Browsing: Contemporary

La mémoire en acte : 40 ans de création musicale. (Memory in action: 40 years of musical creation.) / Editorial Committee: Laure Marcel-Berlioz, Omer Corlaix, and Bastien Gallet / CMDC, MF Publishing, 2017, 288 pages The Centre de Documentation de la Musique Contemporaine (CDMC) has been in existence since 1977. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, it has published a major work providing a panorama of current musical creation, through the words of various actors in the field, musicians, composers, producers, directors of record companies, musicologists… The first part reviews the history of the institution and the individual who ensured its founding,…

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Au cœur de la création musicale. Paroles de compositeurs recueillies par Myriam Tétaz-Gramegna. (At the heart of musical creation. Composer lyrics collected by Myriam Tétaz-Gramegna.) / La Bibliothèque des Arts, 2018, 184 pages “Owing to coincidences or appointments, these interviews were exceptional moments with artists who turned out to be impressive personalities, both in the extent of their culture and their sensitivity to the reality of the world.” This is how journalist Myriam Tétaz-Gramegna closes this book, which brings together interviews with 21 major composers of the 20th century, collected throughout her journalist’s career at a Swiss newspaper. Strong, brilliant,…

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When I started working as a copyist in the early 1980s, all the production work of one orchestral score and its separate parts was still done by hand. In music, the appearance of the first music notation software programs revolutionized editing. It became possible to produce a score and then produce its separate parts. The corrections made in one section would be reflected in the other, which was a considerable advantage. However, despite advances in software, the editing of contemporary music remains a significant challenge. Let’s see how programs such as Finale and Sibelius behave when faced with some writing…

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Every musician has undoubtedly seen graphic notation written by John Cage, Morton Feldman and other masterminds of this link between music and visual arts. What is behind these mysterious scores that start with symbols on a staff and end up looking like abstract designs? Danielle Palardy Roger and Joane Hétu, co-directors at SuperMusique, have helped us discover this mystery through workshops and concerts presented for more than 20 years. “From its inception, SuperMusique was mostly made of self-taught professionals from the theatre, visual arts, and street music industries,” said Roger. “Graphic notation brought all of us around the music table.”…

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Ciel convertible / Gilbert Patenaude, music; Patrick Coppens, poetry / Self-produced, 2018 Nearly 15 years after its publication, the collection of the poet Patrick Coppens is dressed in new colors in this album with music signed by Gilbert Patenaude. The 49 texts are as many dreamlike microcosms shaped by words and rhythm, without time or place. Angels rub shoulders with toads; vampires are surprised to believe in God. The music is written for four voices: two human (Jacqueline Woodley, soprano, and Julien Patenaude, baritone) and two instrumental (Sheila Hannigan, cello, and Mariane Patenaude, piano). Piano and cello change roles according to…

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Tim Brady, Music For Large Ensemble / Bradyworks Large Ensemble, dir. Cristian Gort / Starkland ST-230, 2018 We find two Tim Brady works on this album recorded at Studio 270 a few days after their creation at the 2017 Victoriaville Music Festival. Desire is a concerto in three movements for electric guitar and chamber orchestra. The first movement, Ecstasy, features hectic minimalist writing, centered on hammered rhythmic patterns exchanged between the soloist and the orchestra. Beauty is a very evocative textural exploration; the melodic guitar seems to be making its way through an increasingly lugubrious universe, magnified by solo interventions through…

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Transient Canvas, Wired / New Focus Recordings, 2018 The latest creation of the American duo Transient Canvas, Wired continues the exploratory work undertaken by Amy Advocat (bass clarinet) and Matt Sharrock (marimba) on their first release Sift. Once again, the musicians display undeniable technical know-how, obvious complicity and an in-depth understanding of the artistic vision of the composers who contributed to Wired. Dedicated to the interpretation of current works, this duo offers seven premieres with surprisingly varied styles that boldly exploit the possibilities of two instruments to which electronic devices are added. The result is strikingly original and flirts with avant-garde…

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To understand the music of today, we need to know its beginnings, to understand the music of the 20th century in all its variety and heterogeneity. It is often a part of the musical history hidden from the general public, because it has suffered for several decades from limited media and institutional visibility. If Messiaen, Ligeti, Stockhausen or Schnittke were programmed as often as Beethoven or Tchaikovsky, the ear would surely be much more attuned to contemporary listening and receptive to the music of today. By sweeping aside tonal language, that is to say, all Western music from Bach to…

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As the years go by, composer Maxime McKinley, who will be celebrating his 40th birthday this year, has turned out a wealth of premieres with the optimism and openness that characterizes his music. From the pulsations of the Wirkunst series to the recent Dégel written for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sherbrooke native offers a wonderfully varied repertoire, from solos to full orchestral works, and reveals a vibrant universe that is in constant evolution. In March alone, his Bleu tombant will be created by Trio Fibonacci and two of his compositions will come out as recordings: Cortile di Pilato on…

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The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) has contributed significantly to the dynamic of the local new music scene. While doing its part in getting more original music out in the world, this organization sets that stage by reviving masterpieces of 20th-Century music through events of its own like Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques (MNM). The festival theme this year is grands espaces (open spaces), a most suitable one for Karlheinz Stockhausen, a visionary whose music will be heard in the weeks to come. “To me, Stockhausen’s name rhymes with open spaces,” states Walter Boudreau, MNM headman and artistic director of the…

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