The Sound Symposium is one of Canada’s best kept secrets. Over a week of exploratory, innovative, experimental and truly audacious music performed by musicians with reputations ranging from the extremely local to the completely international. You can brush with fame and real discovery in the same concert, I love it. Steven Naylor and I had a great experience at this year’s symposium playing as a duo. One of the nicest things anyone has said about anything I have done was said by Michelle Bush in a blog review of this set, she said: “I am a bit at a loss for words with this one. It was just beautiful, perfect and such a great contrast to the slapstick nature of the improv musical (that proceeded us). These two know how to listen, to bring about the quiet moments, the slow, the smallest sounds, to make an audience listen to and get so wrapped up in these without even thinking about it.”
In May of 2013, the 21 piece Upstream Orchestra got on a bus in Halifax and headed straight to Victoriaville, Quebec to perform in the International Festival de Musique Actuel in Victoriaville, Quebec. It’s one of the most prominent international festivals devoted to improvised music. It was a pleasure, an honour, and a thrill to conduct this group. Here’s a section from Paul Cram’s piece The Magic Order.
Here’s a great review from the concert: “Another real treat was the set by Upstream Orchestra, 18 pieces from the Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada – not a place one usually thinks of as a hot bed of avant-garde music. But this year was an improvising orchestra with real depth and very strong conduction by Jeff Reilly, they started off with a great run-through of Barry Guy’s Witch Gong Game* and followed it with two pieces by their musical director, Paul Cram. Big chunks of Mingus, George Russell, the ICP and much else assembled itself into a squawk-swept landscape of brilliant playing. They don’t seem to have any recordings available, but hopefully they will soon.” The Wire (UK)*
I will be performing a special duo concert with pianist Steven Naylor at the 2014 Sound Symposium in St John’s, Newfoundland. It runs July 4th to the 12th and I will be performing on the 8th.
The Sound Symposium is an astonishingly diverse music festival: where you can hear everything from the harbour symphony (a series of works for ship’s horns that uses the entire St John’s harbour as its stage) to music for kitchen appliances. The spirit of the festival is open, embracing and adventurous. I’m looking forward to this!
Since 1983, Sound Symposium has gathered some of the top innovative musicians and artists from across Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and around the world. They congregate in St. John’s to soak up the environment, interact, explore, share and collaborate.
I am looking forward to performing with the Waterloo Chamber Players on March 23rd, 2013. I have had the pleasure of performing with their wonderful cellist and conductor Ben Bolt-Martin on a number of occasions and now I will be performing 2 concertos written by my dear friend Peter Togni with his group. I am really looking forward to this.
This particular pairing of pieces reflects some of the most beautiful work that Peter Togni has created for me over the past ten years. The first piece, Illuminations was written back in 2002 as the first movement of a string orchestra concerto called Mysteries of Light. It shows Peter’s ability to create profound and beautiful textures out of pure and basic musical materials. The second piece, Silentio was originally created as the third movement of the choral piece the Lamentations of Jeremiah and Peter has created a very effective movement for solo bass clarinet and string orchestra.
The concert is rounded off with a performance of Aaron Copeland’s Quiet City. Normally this work features an English Horn solo, but in this concert I will be playing that role on the bass clarinet.
Wednesday, Dec. 12th, 2012
Fort Massey United Church
5303 Tobin Street, Halifax (at Tobin and Queen)
8:00 pm 15/10
Tickets available at the door.
Doors open 7:00 pm
Slow music for a fast time of year
Find Sanctuary at the “end of the world” 12/12/12!!!!
Join us as we delve into the positive power of this auspicious date in this special season – in an atmosphere of depth, reflection, lyricism and the celebration of intense beauty.
The Christmas season is often the busiest time of year. Preparations can often be so intense that we sometimes miss out on the chance to “step away” and find time for deep reflection. Sanctuary’s annual “Concert of 100 Candles” celebrates reflective music. Music that boldly shifts down into the heart of space, openness, and contemplation and for a little over an hour, gives you a chance to go slow in a fast time.
Please feel free to lie back, relax and let the sounds wash over you!
This year, you can expect a full selection of annual Christmas favourites, although some of them will be in a slow form that you haven’t heard before. You will also hear a collection of new works the trio has prepared especially for this Christmas season.
In a time where the musical world has become saturated with unoriginal imitations, Sanctuary’s work is more than just a breath of fresh air. In terms of both concept and execution it is almost entirely unprecedented.
A Spider’s Logic – Thursday 8 November 2012 8:00 pm
Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery – ground floor of the Loyola building
5865 Gorsebrook Avenue, Halifax
Admission $20.00/ $10.00 for students and seniorsI am happy to be performing in A Spider’s Logic, a concert in Halifax on Nov. 8th presented by Musikon Concerts.
The mixed media work of textile artist Kai Chan will be the backdrop for this concert of spider inspired Canadian new music. You’ll hear the World Premiere of Bob Bauer’s A Cobweb’s Calling for soprano Janice Jackson, pianist Barbara Pritchard and live electronics. Also – you’ll hear two works by Vancouver composer Barbara Pentland will further explore the intricate, delicate world of web construction and spider life.
But no spider concert would be complete without a reference to arachnophobia. Halifax composer Anna Pidgorna’s work Evelyn’s Watcher features myself on bass clarinet, along with audio processing and video, to explore the strange world of paranoia……
I am honoured and delighted to join the ranks of John Harle and Evan Parker and perform as a guest at Club Inegales in London on Nov. 1st, 2012.
Club Inegales is a nightclub in central London dedicated to performing contemporary, improvised music at the highest possible level. It’s the “club we’ve always wanted but never dared imagine”.
Led by artistic director Peter Weigold, who combines guest artists with a house band of some of Britain’s top musicians, it is a bold and daring exploration of new music presented in an entirely unique context. Here is a video about the club and their first guest this season, John Harle.
I’m nervous about this one – so come out if you can!!! 180 North Gower Street, near Euston Station Bar opens at 7:00, music starts at 8:00.
Black Sun is the centerpiece of a concert suite for bass clarinet, mezzo soprano and string orchestra. This video shows sections of the piece from a performance we did in July last year (2011), in an arrangement by Peter Togni for string quartet, piano, mezzo soprano, and bass clarinet. Mezzo-soprano Andrea Ludwig really shines in this performance.
I am pleased to say that I am performing in a number of concerts at this year’s Scotia Festival of Music (May 27 to June 8th 2012) One of the most interesting will be Frederic Rzewski’sAttica and Coming Together, probably one of the most influential early minimalist compositions of the 1960’s. It’s with a wonderful collection of musicians and the Terrain dance company from New York. Really an incredible group of inspiring dancers. Coming Together and Attica are two works that Frederic Rzewsk wrote as a powerful response to the 1971 Attica prison riots. Performed in the round with an ensemble of us ten musicians, this is a brilliant opportunity to witness live dance and music in a pretty powerful combination. Here is an example of the piece being performed by the Artefects ensemble: