Calgary’s newest new music ensemble explore the challenging and evocative music of Per Hermansson, Nicole Lizée, and Madeline Isaksson.
October 20, 2017
TransAlta Pavilion, Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts
Flux (2012) – Madeleine Isaksson
New Composition (2017 / premiere) (2012) – Mark Limacher
Modern Hearts (2008)(2012) – Nicole Lizée
“a cold surrogate a penance play” (2015) – Jordan Kusel
Lock the Door and Throw Away the Keys (2013)(2012) – Nicole Lizée
Amassed (2015)(2012) – Flannery Cunningham
Lock the Door and Throw Away the Keys draws its inspiration from the film of Stanley Kubrick, in particular his 1980 masterpiece, The Shining. The cinematography (including the beautiful, groundbreaking Steadicam work) and iconic images have always simultaneously attracted and horrified me. The Overlook Hotel, edged maze, room 237, the Gold Room, the Red Room, the significance of the number 12, even the patterns on the carpets and wallpaper informed the musical and structural content of the piece.
While composing the work I also came upon the 2008 documentary, Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes, a fascinating look at the Kubrick’s massive personal collection of memorabilia spanning his entire career. Director Jon Ronson personally shifts through the boxes (nearly 1000 of them), meticulously preserved and indexed by Kubrick, that had remained unopened for decades. Ronson uncovers an unseen history of minutiae revealing the obsessive perfectionist that was Kubrick. By the end of his exploration, Ronson admits to having found the ultimate quintessence of the auteur: the boxes themselves. He notes how well constructed the boxes are, perfectly aligned and aesthetically pleasing, and it is revealed that the boxes were designed by Kubrick.
Kubrick was so unsatisfied with those available on the market – with their restrictive dimensions and glitches – that he instructed a company of box manufacturers to build them according to his precise specifications. The boxes (in keeping with Kubrick’s obsessive, fastidious nature) are a compartmentalized reflection of the director’s meticulous modus operandi. The clean lines, geometry, patterns and structures of Kubrick’s films appeared in every aspect of Kubrick’s life. The austerity of the box system and the borderline insanity it took to implement their use had a kind of beauty. It was his own little Overlook Hotel. – Nicole Lizée, Montréal, 2011
Flux – a calm flux over few obstacles like water flows to what is wet.
“A cold surrogate a penance play”
“The critic, the interpreter, the translator, wants to speak for the dead, to subject himself to a truth he instructs the dead to teach us. One gives oneself over, displaces oneself through some critical methodology, in order to represent the other, to speak the other’s voice. But the cold lesson… is that nothing is more aggressive than the desire to serve the other. The dead never appear. The text never recognizes us… it remains silent throughout our reading. Only the dead speak, but they speak to us through our own voices, and what they say is the end of language.”
– Paul Mann, Masocriticism
Amassed (2015) for brass quintet with live electronics was written for Anima Brass and premiered at Stony Brook University in November 2015.