21C 2022/23

21c_wordmark_carrier_croppedThe line up for this year’s (and a bit of next’s) 21C at the Royal Conservatory has been announced.  The full line up is here.

I’m particularly interested in the Kronos Quartet concerts on December 8th and 9th; especially the latter which features “Music for Change” including a world premiere of a piece by Tanya Tagaq.

I’ll also want to see three of the concerts in the new year.  On January 21st at 5pm there’s a Cinq à Sept concert in Temerty Hall which, among other things, features a new song cycle by Lembit Beecher and Lisa Balkan.  The following day at 3pm in Koerner Hall there’s a concert of new works by Ian Cusson and Stewart Goodyear.  Finally, on January 28th at 10pm in Temerty Hall Brian Current and the GGS New Music Ensemble have a candlelit concert of night related works including music by Bekkah Simms and R. Murray Schafer.

Lots of good stuff!

Tanya Tagaq at the TSO

Last night saw the opening concert of the TSO’s New Creations Festival.  It opened with a sesquie by Andrew Staniland; Reflections on “O Canada” After Truth and Reconciliation.  Sesquies are two minute “fanfares” composed to commemorate Canada’s 150th.  Staniland’s version was a bold attempt to deal with the immensely complex subject of reconciliation between Canada and its native peoples and, of course, one can’t do that in two minutes in any medium.  Reflections was an interesting stab though.  It was structured as a very quiet canon for high strings in a minor key using the principal theme of O Canada and ending with an overblown fanfare in the winds.  You can apply your own political interpretation.

tanya-tagaq

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Into March

ttNext week is rather back end loaded.  There’s not much on early in the week but then things hot up.  On Thursday Against the Grain host the monthly opera pub night at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club at 9pm.  This time we are promised Topher and present and past members of the Ensemble Studio.  That evening is also the opening of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company show Brundibár which I previewed last week and which runs until March 5th.  Also on Thursday there’s the opening of R. Murray Schafer’s Odditorium, presented by Soundstreams at the Crow’s Theatre.  That one runs until the 5th.  Finally, on Saturday the amazing Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq is appearing with the TSO at Roy Thomson Hall in a concert that features two world premiers and a Canadian premier.

21C 2016

tanyaThe line up for this year’s 21C is out.  It’s a bit difficult for a genre based blog like this to know what to say about a genre busting event like 21C so I will point out the things that look even remotely relevant.  I think the vocal highlight is the concert at Koerner Hall on May 25 featuring the Kronos Quartet and the amazing Tanya Tagaq in a fascinating looking program.  There’s also the after hours concert at 10.30pm on May 27 which will feature new works by John Oswald for piano, instruments and choir in total darkness.  full details on the festival can be found here.

A haunt of demons now

I suppose it’s appropriate that R Murray Shafer’s Apocalypsis should be in part based on the Revelations of St. John.  Is Revelations divinely inspired genius or the drug addled ravings of a half starved monk?  I find myself asking similar questions about Shafer’s massive stage piece.

Apocalypsis at Luminato Festival. Photo by Bruce Zinger. 31545 Continue reading