat1ons an~ d~velopments have ing the line from gamelan . through other ofhis brief, fragmentary cham- greater potential resonance. Debussy to Grisey described hereber works, such as the string quar- FOR .THERE AND THEN ' in. . . tets), as well as reading the biogra- Evergreen Club Gamelan stretch- , MUSICOOLS ~hy of Kafka, other ~fhis short sro- es. out a bit aesthetically in its per- Many years ago, I did a radio show nes, or perhaps waking up as an in- formance of Rain Cycles, by Ronald . and challenged myself to find as . sect. Bruce Smith. It's an insightful; much NEW music as possible, writ- ZENDER/SCHUBERT _ though perhaps Slightly unexpected ten for young audiences either to per- WINTERREISE combination of composer am ensem- fonn or hear. To my ~rise. I found we must develop a responsible plu- ble, and l anticipate good results. quite a Jot, and went away wonderralistic attitude in our spiritual c.ul- Claud,e Debussy was greatly influ- . ing why it was so seldom heard in . ture. H~ Zender enced by Balinese gamelan when he concert. Thank:fuJJy, Soundstreams frrst heard it at the Paris World's has made a significant effort to En route to Zender's goal, the Open Fair in 1889. One of Smith's teach- change. that, with their Musicools Ears Festival (Kitchener, May 7-12) ers, musique spectrale pioneer Ger~ program ( www. stlc. ca) "a ciris a must-hear. The lineup includes · ard Grisey, was in turn affected by cumjJolar music theatre festival for ' 14 Our comprehensive new music concert listings · CD reviews and interviews are all on th'e web at WWW. torontohearandnow. com May 1 - June 7 2003 ·

· 1st&!IS!Jl4~&Cfa4JhlJli A SYMPOSIUM FOR NEW MUSIC IN CANADA was held from March 9 to 11 in Montreal. It was organized as a series of Round Tables, each addressing an aspect of the overall mandate, Communication and Networking. Round Table'.chairs included Phillip Blackburn, Director, American Composers Forum, John Rea, Composition area Chair, McGill University, Jean-Francois Denis, founder of LaListe, Tim Brady, composer and guitarist, and Jim Montgomery, Artistic Director, Music Gallery. More than 100 people participated, with representation from six provinces. A preliminary report of the proceedings are due out in June. This was by far the most representative, and the most convivial, of the many events of this type I've attended. I believe that a real spirit of national collaboration has been enlivened. And real progress was made. A national N~w Music Network was proclaimed and a planning committee was struck and charged with br.inging concrete proposals to the full community by September. The proposals are in the areas of information dissemination, education and touring. A proprietary discussion list has been set up (to subscribe, contact me at or 416-204-1080) and another national meeting is being planned for Winnipeg in 2004. The symposium's opening remarks by Blackburn (US) and Jean­ Dominique Marco, General Manager of the Festival Musica de Strasbourg (France), were instructive. M. Marco works in a European context in which the support and promulgation of art are public priorities; Mr. Blackburn's situation is very different. Since the savaging of the National Endowment for the Arts under the first Bush, public support for the arts in the US continues to decline, along with the quality of what is made and who makes it. I should make it clear that Mr. Blackburn didn't say this; he can't. The evidence, however; is there to hear. We need to insist that public support of the ~rts remains a priority in this country. I know I'm beating a sick horse, but it's our horse and we should do what we can to keep it healthy. Recognition and thanks are due to all the following for making a wonderful and possibly historic event happen: Conseil des Arts du Canada I Canada Council for the Arts; Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec; Patrimoine canadien I Canadian Heritage; Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur; Ligue canadienne de compositeurs I Canadian League of Composers. Special recognition and thanks to Fran~oise Bonnin, who kept the entire event on track and on time. If you ever need anything organized, she's your woman. , Jim Montgomery ,. t HELP SUPPORT NEW MUSIC ON CIUT 89.SFM. New management at the station has decreed that all CIUT programmers must minimum quotas during their twice-annual fundraising campaigns. The cash that comes in is seen as a direct indication of the community's support, or lack of it, for their program. Whether you agree with the philosophy or not, the price for non-compliance is high - no quota, consider your show cancelled. You can keep the New Music coursing through the airwaves by coming out to the CIUT Fundraiser atthe Music Gallery on Tuesday, May 6, 8pm. Details at Oh, and don't forget to listen ... ' NEW FROM MGI - FOUR WEEK COURSES! Music Gallery Institute is now accepting enrollment from Families & Adults for four-week May, June, and July programs in Computer-Assisted Music and Creative/World Percussion. Professional Development workshops for teachers in Movement, Computer-Assisted Music, Creative/ World Percussion, and the Science of Sound will be avail;ible in August. Contact Barry Prophet 416-588-25 ~ 4,, · PROMO, PROMO, PROMO. Now through June; watch your local cafes, galleries and performance hot spots for a spring New Music brochure (it's bright pink and says "Try something New" on the front) which includes a coupon for off the regular ticket price of selected concerts/events presented by 12 Coalition member organizations. Look out, too, at New Music performances throughout May for your chance to win free concert tickets: esprit h · ore es presents' May 1 - June 7 2003

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