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Volume 9 Issue 9 - June 2004

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
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Canada's foremost Violin

Canada's foremost Violin Specialists 201 Church Street Toronto, ON MSB 1Y7 e-mail GHCL@idirect.com ListMe is a unique mailing list servicing Toronto'_s New Music organizations. ~t is for everyone who wants to be kept informed about the many New Music events and concerts in town I . • Check every month.•for promotions ot wWw.listme.ca. gGt on thC2 list at Listm1:2.ca Funding partners BJS Canada Council Consei1 des Arti PERKINS MAILING fortheArb du~n1d1 LIST SERVICES ~­ \t.oleri3'J!" PHILIP L. DA VIS Luth.ier formerly with f.f. Schroder: Runkfurt, West Germany A Fine Selection of Small and Full Sized Instruments and Bows • Expert Repairs (416) 466-9619 67 Wolverleigh Blvd., Toronto, Ontario, M4J 1R6 COMPOSER COMPANIONS In June the concert season yields to patio culture and outdoor adventures. However, there are still two final and very worthwhile contemporary events to entice you back indoors one more time. These concerts will highlight a range of talented Canadian composers and perfonrers, running the gamut from musical memories to electro-erotic world premieres. As always, we encourage you to explore these new perspectives on new music and invite you to attend either or both of them with a Composer Companion as your owµ personal audio tour guide. June 2 at Trinity-St. Paul's the accomplished Talisker Players present the final concert in their 2003-2004 chamber music series. In this adv en- - turous vocal chamber concert, titled "Let Evening Come"the Taliskers explore songs by Canadian composers Chester Duncan and Stephen Brown, American William Bolcom, Italy's Ottorino Respighi, and a new world premiere by local emerging composer Craig Galbraith. (Concert patrons might recall Mr. Galbraith's work from his world premiere Cradle Song, which appeared on the Raise Your Voices concert series.) Mr. Galbraith describes this new work for the Taliskers, titled The Fenian Cycle (for voice, string quartet, and english horn), as a musical exploration of life's end, and expectations of the afterlife. The texts are drawn from a range of historical Irish prose and verse that deal with the Fianna, the band of Irish heroes associated with the legendary Finn Mac Cumhaill. Galbraith says ofhis new work that " the voice remains entirely grounded to earth throughout all 5 movements, while the string quartet, with its references to a Palestrina motet, is the intangible spiritual world. The first movement introduces an extension and variation on Palestrina's sicut cervus, which describes gie soul longing to be with God, and serves as a nice spiritual counterpoint to the more "earthly" Fenian texts. The english horn sometimes provides a bridge between the two. They all come together at the final two minutes of the work, not because it is the proverbial way to end a piece, but because that is the moment of death - the departure or "ascension" when the two worlds become one." For more information on the Talisker's "Let Evening Corne" concert, please visitwww.taliskerplayers.ca. by Jason van Eyk . NEAR THE END of the month, CONTACT Contemporary Music brings us a more visceral concert programme entitled Barry Truax "E lee tro - Erotic". As one of the newer new music ensembles on the Toronto scene, CONTACT adds to the mix by offering opportunities for comp6sers and artists, who elsewhere may have to suppress their artistic desires, to Write/perform works that reflect their lives and present-day realities. June 22 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, CONT ACT brings together the music of local composers Wende Bartley and Michael Gfroerer, Montreal's Lori Freedman, Italy's Alessandro Cipriani and British Columbia composer Barry Truax. The concert progrannne includes a North American premiere by Cipriani and two new world premieres by Gfroerer and Truax. In reference to his new work on the progrannne, titled Skin (:ll Metal, · Barry Truax says "In keeping with the "Electro Erotic" theme of the concert, [it] is a music theatre piece that explores the idea of a leather clad percussionist using only skin and metal to interact with instruments of the same kind, i.e. drums and metallic objec~. The presence of a tape component constructed from the sarre instruments adds the dimension of whether those enhanced sounds are dominating the perfonrer who in tum dominates his instruirents." For more information visit www.contactcontemporarym.isic.com For tickets, call 416-975-8555. Composer Companions will have composer guides available for these concerts, and many more, helping you, open 'up new perspectives on new music. To book your composer 'guide for any concert of new music in the Toronto area, contact the Ontario Region of ilie Canadian Music Centre by e-mail at ~iccenlre.ca, orbyphoneat416-961-6601 x.207 Jason van Eyk is the CMC's Ontario Regional Director WWW. I HtWHOLENOTE.COM )UNE 1 - )UL Y 7 2004

WORLD' VIEW by Karen Ages Maza Meze: the first word is Arabic, the second Greek; both refer to a food assorttrent, a kind of srmrgasbord. I spoke with Sophia Grigoriadis and Jayne Browne, founding rrembers of this increasingly eclectic ensemble that will celebrate the release of its fourth CD, Secrets, Moon, Magic, June 12 at Cecil Corrnnunity Centre. "At the time we came up with the name, it captured the vibe or sensibility of the band; we were ourselves little tidbits - bringing to the table our own backgrounds andrrrusical personalities," says Sophia. "We started as a jamming collective," says Jayne, "a bunch of people who were originally singing Arabic and Greek music; we rret at Arabic singing classes, and had this idea, you know what, we should do Arabic and Greek songs, 'cause there's so much in corrnrnn with them" Those classes, in 1995, were with Dr. George Sawa (then on staff at U ofT Faculty of Music), and consisted of vocalists Jayne, Sophia, Maryern Hassan Tollar, rrrusician and belly-dancer Roula Said, and Debashis Sinha, studying dumbek with Dr. Sawa. "Maryern was a real catalyst, because there were quite a few benefit concerts coming her way, people who wanted her to perform with a band, so she came to us, and we started getting offers for gigs. In the rreantime we had collected a number of rrrusicians who were inierested in playing Arabic and Greek rrrusic, ... as a group that gets together and learns tunes, and whoever learns a new tune would bring it, or we would lift tunes off recordings ... about eleven people at the beginning. over the years a few rrembers have left to pursue their own projects." Indeed, rmst rrembers of Maza Meze, past and current, have other projects on the go. Jayne and Sophia , who rret at U of T in 1984 are classically trained. They also sing in the Greek ensemble Diaspora, and other groups. Multi-instrurrentalists John Gzowski and Ernie Tollar have jazz backgrounds, from Y mk and Humber respectively; both play with the band Tasa, Ernie plays with another ensemble (with wifeMaryern), and John composes for theatre and other projects. Classically trained vocalist Jennifer Moore has her own cabaret style band, Pirate Jenny. Percussionists Deb Sinha and Jeff Wilson play in other bands of different genres. Many in the group teach, collaborate with dancers, and record cornrrercialjingles. "We started with existing songs from the two cultures," says Sophia, "then )UNE 1 - )Ul Y 7 2004 Maza Meze: Standing, L-R: Maryem Tolldr, Jayne Brown, Jennifer Moore, Jeff Wilson, Sophia Grigoriadis; Seated L-R: Debashis Sinha, Ernie Tolla1; John Gzowski the band's personality came out. It became clear that, with people with backgrounds like Ernie's and John's, we weren't looking to create authentic renditions. It wasn't possible because we didn'thave the study backgrounds. We found ourselves on a path of wanting to learn rmre about those traditions but realizing we could also put our own stamp on that music." "The concept of authenticity has beenat the forefront of the band's ongoing debate" Jayne adds. "Therehave been the traditiona1ists who wanted to study the music rmre and do rmre traditional renderings, and thenon-traditionalists, pushing to not worry so much about how it would be played in those cultures or countries. So there was a really healthy push and pull from the very beginning that kept us always looking at this question. Being one of the traditionalists, I think thathad I not had those other people debating this idea, I would not have been ready to play the songs. One of the big argurrents of the non-traditionalists is that we aren't a bunch of Greeks or Arabs, and we're not in an Arab country orGreece, we'renoteveninthoseccirnmunities; we will never be that, so all we can ever be is ourselves: a diverse collective." That being said, the ensemble is continually learning traditional rrrusic, studying as a group and as individuals with sorre of the best experts, in Toronto, the US and abroad. Many of the band's rrembers have received grants to study in Egypt, Greece and India, and both Jayne and John will study abroad for several rmnths this fall. Departing from tradition, their latest CD (their second on CBC Records), features rmstly original compositions by band rrembers, and includes guest percussionists John Wyre and Trichy Sankaran, and vocalist Suba Sankaran. Works include a song by Maryern Tollar based on Rumi's Sufi poetry, sung in English and Arabic with elerrents of Inuit throat singing, a song by Sophia Grigoriadis based on a text by Iraqi poetNazikAl-Mala'ika, a song in Esperanto by John Gzowski, and CONTINUES NEXT PAGE World Music Classes at The Royal Conservatory of Music Brazilian Samba with Alan Hetherington Pan-Flute with Carlos Bastidas African Drumming with Njacko Backo Steelpan with Cecil Clarke Taiko Drumming with Kiyoshi Nagata Summer World Music Festival Concerts and workshops by: Krakatau - Music of Indonesia June 28/29 Sonatango/Cynthia - Music of Argentina August 7 /8 For more information call: 273 Bloor St. W. Classes: 416-408-2825 Toronto, ON Concerts: 416-408-2824 Ext. 321 www.rcmusic.ca Violins, viola~. cellos, and bows Complete line of strings and accessories Expert repairs and rehairs Canada's largest stock of string music SALES - RENTALS - REPAIRS - IN STORE FINANCING TRADES - USED INSTRUMENTS BOUGHT & SOLD Fast mail order service Toronto 925 Bloor St.W. (416)588-7886 , North York 2777 Steeles Av.W. (416)663-8612 Visit the North York store's large print music department! Scarborough 1133 Markham Rd. (416)439-8001 Oshawa 380 Simcoe St.S. (905)434-1612 Brampton 370 Ma·in St.N. (905)450-4334 ,Burlington 3180 Mainway Dr. (905)319-3330 Where the Music Begins.

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