New Works Calgary presents the 4th Calgary New Music Festival with a weekend of engaging performances by airborne extended (Vienna), Linda Bouchard and the Grdina/Houle/Loewen Trio (San Francisco/Vancouver), Proteus Saxophone Quartet (Calgary/Montréal), and Calgary’s Timepoint Ensemble, Land’s End Ensemble, Bug Incision and the Jeremy Brown Collective. Improvisation, premieres, electric guitars, multimedia, sound walks…join us and check out the vision of today’s new music composers and performers as we play it forward.
airborne extended (Vienna)
A unique, young new music ensemble from Vienna Austria consisting of harpsichord, flute, recorders and harp performing recently commissioned European and Canadian works.
firewalk with(out) me (2017) - Margaretha Ferek-Petric
for recorder, flute, harp, harpsichord
Margaretha Ferek-Petric, composer
firewalk with(out) me is inspired by the series of Twin Peaks and deals with the ambiguousness of sound that brings phantastic-supernatural elements to the foreground. The surreality of the rhythmic and melodic events mixes with indirect reminiscence on simple characteristic halftone-movements of one of the series´soundtracks - The unfamiliar/scary mixes with the familiar (M. Ferek-Petric)
not.to (2017) - Margaretha Ferek-Petric
for prepared piccolo, prepared paetzold, transducers & live electronics
Hannes Kerschbaumer, composer
Is there still something to discover in the sounding surface? Hannes Kerschbaumer answers this question with yes. He defines the exploration of microsounds as “sound-dissection” and analyses the sound electronically in order to transfer it again on instruments. In his piece not.to, he works with the sounds of piccolo-flute and Paetzold-Kontrabass-recorder, which are amplified and distorted through transducers on resonating instruments.
Noisy pearl/s (2014) - Elisabeth Harnik
for harpsichord solo
Elisabeth Harnik, composer
The texture of Noisy Pearl/s (2014), marked throughout by rapid repetitions, was written for the harpsichordist Sonja Leipold: „ a virtuoso piece with the nature of a Toccata.“ It “clamours,” it “fizzes,” is extremely demanding on the performer, and, at the same time, a passionate declaration of love for all keyboard instruments. © E.Harnik
filigree (2019) - Aya Yoshida
for recorder, flute, harpsichord
Aya Yoshida, composer
Filigree is a fashion term: it describes ornamental work of fine wire, usually in silver or gold, with the addition of tiny beads. This jewellery method has been a decorative technique since 3000 BC, favoured for its delicate, feminine finish.
Blocs (2018) - Ugurcan Öztekin
for recorder and flute
Ugurcan Öztekin, composer
“The steam bath of your faces
the steam bath of your faces
the steam bath of your faces
foreto opening memory's window take a look around what is situated in the distance
take a count of the moving and the restless
and count out on your hand A those restless ones
those restless ones foreto taking from movement accepting life
long to move and yet still sleeputh
or quick say: from movement comes life
but in stillness death.”
RSRCH 12/84 (~1980) - Peter Hannan
for recorder solo
Peter Hannan, composer
RSRCH 12/84 is one of a series written in the 1980’s exploring the musical and technical problems on the recorder. Hannan takes a few simple contemporary techniques and weaves them into a complex rhythmic and harmonic groove.
The difficulty of crossing a field II (2016) - Alexander Kaiser
for paetzold, bass flute, harpsichord
Alexander Kaiser, composer
The difficulty of crossing a field II
lines start moving looking for a way out – twitching, bouncing off, losing their stability more and more. Recognizable from afar the apparent inner order changes.
The beginning small disturbances become bigger, rougher, more excited. It seems impossible to do the next step. (A.Kaiser)
kaput II (2017) - Manuela Kerer
for paetzold, flute, harpsichord, harp & tape
Manuela Kerer, composer
English from German kaputt (broken), originated from the Yiddish קאַפּוט (broken, "lost, dead").
What is broken is thrown away and ends up in the garbage. But what happens to "discarded" notes? Usually nothing. In the present piece, however, notes that were first noted in other pieces by Manuela Kerer, but then deleted, were dug up, dusted off and reassembled. They have also inspired new ideas and developments. To illustrate the act of discarding, the instruments are first packaged in (transparent) garbage bags. Then comes the (in Kerer's ears) epitome of musical trash: MIDI instruments (MIDI recorder and MIDI guitar). The musicians look motionless with the instruments packed in garbage bags in playing position on the notes. Impaired by the garbage bags they also start to play, and it results in a comical Sextett, the MIDI instruments, for example, on the right instruments unplayable sounds for the best, the musicians in contrast "playfully stand out" with feeling. Shortly before (or already in the middle of it?), the musicians release their instruments and play without plastic additives. The MIDI instruments? They lost their "tongue".
Calgary’s feisty newest new music ensemble celebrating the music of Veronika Krausas and Vincent Ho, Alexander Schubert in collaboration with actor/dance/mover Mark Ikeda and live painting by artist Sunita LaGallou.
Nostalgia (2011) - Vincent Ho
Vincent Ho, composer
Nostalgia, originally from movement II of The Shaman, a concerto for percussion and orchestra, has been arranged here for solo vibraphone. This version, intended as an encore piece for The Shaman, is also considered a stand-alone work by the composer. Nostalgia also exists in a version for solo piano. “Nostalgia,” was initially inspired by three things: a photo taken by Doug Barber of an old man looking out of a window during sunset, a painting by Luc Leestemaker titled Voyager #7, and an accompanying poem to the painting by the same artist titled “Voyager” (about an endearing childhood memory). These three works shared a nostalgic quality that warranted musical interpretation. However, in order for me to capture this emotion, I had to search through my own personal history to find the one memory that brought me the same bittersweet longing; a moment in my life that I have treasured and kept close to my heart. Once I had found it, I was brought back to that sacred emotional space and the music soon wrote itself.
Wilderness (2009) - Veronika Krausas
This work was written for USC Thornton horn professor Kirsty Morrell. It is a three-movement work revolving around text by André Alexis that describes the surreal dreams of a woman's trip to Canada.
Hello (2014) - Alexander Schubert
Alexander Schubert, composer
Hello is an audio-visual piece in which the projection serves as a score to be interpreted by the ensemble. The video consists of gestures performed by the composer in his living room. The piece comes in eight movements and is an invitation into the personal world of Alexander Schubert. Please enjoy.
Sandman’s Castle (2015) - Vincent Ho
Vincent Ho, composer
Sandman’s Castle was written for Dame Evelyn Glennie as part of the “50 for 50” project to celebrate her 50th birthday – 50 composers would compose 50 measures of music for a solo percussion instrument. For this project, I chose the tam-tam as my instrument of choice. For years I had been quite drawn to its sonic beauty and its many expressive possibilities. As well, writing for such an instrument would allow me to explore unchartered territories and open up new directions in my creative thinking.
In order to ensure the work would be tailored to Ms. Glennie’s talents – something I always think about when composing for a virtuoso performer like her – I requested to have her video-record herself improvising on the tam-tam while using as many different mallets, sticks, and items she could think of. This helped open my eyes and ears to the variety of sounds she was be able to create from the instrument. It truly was mesmerizing watching her interact with the instrument, like witnessing a shaman drawing up otherworldly sounds from a primordial realm. From viewing her improvisation, I was inspired by the many techniques she used and sound colours she created. It did not take long for me to draft up a musical narrative based her natural gestures and imaginative soundscape. For me, I view this work as a mystical journey into the world of dreams, ruled by the mystical Sandman, and Ms. Glennie is our guide.
Under an Open Sky - Veronika Krausas
Veronika Krausas, composer
Under An Open Sky - sous le ciel ouvert (1997) for solo bassoon was written for bassoonist Yueh Chou. (Saxophone version 2018)
It is a meditation as if performed under an open sky.
Shelter (1991) - Veronika Krausas
Veronika Krausas, composer
A Trinidadian Ghost story set as a monologue for Narrator with two percussionists and dance. (The dance is optional and may be performed as a percussion work with narrator.) This is the premiere recording from 1991 with librettist André Alexis narrating the grandfather. Original choreography by Youri Thomas performed with Herve Anglerot at The Music Gallery in Toronto by the Mongoose Collective.
ALL CAPS NO SPACE
October 26 / 7:30 pm / Engineered Air Theatre (Arts Common)
Multimedia performance by Linda Bouchard (concept, music, video),Keith Turnbull (dramaturge), Kim Collier (stage direction) and the Grdina/Houle/Loewen TrioThe program will also include Linda Bouchard’s DROP for solo clarinet and electronics, from her Live Structures series, featuring clarinetist extraordinaire François Houle.
Drop for solo improviser and electronics - Linda Bouchard
François Houle, clarinet
Linda Bouchard, composer
Over the years, I have composed more than thirteen works inspired by water in its various physical forms, each time taking a different angle and exploring the very intimate and interdependent human relation to water. For this new work, the musician performs from a graphic score created from the analysis of different water sounds: droplets, waves, ice breaking, etc. The graphical tool called Ocular Scores, is currently being developed in collaboration with Matralab and Joseph Browne. Lately, I have become increasingly interested by the notion of interpretation. Do we retain the essence of elements through spontaneous translation? My exploration of “interpretation” has led me to challenge performers and push them into new places they might not have gone on their own. Yet, the musical world — the language and the impulses — belong to the performer. Kyle Bruckmann has been a loyal collaborator for several years and a true inspiration for my music and I am thrilled to have composed this piece for him.
ALL CAPS NO SPACE - Linda Bouchard
for live musicians, live electronics, and live video
The Grdina/Houle/Loewen Trio
Linda Bouchard, composer
Using a graphic score, stock and pre-recorded material, and live processing, ALL CAPS NO SPACES explores the amplified solitude we experience within the barrage of information that besieges us. The creation of the work is motivated by the desire to give a voice to our individual experiences as we witness the world’s tragedies, specifically captured in the written and still images of daily media.
ALL CAPS NO SPACE came from questioning what is the space we can inhabit as caring individuals in a society in which we are flooded by information and news, the intensity of it all, the immediacy and the inherent violence and horror. This work is conceived in such a way to capture a moment in time and geographic location and is part of a series of works called “nomadic”.
ALL CAPS NO SPACE is realized in three versions
- An interactive multimedia work of 45 minutes for live musicians, live electronics, and live video
- A concert piece of approximately 35 minutes with live musicians and live electronics
- An installation with interactive video and pre-recorded sounds for art gallery spaces
This tour was made possible in part through support from a Canada Council for the Arts “Arts Across Canada” grant.
SUNDAY OCTOBER 27
FESTIVAL HALL / ALL DAY - 11 AM - 10 PM
$30 ADULTS | $20 STUDENTS & SENIORS
(NOT INCLUDING SOUNDWALK)
11:00 am FESTIVAL HALL | $5 - please REGISTER HERE
SINTONIA, named for the Italian word meaning "in tune with" in both a sonic and figurative sense, was created by Valentina Bertolani and Aura Pon to bring accessible experiences that blend experimental music and mindfulness to diverse Calgary audiences. A core activity of Sintonia's practice is the soundwalk, a walking meditation done with our attention attuned to the sounds surrounding us and within us, often hidden when our focus is elsewhere. In this second collaboration with New Works Calgary, Sintonia will lead a soundwalkers through Inglewood, Calgary's oldest neighborhood. Embracing the Bow and Elbow Rivers, railroad tracks, and a myriad of unique businesses, homes and green spaces, the area promises many hidden sonic gems to be uncovered through deep listening. Following some brief exercises to warm up our receptivity, we will embark from Festival Hall to explore the diverse sounds this vibrant, historic, pedestrian-oriented neighbourhood.
Land’s End Ensemble mini-concert and CD launch
1:30 pm FESTIVAL HALL | SINGLE EVENT TICKETS $10-15
Join Land’s End Ensemble as they celebrate the release of their latest Centrediscs album with recordings by some of Canada’s leading contemporary classical composers.
Morning Song (2008) - Vincent Ho
Vincent Ho, composer
(2008; transcribed 2018)
This is a work I wrote one early morning while I was living in Glendale, California. While I was in my studio, I could see from my window the sun slowly emerging over the horizon. Struck by this beautiful moment, I decided to compose something at that moment to capture what I felt. By the time the sun was fully out, the piece was done. – VH
Tree Rings - Derek Charke
Derek Charke, composer
Tree Rings muses on the life span of a tree. The music reflects yearly cycles through alternating sections of different, but related material—imagine the lifecycle of a tree sped up. The sections tend to get longer and longer as the piece progresses, perhaps analogous to the length of the rings as a tree ages. The music harnesses a range of emotions to reflect seasonal changes—storms, rain, drought, sun, etc. Tree rings is dedicated to Land's End Ensemble, John Lowry and Evelyn Glennie. – DC
Out of the Night/Birdsong (2019) – Alexina Louie
violin, violincello, piano
Alexina Louie, composer
When choosing from the various themes that the Glenbow Museum identified in its 2019 exhibition Sybil Andrews: Art and Life for a composition project involving composers Allan Gordon Bell, Jocelyn Morlock, and myself, the most prevalent images from the show depicted manual labour, action, machinery, dynamism and to me implied mechanistic sounds.
However, with further research, I became attracted to a different theme. I thought of Andrews’ life in England during World War I, where she laboured as a welder in an airplane factory. During World War II she again took up the welding torch and went to work building warships.
After the Second World War, she and her husband, Walter Morgan, decided to flee post-war England with its poor economy, rigid lifestyle, and harsh grittiness, to establish a new life in Campbell River, Canada where they found inspiring natural beauty and a home by the ocean.
The idea of responding to the gentler beauty of her more pastoral images appealed to me. The darkness and the swirling activity of Storm as well as the gnarled roots of Douglas Firs set the tone for the mysterious opening of my trio. Through these images I imagined the harshness of her life during those difficult war years.
However, just as her life moved from darkness into a realm of light and natural beauty, so too does my piece. I chose the more subtle colours and contours of Fall of the Leaf and the graceful motion in Swans as my inspiration for the end of my trio. It concludes with the gentle, serene flight of the swans and the beautiful sounds of bird calls echoing through the mist of Canada’s beautiful West Coast. – AL
29/39 SA in motoric vorticular cubistic cuts (2019) – Allan Gordon Bell
violin, violincello, piano
Allan Gordon Bell, composer
The piece is a response to many of the linocuts created by Sybil Andrews between 1929 and 1939. Through her teachers, she was profoundly influenced by the Futurists, the Vorticists, and the Cubists. Her work is suffused with swirling energy and multiple perspectives on the same image. Her forms are always informed by her medium - images that emerge from myriad cuts.
This piece does not respond to a single print, instead it responds to the energy and to the forms that thematically link all of the images during this inter-war period while she was in London.
Printmakers put series numbers on their works. Hence the title: 29/39 SA in motor, vorticular, cubistic cuts.
(from “Kickin’ It 2.0”; 2017) – Vincent Ho
violin, violincello, piano, drum set
Vincent Ho, composer
Burn is a virtuosic work written for drum kit and piano trio, based from the original drum kit + piano duo version. The work brings together three separate streams I have been developing in my musical language. One is my experience in writing for percussion instruments, most especially in the works for acclaimed percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Another is my ongoing pursuit in developing my pianistic language – the tactile and gestural elements (or “signatures”) that define my own performance practice for the instrument. The third is my own manner of writing for string instruments that I been developing over the same period of time. The work therefore represents the confluence of all three streams. The players are all featured on equal levels of importance as they maintain their constant dialogue with one another while covering a wide expressive range.
Presentation of new music video by Emil Agopian.
Proteus Saxophone Quartet + "The Spot II" Tommy Davis
3:00 pm FESTIVAL HALL | SINGLE EVENT TICKETS $10-15
One of Canada’s leading saxophone quartets, Proteus Saxophone Quartet present an energetic and diverse program of groundbreaking works for saxophone quartet! Plus, the latest installation of 'The Spot', a special performance by saxophonist Tommy Davis.
patin[age] (2019) - Tommy Davis
Tommy Davis, composer
patin[age] depicts the physical transformation/deformation process of the brass alloy of my saxophone, as my chemistry alters the ever-changing shapes and structures of its patina. I explore the possible alterations of digitally processed and amplified sounds through the electrified copper pathway of guitar pedals to decompose, alter, and manipulate sounds in an ever-changing environment.
Holly De Caigny
Lamentatio (1995) - Erkki-Sven Tüür
Erkki-Sven Tüür (b. 1959), composer
Lamentatio is an intensely emotional response to the 1994 loss of the ferry Estonia and the hundreds of passengers onboard. Tüür was scheduled to travel on that ferry’s journey the day it sank. The writing is almost electronic at times, with subtle multiphonics, combined deftly with pure sounds. At other times, it is almost hymn-like and, at its climax, wrenchingly dramatic.
Parallax* (2019) - Colin Labadie
Colin Labadie, composer (b. 1984)
In digital technology, parallax is an effect observed when scrolling images and other elements in the foreground of a screen move at a different rate than those in the background, creating a 3D effect on a 2D screen. Colin Labadie emulates this effect with sound in Parallax by starting a ‘scrolling’ (repeating) melody which is performed by all four saxophones. He then uses various volumes of accented notes in the parts which creates an interesting 3D effect by attracting the listener’s ear to a new melody while the original melody continues underneath.
Parallax was written for the Proteus Saxophone Quartet in 2019, with generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Instantanés* (2019) - Colin Labadie
Denis Levaillant, composer (b. 1952)
Instantanés or “Snapshots” is written for four soprano saxophones and depicts several musical scenes or moods, that are left up to the listener’s imagination. In this piece, Levaillant often uses a musical ‘offset’ effect whereby each successive player begins a passage of music after the previous player has only started it. This may have the listener think of ‘burst mode’ on a camera, where several photos are taken in rapid succession.
Summer Line (2009) - Matthew Ricketts
Matthew Ricketts, composer (b. 1986)
In Summer Line, Ricketts employs a delicate balance of tonality and chromaticism, as well as a gradual expansion of dynamic range to create varying degrees of musical texture. This leads the listener through a range of musical intensity, from calm and serene, to more passionate and at times even aggressive.
Mod’Son 7 (1985) - Francois Rossé
Francois Rossé, composer (b. 1945)
“This quartet dates back to the 1980s, a time when I was attracted to the origin of things, in the report of human to sound, for example, the forms of energy are very dense at times like some African rituals; relaxed writing allows interpreters a more physical fusion while performing, much like a ritual about human energy through sound expression...” – François Rossé–Oct 2019
*denotes World Première performance
Jeremy Brown Collective and Bug Incision
7:30 pm FESTIVAL HALL | SINGLE EVENT TICKETS $10-15
A concert steeped with inspiration, imagination, insight, and improvisation. An avant-garde evening with free improv and noise to close out the 2019 Calgary New Music Festival with a bang!
Jeremy Brown Collective
Amy Stephen, penny whistle
Robin Tufts, percussion
Jesse Schwartz, bass
Jeremy Brown, flute, saxophone
Balafon (1995) - Christian Lauba
Christian Lauba (1952), composer
*denotes World Première performance
This “organized improvisation” was constructed by Dadge – founder of the Bug Incision concert series and record label – with these players specifically in mind. The piece attempts to reconcile two seemingly conflicting areas: the freedom of expression and unpredictability that accompany free improvisation and the structural clarity of composed music, which purely improvised music is often unlikely to happen across. A lot of free improvisation is performed in smaller groups – duos and trios – and as the number of players in this context increases, the trajectory of the music is more likely to take on broad, familiar forms. This is a method of bucking that tendency while still relishing the opportunity to revel in the sound of an increased number of instrumental voices. The players are given a large amount of freedom with which to navigate through a series of different sections defined by various limitations and instructions for how to interact with each other. The piece will display a vivid sampling of one of the key kinds of music that is central to the Bug Incision concert series and community, and The Bug Incision Players are pleased to debut this “Circular Sparrow” here.