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Robert Aitken, artistic director

IRIDESCENCE

Sunday May 26, 2019 @ 8 Introduction @ 7:15
Matthias McIntire violin
Andréa Tyniec violin
Maeve Palmer soprano
New Music Concerts Ensemble
Robert Aitken direction
Betty Oliphant Theatre at 404 Jarvis Street [MAP]
Tickets $35 regular | $25 seniors and arts workers | $10 students
For Reservations Call 416.961.9594

edgeAna Sokolovic

Toronto premieres of recent works by three outstanding Canadian composers.
David Jaeger's The WholeNote article about Ana Sokolovic is available
here.

Programme:

Matthias McIntire (Canada b.1986) Cathedral Grove (and the Gray Jay) (2018)
solo violin with electronics
Samuel Andreyev (Canada b.1981) Iridescent Notation (2017)
soprano and ensemble
Ana Sokolovic (Serbia/Canada b.1968) Evta (2017)
solo violin and ensemble

PROGRAM NOTES

Matthias McIntire (Canada b.1986) Cathedral Grove (and the Gray Jay) (2018)

Matthias McIntire is a composer, violinist, violist, electronic musician, improviser, and music educator active across a broad spectrum of contexts. Currently pursuing his DMA in Composition at the University of Toronto with Christos Hatzis and Eliot Britton. Matthias’ compositions have been recognized with numerous awards and achievements. Matthias has performed or presented his music nationally and internationally in venues that include the Canadian Music Centre (Toronto), the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia), the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition (Manitoba), and the San Francisco Centre for New Music. This years’ activity has included a TEDx-UofT talk and performance, the premiere of his Little Worlds for woodwind quintet in San Francisco by The One Found Sound Quintet, and the premiere his one act opera/theatre work Lover’s Dusk, a monodrama for baritone, string quartet and owl, in Nova Scotia.
Performance highlights include performing as guest second violinist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, as well as playing chamber music with Paul Kantor, David Hetherington, Steven Dann, Livia Sohn, and members of the Miro Quartet. He has also performed with such artists as Dave Douglas, Vijay Iyer, Okkyung Lee, and Aoife O’Donovan at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. He is currently based in Toronto and can be seen performing with such ensembles as Tapestry Opera, New Music Concerts, Din of Shadows, and the Toronto Concert Orchestra. Equally comfortable in his roles as composer and performer, in classical, new music, and improvised music settings, Matthias is establishing a varied career that keeps him “on his toes."

Cathedral Grove (and the Gray Jay) is a sonic depiction and emotional encapsulation of ancient forests in California and BC. “Cathedral Grove” is the name of at least two specific stands of trees that I know of. One in Muir Woods (some redwoods just north of San Francisco), and some cedars and Douglas firs near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

When I’m in Cathedral Grove, or some similar place, I sink into a sense of enclosure, space, and quiet. I notice wind and sunlight filtering through leaves. I hear rivers, birds, and the ambience of the forest. I am exhilarated by the sheer size and age of the trees. I get a sense of a larger timescale. In Cathedral Grove (and the Gray Jay), I aim to capture some of this rich texture of sounds and sights, and my internal reactions to them.

I chose to feature the Gray Jay so prominently because of an amazing experience I once had on a hike. A frenzy of Gray Jays descended upon my hiking group and, eventually, we had them eating peanuts right out of our hands. I was able to take some recordings of their squawks, whistles, and even flapping wings (!), all of which ended up in the piece. The live electronics serve to create the texture and feeling of the forest as I have described it, as well as expand the gestures of the solo violin.

This piece is dedicated to my Gram, Jane Smick.


— Matthias McIntire

Samuel Andreyev (Canada b.1981) Iridescent Notation (2017) Canadian Premiere

For nearly 20 years, Samuel Andreyev has been slowly and patiently creating an intense and perfectionistic body of work. Musicworks magazine has said that his “meticulously framed moments feel like portals to alternate dimensions”. At 22, Andreyev left his native Canada to pursue studies in composition and oboe in Paris. After completing a masters degree at the Conservatoire de Paris, he studied electroacoustics at IRCAM. Subsequently, he was awarded a one year residency at the Casa de Velázquez, Spain. Since returning to France in 2013, he has traveled extensively, maintaining an intensive composing, performing and lecturing schedule throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.

Samuel Andreyev’s popular YouTube channel (and associated podcast), devoted to modern and contemporary music analysis, currently reaches over 20,000 subscribers. Altogether, his interviews and lectures have been viewed millions of times around the world. As an oboist, he has frequently performed his own work, and also premiered works by other composers. He is currently professor of analysis and harmony at the Strasbourg Center of the University of Syracuse. Andreyev’s catalogue includes vocal, solo, chamber, ensemble and orchestral music. His scores are published by Alphonse Leduc (France), Edition Impronta (Germany) and Resolute Music Publications (USA). Also a poet, he is the author of two books, including The Relativistic Empire (Bookthug). His most recent portrait CD, Music with no Edges, was released by Kairos Records (Vienna) in October 2018. He lives in Strasbourg, France, one kilometre from the border with Germany.

Iridescent Notation is a “portrait” in sound of the British poet Tom Raworth. His poetry is marked by extreme rapidity of thought, sudden departures, disjunction and short, deliberately open- ended phrases which lend themselves to multiple readings. Often, self-reflexive observations about the acts of writing and reading are woven into the texts. I selected five contrasting poems spanning the poet’s entire career, from his Collected Poems (Carcanet Press), treating each one in a highly independent way, and using analogous musical process to highlight their jumpy, quick-fire quality. The score is highly gestural and collage-like, and — above all — never straightforwardly narrative or illustrative.

— Samuel Andreyev

Ana Sokolović (Serbia/Canada b.1968) Evta (2017)

An important figure in contemporary music, the composer Ana Sokolović has distinguished herself both in Canada and internationally. Her works, infused with Balkan rhythms, are influenced by different artistic disciplines and seduce an ever-growing audience, drawing them into a vividly imagined world. Her success is revealed through prestigious collaborations with Canadian orchestras, leading artists on the musical scene, as well as many Quebecois chamber music ensembles. Her varied repertoire, which has received numerous awards and prizes, includes several productions of her operas, such as Svadba which “seems to invent a phonetic universe of the human heart” (Le Monde) and The Midnight Court, which was produced at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In addition to her activities as a composer, Ana Sokolović is also a professor of composition at the University of Montreal.

Evta means “seven” in the Serbian Roma language.

Each of the seven movements is inspired by the colours of the chakras and is associated with one of the notes of the scale: C/red, D/orange, E/yellow, F/green, G/blue, A/indigo and B/violet. The work is strongly inspired by gypsy violin music played in the Balkans.
Evta was commissioned by Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.

— Ana Sokolović