Sunday October 30, 2016
Ensemble contemporain de Montréal
Véronique Lacroix direction | Gabriel Dharmoo, host
Concert 8:00 | The Music Gallery, 197 John Street [MAP]
Taylor Brook (AB/NY 1985) – Tirant Lo Blanc (2016)
Symon Henry (QC 1985) – debout, un respir grand comme (standing, a breath as tall as) (2016)
Sabrina Schroeder (BC/UK 1979) – Bone Games - shy garden (2016)
Adam Scime (ON 1982) – Liminal Pathways (2016)
Profiles of the composers are available on our Videos page
Crossing Canada from West to East for the 9th time since 2000, the ECM+’s Generation2016 Canadian Tour conducted by Véronique Lacroix presents a new edition of this now legendary project. Nine Canadian cities will host the ECM+: Banff, Edmonton, Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, London, Ottawa and Quebec City. Audiences across the country are invited to discover the new works of four emerging Canadian composers through electrifying performances, where each of them will compete for the $ 5,000 Generation Jury Award and the $ 1,500 Audience Choice Award. Composer-host Gabriel Dharmoo will be on stage, along with ten ECM+ musicians and their conductor, to guide the listeners through four new works that are as unique as they are fascinating, including a concertante piece for soloist flutist Marie-Hélène Breault.
Composers Taylor Brook (AB / NY), Symon Henry (QC), Sabrina Schroeder (CB / Manchester, UK) and Adam Scime (ON) were selected in the summer of 2015 by the jury of Generation2016, now one of the most important composition competitions in the country. In February 2016, the four composers were featured in live composition workshops with ECM+’s musicians and conductor, which gave the public an insider’s look at musical experimentation.
Through Brook’s organic microtonality, Henry’s delicate graphic scores, Scime’s musical structures in motion and the primal vibration of Schroeder’s sound world, listeners will discover that there are as many different methods of composing as there are composers.
Taylor Brook (born in 1985, Alberta), New York
Taylor Brook has studied composition with Brian Cherney in Montreal, Luc Brewaeys and George Lewis in Brussels and Georg Friedrich Haas in New York. Brook has also studied Hindustani musical performance in Kolkata, India, with Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya. Brook writes concert music, music for video, and music for theater and dance. Brook has won numerous awards and prizes for his compositions as well as being Gaudeamus Prize finalist. His music has been performed by ensembles and soloists such as Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), quatuor Bozzini, JACK Quartet, MIVOS Quartet, Talea Ensemble and Ascolta Ensemble. Brook's current projects include a new piece for New Thread Saxophone Quartet and a new string quartet for the JACK quartet. Brook holds a master’s degree in music composition from McGill University. He currently resides in New York City, where he is completing a doctorate in music composition at Columbia University and working as a freelance composer.
Tirant Lo Blanc for flute solo and ensemble – Program Notes
The title, Tirant Lo Blanc is taken from a chivalric romance of the same name, written by the Valencian knight Joanot Martorell. The central reason for naming this musical score after the Martorell’s novel is that it is one of the earliest examples of alternate history in literature. In Tirant Lo Blanc, the European knights win the battle of Constantinople and Byzantium does not fall into the hands of Sultan Mehmed II “the conqueror”. This score presents a kind of musical alternate history, where the music is conceptualized according to reorienting the idea of “normal.”
Composing within the framework of imaginary tradition aims at questioning normalcy and creating rules that bring out an evocative and unique sound world. For instance, the harmony is built around a microtonal, just intonation, system that allows for references to traditional harmony, at times twisting them to give the impression of being at once familiar and strange. Similar to the referential nature of the harmony, the role of the soloist is closely related to a traditional concerto solo and the form of the first movement of a classical concerto. This concerto form is toyed with and the expectations of the listener of the soloist was an key compositional element.
Symon Henry (born in 1985, Québec), Montréal
Symon Henry works on a variety of creative projects (composition, performance, improvisation), aesthetic reflection and poetry. He is especially interested in exploring the boundaries between music and other art forms, such as theatre, installation and performance with, among others, the collective ensemble Projet K, of which he is a founding member. His first collection of poetry, son corps parlait pour ne pas mourir, was published in 2016 by Éditions de la Tournure, while his visual work was exhibited for the first time in spring of the same year at the Gham & Dafe gallery (Montreal) and the Palazzo Ducale di Lucca (Italy). He is the SOCAN Foundation’s 2014 John-Weinzweig Grand Prize winner. His work voir dans le vent qui hurle les étoiles rire, et rire, a 40-minutes piece co-composed with Yannick Plamondon for the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and marimbist Anne-Julie Caron, to be performed in September 2016 to celebrate the inauguration of the new Lassonde pavilion of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.
debout, un respir grand comme – Program Notes
(…) and spring will always return, and its roses and its flowers. Marie-Hélène Constant
debout, un respir grand comme (standing, a breath as tall as) is a work of transition, something that was restless and perhaps became calmer along the way. It is softness and tenderness, even in its moments of intensity, and loud or high-pitched sounds. It is a big, moving breath, a breath following an adverse wind; great small triumphs, also. A breath before the continuance and the resumption – elsewise.
Sabrina Schroeder (born in 1979, British Columbia), Manchester, UK
Sabrina Schroeder writes music for mixed ensembles, often using modified transducers and self-built mechanics as integrated instruments in live performance. She’s been an active member of composer-performer collectives presenting scored and improvised music, a back-up-band coordinator for teens in mental health housing, and has taught courses in Sound and Media Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. Projects for the coming year include a concert-length mixed media work for the International Contemporary Ensemble (New York/Chicago), a new commission by the Americas Society (New York), and a commission for Distractfold Ensemble (UK) featuring at the 48th Internationale Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik in Darmstadt and the Rainy Days Festival Philharmonie Luxembourg. In 2017, she will join Steve Schick, ICE ensemble, and the JACK quartet as composer-in-residence at the Banff Summer Programs. She currently lives in Manchester, UK, where she teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Bone Games – shy garden – Program Notes
Over recent years, I’ve been developing performance systems that integrate transducers into the fabric of acoustic ensembles. This work builds around malleable qualities of fibrillation and pulsation, using these as a kind of live connective tissue within a body of instruments. There is something tectonic that transducers can achieve, creating an underbelly of sound that is as much about body-feel as it is about audible sound. I like how time feels there – as though nudged through weight and air pressure. Pulsation feels inherently intimate, from the semi-regularity of heartbeat to tremors of cells and nervous systems. There is something richly primal in this deeper morse code. Navigating these spectra is my way of digging into these physical aspects of sound that have a permeating intensity in live performance.
Adam Scime (born in 1982, Ontario), Toronto
As a young composer and performer living in Toronto, Adam Scime has been praised the CBC and the blog icareifyoulisten. His work has received many awards including the 2015 CMC Toronto Emerging Composer Award, The Socan Young Composer Competition, The Karen Keiser Prize in Canadian Music, and The Esprit Orchestra Young Composer Competition. Adam’s music has been commissioned and performed by many renowned ensembles and soloists (NEM, NAC Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Gryphon Trio, New Music Concerts, Soundstreams, and Orchestre de la Francophonie). Recently, Adam’s piece Broken Images was toured across China to various celebrated new music festivals. Future projects include commissions from the The Esprit Orchestra, a new piece for saxophone virtuoso Wallace Halladay with ensemble, and a recording project with violinist Véronique Mathieu and pianist Stephanie Chua. Adam is currently based in Toronto where he is finishing his Doctorate in composition at UofT with Gary Kulesha, and performing regularly as a double bassist.
Liminal Pathways – Program Notes
The essence of music is motion. Our imagination has the potential to augment the values of reality depending on how motion is perceived. In my music, I have become increasingly interested with how the motion and thrust of musical gestures can create vivid imagined spaces in the minds of the listener. The impact of the musical gesture and how it can imply a certain form of energy and drama emanating from a collection of sounds is of paramount concern in my piece Liminal Pathways. Throughout the piece I applied my gestural palette combined with a novel approach to instrumental articulation in order to broaden the listeners’ perception of the sounds they are hearing. In my music it is always a goal to find a unique brand of virtuosity resulting in a compelling display of instrumental dramaturgy and precise articulation - as opposed to virtuosity in the traditional sense – while maintaining a capacity for expression. My hope is to send the listener on an adventure of observing not only what happens in the music, but also what happens within themselves as the music unfolds.
Marie-Hélène Breault, flute soloist
Marie-Hélène Breault specializes in 20th- and 21st-century repertoire. She has distinguished herself through her performances of works by Karlheinz Stockhausen, her participation in the premiere performances of several works by Canadian composers, and her collaborations with theatre and dance artists. She is currently working on various projects, including an album dedicated to works by Claude Vivier, Gilles Tremblay, Ana Sokolović, Denis Gougeon and John Rea, with pianist Pamela Reimer. She is also writing a work for electroacoustic flute with composer Martin Bédard, and designing a concert of compositions by women, based on the work of Hildegard von Bingen. Marie-Hélène Breault is a regular performer with the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) and the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ). The winner of numerous awards, she frequently receives grants for her projects from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ). Marie-Hélène Breault teaches flute at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).
Gabriel Dharmoo, composer and multidisciplinary artist
Gabriel Dharmoo's musical practice encompasses composition, vocal improvisation and research. His works have been performed in Canada, the U.S.A, Europe, Australia, Singapore and South Africa. He was awarded the SOCAN Jan V. Matejcek Award (2016), the Fernand-Lindsay Prix d'Europe composition prize (2011), the Canada Council for the Art Robert Fleming Prize (2011) as well as 6 prizes from the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers. His work as a singer and interdisciplinary artist led to his performative solo Imaginary Anthropologies, winner of Best International Production at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival (2015) and the Contra Guys Award for Outstanding New Performance at the SummerWorks Performance Festival (2016). He is currently enrolled in Concordia University's PhD "Individualized Program" with Sandeep Bhagwati (Music), Noah Drew (Theatre) and David Howes (Anthropology of the Senses).