In short: I’ve currently got a lot on the go!
- I’m currently wrapping up a humble little score for Ingrid Veninger’s excellent new film The Animal Project. It’s not a lot of music but, because of that, it’s been a challenging yet delightful process to get what little music the film requires to speak in the correct tone. It’s the first time I’ve worked on a feature film and I’ve been learning a lot. More news later about when it’s due to premiere!
- In addition to this, I’ve been busily writing my first solo harp piece through the support of the Canadian Music Centre‘s Norman Burgess Fund (the New Music For Young Musicians) program. Again, I’ve been learning a lot about the harp which is perhaps an underrated instrument for recent composers — very versatile, full of great sonic possibilities, and not as difficult to write for as people supposedly think (I’ve read about this impression online and heard it from harpists I’ve conversed with!). My piece is full of a lot of these sounds that I find intriguing—some of the canonized extended techniques and others that I’ve discovered myself or been shown by (both Lori Gemmell, my pedagogical adviser for the program and Kristin Moss-Theriault). The piece will debut in the fall at Ping!, an event to celebrate New Music written for young performers.
- I’m also working on a new piece for Montreal’s AKOUSMA Festival in the fall. The work, much like my other work in progress, Gardens, will use instruments as its base, and avoid the use of complex DSP processes (there will, of course, be a touch of EQ, compression, reverb, and volume automation (and spatialization)). Instead it will just be layered instrumental performances, perhaps using “acoustic processing” (playback through speakers or into resonant objects/ spaces) and odd mic techniques to create its effects.
Some additional news.
- I’ve also recently received a commission from Stealth (the duo of bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano and percussionist Richard Burrows of TorQ Percussion Quartet) through the Waterloo Region Arts Fund. Lots of exciting possibility there. It’s likely to include some intriguing contact-miked snare drum techniques I’ve been developing lately. We’re set to premiere the piece in 2014.
- I will also be writing a new work for some of my favourite collaborators, the Thin Edge New Music Collective, next year. It’ll be a quartet for violin, piano, accordion and flute.
- I am also finally almost finished my album-length work Gardens, created through the support of the Canadian Music Centre’s 2011 Toronto Emerging Composer Award. The work, as I’ve mentioned before here, is recording-based, but is not electronic. Instead it’s essentially an orchestral-scale ensemble piece where I am playing all of the instruments. The music is conceived through improvisation, replaying, and some editing.
- Speaking of recording and the CMC, I have recently recorded an album at their Toronto location with a new ensemble called Bespoken. The ensemble consists of myself, Brandon Valdivia (of countless projects including Picastro, Not the Wind Not The Flag, Mas Aya and Pacha Mama), Matthew Ramolo (aka Khôra) as well as Cheryl Duvall and Ilana Waniuk of Thin Edge New Music Collective. The album consists of a work of mine called aigre-douce and a piece by Wandelweiser composer Daniel Brandes called intimations of melody and was expertly recorded by John S. Gray. We’re still securing the details of its release, but you can hear some samples below:
- Thin Edge and I also had our first session with Jean Martin and Jeremy Darby at the fantastic Canterbury Music Company studio. We recorded my 2012 work a destination for violin, piano, english horn, marimba and glockenspiel (plus droning harmonicas). It sounded great. Here’s a live recording of the piece from its premiere last year:
Have I forgotten about something? Probably. More updates soon!