Browsing: Contemporary

Tim Brady loves a good challenge. His latest: setting poems in an Indigenous language to music. To do this, the composer-guitarist chose a poem collection entitled Uiesh (“Somewhere”) written by famous Innu poet Joséphine Bacon. “I really loved Joséphine Bacon’s work,” he said. “I thought it would be quite a challenge to compose music a singer would perform in an Indigenous language. The linguistic, grammatical, and syllable structures are very different from European languages. Joséphine helped me a lot, and I concluded that my music needed to use a simpler rhythmic language, more clear-cut to help each syllable stand out.…

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The seventh Oper’Actuel project by Chants Libres will be the first project under the artistic direction of mezzo-soprano and musician Marie-Annick Béliveau, who will take over from Pauline Vaillancourt, Chants Libres founder and historic figure in the creation of vocal works. Béliveau would like to create an artistic community of her own, though she is cognizant of the requirements and principles Chants Libres has held for more than 30 years. “Leading a company as a musician is a unique opportunity,” Béliveau said. “This, of course, means that I will ask people to collaborate with me and I will create teams.…

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Night Light Philip Chiu, piano; Lara Deutsch, flute Leaf Music, 2022 As the central inspiration behind Chiu and Deutsch’s album Night Light, the concept of the “dream” takes on many forms, though some of these forms work better than others. The flutist and pianist take turns as the lead musicians in Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Digital Bird Suite, Op. 15 and Jocelyn Morlock’s I conversed with you in a dream to evoke the contradictory emotions associated with flying in a dream—the euphoria at having achieved an impossible task, and the disappointment at the task’s falsity that settles in after waking up. The…

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iFugue: A World of Fugues Ensemble Vivant Opening Day Entertainment Group (ODEG), 2022 Do you know what fusion is? A mix of rock and jazz probably leaps to mind. But there is classical fusion, too. That is exactly what Ensemble Vivant deals with in this recording as it steps into the world of fugues with a selection of 15 pieces that come from both the baroque (Vivaldi, Bach) and more modern times (with the likes of Aldemaro Romero, Astor Piazzolla, Dimitri Shostakovich, Heitor Villa-Lobos and César Franck). Rounding out this 300-year sampling are three world premières by two Canadian composers:…

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The Equation of Time Derek Charke, flute; Eugene Cormier, guitar; Celso Machado, percussion Leaf Music, 2022 The Equation of Time is a thorough exploration of how listeners, performers, and composers experience music differently in relation to time. In the first six works, composed by Celso Machado, the upbeat nature of the Charke-Cormier Duo’s guitar and flute is complemented by the reserved and quiet percussion instruments, performed by Machado himself. The explicit presence of the rhythm emphasizes changes in the time signature, though the percussion’s low volume allows the Duo’s bouncy melodies to dominate the works, evoking the imagery of a…

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lumena The Topaz Duo; Kaili Maimets, flute, Angela Schwarzkopf, harp. Self-produced, 2022 Having met each other for the first time as music undergrads, flutist Kaili Maimets and harpist Angela Schwarzkopf decided soon thereafter to perform as a duo. Yet, it took them more than 12 years of playing together to make their recording debut. By common accord they wanted to present completely new works, of which the Sonata for Flute and Harp op. 56 by Lowell Liebermann and lumena by Riho Esko Maimets (brother of the flutist) are featured alongside another sonata for flute and harp by Marjan Mozetich and…

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The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, as part of its series of portraits of composers, focused on Jean Lesage in a presentation scheduled for the Salle Pierre-Mercure last month (March 27). The composer’s  world, at once musical and philosophical, is at the intersection of several arts, as he himself has claimed: “I believe a composer should be open to all the great trends which characterize an epoch’s culture. They need feelers to sense the signs of the time, the zeitgeist, whether it’s through philosophy, literature, painting or the visual arts.” Many stylistic influences Surrealism continues to feed Jean Lesage’s…

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In celebration of the musical legacy of six essential figures in Quebec contemporary music, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec has launched a series of concerts. Entitled Portrait, the series pays tribute to a generation of composers who have had a profound influence on the Quebec ­musical landscape. The next three concerts will be devoted to Michel Longtin, Jean Lesage and Linda Bouchard. Kata : san shi ryu, Portrait of Michel Longtin Sunday, February 27, 2022  Salle Pierre-Mercure – Centre Pierre-Péladeau Having trained under André Prévost and Serge Garant, Michel Longtin began composing electronic music, before tearing down genre divisions to…

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Katia Makdissi-Warren, musical and electronic arrangements; Joséphine Bacon, Innu poet; Nina Segalowitz, Inuit throat singer; Hélène Martel, vocals. The blending of styles and cultures is a topic that comes up a lot when we talk about world music. The approach of Katia Makdissi-Warren and the Oktoecho team, followed by a host of musicians, is somewhat different. Their Transcestral project is, rather, the meeting of two world cultures, Sufism, on the one hand, and that of the First Nations, on the other hand, which is put forward with the notable contribution of Western styles. Needless to say,…

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La Nef is continuing its 30th anniversary celebrations under the general and artistic leadership of Claire Gignac. Though La Nef will present many concerts featuring various musical styles this season, it is currently being noted for its disc production at the start of a new year. On February 5, a concert will take the form of an album presentation, featuring Long Way Home by Andrew Wells-Oberegger, composer and multi-instrumentalist. Six musicians will join him at Montreal’s Maison de la culture Ahuntsic in the Concerts au bout du monde series. On March 10, another production will be led by Artistic Codirector…

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