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Cameron, Allison / Apartment House: Somatic Refrain (Another Timbre)

A diverse set of compositions from Canadian composer Allison Cameron showing the breadth of her interests across experimental and compositional forms, including a solo multiphonic work for bass clarinet; a guitar trio with the Allison Cameron band of Cameron, Eric Chenaux & Stephen Parkinson; and Apartment House performing quintet and sextet compositions.
 

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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at196
Squidco Product Code: 32223

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Track 1 recorded at St James' Church, in Midhopestones, Sheffield, UK, by Simon Reynell.

Tracks 2 and 4-6 were recorded at Goldsmiths Music Studio, London, UK, by Simon Reynell.

Track 3 recorded at Hallamusic, Toronto, Canada, by Jeff McMurrich.


Personnel:

Allison Cameron-banjo, bass harmonica, composer, acolyte bells, toy piano

Heather Roche-bass clarinet, clarinet

Anton Lukoszevieze-cello

Kathryn Williams-flute

Mira Benjamin-violin

Mark Knoop-piano

Simon Limbrick-vibraphone

Eric Chenaux-guitar

Stephen Parkinson-electric guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Allison Cameron is a professional composer, performer and improvising musician in Toronto. She has been commissioned in Europe and North America by many ensembles and festivals. Since 2000, she has also been an improviser performing on electronic keyboards, ukulele, banjo, piano, mini amplifiers, radios, crackle boxes, cassette tapes, miscellaneous objects and toys.

Allison has been celebrated in Musicworks Magazine, the UK's The Wire Magazine, I Care if You Listen and a variety of other online publications. Her reputation for writing compelling compositions for contemporary music ensembles is international. She is also a sought after improviser with a strong national following. She has completed two national solo tours in the past four years. In 2007 she founded the Allison Cameron Band with fellow musician/composers Eric Chenaux and Stephen Parkinson to explore uncharted territory in her compositions by integrating a variety of musical forms into her work. The result has been a critically acclaimed CD on the Rat-Drifting label of several genre-defying pieces. In 2009 she formed a trio with trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud and drummer Germaine Liu called c_RL (pronounced curl) who released the CD 'Friends' to critical acclaim.

Never one to shy away from exploration, Allison went on a residency to Svalbard, Norway in 2013, where she spent time recording underwater sounds from icebergs in the fjords of Spitzbergen. She is also involved in creating sound installations based on her experiences in the High Arctic among others.

Her interest in graphic/instructional notation has resulted in several scores that will soon be published together. Her experimental scores have had performances by Ensemble Supermusique (Montréal), Contact (Toronto), Suddenly Listen (Halifax) and other ad hoc groups in Toronto."

-Allison Cameron Website (https://allisoncameron.com/about/)
9/21/2022

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"Born in Canada, clarinetist Heather Roche trained in England, lived in Germany for 7 years and now lives in London.

She has performed at some of the major European festivals, including musikFest (Berlin), BachFest (Leipzig), Musica Nova (Helsinki), Acht Brücken (Cologne), the International Computer Music Conference (Huddersfield, Ljubljana), the Dias de Música Electroacústica (Seia, Portugal) and the Agora Festival (Ircam, Paris). She has also performed solo programmes at the Zagreb Music Biennale, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the New York Electroacoustic Symposium, at CIRMMT (Montreal), Unerhörte Musik (Berlin), Eavesdropping (London), and with the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST).

She has performed with ensembles and orchestras including Musik Fabrik (Cologne), the WDR Orchestra (Cologne), mimitabu (Gothenburg), the London Symphony Orchestra (London), ensemble Garage (Cologne), ensemble interface (Berlin), the Riot Ensemble (London), the Alisios Camerata (Zagreb), and ensemble proton (Bern). She also plays across the UK in a trio with Carla Rees (flutes) and Xenia Pestova (piano) and in 2015 formed an duo with the accordionist Eva Zöllner, with whom she has played across Germany, the UK and in Portugal. She is a founding member of hand werk, a 6-person chamber music ensemble based in Cologne, and worked with the group from 2010-2017.

She has solo CDs out on the HCR/NMC and Métier labels. Please see the Discography for further details.

In 2014 she was awarded a DIVA (Danish International Visiting Artists Fellowship), and lived in Copenhagen for two months.

Since 2016 she has acted as the Reviews Editor for TEMPO, a quarterly journal for contemporary music published by Cambridge University Press.

Her website is host to one of the most widely read new music blogs on the Internet. In 2017 it had 75,000 hits from around the world. She successfully crowdfunded in 2014 in order to host her first composition competition. Six young composers were chosen out of 270 applicants to write new pieces, which were premiered in 2016.

She is a fervent advocate of collaboration, and her PhD research at the University of Huddersfield (under the supervision of Dr. Philip Thomas) explored the nature of dialogue within performer-composer relationships. She has given workshops in instrumental technique and/or iPad use in performance all over Europe, for example in London, Munich and Copenhagen.

Heather completed her Masters of Music (Orchestral Training) in 2006 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, studying under Joy Farrall and Laurent Ben Slimane, in addition to conducting with Sian Edwards. Following her degree she completed residencies with the International Ensemble Modern Academy, at IMPULS in Graz and with ensemble recherche in Freiburg, the Darmstadt Summer Courses 2008 and 2010 and the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Innsbruck, Austria. She has performed in masterclasses with Michael Collins, Ernesto Molinari and Shizuyo Oka, to name a few. She completed her BMus in 2005 at the University of Victoria, Canada, studying under Patricia Kostek."

-Heather Roche Website (https://heatherroche.net/about/)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Cellist Anton Lukoszevieze (born 1965 in the UK) is one of the most diverse performers of his generation and is notable for his performances of avant-garde, experimental and improvised music. Anton has given many performances at numerous international festivals throughout Europe and the USA (Maerzmusik, Donaueschingen, Wien Modern, GAS, Transart, Ultima, etc.etc.). He has also made frequent programmes and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, Danish Radio, SR2, Sweden, Deutschland Rundfunk, WDR, Germany and ORT, Austria. Deutschlandfunk, Berlin produced a radio portrait of him in September, 2003. Anton has also performed concerti with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the 2001 Aldeburgh festival and the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with many composers and performers including David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Amnon Wolman, Pierre Strauch, Rytis Mazulis, Karlheinz Essl, Helmut Oehring, Christopher Fox, Philip Corner, Alvin Curran, Phill Niblock and Laurence Crane, He is unique in the UK through his use of the curved bow (BACH-Bogen), which he is using to develop new repertoire for the cello. From 2005-7 he was New Music Fellow at Kings College, Cambridge and Kettles Yard Gallery. Anton is the subject of four films (FoxFire Eins) by the renowned artist-filmmaker Jayne Parker. A new film Trilogy with compositions by Sylvano Bussotti, George Aperghis and Laurence Crane premieres at The London Film Festival, October 2008. In November will premiere a new hour long work by Christopher Fox for cello and the vocal ensemble Exaudi commissioned by the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and will also present new solo works for cello and live electronics. Anton is also active as an artist, his work has been shown in Holland (Lux Nijmegen), CAC, Vilnius, Duisburg (EarPort), Austria, (Sammlung Essl), Wien Modern, The Slade School of Art, Kettles Yard Gallery, Cambridge Film Festival and Rational Rec. London. His work has been published in Musiktexte, Cologne, design Magazine and the book SoundVisions (Pfau-Verlag, Saarbrucken, 2005). Anton Lukoszevieze is founder and director of the ensemble Apartment House, a member of the radical noise group Zeitkratzer and recently made his contemporary dance debut with the Vincent Dance Company in Broken Chords, Dusseldorf."

-Kalvos Damian (http://www.kalvos.org/lukosze.html)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Kathryn Williams is a flautist who performs solo recitals, chamber music, and with orchestras with a particular interest in new and experimental music. Recent performances include a Stockhausen masterclass with Kathinka Pasveer at Theater Basel, solo and chamber music performances with Ensemble Linea Academy at Cité de la musique et la danse Strasbourg, and a concerto with Manchester Camerata. She has performed with various orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, The Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Sinfonia Cymru and plays regularly with new music group The House of Bedlam. Kathryn's current project, Coming Up for Air, has been selected for YCAT's Sounding Board: Project Mentoring.

As a music educator Kathryn specialises in experimental performance practice and early-years education. Recently this has included guest lecturing at the Royal Northern College of Music, contributing to courses with Aldeburgh Young Musicians, delivering performances and workshops for Live Music Now, and long-term residencies at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Manchester Museum and in a central Manchester nursery school.

Kathryn earned a BMus, MMus, and International Artist Diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music with teachers Peter Lloyd, Richard Davis, Katherine Baker, Stephen Preston, Karin de Fleyt and others. Prizes include RNCM Bach Prize, RNCM Concerto Competition (on two occasions), British Flute Society Young Artist Competition, and National Foundation for Arts Award (USA)."

-Kathryn Williams Website (http://www.kathryngwilliams.com/biography.html)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Mira Benjamin is a Canadian violinist, researcher and new-music instigator.

She performs new and experimental music, with a special interest in microtonality & tuning practice. She actively commissions music from composers at all stages of their careers, and develops each new work through multiple performances. Current collaborations include new works by Anna Höstman, Scott McLaughlin, Amber Priestley, Taylor Brook and James Weeks.

Since 2011, Mira has co-directed NU:NORD - a project-based music and performance network which instigates artistic exchanges and encourages community building between music creators from Canada, Norway & the UK. To date NU:NORD has engaged 79 artists and commissioned 62 new works. Through this initiative, Mira hopes to offer a foundation from which Canadian artists can reach out to artistic communities overseas, and provide a conduit through which UK & Norwegian artists can access Canada's rich art culture.

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Mira lived for ten years in Montréal, where she was a member of Quatuor Bozzini. Since 2014 she has resided in London (UK), where she regularly performs with ensembles such as Apartment House, Decibel, and the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists, and is currently the Duncan Druce Scholar in Music Performance at the University of Huddersfield.

Mira is the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian musician in recognition of their contribution to the artistic life in Canada and internationally."

-St. Martin in the Field Website (http://mirabenjamin.com/about/)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"London based pianist and conductor Mark Knoop is known for his fearless performances and individual interpretations. He has commissioned and premièred countless new works and worked with many respected composers including Michael Finnissy, Joanna Bailie, Bryn Harrison, Bernhard Lang, Matthew Shlomowitz, Jennifer Walshe and Steven Kazuo Takasugi. His versatile technique and virtuosity also brings fresh approaches to the standard and 20th-century repertoire.

Mark performs regularly throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia and in New Zealand, South Korea, Mongolia, United States of America, Canada and at festivals including Transit (Leuven), Ultima (Oslo), Huddersfield, London Contemporary Music Festival, Borealis (Bergen), Spor (Århus), Athelas (Copenhagen), and MaerzMusik (Berlin).

He performs with various ensembles including Plus-Minus (London/Brussels) and Apartment House (London), and has conducted EXAUDI (London), Scenatet (Denmark), and London Sinfonietta. His recordings of music by John Cage, Richard Beaudoin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Peter Ablinger, and David Lumsdaine have been critically acclaimed."

-Mark Knoop Website (http://www.markknoop.com/home)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Simon Limbrick's involvement in music embraces performance, composing and education.

He was a member of the cult systems orchestra The Lost Jockey and Man Jumping, recording for EG Editions and creating scores for leading dance companies, Second Stride, London Contemporary Dance, Rosemary Lee and Sue MacLennan. He has been in demand as a percussionist performing all over the world with the Nash Ensemble, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Endymion Ensemble, Composers' Ensemble and Fibonacci Sequence as well as recording with artists such as Alabama3, Gavin Bryars Pete Lockett and for Blue Note Records. He has been guest principal with the LSO and worked under conductors, Leonard Bernstein, Oliver Knussen, Simon Rattle and Tom Ades. He has featured on film and television including documentaries about Steve Reich and Kenneth MacMillan's award winning Judas Tree.Compositions created for him include works by Javier Alvarez, Brian Elias (Kenneth MacMillan's last ballet The Judas Tree), Vic Hoyland and Andrew Poppy. He has performed the world-premieres of solo pieces by James Dillon, Frederic Rzewski , Claude Vivier, Philip Cashian, Thea Musgrave, Harry de Wit, Howard Skempton, Michael Wolters and Ed Kelly. His solo performances have been broadcast by the BBC, RAI, Radio France, Dutch TV and radio.

Recently, he performed his own concerto Bulls Yard and Stockhausen's Zyklus at the Sage, Gateshead,(see review) solo steel-pan in Brian Elias' Judas Tree at Royal Opera House, London, in 2010 and directed his mixed-media project, dot-machine, a web-based musical construction accessible on www.marimbo.com. He created a 24 hour long piece surfaces with the composer James Saunders, with financial assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain and premiered at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2011.

In education, Simon has led workshops since 1982, and been a returning resident artist in festivals and organisations, including Blackheath Concert Halls, Aldeburgh Music, Sound It Out , Spitalfields Festival. Workshop projects have been led by him throughout Europe. As a fully-qualified teacher, he has led Music and Performing Arts in Secondary Schools for five years. He has led school and community projects for Aldeburgh Music. As Artistic Director, he helped establish In Harmony Norwich, creating mixed-ability orchestral pieces for professional and young student players. Until the School of Music closed in June 2014, he was Director of 'Musician in the Community' and 'Creative Leadership' courses at University of East Anglia.



As a composer, Simon has gained an MA in Electroacoustic Composition from City University and collaborated as a composer on a number of large scale works, including a project at Fort Dunlop, Birmingham, with Rosemary Lee and site-specific work with Dutch composer/sound sculptor Harry de Wit in Holland and Brussels.He has produced film scores for TV and film festivals and composed music for theatre productions at the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Companies. Groups he has created pieces for include Mary Wiegold's Songbook, Roger Heaton Group, Ensemble Bash, Network of Sparks, Endymion Ensemble, Richard Durrant, Ritmatic, Hooloo. The Brighton Youth Orchestra performed machina lumina , for string ensemble and vibraphone throughout 2009. His composition Machine for Living for Landesmusikrat/Splash was recorded at Deutschlandradio. He has produced recordings for wergo and others.Currently composing a large piece for jazz brass and marimba.

He has created the CDs, Steam, Hooloo, Clean, Ritmatik, Dot-Machine, Hammer, Rise and Fall, , between and Relay, which are frequently broadcast and available on well-known download sites. NEW RELEASE of a double CD RELAY, of contemporary steel-pan music in Sept 2014. Sound Composer for the film 3 Church Walk by the director Emily Richardson premiered on 18th Oct 2014 at The London Festival, BFI, London."

-Simon Limbrick Website (http://www.marimbo.com/cv.html)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Eric Chenaux is a Canadian guitarist, songwriter, singer and sound sculptor. He has released seven solo albums of experimental song on the Montréal-based imprint Constellation, charting an adventurous and uncompromising path through avant-folk, out-jazz and pop composition, increasingly rooted in a unique and elemental juxtaposition of fried, frazzled, semi-improvised guitar and smooth, clear tenor balladry. He has been called "a musician like no other" by Tiny Mix Tapes; his solo albums praised by The Quietus as "stunningly beautiful, genuinely inimitable, whose reputation will only grow with time." Gracing the cover of The Wire magazine in 2017, the feature article declared: "Chenaux succeeds in generating an astonishing array of timbres. A singer and songwriter possessed of angelic sweetness and clarity accompanying himself with largely improvised, visceral guitar textures that seem intent on undermining and obscuring his own songs. It's the need to communicate tussling with the urge to obfuscate; lucidity versus opacity; form against chaos."

Though based in France for the past decade, Chenaux was a key figure in Toronto's fertile indie and avant/improv music scenes throughout the 1990s and 2000s, releasing a first solo album of instrumental improv guitar in 1999 and co-founding the experimental music label Rat-drifting in 2001, which documents a dynamic cross-section of iconoclastic Toronto experimental music projects, including several ensembles in which Chenaux also figured as a member: The Draperies, The Reveries, The Guayaveras, The Marmots, Allison Cameron Band, Drumheller and Nightjars. Previously he was a core member of the cult Toronto postpunk/ math-rock group Phleg Camp and the related duo Lifelikeweeds.

Chenaux's first album as a singer-songwriter was Dull Lights, released on Constellation in 2006, and an acclaimed, highly original solo discography has unfolded since then: Sloppy Ground (2008); Warm Weather With Ryan Driver (2010); Guitar & Voice (2012); Skullsplitter (2015); Slowly Paradise (2018) and Say Laura (2022). He has featured on a range of collaborative records issued by other labels through this same span, including Okraïna, Avatar, Grapefruit and Three:four. He has performed and recorded with countless artists, including Ryan Driver, Sandro Perri, Eloïse Decazes, Michelle McAdorey, Nick Fraser, Martin Arnold, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, Pauline Oliveros, John Oswald, Michael Snow, Brodie West, Han Bennink, Christine Abdelnour, Michael Moore, Josephine Foster, Martin Tetrault, Wilbert De Joode, Gareth Davis, Jacob Wren, Norberto Lobo, Nathaniel Mann and many more. Chenaux also composes for film and contemporary dance, including a long-standing association with conceptual filmmaker Eric Cazdyn for his solo music, and in recurring collaboration with multi-media and sound installation artist Marla Hlady.

Eric Chenaux lives at Le Pouget in the commune of Condat-sur-Ganaveix in central France."

-Eric Chenaux Website (http://ericchenaux.com/biography.html)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Stephen Parkinson is a Canadian guitarist, keyboardist and composer, known for The Allison Cameron Band.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/300017-Stephen-Parkinson)
9/21/2022

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Somatic Refrain (1996) 15:11

2. Pliny (2005) 16:55

3. H (2008) 13:05

4. Retablo (1998) Passamezzo 5:40

5. Retablo (1998) Almayne 11:14

6. Retablo (1998) Pentacles 7:30
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

Another Timbre Interview with Allison Cameron

What is your musical background, and how did you come to experimental music?

Although I studied classical piano as a child, as a teenager I really took to improvising and then composing. I was lucky that in my high school there was a composer, Lloyd Burritt, who taught the equivalent of a first year university course in Western/European music history. He also taught electronic music. So I was introduced to contemporary music when I was 15 and it was then I knew I wanted to be a composer.

I think that when you experiment on your instrument and listen to lots of different kinds of music you become more interested in so-called experimental music. I always listened a lot when I was a kid but when I went onto university things just exploded in terms of the kind and variety of works I listened to.

Tell us about studying at the University of Victoria. It seems to have been an incredibly fertile period, with several strong young composers studying there around the same time.

In retrospect, it was really a special time at UVic. Serendipitous I suppose. Martin Arnold and I came to the school in the same year but at different levels, I was just starting my undergrad and Martin his masters degree. Then John Abram arrived from England and Stephen Parkinson was back from teaching at San Diego to start his Phd. I can't recall exactly the first time I met Mark Ellestad but it was around the same time he had come to do his masters degree. My older colleagues were all interested in studying with Rudolf Komorous, whom I didn't know much about at the time but he soon became a mentor for me. And he wasn't the only gifted instructor at Uvic. I also studied with Michael Longton and Douglas Collinge (electronic music) who were wonderful. Together and between my instructors and colleagues there was a tremendous amount of listening, analysis, discussions and playing together as well. It was an incredibly fertile time for all of us I think.

When and why did you move east to Toronto?

I recall that there was a plan with my UVic colleagues and I to move to Toronto after our studies were finished. At the time Toronto was a very busy new music centre in Canada and it seemed to make logical sense to move there to continue not just our own work but work we wanted to do together. The Drystone Orchestra was our first new music 'band' back in the early days. Then came the Arcana and Burdocks ensembles. All of which were short-lived but did important work which resulted in some stellar compositions being written and performed.

The pieces on the CD cover quite a long period of time. Tell us first about the title track, "Somatic Refrain", which dates from the mid-90's. How did this come about, and was it unusual at the time to compose for solo bass clarinet? You wrote it over 25 years ago: does it still feel like your own work, or have you moved on?

"Somatic Refrain" was written at the request of bass clarinetist Ronda Rindone. Ronda, an incredibly gifted bass clarinetist, had moved to Toronto from California and was very active in the Toronto music scene in the 1990's/2000's. She specialized in performing multiphonics on her instrument and wanted a piece that would focus on some of her extended techniques on the instrument. So I went to her flat to listen to some of the different textures she could produce, which were amazing, but she also had an incredibly noisy refrigerator. In fact, her fridge was so loud it was creating some of its own 'multiphonics'. I loved the sound and asked if she could replicate it on her instrument, which she then did without batting an eyelid. So some of the creation of the composition's sound world came from that 'noisy' object in her house. Of course, I meant no disrespect in asking Ronda to 'sound like her fridge.' But it was amazing to me how the textures from her clarinet and the sound of her fridge intertwined. It's a big credit to her to have premiered this work, as I wasn't sure it was exactly what she had in mind.

Obviously, multiphonics on the bass clarinet are particular to a player's skill and instrument. They are so often unpredictable that it takes a special kind of dedication to be able to shape them. I was aware that when I created this piece, I wasn't notating precisely what the player played. The notes I wrote and the instructions I gave were really a kind of conduit for what an individual player could create on their instrument within my framework. On the new Another Timbre CD, Heather Roche's performance is a wonderful re-creation of "Somatic Refrain" which she truly makes her own.

I think "Pliny" is a strange but really beautiful piece. Why the title, and how did it come about?

It's probably actually the wrong title for this piece. I can't remember how I decided on 'Pliny' but I know where it came from which was from reading a translation of 'Funes, the memorious' by iconic Argentinian writer Jorge Louis Borges. The character Funes was a 'savant' in Borges' story. But he didn't just have an incredible fixation on memorization, he was also very affected by language. It's an amazing story in the way that it takes something seemingly infinite and expansive such as language and memory and tells the tale of how it can become reductive, confining, destructive and even perilous. Somewhere in the story the naturalist Pliny gets a nod but I can't remember the details. I guess my memory isn't so good. But I figured I could use the form of the Borges story in a musical work and "Pliny" is the result. In fact, musically I was playing around with the infinity series (famously discovered by Per Nørgård) but I wasn't getting along very well with my results, so I wound my own way through some melodies and harmonies trying make a puzzle of some more traditional sounding phrases.

Tell us about 'H'. Stylistically it seems very different from "Pliny" and "Retablo", and relates to folk or popular music as much as the classical tradition. Is this a feature of all the work you do with the Allison Cameron Band, and how did that start?

'H' was written essentially as a guitar solo for Eric Chenaux. My colleagues in the AC Band were he and guitarist Stephen Parkinson and I was using specific tunings for each of them. Stephen's was a traditional alternate tuning but Eric's I invented - I think. At least, I'm not familiar with anyone else's usage thus far. In any case, we had been working through some traditional English and Scottish folk music songs as a starting point for some of the band's music and I wanted to write my own 'folk tune' for guitar, so that's how it came about.

The Allison Cameron Band started in the basement of my old house one day when I was improvising with Eric and Stephen and they said they wanted to play some of my compositions. It was in 2007 and I was playing banjo, Eric played acoustic guitar and Stephen, electric. I wanted to explore writing music for a consistent group - more like a rock or folk group might. It was more intimate and familiar than composing for groups of essentially strangers and I really wanted to try it out. Working with Eric and Stephen meant that I could explore a different kind of music making with them, which also meant they could (and did) give me feedback about what I was writing for them. I'm still grateful to both of them for this experience which, in an ideal world, would be a great thing to be able to do consistently, but then we'd all need to be paid living wages as musicians. After Eric moved to France, the band went into hiatus but has continued from time to time in various formations, most recently with Thom Gill and Kurt Newman in Toronto.

Again, please explain the title of "Retablo" (including the movement titles). Like "Somatic Refrain", this is quite an old piece. How did it come about? And was it unusual for contemporary composers to use melody so prominently at this time?

"Retablo" was commissioned by Martin Arnold for the Burdocks ensemble (with financial assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts). This piece is dedicated to Rudolf Komorous whose Sinfony no. 4 "la tireuse de cartes" from 1997 inspired its title and movement titles. The word retablo (Spanish) often refers to a small folk art like devotional painting. It is sometimes used as a kind of memorial for those who have passed away. Rudolf once told me "la tireuse de cartes" means the fortune teller or one who reads Tarot cards. So from this I got the title "Pentacles" for the third movement. Both "Passamezzo" and "Almayne" are old names for Renaissance dance movements, and since many of Rudolf's compositions refer to older European musical forms I followed his lead. I have so often been inspired from listening to Rudolf's music I wanted to dedicate a work to him.

I don't think it was unusual at all to use melody as a focus for a composition in the late 90's. I was also inspired from some medieval music I had been studying at the time and was especially interested in how melody continues in a work. Or how our ears put melodies together.

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Large Ensembles
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Solo Artist Recordings
Guitarists, &c.
Trio Recordings
Quintet Recordings
Sextet Recordings
Large Ensembles
Canadian Composition & Improvisation
New in Compositional Music
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