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New Music Concerts Robert Aitken, artistic director

Generation 2012

Sunday November 11, 2012
Introduction 7:15 | Concert 8:00
The Music Gallery, 197 John Street [MAP]
Ensemble contemporaine de Montréal
Veronique Lacroix director

Jenny's last rock (2012) - Annesley Black (Canada 1979)
Ninaivanjali (2012) - Gabriel Dharmoo (Canada 1981)
Animaris Currens Ventosa (2012) - Marielle Groven (Canada 1984)
Beatitude (2012) - Riho Esko Maimets (Canad 1988)

Véronique Lacroix, direction
Véronique Mathieu, solo violin; Nicolas Gilbert, host

Annesley Black – Jenny’s last rock
Annesley Black was born in Ottawa in 1979. She began her studies in electronic music and jazz guitar at Concordia University, and continued her musical education in composition with Brian Cherney at McGill University in Montreal, followed by composition studies with York Hoeller and Hans-Ulrich Humpert (electronic music) in Cologne and Mathias Spahlinger, Orm Finnendahl (electronic music) and Cornelius Schwehr (film music) in Freiburg, Germany. Her pieces have been performed internationally by ensembles such as the Hessian Radio Orchestra (dir: D.R. Colemann), ensemble mosaik (dir: E. Poppe), Ensemble Modern (dir: T. Engel), ensemble ascolta (dir: L. Vis) and Nouvel Ensemble Modern.

Jenny’s last rock - Curling, like all sports, and like music, is composed of singular irreversible, non-repeatable instants that occur inside a specific space designed for select individuals to be witnessed by numerous spectators and perceived as the exceptionally virtuosic movement of objects, humans and body-parts through time and space. In this piece, field-recordings done in Tweed, Ontario of the Land O’ the Lakes curling club and interviews with Randy Kline (retiree and avid amateur curler) are combined with samples of a singular professional curling shot (from three different audience perspectives) by Canadian curling goddess Jennifer Jones as well as recordings from musicians attempting to recreate the concrete sound-world of curling – reproduced by means of cassette-tape-playbacks, instrumental transcriptions and temporal structures. Momentary attempts and the ensuing failure or success from private and public, professional and amateur and athletic and musical spheres are captured and reproduced in a contrapuntal web. The various mediums of reproduction enforce one central theme of this piece- the inherent problems and possibilities when making carbon-copies of non-repeatable material bound to a certain time and space.

Gabriel Dharmoo - Ninaivanjali
Born in Québec City in 1981, Gabriel Dharmoo studied composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal with Serge Provost and finished his studies with a “Prix avec grande distinction”, the highest honor to be awarded, in both composition (2006) and analysis (2007). Having researched South Indian Carnatic music with 4 renowned masters in Chennai (India) in 2008 and 2011, his recent work is strongly focused on integrating elements of this music to his personal style. Along with his work as a composer, Gabriel develops his musical identity as a vocal improviser and Carnatic music cellist.

Ninaivanjali is a Tamil expression meaning “In memory of”, used to pay tribute after someone’s death. The piece is dedicated to ghatam virtuoso N. Govindarajan, my Indian rhythm teacher, who passed away in May 2012. In addition to being an excellent teacher, fully devoted to sharing his knowledge, Govind was an endearing and admirable man, full of goodness and joie de vivre.
For this work I was inspired by the three main sound sources of South Indian Carnatic music : melody – flexible, sophisticated and ornate; rhythm – complex and subdivided; and drone – stable harmonic reference point in the background.
All melodies, with the exception of the last, are freely inspired from the behaviour of the lines in Carnatic music. The final melody is directly based on the section in Sree raga from Patnam Subramaniam Iyer’s
Navaragamalika, a work that has marked my last trip to India in 2011. As a background for these melodies, I merged the concepts of rhythm and drone to create rhythmic drones built from camouflaged rhythmical patterns I learned from Govind.

Marielle Groven – Animaris Currens Ventosa
Marielle Groven is an Atlantic Canadian composer currently based in Berlin. As both pianist and electronics projectionist, she has performed with various ensembles and soloists including the Medea Electronique Instant Synthesis Ensemble, the Contemporary Keyboard Society, Xenia Pestova, Pascal Meyer, and the Murray Street Band. Throughout her studies she has had the opportunity to study with a variety of important composers in the context of private lessons, masterclasses, and summer courses, including Martin Matalon, Pierluigi Billone, Brian Ferneyhough, John Adams, Liza Lim, Franck Bedrossian. She completed a Masters Degree in Composition at McGill University with Jean Lesage and Brian Cherney and is currently studying at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” of Berlin with Wolfgang Heiniger and Hanspeter Kyburz.

Animaris Currens Ventosa - For this piece I was inspired by the work of Theo Jansen. Jansen is a kinetic sculptor who for over 20 years has been designing and building large “Strandbeests” (beach creatures) from recycled materials operating on wind energy. Many of Jansen’s creatures, seem to move and “breathe” with the fluidity of delicate sea creatures in spite of their massive size. Animaris Currens Ventosa is one of the earlier generations of Jansen’s creatures with large fin-like sails on its head that channel the wind energy to its body propelling its (dozens of) legs forward. Ultimately, Jansen intends to release a herd of these creatures into the wild. Besides being an incredibly poetic gesture, I was deeply moved by the larger implications of this. How might the fate of an organism, whose primary source of energy (wind) and whose creator (humanity) also threaten its survival, resonate with the fragile state of our own existence? I wanted to capture the incredible force within that fragility, that tension that is only just holding their beautiful skeletal structures intact, in sound.

Riho Esko Maimets - Beatitude
Riho Maimets was born in Toronto in 1988 and started composing while enrolled in the Claude Watson Arts program at Earl Haig Secondary School at the age of 15, under the instruction of Alan Torok. He completed undergraduate studies in composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia, as a pupil of Helena Tulve and René Eespere, while enhancing his connection to his Estonian heritage. Through his music, Riho, who has also worked as a church organist, seeks to provide spiritual nourishment to the listener. Riho just finished composing a work for the Stenhammar String Quartet, which was performed in Sweden in May 2012. He has also composed a significant amount of choral music which has been performed by groups in Estonia, such as the Tartu Academic Women’s Choir, Tallinn Chamber Choir and the vocal ensemble Heinavanker (“Haywain”). He completed his Master’s degree at the University of Toronto under Christos Hatzis and he is currently studying with David Ludwig at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Beatitude - When I wrote Beatitude I was, and to a large extent still am, somewhat obsessed with human tragedies through the ages, and humanity’s ability to overcome them. The historical background from which contemporary society has come into existence is full of suffering, and wounds which are felt through countless generations. Beauty, purity and love are in stark contrast to the darker sides of society, where suffering, evil and hate prevail. I believe that the beauty of music can sometimes be so powerful, that it consoles us in an inexpressibly deep way.