TCML is LIVE!

Huge news!

We are launching the Toronto Creative Music Lab! From June 19 – 24, 20 musicians and 10 composers (a third international!) will come together in a peer-mentored program for early-career artists, developing new works and professional skills through workshops, rehearsals, social events, panel discussions, and performance. This initiative is a partnership between Musica Reflecta and the Canadian Music Centre, with support from our venue sponsor, 918 Bathurst.

We’ve been hard at work with this operation since summer 2015, and met several important milestones, including welcoming an incredibly vibrant and brilliant array of participants, and winning the support of many individuals and organizations. With the workshop around the corner, we’ve still got a ways to go, and are asking for your help!

There are four ways to give:
1) Monetary donations of any size
2) Billet an out-of-town participant for 5 nights
3) Donate some kitchen ware for the communal lunches we’ll be cooking
4) Volunteer

Support comes with perks, and will be acknowledged on our TCML site.

SAVE THE DATE: our culminating TCML show is on Friday, June 24th.

THANK YOU REFLECTA FANS!

TORQUIZ!!!

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Musica Reflecta and the Canadian Music Centre are working with TorQ percussion quartet for the upcoming edition of Opus: Testing. The members of TorQ have performed together for over 10 years, so we decided a great way to get to know them is to see just how well they know each other! We asked each member (Jamie Drake, Richard Burrows, Dan Morphy, and Adam Campbell) to offer up some personal trivia—obscure, odd, and amusing. Each member got a personalized quiz with the questions from the other three members, and we tallied up the scores! The winner gets 7-11 Nachos and a Slurpee of their choice!

Who will win? What flavor of sugar-infused ice beverage will they dispense! Time for the TorQuiz…

TorQuiz 1:
Name: Jamie Drake
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016

1) What city was Adam born in? Central Bedeque (INCORRECT!)
2) During undergrad, Adam was part of another quartet: what kind of group was it, and what was their name? A Capella/barbershop group, “VoiceMale” (voicemail?). Also he had a rock band called “Count Spatula,” best band name ever. (CORRECT! And thanks for the added trivia!)
3) What does Adam consider to be the worst board game of all time? Scrabble (CORRECT!)
4) What is Richard’s favourite 90’s band? Blind Melon (INCORRECT!)
5) If Richard could only have one food for the rest of his life what would it be? Steak? Does “Malbec” count as a food? (INCORRECT! And as for your second question, it might depend on the situation)
6) What was Richard’s first job in high school? Working in the kitchen of a restaurant (INCORRECT!)
7) What is inscribed on Dan’s custom made TorQ shoes? “morphy” (CORRECT!)
8) What year did Dan start growing his beard? 2005 (but he shaved it 2011 – twice I think – then grew it back) (INCORRECT!)
9) What is the number of marathons that Dan has signed up for, versus marathons he has actually run? 1/0 (INCORRECT!)

Jamie! You got 3/9 and you made us laugh!

TorQuiz 2:
Name: Rirchard Burrow
Date: Monday, February 22, 2016

1) What city was Adam born in? Charlottetown (INCORRECT!)
2) During undergrad, Adam was part of another quartet: what kind of group was it, and what was their name? Vocal quartet called Voice Male (CORRECT!)
3) What does Adam consider to be the worst board game of all time? Scrabble (CORRECT!)
4) What is Jamie’s favourite GTA micro-brewery?  Great Lakes Brewery (CORRECT!)
5) What is the name of Jamie’s high school? Clarkson Secondary School (INCORRECT!)
6)  What was Jamie’s most frequent childhood family vacation destination? Williamsburg, Virginia (CORRECT!)
7) What is inscribed on Dan’s custom made TorQ shoes? Morphy (CORRECT!)
8) What year did Dan start growing his beard? 2009 (INCORRECT!)
9) What is the number of marathons that Dan has signed up for, versus marathons he has actually run? 2 (SORTA!)

Good work Richard! You got 5.5/9!

TorQuiz 3:
Name: Dan Morphy
Date: Monday, February 22, 2016

1) What city was Adam born in? Sherbrooke. PDI. Yes, PDI (NO!)
2) During undergrad, Adam was part of another quartet: what kind of group was it, and what was their name? Barbershop quartet. air male (HALF-CORRECT!)
3) What does Adam consider to be the worst board game of all time? Scrabble (CORRECT!)
4) What is Richard’s favourite 90’s band? Twisted sister…I mean nirvana (INCORRECT!)
5) If Richard could only have one food for the rest of his life what would it be? Steak frites…is that two foods? (technically, yes, but your answer is INCORRECT!)
6) What was Richard’s first job in high school? Line cook, some dive restaurant. (INCORRECT!)
7)  What is Jamie’s favourite GTA micro-brewery?  Great Lakes (CORRECT!)
8)  What is the name of Jamie’s high school? Lauren Park Secondary (CORRECT…mostly!)
9)  What was Jamie’s most frequent childhood family vacation destination? Fort something….USA…Virginia (HALF-CORRECT!)

4/9 Dan, thank you for air male.

TorQuiz 4:
Name: Adam Campbell
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

1) What is Richard’s favourite 90’s band? Blind Melon (INCORRECT!)
2) If Richard could only have one food for the rest of his life what would it be? Italian (HALF-CORRECT…sort of!)
3) What was Richard’s first job in high school? Prep cook in Kitchen (INCORRECT)
4)  What is Jamie’s favourite GTA micro-brewery? Great Lakes Brewery (CORRECT!)
5)  What is the name of Jamie’s high school? Cawthra Park (INCORRECT!)
6)  What was Jamie’s most frequent childhood family vacation destination? Colonial Williamsburg (CORRECT!)
7) What is inscribed on Dan’s custom made TorQ shoes? Morphy (CORRECT!)
8) What year did Dan start growing his beard? 2013 (INCORRECT!)
9) What is the number of marathons that Dan has signed up for, versus marathons he has actually run? 2 (SORTA!)

4/9 Great work Adam, but…

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Congratulations, Richard! You are entitled to a nacho and slurpee extravaganza at the 7-11 down the street from the Canadian Music Centre. None of the other members got ANY Richard questions fully right! I can only assume he offered the most difficult questions.

Here are the responses to questions that NO ONE answered correctly! Adam was born in Halifax! At least there is consensus that he is an east-coast phenomenon.
Richard’s favourite 90s band is Pearl Jam! Clearly his fandom must be a private one, but his love for No Rain is unbriddled. If he could only eat one food, Richard would eat pizza…which is Italian enough for Adam to have gotten partial credit. Richard’s first job was as a gas station store clerk.

I will be writing a paper on the historiography of Dan Morphy’s beard. For now, you should know that Dan started growing his beard in 2006. And if you are wondering about Dan’s marathon history: he signed up for 2, and he ran 1!

Everyone knows Jamie’s favourite local brewery! Thanks, Jamie for working hard to promote the answer to that question.

Join Musica Reflecta and the Canadian Music Centre at the CMC (20 St. Joseph Street, Toronto) at 3pm on Sunday, March 13 for the Opus: Testing public workshop! The session gets underway at 3pm, and will include new miniature works written especially for TorQ.

Hybridty Q&A: Daniel Wheeler

Daniel

A few questions for Daniel Wheeler, member of Hybridity…

Musica Reflecta: What kind of hybrid are you?

Daniel Wheeler: Double bass and Tenor

MR: Can you tell us about the moment that made you want to explore contemporary repertoire in your personal practice?

DW: I took an RCM history course to prepare for my undergrad at Western and we learned
about the Rite of spring by Stravinsky. The idea that a piece of music could cause that much
emotion and tension that it causes a riot in the theatre was very eye opening. I also got a
chance to play the work with the Scotia Festival orchestra a few year ago, which was a dream come true for me.

MR: Apart from the Hybridity members, who are some of your favourite artistic collaborators?

DW: Getting to work with John Hess and Paul Frehner in the contemporary ensemble at
western was a great experience. Also my voice teacher at GGS Monica Whicher and Double
Bass teacher at Western Jeff Stokes are true masters of finding the beauty in any piece of music no matter how far out there.

MR: Do you ever get musician-envy?

DW: Violinist Janine Jansen is a beast. And tenor Ian Bostridge has mastered the art song rep.

MR: If you are not practicing/performing, how do you like to spend your time?

DW: I’m obsessed with horror films. And I love riding my bike.

“Which Hybridity member is…

…most reliant on coffee?” Shaelynn

…most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?” If I can’t say myself I’d have to say Emily.

…is the most avid Netflix binge-viewer?” Emily

…has the most ridiculous schedule?” Michael

…would win the Hybridity eating contest?” Emily

…really nails it at karaoke?” Shaelynn

…would you ask to help you paint your room?” Emily

…is most likely to call you at 1am?” Emily

…is most at home in the city?” Shaelynn

Join us for Opus: Testing (De)Collage featuring the Hybridity Ensemble on Sunday, January 24 at 3pm at the Canadian Music Centre. The event is an open workshop-concert with new pieces by a variety of composers.

 

Hybridity Q&A – Shaelyn Archibald

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A few questions for Shaelyn Archibald, member of Hybridity…

Musica Reflecta: What kind of hybrid are you?

Shaelyn Archibald: Flute & Soprano

MR: Can you tell us about the moment that you made you want to explore contemporary repertoire in your personal practice?

SA: To play flute is to play contemporary music; where flutists were short-changed for
repertoire in the Romantic period, we’ve had it made up in both the 20th and 21st century. For me, contemporary music has always been a part of my practice and is something I make a point of championing.

MR: Apart from the Hybridity members, who are some of your favourite artistic collaborators?

SA: Definitely cellist and composer Raphael Weinroth-Browne. We’ve gone to school together for four years and have had the chance to collaborate together many times. He’s the kind of performer who pulls you into his music. There’s really nothing he can’t or won’t play and I especially admire how he intertwines classic  and contemporary popular music.

MR: Do you ever get musician-envy?

SA: Cuz I’m really just all about dat bass #flute&sopranoEnvy.

MR: If you are not practicing/performing, how do you like to spend your time?

SA: Drinking Coffee and cuddling with my cat Bessie.

“Which Hybridity member is…

…most reliant on coffee?” Shaelyn

…most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?” Daniel

…is the most avid Netflix binge-viewer?” Daniel.

…has the most ridiculous schedule?” Michael.

…would win the Hybridity eating contest?” Shaelyn or Dan

…really nails it at karaoke?” Emily

…would you ask to help you paint your room?” Emily

…is most likely to call you at 1am?” Emily

…is most at home in the city?” Emily

Join us for Opus: Testing (De)Collage featuring the Hybridity Ensemble on Sunday, January 24 at 3pm at the Canadian Music Centre. The event is an open workshop-concert with new pieces by a variety of composers.

 

Hybridity Q&A – Emily Hill

Emily

A few questions for Emily Hill, member of Hybridity…

Musica Reflecta: What kind of hybrid are you?

Emily Hill: I’m a tri-brid: I play flute (including alto and piccolo), harp (Celtic and concert), and piano.

MR: Can you tell us about the moment that you made you want to explore contemporary repertoire in your personal practice?

EH: I’ve always felt trapped by classical conventions, so exploring contemporary music felt incredibly natural for me. I love extended techniques and stepping outside the box. One of my favourite pieces to perform is “The Great Train Race” by Ian Clarke. I’m also currently working on “Lachrymose” by Derek Charke.

MR: Apart from the Hybridity members, who are some of your favourite artistic collaborators?

EH: Lina Li, the collaborative pianist with whom I worked while doing my undergrad at Western University, is still one of my favourite collaborators. She’s absolutely brilliant and such a sensitive musician. I’m still new to Toronto, though, so I’m looking forward to new collaborations with many more creators!

MR: Do you ever get musician-envy?

EH: If there is anything that I envy, it’s the freedom in music that is outside the classical niche. I admire creators who are confident enough to mess with music that too many artists consider to be sacrosanct; The Bad Plus did a reworking of “The Rite of Spring” that’s absolutely incredible (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIVDzWteJS0). I have mad admiration for the versatility of multi-instrumentalist Raphael Weinroth-Browne and his many projects. I also really love the compositional styles of the bands Alter Bridge, Anberlin, and Mae.

MR: What did you dress up as for Halloween?

EH: I bought a white tailcoat from a thrift store and went American Horror Story with my makeup as a masquerade attendee.

MR: If you are not practicing/performing, how do you like to spend your time?

EH: Podcasts, television, exercise, museums, eating good food, drinking great wine, and staring at cute dogs on the street.

 

“Which Hybridity member is…

 

…most reliant on coffee?” Shae.

…most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?” Daniel. He’s so sweet now, but if push came to shove, he’d be the first one into the fray.

…is the most avid Netflix binge-viewer?” Definitely me. I have a TV problem.

…has the most ridiculous schedule?” Michael’s travel schedule is bonkers, but Shaelyn’s work schedule is pretty insane, too.

…would win the Hybridity eating contest?” Hands-down Michael. It’s really quite horrifying.

…really nails it at karaoke?” Definitely Shae and Daniel, but I do sing a mean I Kissed a Girl.

…would you ask to help you paint your room?” Shae for sure, it would be fun!

…is most likely to call you at 1am?” Michael, usually with a unique thing he just learned.

…is most at home in the city?” Me, for sure.

Join us for Opus: Testing (De)Collage featuring the Hybridity Ensemble on Sunday, November 29 at 3pm at the Canadian Music Centre. The event is an open workshop-concert with new pieces by a variety of composers.

“Ignite”: Success!

We had the great pleasure of helping facilitate a big interdisciplinary blowout event in honour of our one year celebration of our community composition workshop Opus:Testing a few weeks ago. In collaboration with community-based theatre company Jumblies Theatre and our supportive partner the Canadian Music Centre, we invited a few dozen artists, musicians, poets, writers and creative thinkers to come together and create a day-of installations together on the theme of Canadian heritage. The results were magical and unexpected, and we are grateful to have expanded our creative circles with like-minded thinkers.

Special thanks to our participants!

Composers:
Patrick Arteaga, Jason Doell, Thom Gill, Britta Johnson, Cory Latkovich and Amanda Lowry.

Musicians:
Amahl Arulanandam, Marc Blouin, Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk, Derek Kwan, Etienne Levesque, Jonathan Russell MacArthur, Alexei Orechin, Olivia Shortt, Emiyn Stam, and Laura Swankey

Other Artists:
Penny Couchie, Sid Bobb, Julia Hune Brown, Fiona Clarke, Shifra Cooper, Sharada Eswar, Victoria Freeman, Beth Helmers, Leah Houston, Ange Loft, Nikki Sheffeeullah, Sharada Eswar and many, many others.

The CMC, Jumblies Theatre and Musica Reflecta would like to thank our main sponsors:
The Metcalf Foundation, Platform A-Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Council

Stay tuned for more fun and dangerous projects in the imminent future. Our next community composition call features the multi-talented Hybridity Ensemble, a local group which doubles in instruments within a piece. Come hear their new works presented and workshopped on November 29th at the Canadian Music Centre.

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Opus:Testing NASA edition review

Last night we were transported into another universe of beautiful sounds from earth and outer space. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this incredible evening of new music and art!

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Electronic sound submissions by
Cory Latkovich
A. M. Architect
Richard Jermaine & Paul Wilt
Matthew Tran-Adams
Ellie Gordon-Moershel
Sean Goldman
Sean Savage
Amanda Lowry

SciFi-Turbtablist
SlowPitchSound

Live Analog Projection
Damian Lebiedzinski

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Our next Opus:Testing event will be our big 1 year celebration, for which we are partnering with multi-disciplinary Jumblies Theatre also based in Toronto. We will be pairing each participating composer with a visual artist in a different room at the Canadian Music Centre to create an installation in the span of one Saturday. This will be in early September with a public exhibition taking place at the end of the “project runway” type challenge! 
Stay tuned!

Q&A: SlowPitchSound

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We had the chance to do a little Q&A with our next Opus: Testing featured artist SlowPitchSound! Check it out:

MR: When did you start to make music with turntables? How have you developed or augmented your performing/improvising on turntables? What are some of the extended techniques you use?

SPS: I started making music with turntables in 2004 after DJing at bars and events for a number of years. I was losing interest in playing late night bar settings but was still fascinated with the turntable as a musical instrument. Around that time I discovered artists like Kid Koala, Birdy Nam Nam, John Cage and Christian Marklay. Their approach to using the turntable inspired me to use it in its entirety as a source of sound. Because I had been improvising through the art of turntablism and producing music for a while before that, improvising with other musicians wasn’t a far stretch for me. Some things I enjoy doing with my instrument are tapping the stylus with my finger for percussive sounds, placing the stylus on my finger and then rubbing it along the side of the turntable platter for deep thunderous bass… it’s pretty much a signature technique. I also really enjoy live sampling and looping. Because of my background in DJing my sense of rhythm is pretty good but at the same time I really enjoy sculpting sounds to create a bit of organized chaos.

MR: You describe your sound as “scifi-turntablism”. What inspires this label for your music?

SPS: I imagine strange new worlds when I’m creating a new piece of work. It’s kind of the reason I coined my style SciFi-Turntablism, part of it is because I’m a fan of science fiction films and the other part is from what happens when sounds are slowed down to a crawl, flipped, twisted and layered to create something hard to describe, in a sense once my sounds have been treated they become extraterrestrial. The many textures and almost liquid like compositions create a glimpse into another dimension.

MR: Is your music, or your thinking about arts in general, informed by afrofuturism?

SPS: Afrofuturism is such an interesting label. I sometimes wonder if I weren’t black and making the music I make then what would it be called. When artists like SunRa or George Clinton who are widely known now as afrofuturists were making music they didn’t call themselves afrofuturists. It was actually a label coined by a writer in 1993 named Mark Dery. Labels/genres are a tricky thing when it comes to being a creative person but sadly they’re kinda necessary in a way. sigh.

MR: You are originally from Grenada. There are countless musical connections between Toronto and various countries in the Caribbean, are you aware of musical directions in Grenada that connect with what you are doing?

SPS: There’s no connection but I think it would be interesting to explore in the future. Maybe scifi-calypso-turntablism lol.

MR: Tell us more about the Emoralis EP, and your own imaginings of travels in the universe?

SPS: Emoralis started off as a curiosity for snails. Their liquid alien type movements filmed up close with hand crafted backgrounds opened up a universe of ideas. The project with collaborator and life partner Vanese Smith made its way to being presented at top notch festivals including Images Festival in Toronto and Mutek in Montreal. Originally made as a live audio visual performance I was inspired to make an EP which included some re edited tracks from the live show as well as new ideas. It’s really an amazing ride around the universe.

Lightning round!!!!!!!!!!!!

MR: What is the weirdest or most unique sound you have ever incorporated into your music to date?

SPS: Rubbing a mic over my beard.

MR: What soundscapes inspire you most in your day to day? Do you have a favourite place/source (in the physical world or online) to seek out new ideas?

SPS: Nature, Industrial, Public spaces

MR: For those interested in pursuing turntablism and composition with turntable, are there any resources you would recommend?

SPS: http://offcentredj.com It’s where I teach🙂

MR: You’ve worked with a lot of different musicians from many different genres and media. Can you name one of your favourite collaborators?

SPS: Really all too amazing to pick just one.

SlowPitchSound recommended listening and viewing

 

Christian Marclay mini documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yqM3dAqTzs&index=1&list=PL86472D426790B0A5

Bobby McFerrin – Live in Montreal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WodODxpTbpA

Kid Koala – live –  (Switzerland)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2NMwRHO3oc

DJ KENTARO LIVE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWk_pCHQz_U

otomo yoshihide Tokyo Experimental Performance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNgPvVPGyf0

Birdy Nam Nam – Abbesses

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMYMC6atRoE

DJ Krush – Kemuri

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVjgRlto8PI

to name a few.

Check out SlowPitchSound’s website for more info! http://www.slowpitchsound.com/

OPUS:TESTING – NASA Remixed!

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Musica Reflecta and the Canadian Music Centre (CMC) are pleased to present the final edition of Opus Testing for the 2014-15 season. On June 4, audiences are invited to a music writing workshop-concert hosted at the CMC. Each edition of Opus Testing begins with a unique musical assignment, and the NASA Remixed edition is our first effort to focus entirely on electronic music.

From decades-old radio transmissions to the ringing of ionized matter, NASA’s audio archive has a ready supply of compelling and otherworldly sounds. Artists from around the world have been making use of the material, especially in music projects. We invited composers to use sounds downloaded from NASA’s archive to create an electronic piece or soundscape. On June 4, the Opus Testing event will feature discussions with the participants facilitated by musician-composer Rose Bolton, and a performance by SlowPitchSound who will present his own music alongside a playlist of star-bound creations. The music will be accompanied by live, improvised projections by Damian Lebiedzinski. We are also delighted to welcome Dr. Duy Cuong Nguyen, member of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (based at the University of Toronto), an organization committed to sharing astronomical discovery with the public. Nguyen will join our discussion to provide greater context for the sounds in NASA’s archive.

In the same way that literary fiction allows writers to imagine other worlds, electronic music composition in the 20th and 21st centuries has enabled far-flung sonic explorations. Opus Testing is an opportunity for audiences to understand the compositional process, and the relationship between the composer and sources of inspiration, and the NASA Remixed event will feature fascinating discussions. Join us as we contemplate our place in the universe!

Canadian Music Centre (20 St. Joseph Street)
Date: Thursday, June 4, 2015
Time: Doors at 7:30, event begins at 8:00pm
Admission: Pay What You Can

Rose Bolton: Based in Toronto, Rose Bolton creates music for documentary films. She is also well established as a composer who creates and envisions new sounds in the areas of classical and electronic music. In 2011 she was commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre to create a sound and video installation for Toronto’s 2011 Nuit Blanche. The finished work, The Crown of the Bell, was produced in collaboration with film artist Marc de Guerre, and over 1000 people experienced the piece during the all-night event. Her concert music has garnered awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council; and her work has been performed across Canada by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Esprit Orchestra, among others. For more info on Rose, click here!

SlowPitchSound: Using the turntable creatively to explore sounds has been at the forefront of Cheldon Paterson aka SlowPitchSound’s entire adult life. Turntable composition, live performance and improvisation have been key elements whether performing solo or with culturally diverse musicians stretching from Gamelan to jazz to western classical and beyond. His unique style of turntable performance has made its way around the world touching down in Sweden, Great Britain, Netherlands, Australia and America. He is a sound artist who often incorporates unconventional functions of the turntable as well as field recordings in his compositions. Using the turntable as an instrument, sounds are captured, looped and further brought to life by numerous filters and effects in tandem with Paterson’s hypnotic tribal rhythms. Away from the stage, Cheldon stays busy teaching the art of DJing at Off Centre DJ & Electronic Music Production School. For more info on SlowPitchSound, click here!

Click here for the press release