5 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 5 - February 2004

  • Text
  • February
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Arts
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Choral
  • Composer
  • Quartet

is still being heard by

is still being heard by relatively few people. I was and remain determined to break down the barriers between old and new music. For me there's good music, bad music, and a lot that's in between!! What makes good new music good is precisely the ways in which it relates to tradition, whether by embracing it or rejecting it. But either way, our challenge is to engage mainstream audiences in new music. It can be done! Right now I'm concentrating my attention on two immediate projects, and one longer term one. Soundstreams is presenting in the Glenn Gould Studio February 6th the music of two significant young women· composers, Canada's Melissa Hui and Norway's Maja Ratkje ~ In a field that has been so dominated by men, we're doubly proud to present this concert. We're also in the final planning stages for Caiu;ulian Vo(ces February 28th & 29th, the single biggest event ever produced in our Annual Series. Canadian Voices celebrates the 50th year of professional choral singing in Canada and R. Murray Schafer's 70th birtl\~ay . The J'lroject gathers together from across Canada the six professional choirs.numbering some 130 voices. They're heard both in solo concerts and together in the world premiere of a huge new 60-minute multi-choral Schafer work The Fall Into Light, performed from the balconies at the Canada Broadcasting Centre's inagn'ificent Barbara Frum Atrium. That program also in~ · eludes works by Gabrieli, Mahler and Nystedt. I'm working on plans for our next circumpolar festival Musicools 2005. The festival that year will focus on the voice, and in particular vocal ensembles from four members to four hundred! Many of the world's great choirs will be here performing traditional and new works by some of our greatest creators. One of our goals is to include concerts in venues throughout the city that are not concert halls, but have great acous-· tics. In the longer term, there are three· areas I want to concentrate on. First, we don't have nearly enough of a sense of musical history in this country. Fine Canadian works are often heard only once at their ·· premiere. All works benefit from repeated performance, and premieres of music theatre works are 11-·- often realized under less than ideal circumstances. Soundstreams has begun to revive worthy Canadian works of the last 30 years - a case in point is this May's SomersFest - it includes two significant works of Harry Somers not seen or heard since their premieres .in the mid~ 70's. We need collectively to create a Canadian musical legacy, and revivals are the best way to achieve that goal. A second area for further initiatives is in promoting Canadian composers abroad. Many fine Ca- ' nadian works and composers are still little known elsewhere. We have made a good start by insisting that foreign ensembles must perform (and sometimes premiere!) Canadian music when they appear on the Soundstreams Annual Series. Some of these works do find their way into the permanent repertoire of foreign ensembles through this process. But we can and must do much more. One of my immediate goals in this regard is for Soundstreams to take the lead on ' securing a European premiere for Schafer's The Fall Into Light. The third area is education and outreach. Arts education in our school systein has become an endangered species, yet the future of Canadian new music is so dependent upon developing audiences who have had positive experiences _with it in their formative years. With much effort, Soundstreams has devefoped an extensive and intensive outreach program, perhaps now the b'iggest of its kind in the country. Nevertheless, we are still acutely aware of trying to fill a vacuum that ultimately can only be filled when the whole arts and educational communities are galvanized to work together. Follow-Up First.: in what way "almost self- . perpetuating" (your comment · about taking new music out of its "ghetto ")? Ironically, new music has become a victim of a certain kind of success. We were able to convince funding bodies that new Canadian music should be a high priority, and I agree with this in principle. However, the resulting plethora of new music groups and activities has not fostered nearly enough.initiatives in audience development and co"operation among the groups. An assumption is made that new music will only appeal to ·a small minority " it's a self-fulfilling prophecy - we often preach onl/to the convertedi In Toronto, at least, this h~s often resulted in even further fragmentation and territorial attitudes that don't foster a pealthy milieu. Second: "Canadian Voices" at the end 'of February seems typical io me of the way Soundstreams so often manages to bring contemporary and choral concerns together. What's the link for you? Choral singing is the last great bastion of amateur music making. Nearly 7 % of Canadians actually sing in choirs - it's extraordinary - the combined amateur and professional networks reach enormous numbers, with comU1ensurate potential to broaden the audience base for new music. But it's a double-edged sword. Composers who write for choir must adapt to the needs of the voice, writing music that is sometimes characterized as "accessible". The new music community often criticizes Soundstreams for presenting as much new choral music as we do, that' somehow it isn't "pure" new music. Even the suggestion that new music is somehow genre specific is pretty outrageous when you think about it - we wouldn't entertain such a discussion about older music from any period. Three: You mentioned educaiion · and outreach. As an example of what you do, what will the youth aspect of "Canadian Voices" be? It's quite extensive. We have a_ long-term residency with R. Mur~ ray Schafer in the weeks leading up to those concerts. In fact, he's already been doing workshops with young people from elementary school right through to st:Udent teachers at OISE. With younger children, Schafer has concentrated on helping youth to learn to listen; and stimulating their imaginations ~ by showing them how music can· be made with the simplest of means. With high school students, workshops often consist of coaching on Schafer choral works being prepared by the school choir, as well as discussion about the new , work for Canadian Voices. There is a also a huge outreach program for youth taking place at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in the week before the concerts. Information about all outreach will be posted on our website www. soundstreams .Ga SNAPSHOT #3: ZYGMUNT JEDRZEJEK Who you are ... We are the Toronto All-Star Big Band, an ensemble df musically advanced and dfiven young musicians aged 22 committed to exploring the Big Band music of the 1930's and 40's - the roots of modern jazz. Ours is a one-of-akind development and performance opportunity for young artists as we pursue a rigorous schedule of rehearsals and nearly 100 performances per year. Audiences, especially those who danced and romanced through ilie Big Band era, marvel at the apparent dichotom1 of such young musicians mastering We're definitely doing spme- (and really enjoying!) these great thing right. Amazing young talent old tunes. True to the originals, continues to cross our threshold to our 17-piece band and two casts of support our ever-rising musical swing singers propagate the leg- standard, and audience numbers ends. Arrangements are _replicated . and geographic reach are growing note-for-note, and even the staging . by leaps and bounds. · style emulates the times. - For me personally, this musical What you 're working on right now period holds huge fascination and ... As part of our dual objective of respect, even though I didn't live offering a stimulating learning enthrough that time. As Founder and vironment to young musicians and Artistic Director of the band, and a top-notch musical product to auas an educator by profession, I am diences, we have recently launched passionate about bringing this im- performance partnerships with livportant milestone in musical histo- ing legends of the Big Band era. ry to the ears and intellect of aspir- To date, this "Legends in our ing jazz musicians. CONTINUES WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM FEBR UARY 1 - M ARC H 7 2004

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
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Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
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Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
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Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
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Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

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