Issue 101 summer 2008
Louis DufortBy Gayle Young
Article Summary:Louis Dufort's videomusic piece Épochè , presented at Montreal's Elektra Festival in 2008, encapsulates his experience of sound as duration and movement in space. The video, created in 3D programming, and presented on a huge screen, features music comprising transformed and abstracted brass sounds, sometimes massive and sometimes ethereal. His newest recording, Matériaux composés, is a DVD-Audio disc featuring 5.1 surround sound, which provides a three-dimensional listening space for the home listener. Dufort has collaborated with choreographer Marie Chouinard, creating major works which have received international recognition. He is also a member of Montreal Sound Matter, an artist collective that has produced several concerts and sound installations. He increasingly feels drawn to the sounds of acoustic instruments, inviting musicians to record in his studio. He has composed works for Quatuor Bozzini, Quasar saxophone quartet, and Ensemble de flûte Alizé, among others. For Dufort, music is an aural and experiential phenomenon with links to the oral tradition of story.
Ann SouthamBy Eve Egoyan And Gayle Young
Article Summary:Ann Southam was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1937 but has lived most of her life in Toronto. Her teaching and composing career includes a long and productive association with modern dance, and in recent years she become increasingly interested in concert music for acoustic instruments, concentrating on landmark works for solo piano, such as Simple Lines of Enquiry, the piece she is currently writing for pianist Eve Egoyan. In this conversation with Egoyan, which took place soon after Ann Southam's seventieth birthday, Southam describes her exploration of a unique combination of twelve-tone rows and minimalist compositional sensibilities, in which the physical experience of composing, playing, and listening is given highest priority. For Southam there is a close connection between composing for or playing the piano and other forms of work done by hand, such as weaving, that reflect the nature of traditional women's work-repetitive, life-sustaining, requiring time and patience. But through it all, runs a thread of questioning: "I love asking questions."
Chris Bryan is 3x3is9By Matthew Stephan And David McCallum
Article Summary:Chris Bryan, also known by his stage name of 3x3is9, embodies the spirit of the DIY generation in both his music and as the curator of the cutting-edge record label (1.8)sec.records. Though conventionally trained as a euphonium player, Bryan has found his calling in testing the limits of digital sound art by pushing software and equipment beyond their intended functions. Improvisation and composition are mutually inclusive elements of Chris Bryan's artistic process; he improvises in order to generate raw sound-fodder that is meticulously reworked with field recordings and other sources into natural, free-flowing compositions. Bryan is also acutely aware of the synaesthetic experience inherent in digital sound programming, and he conceptually manipulates visual elements into his sound. Musicworks' editor David McCallum interviewed Bryan in Winnipeg this past winter.
Kyle GannBy David Mccallum And Gayle Young
Article Summary:Kyle Gann, self-described "pitch and rhythm guy," expands the perceptions of listeners and performers in both directions. He has explored multiple tempos in his music, as well as microtonal tunings. He has written extensively about music in the twentieth century, and since 1997 has taught music history and theory at Bard College in New York State. In 2007 he was invited to present the keynote address at the conference of the Canadian New Music Network, held in Winnipeg, where he spoke about the long tail effect, providing an empowering interpretation of current distribution trends for unfamiliar forms of music. While in Winnipeg, he spoke with David McCallum and Gayle Young of Musicworks about Sunken City, for Orkest de Volharding and pianist Geoffrey Douglas Madge. He also discussed the role of the astrological sign Pluto in relation to The Planets, written for the Relache Ensemble, and his composition process for Composure, for four electric guitars, which was premiered in April 2008 in Montreal.
Maggie NicolsBy Julian Cowley
Singer Maggie Nicols discusses the underlying principles and aesthetics in her approach to making music. She indicates how her experience of singing with drummer John Stevens and the Spontaneous Music Ensemble during the late 1960s set her on a course that has led to collaboration with a wide and international range of improvising musicians. For Nicols, music is as much about building community as it is about sound; this has led to her organizing workshops and meetings-most notably her regular session, The Gathering-in order to nurture a spirit of creative openness and to cultivate social virtuosity.
mississauga finds its voiceBy Tilman Lewis
The Mississauga Sound Map, recently launched by the Canadian Association for Sound Ecology, offers an occasion to examine various perspectives on the music of the urban soundscape. Sound mapping has its roots in R. Murray Schafer's pioneering work in acoustic ecology (including recording the Vancouver soundscape in the early 1970s). In an analysis of the Mississauga Sound Map, three themes emerge: What sounds does the recordist choose to frame-the ordinary or the extraordinary? Identifying soundmarks that stand out in the time and place vs. "keynote sounds" that pervade it. Whether recordists chose to observe the environment or to interact with it. The role of sound mapping is briefly looked at as a critique of urban noise, as a celebration of the music inherent in an urban soundscape, or as a significant sociological document of a way of perceiving the world. An accompanying sidebar gives brief introductions to relevant Web sites: the World Soundscape Project, World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, Wild Sanctuary, SoundTransit, and the Urban Flute Project.
Ken Waxman in Mulhouse
Sample 1 is Maggie Nicols, sample 2 is Kyle Gann
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1. In Retrospect (Ann Southam) 13:31
2. Matério_* (Louis Dufort) 8:04
3. Custer's Ghost To Sitting Bull (Kyle Gann) 10:11
4. Triskaidekaphonia (Kyle Gann) 4:48
5. Sr/Ab/04/05/Mw/08 (Chris Bryan) 5:47
6. Or Blunderspublik And 3x3is9 (Chris Bryan) 7:10
7. First Time (Maggie Nichols) 4:44
8. Special Relationship (Maggie Nichols) 5:33
9. Playing Piano (Marla Hlady) 8:01