Three New Sides to a Square at Arraymusic

From Toronto’s Arraymusic:

Three New Sides to a Square
8pm Friday, February 15th , 2013
The New Array Space
155 Walnut Ave. M6J 3W3
416 532 3019
$20 through Eventbrite, $25 at the door

World premieres:

Christopher Butterfield : ‘Frame’ is composed around a found object, a sketch for piano I wrote sometime in the last few years, but had never done anything with. Attending rehearsals of Cage’s ‘Ryoanji’ this past fall, I heard the term ‘Korean unison’ for the first time. This indicates an attack on a note by players that is more or less in unison, but because not exactly simultaneous, results in a kind of heterophony. The idea of inexact unison is an attractive one – I had thought to use a graphic notation in my attempt to convey this to the ensemble, but opted for an extremely precise metered notation instead, which I hoped would result, paradoxically, in a greater sense of spontaneity. The piano sketch, then, is used as the armature for a lattice of attacks. It is played three times, forming a triptych. There is also a drum solo in the third part, which is there simply as a gift to Jim Pugliese. ‘Frame’ is dedicated to Rick Sacks and Jim Pugliese, and Arraymusic.

Daniel Foley: Dominant Violet (2010) In memory of Michael J. Baker. My long relationship with Arraymusic dates back to 1978 when the ensemble premiered my Hommage à Monet (1977) at Heliconian Hall. That composition marked the beginning of series of chamber works honouring a succession of visual artists (Monet, Kandinsky, Klee, Mondrian, Rousseau and Gauguin) that have occupied me ever since. Michael J. Baker (artistic director of Arraymusic from 1992-2000) and I shared an abiding interest in the painters of the Bauhaus school and their interest in synesthetic analogies between music and art. The influence of Paul Klee figures prominently in Michael’s multi-disciplinary magnum opus Big Pictures from 1992. I was deeply saddened by his passing in the year 2000. A decade later, Robert W. Stevenson (director from 2005-2010) encouraged me to compose this work in Michael’s memory. The title Dominant Violet refers to the 1934 painting by Wassily Kandinsky. My intention was to sonically evoke the sense of mystery and the biomorphic iconography of Kandinsky’s spiritual universe and, through Russian and Mongolian thematic references, his personal heritage. The trumpet (Michael’s own instrument) plays a prominent role in the ensemble.

Nick Storring: Hypnic Jerk draws its title from a particular phenomenon where one who is sleeping, just about to be totally immersed in slumber, suddenly (and seemingly inexplicably) jolts awake. The “jerk” is often accompanied by a falling sensation. I came across this term while in the midst of finishing this work and somehow it felt relevant, despite the lack of conspicuous jerk-like gestures in the piece. The hovering, liminal quality of the work for me was evocative of that not-quite-dreaming state, and that falling feeling that, for me, often precedes a hypnic jerk.

To complete the concert, the Array Ensemble will reprise their performance of Jan-Bas Bollen’s Square Time.