Premieres By Calgary Composers
Kiss Around the World: Ensemble Resonance
Saturday November 21, 2009
Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall, Rozsa Centre, University of Calgary
Recording: Mark Ellestad, Hexagon Studios, Calgary
I close my ears, my eyes, my mouth - Lesley Hinger
My eyes are useless, for they render back only the image of the known. My whole body must become a constant beam of light, moving with an ever greater rapidity, never arrested, never looking back, never dwindling. The city grows like a cancer; I must grow like a sun. The city eats deeper and deeper into the red; it is an insatiable white louse which must die eventually of inanition. I am going to starve the white louse which is eating me up. I am going to die as a city in order to become again a man. Therefore I close my ears, my eyes, my mouth. ~ Henry Miller
Three Sacred Songs - Sean Clarke
The text is drawn from anonymous lyrics dating from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
I - Play
Myrie it is whil somer ylast
Wyth foweles song;
But now neigheth wyndes blast
And weder strong.
Ei! Ei! What, this nyght is long,
And I wyth wel muchel wrong
Sorwe and murne and faste.
II - Play
Stedefast crosse, among all other
Thou art a tree mickle of price;
In branch and flower swilk another
I ne wot none in wood no rys,
Sweete be the nailes and sweete be the tree,
And sweeter be the burden that hanges upon thee.
Me reweth, Marie, thi faire rode.
Nou goth sonne under tre-
Me reweth, Marie, thi sone and the.
Kiss Around the World (2009) - Aaron Gervais
Kiss Around the World was commissioned by New Works Calgary and the Canada Council for the Arts for Ensemble Resonance. It is the second Around the World piece that I have written, taking a single word—in this case kiss—and presenting it in a wide variety of languages.
The idea of kissing takes on very different connotations in different languages, and I wanted to find a connotation that was as universal as possible. Therefore, in Kiss Around the World I decided to focus on the idea of the nurturing kiss, the kiss a parent would give a child. This was the most universal use of kissing I came across. Romantic kissing, which is what I initially thought would make the best focus, is not universal. It did not exist in much of Asia before the arrival of the Europeans; Koreans and Japanese actually use a modified form of the English word for romantic kissing.
Musically, Kiss Around the World is made up of a series of short sound units, usually one per word, that are arranged and developed into a lyrical, flowing texture. Being a composer obsessed with fragmentation and contrast, this was a novel and stimulating challenge for me that grew out of the theme of the piece and the musical materials at hand. The result is a soothing, gentle piece that has certain aspects of a lullaby, all the while employing the collage/mosaic techniques that are the hallmarks of my style. There is even a little collage surprise at the end of the piece . . .
Lesley Hinger holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary where she studied with Allan Bell, David Eagle, William Jordan and Hope Lee, and a Masters of Music from the University of British Columbia where she studied with Keith Hamel and Dorothy Chang. In recent years she has participated in masterclasses with John Rea, Gary Kulesha, Manachem Zur, Jeffrey Ryan and Michael Colgrass, and has had works read by the Ensemble Contemporaine de Montréal and Standing Wave. In 2005 Lesley won the Land's End Competition for Emerging Composers for her piano trio trenje, and was chosen to participate in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Jean Coulthard Reading Session with her piece seachange in 2008. Some of her latest works include short film scores for director Michael Welchman and two childrens' operas, The Mystery of the Library and Il faut toujours aider son prochain for Calgary Opera.
Sean Clarke is an active performer and composer currently studying composition at the University of Calgary. After completing a Bachelor of Music at the University of Calgary Sean went on to complete a Master of Music in performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, England, with a minor in composition. While there he studied flute with Peter Lloyd and Michael Cox and composition with Anthony Gilbert. In Calgary his teachers have included flautist Gwen Klassen and composers David Eagle and Allan Bell.
His music has been broadcast on CBC National Radio and performed by the Land's End Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble Resonance, Players Ensemble, the University of Calgary Orchestra and String Quartet, as well as being featured as part of the University of Calgary New Music Festival and the New Music in New Places concert series sponsored by the Canadian Music Centre.
Aaron Gervais is composer of new classical/avant-garde music, born in Edmonton in 1980. He received a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the University of Toronto, and a Master's degree from the University of California at San Diego. He has also pursued studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, Netherlands. Aaron's teachers have included Chan Ka Nin (CA), Chinary Ung (US), Philippe Manoury (FR), and Martijn Padding (NL), and he has also participated in masterclasses with renowned composers from around the world. Prior to studying composition, Aaron studied jazz drumming and Cuban folkloric percussion, including a summer of private study in Havana in 2002.
Aaron has had performances and commissions from major ensembles in several countries, and his music has been performed across North America and Europe and broadcast on CBC Radio/Radio-Canada. Prominent festivals have presented Aaron's work, including Amsterdam's prestigious Gaudeamus Music Week (his piece Culture no.1 was selected for their 2006 competition); Toronto's New Wave, soundaXis, and SHIFT festivals; Aberdeen's Sound Festival; and New York's MATA Festival. He was additionally selected as a representative for Canada in the 2008 World Music Days in Lithuania. One of his solo pieces, Flüsse-Einflüsse, was chosen as a required exam piece for the graduating accordion students at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Trossingen in 2006.
Aaron was selected as the winner of the orkest de ereprijs's International Young Composers Competition in the Netherlands in 2009. He has also received various other awards and grants, including a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (2008), five prizes in Canada's SOCAN Awards for Young Composers (2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2004), a SOCAN residency grant (2006), numerous academic scholarships, and commissioning, travel, project, and study grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Ensemble Resonance Biographies
Stan Climie has earned distinction as one of Calgary's most versatile musicians. He is Bass Clarinetist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed with the Edmonton Symphony, the Regina Symphony, the Banff Festival Orchestra and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra. As a founding member of the New Works Calgary Ensemble, Stan explores and exposes his passion for “the unique and the unusual” by performing newly composed works in both the solo and chamber repertoire.
Stan's dedication to the nurture of future musicians is evidenced by his work at Mount Royal College, the University of Calgary, as a clinician in the schools and through his involvement in specialized programs such as MusiCamrose. In August 2001 and 2002 Stan participated in the Cantai Festival of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan with the chamber group Ensemble Resonance.
Colleen Athparia, an internationally recognized pianist, has made a career for herself as both a solo and chamber musician, a reputable teacher and as a recording artist. She has toured as a performer and guest instructor from Mexico to Taiwan, Russia, Israel and the Far East. Her background includes a Master of Music degree with distinction from Indiana University studying under the legendary pedagogue G.Sebok, as well as receiving the gold medal and placing first in the Canadian Music Competition. As an experienced teacher and adjudicator, she has also been a Senior Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music for almost 30 years.
Often a guest on CBC radio, she has just released her 6th CD recording “Danse Sauvage” featuring Canadian works written especially for her. A few years ago she was heralded by the National Post as one of the top 5 Canadian pianists of contemporary music today.
Colleen also travels extensively to give workshops on such topics as “Creative Practising” and “The Art of Polishing”. Her studio in Calgary features some extremely talented students who have won national and international competitions, but most importantly who love music!
Award winning soprano and actress, Michelle Todd was born in Nottinghamshire, England and studied at Sheffield University, B.Mus. (Hons), The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London (postgraduate Opera & Voice) and The Banff Centre, Canada. Since immigrating to Canada in 1988 she has appeared internationally in recital, oratorio, opera and musical theatre in the main concert halls and theatres in Europe, Asia, North America and The Middle East. She has also performed across Canada as soloist with numerous chamber ensembles and orchestras and her recordings have been featured on both CBC and BBC radio. Renowned for her interpretation and interest in contemporary works Miss Todd has presented more than forty world premieres, many as soloist with the chamber group Ensemble Resonance and represented Canada twice at the Cantai Festival in Taiwan as performer, adjudicator and masterclass voice teacher. Her numerous recordings include the recently released solo CD Grace Notes
Violinist Brinna Brinkerhoff performs as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, and soloist in the United States and Canada.
Based in Calgary, she is the second violinist of the University of Calgary String Quartet and is a member New Works Calgary's, Ensemble Resonance. Currently the Principal Second Violinist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston Texas, Ms. Brinkerhoff also tours as a recitalist, particularly in collaboration with her husband, pianist Jeffrey Neufeld. Their duo has performed in Canada and the US, and has been broadcast on CBC Radio Two.
This season, Brinna will be touring in the United States with Broadway's new musical, 101 Dalmations. In Calgary, she will be leading Calgary's Kensington Sinfonia with a concerto performance, and will also be performing a concerto with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.
Brinna holds degrees from Rice University where she graduated cum laude from the studio of Kathleen Winkler, and from Indiana University where she completed her Masters of Music and Performer Diploma with Miriam Fried..