LSM Newswire

Friday, October 9, 2009

Continuum Contemporary Music presents start : stop Launching Continuum’Äôs 25th season

Sunday, October 25, 2009, 8 pm at The Music Gallery
Part of the Music Gallery’Äôs Xavant Festival

Toronto, October 1, 2009: Continuum Contemporary Music celebrates its 25th anniversary this season, beginning with start : stop on Sunday October 25th at the Music Gallery. The evening’Äôs program examines beginnings and endings, and things between and beyond: a definition of Continuum.

Chris Paul Harman’Äôs Incipits distills Domenico Scarlatti’Äôs keyboard sonatas into a sense of perpetual inception; Samuel Andreyev dissolves and truncates in Stopping. Between the beginning and the end is the fluttering state of energy of Encore/Da Capo by Italian composer Luca Francesconi and the propulsive rhythms of Juan Trigos’Äôs Pulsaciˆ„n y Resonancias. Beyond are the subtly shifting colours of Fuhong Shi’Äôs Emanations. These last two pieces were discovered in Continuum’Äôs 2007 biennial Call for Scores. Continuum’Äôs ensemble is joined by Colleen Cook (bass clarinet), Diane Leung (viola), Paul Rogers (double bass), and Mark Duggan (percussion), with David Fallis conducting.

The composers and works
’Ä¢ Canadian composer Chris Paul Harman writes, ’ÄúAn incipit is the series of words that appears at the beginning of a poem or other literary piece. The term is also applied to music where one may view the opening measure or measures of a piece of music in the context of an index. In this work Incipits, I postulated what it might be like if a musician seated at the piano never cared to leave the index page of musical examples -- that is to say what if this reference page was a complete musical statement in and of itself?’Äù The resulting work by Chris Paul Harman follows his interest in recent years in working in sections ’Äì creating full and complete statements sometimes in under one minute.
’Ä¢ ’ÄúThe tension between continuation and cessation forms the crux of Stopping,’Äù writes oboist, composer and poet Samuel Andreyev. Written for two vibraphones because of the potential for treating attack, resonance and the cessation of sound, the work is made up of gestures that are strongly inclined to their own dissolution. Stopping contains sudden proliferations of seemingly alien material, which are just as likely to disappear as to dominate.
’Ä¢ Born in 1956, Luca Francesconi has studied composition with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio. His compositions have won numerous international awards. He has taught as visiting or guest professor at Rotterdam Conservatory and at l’ÄôUniversitˆ© de Montrˆ©al, and has served as composer-in-residence with numerous international organizations. Encore/Dacapo is a work that builds up of the fibrillating relationship between layered instruments, over time coalescing into rhythm and broader gestures.
’Ä¢ Mexican composer and conductor Juan Trigos received his musical training in Mexico and in Italy. His music is in general characterized by a primal "pulsation", articulated by obsessive rhythmic gears and a "Concertante" relationship between instrumental forces, in Pulsascione y Resonancias between piano and percussion. His recent work has centered on the creation of a new genre, which he calls ’ÄúHemofiction Opera’Äù. ’ÄúHemofiction’Äù, is a literary aesthetic invented by his father, the Mexican play writer and novelist Juan Trigos S. Mr. Trigos maintains a busy schedule of composing and conducting from his home base of Toronto.
’Ä¢ Emanation, by Toronto-based Chinese composer Fuhong Shi, is inspired by the ancient Chinese text Yijing (the Book of Changes) and Mongolian folk music. Yang and yin archetypal forces are represented in the contrasting timbres of the string instruments and percussion. Ms. Shi writes, ’Äúaccording to the eight basic tri-grams in Yijing ’Ķ music expresses the character of life everlasting.’Äù This is a piece that goes beyond start : stop to the eternal universe. The recipient of numerous awards in China, Taiwan and Canada for young composers, Fuhong Shi studied composition in Beijing, Victoria and Toronto.

Continuum’Äôs 25th anniversary season
Continuum’Äôs 2009-2010 season continues on January 24th with an open workshop at Gallery 345 for local emerging composers, with guest conductor/commentator Christopher Butterfield. On February 28th Continuum performs chamber works by James Rolfe at The Royal Conservatory’Äôs Mazzoleni Hall, in preparation for a Centredisc recording of Rolfe’Äôs works; and the season concludes with performances May 20th, as part of the free concert series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, and May 21st at the Music Gallery, both featuring soprano Carla Huhtanen, the latter headlining actor RH Thomson as narrator in works by Tom Johnson and a commission by Juliet Palmer on a text by Thomas King.

Led by artistic director Jennifer Waring, Continuum presents concerts featuring the core ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion, as well as unusual instrumental combinations. The organization has commissioned and premiered more than 100 new works from emerging Canadian and international composers, and also established composers charting new territory. Increasingly the group engages in collaboration and interdisciplinary work. Continuum has toured to Banff, Brandon, Kitchener, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg; touring twice to Europe, it has appeared in Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Ghent, Huddersfield, Leeuwarden, London, and ’Äòs-Hertogenbosch. The group has recorded two CDs on its own label, formed the recording ensemble for a Centrediscs release of works by Chris Paul Harman and is soon to record a CD of works by James Rolfe, also for Centrediscs. Interdisciplinary projects have paired music with dance, installation, film, architecture and philosophy. In 2005 Continuum presented l’ÄôOreille Fine, three days of concerts and a symposium featuring philosophers, poets, critics and a psychologist dealing with the subject of contemporary expression in a classical art form. Last season Continuum mounted SHIFT, a festival of Canadian and Dutch music, film and literature, in Amsterdam and Toronto.

Continuum is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation, the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation through its Strategic Initiatives programme and many private donors.

Continuum Contemporary Music presents
start : stop
Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 8 pm at The Music Gallery
197 John Street, north of Queen
Tickets ($20 regular/$15 senior & arts workers/$10 student)
are available at the door on the night of the concert.

For more information on this concert please visit,
email or call (416) 924-4945.

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