I’m just writing to announce that I am the grateful (and surprised!) recipient of the Canadian Music Centre’s Toronto Emerging Composer Award. The purpose of the award “is to recognize the excellent work of emerging music creators from the Greater Toronto Area who also exhibit innovation, experimentation and a willingness to take risks in their work. It does so through a cash prize given to support the creation of a new work specifically intended to benefit the winning composer’s artistic and career development.”
The award involves proposing a new work to a jury, in some ways like a grant, that is then funded based on a various criteria. The piece I pitched bascially serves as a tribute to Charles Stepney who provided the rich and copious orchestrations on one of my favourite albums, “Come To My Garden” by Minnie Riperton. Drawing on his work (especially that album!), lush love-ballads from 1950-80’s Bollywood, and other brilliantly ethereal examples of pop arrangement, I’m going to work by layering myself playing various instruments over to create a slice of psychedelic quasi-orchestral abstraction. It’ll have tastes of pop, with even some guest vocals (who knows from whom yet!) but also a very spectral quality in both the use of orchestral colours and electronics. It’s a strange hybrid, but not so far-fetched once you consider Stepney’s Ravel-on-acid aesthetic taken just a bit further.
The result will ultimately be presented acousmatic-style in realtime multichannel diffusion but will also be featured on a CD which I will be self-releasing next year at some point.
Here’s the link for the CMC’s announcement. I’m going to be presented with the award on May 15th at the Esprit Orchestra’s concert at Koerner Hall.
Many thanks to Michael M. Koerner and Roger D. Moore for making the award financially possible, and for funding the creation of my new work. I’m really excited about this idea and it’s great to have the support to bring it into fruition.