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New Music Concerts Robert Aitken, artistic director

Motion Ensemble

Sunday January 19, 2014 @ The Music Gallery
From Atlantic Shores
featuring Motion Ensemble
Karin Aurell
flutes | Richard Hornsby clarinets
Nadia Francavilla
violin | Andrew Miller contrabass
D’Arcy P. Gray
percussion/electronics | Helen Pridmore soprano
Introduction 7:15 | Concert 8:00
The Music Gallery, 197 John Street [MAP]

Jerome Blais - Le miroir d'argent (2012)

Paul Steffler - Book of Manners (2009)

Kevin Morse - The Unnamed Lake (2013

Lucas Oickle - New Work (2013)

Derek Charke - (from) The Grand-Pre Project (2009): Blizzard; between the shore and the ships; Tout passe Sandy Moore

Sandy Moore - (from) The Grand-Pre Project (2009): Tout passe

Anthony Genge - Motion (2004)

W.L. Altman - Silly Love Songs (2009)


Programme Notes 
How do you put together an artistically solid programme where the theme is regional? This concert features works by 8 Atlantic Canadian composers, written over a 10-year period for Motion Ensemble (or members thereof). Stylistically, the music ranges from "treatments" of pop or folk music to neo-romantic; with a brief stop at jazzy hocket on the way by. The timespan and variety of styles will give you a fascinating peek into the world of New Music, Atlantic style.

Jérôme Blais (NS) Le Miroir d'Argent (2012)

Jérôme Blais was born in 1965. After studying Music Theory at McGill University, he pursued and obtained in 1995 a Master's degree in Compositional Techniques at the University of Montreal where in 2004 he completed his doctoral studies with Michel Longtin and Reno De Stefano. His research dealt with the integration of improvisation into the compositional process. Jérôme Blais' works have been performed by such professional ensembles as the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Musica Nova, the Quasar Saxophone Quartet, the Bozzini String Quartet, Bradyworks as well as the Arraymusic and Continuum ensembles of Toronto. Since the fall of 2004, he is Professor of Composition and Music Theory at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Le Miroir d'Argent was composed for the 2012 Ok.Quoi?! Festival. It is part of a larger collection in progress entitled Le Tombeau de Barbeau, due to be performed in 2015. Miroir is inspired by numerous versions of a very old folk song that made its way to the new world and was eventually collected by musicologist/folklorist Marius Barbeau (as well as others); in particular a version by Gaspesian singer François St.- Laurent (thanks to the Canadian Museum of History).

Paul Steffler (NB/NF) Book of Manners (2009)

Paul Steffler, born Toronto in 1954, studied music at McGill University, Montreal and Berklee College, Boston. He migrated east to St. John's NL in 1976 where he has played in a broad spectrum of ensembles – blues, big band jazz, country and contemporary new music. He has written and performed music for numerous theatre and film productions as well as for ships' horns in the renowned Harbour Symphony. His musical passions are diverse: trained in the classics and the late 20th Century European avant-garde, he also has an enduring attraction to the many genres of popular, traditional and hybrid music worldwide.
Steffler's work is based on "The Book of Manners: A Guide to Social Intercourse", published in 1854. The book meticulously breaks down the various aspects of human interaction and charts the course for an ideally virtuous and rewarding life. This prompted Steffler to imagine a piece of music in which the instrumentalists were characters in a sort of moral counterpoint. The three pieces presented here are part of a larger collection.

Kevin Morse (NB) The Unnamed Lake (2013)

Kevin Morse (b. 1980) joined the Department of Music at Mount Allison University as a faculty member in 2011. Born and raised in Chiang Mai, Thailand, he earned an undergraduate degree in music from Mount Allison and a master’s degree in composition from the University of Western Ontario. His composition teachers have included David Myska, Peter Paul Koprowski, Omar Daniel, W.L. Altman, and James G. Code. In 2006, Kevin Morse was one of four composers invited to participate in Tapestry Opera Works summer Composer-Librettist Laboratory. He was subsequently commissioned by Tapestry to write two short operas: The Shaman’s Tale, for large-scale puppets (with librettist Krista Dalby) and The Colony, about the Queen of the Amazon Ants and her nemesis, an exterminator (with librettist Lisa Codrington), both of which premiered at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre as part of Opera to Go 2008.
Kevin Morse's
The Unnamed Lake borrows its title from the Frederick George Scott poem of the same name. The work uses imagery form the natural world to explore deeper spiritual meaning. The work is an excellent example of the composer's talent for setting texts.

Lucas Oikle (NS) Skyglow (2013)

Lucas Oickle (b. 1991) received his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Acadia University, where he studied with award-winning composer Derek Charke and composer, performer and conductor Dinuk Wijeratne. He was the 'Featured Student Composer' of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra's 12/13 season and his chamber piece The Great Firewall of China was recently selected from over 100 submitted scores to be performed by the TEMPO New Music Ensemble in College Park, Maryland. He is currently pursuing a M.Mus. in composition at the University of British Columbia.
Skyglow is a term used to describe one of the most visible facets of light pollution: urban glare. The piece was inspired by Oickle's recent short stays in rural Tokushima, urban Tokyo and Osaka in Japan as well as Shanghai, China. The key sonic image is that of frogs singing at night.

Derek Charke (NS) Blizzard | Sandy Moore (NS) Tout Passe

The pieces by Derek Charke and Sandy Moore are also from a collection: in this case ten pieces composed for the 2010 Shattering the Silence Festival in Wolfville, NS. All were based on French texts found at the Grand-Pré National Historic Site. The themes have to do with the Expulsion of the Acadians in the mid eighteenth-century. The premiere performance was a CMC New Music in New Places event at Grand-Pré during the Festival.
´┐╝´┐╝Derek Charke (b. 1974) won the 2012 Juno Award for Classical Composition of the Year for his work Sepia Fragments and the 2013 ECMA Award for Classical Composition of the Year for Between the Shore and the Ships. Derek's compositions increasingly pair electroacoustic elements, many derived from environmental sounds, with acoustic instruments. Ecological sound as an artistic statement on environmental issues has become an impetus for many works, and his interest in the Arctic has like-wise played a role in many of his compositions. His music bridges a divide between this play of pure sound, collecting natural and environmental sound, and a continuation of the western "classical" tradition, albeit with contemporary and popular influences. Charke is associate professor of music theory and composition at Acadia University School of Music in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Sandy Moore (b. 1944) has composed music and designed sound scores for numerous dance, theatre, and film companies as well as orchestrations for Symphony Nova Scotia with Upstream Music Ensemble. He has worked on a number of projects with Mocean Dance including Vestige choreographed by Gwen Noah, and Live Art Dance Productions’ presentation, Velocipede. In 2004 he was nominated for a Genie Award for Thom Fitzgerald’s film, The Wild Dogs.

Anthony Genge (NS) Motion (2005)

Anthony Genge (b. 1952) worked as a jazz performer for a number of years before studying classical composition formally with Morton Feldman, Rudolf Komorous and Martin Bartlett. Genge earned his PhD at SUNY Buffalo in 1984. Genge’s more than 50 compositions have been commissioned and performed by many leading soloists and ensembles. His music has been performed extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and many countries in Europe and in Japan, and is available on several recordings. He was a first-prize winner in the CBC Young Composers Competition. Anthony Genge currently lives in Antigonish, Nova Scotia where he teaches in the Music Department of St. Francis Xavier University.
Motion was inspired in part by a set of pieces found in the Bamberg Codex, a late thirteenth-century manuscript that is one of the earliest examples of music intended for instrumental performance. The composer uses hocket techniques to manipulate a number of machine-like repeating ostinato patterns.

WL Altman (NB) Variations on a Theme by McCartney (2009)

WL Altman (b. 1959) studied under composers Monte Keene Pishny- Floyd in Canada; and Sydney Hodkison and Randall Snyder in the USA. Altman, who won the Murray Adaskin Composition award in 1986, utilizes Ableton's Live software in his interactive works. Recent works include icidici, premiered in Montréal by the Bozzini Quartet; Collision, premiered by cellist Norman Adams at the Music Room in Halifax; Bush Burning, recorded by CBC Toronto by Motion Ensemble; and a collaborative music-video project with inmates at Dorchester Penitentiary entitled Humming and Drumming. Since 2007, Altman has worked as performer/composer in the duo Sbot N Wo, performing collaborative interactive works in Sackville, Saskatoon, Charlottetown and various locations in Japan, the U.K. and Europe.
Variations was composed for Ok.Quoi?! 2009 as part of Motion's "Rock Music Re-Imagined" project which featured other pieces based on or inspired by pop music. Altman strips the original material down in his unique bare-bones fashion to create new textures which will ultimately reveal the source. He uses Ableton Live to treat the original recording.


Karin Aurell played in the Norrköpping Symphony Orchestra, Sweden, for many years. Since moving to Canada's East coast in 2001, she has been performing with Motion Ensemble, Trio Arkaède (with Isabelle Fournier and Julien LeBlanc) and with the newly formed wind quintet Ventus Machina. She is passionate about performing new music, and has collaborated with many of the composers in the region. Karin also teaches flute at Mount Allison University and at Université de Moncton.
Nadia Francavilla is both an accomplished recitalist and outstanding chamber musician. She was a member of both Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc and Quatuor Bozzini with whom she made frequent tours in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. A graduate of McGill University, she received solid musical training under the direction of Mauricio Fuks, Raphael Druian and Joseph Silverstein. Diversified, the journey of this artist reflects her commitment towards many different forms of musical creativity. Her participation in different contemporary music ensembles also demonstrates her great interest towards music of our time. She is currently musician in residence at the University of New Brunswick where she has worked on solo projects, given masterclasses and lectures and integrated herself into the Fredericton music scene. Ms. Francavilla is also a violin teacher at the Université de Moncton.
D’Arcy Philip Gray grew up in rural Nova Scotia, attended McGill University and the Juilliard School and is now a most versatile percussionist and electronic musician. Recent solo projects have taken him to Amsterdam, Toronto, Columbus GA and Nashville. Throughout his career he has premiered numerous solo percussion works. In the past, Gray has taught percussion and music technology courses at McGill, been a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and has performed with the Montréal Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada. He has written a number of articles on percussion and electronic music, most recently for the Leonardo Music Journal. D’Arcy Philip Gray is a Yamaha Clinician, a Sabian Artist and teaches percussion at Dalhousie University.
Richard Hornsby studied clarinet at the University of Toronto and Indiana University. Richard is Director of Music at the University of New Brunswick, and Director of the UNB Music Camp. He has played with the Toronto, National Arts Centre, Indianapolis and Hamilton Symphonies. Richard has been heard with the Canadian Saxophone Quintet, New Music Concerts, and on numerous C.B.C. broadcasts. He is founder and director of the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival.
Andrew Reed Miller, founder of Open Arts and Motion Ensemble, was born in New York and now lives in Saint John. He has been a professional musician for 25 years. Andrew teaches at NBYO/Sistema NB and Université de Moncton. Miller is principal bass of Symphony NB, Atlantic Sinfonia, has been heard on numerous CBC broadcasts and has toured with Canadian Opera Company, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Recently Miller studied Max/MSP programming at Harvestworks in New York. “Miller is a superb player, a master and a creative inventor......” -Stephen Pedersen, The Chronicle Herald (Halifax), Jan 17 2011.
Helen Pridmore has a voice acclaimed as “haunting and powerful” (American Record Guide) with “pure tone and inspiring musical intelligence” (Halifax Chronicle-Herald). Helen made her NYC solo debut in December 2012, performing the music of John Cage with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Other recent events include performances of Philippe Leroux’s Voi(Rex) with Ensemble 1534 at the National Arts Centre, Ottawa and the Music Gallery, Toronto; and Michael Finnissy’s major work Whitman, with the composer at the piano, in Victoria, BC. She launched her solo CD Janet, recently released on the Canadian Music Centre’s Centrediscs label, with a tour to Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary in 2013.


Motion Ensemble is a professional chamber music group based in New Brunswick, Canada. Their repertoire is an eclectic mix of post-classical and experimental music. Motion’s music often utilizes electronics or visual media. The group has been presenting its own concerts since 1998, in Fredericton, Sackville and Saint John; they also have reached thousands of school children through their educational projects.
For its tenth anniversary season, Motion Ensemble presented a ten-hour installation of Aus den Sieben Tagen by Karlheinz Stockhausen and was presented by Western Front (Vancouver), E.C.C.S (Edmonton), The Music Gallery (Toronto) and La Chappelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur (Montréal).The group made its USA debut in New York at Tonic in 2003 and has appeared at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Scotia Festival of Music, Montreal’s Jusqu'aux Oreilles, Sound Symposium in Newfoundland, NUMUS (Kitchener), Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, New Works Calgary, New Music North (Thunder Bay), Five Penny New Music Festival (Sudbury) and many others in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. They have been heard on CBC Radio and TV and have recorded CDs of Veronika Krausas (self produced) and John Cage (on New York label Mode Records).
Over 80 works have been premiered by Motion Ensemble written by composers across Canada: André Cormier, Michael Oesterle, Martin Arnold, Allison Cameron, Ian Crutchley, Sergio Barroso, Emily Doolittle, Moiya Callahan, alcides lanza, Jim O'Leary, Anthony Genge, W. L. Altman, Tim Brady, Richard Gibson, Bruce Mather, Alice Ho, Michael R. Miller, Tim Bowlby, Andrew R. Miller, Richard Kidd, D'Arcy P. Gray, Joel Miller, Laura Hoffman, Veronika Krausas, Robert Bauer and James Code. In addition to Canadian work, Motion has performed the Canadian premieres of works by Europeans such as William Engelen, Christopher Mayo, György Kurtág, Kunsu Shim, Kaija Saariaho, Peter Maxwell Davies and Donnecha Dennehy; and Americans Elliott Sharp, Larry Nelson, Peter Blauvelt and Beth Wiemann.