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Premiere Title of Commission Composer Listen
04/15/2014 Hymns to Pareidolia Nicole Lizée Listen Close

The piece reflects structures found in Bach’s score and imagines how unlikely instruments, including stylophones, omnichords, oscillators and vinyl would work in Baroque practices, such as in basso continuo, canons, chorales, or hockets. The psychological concept of Hymns to Pareidolia invites us to embrace unexpected sensory illusions as familiar.

03/21/2014 Mediaeval Dance John Kameel Farah Listen Close

A contemporary piece for piano, synthesizer and computer that employs arabic rhythms, electronics and sampled percussion, and combines meticulous notated structures with modal improvisation sections.

02/02/2014 Hear The Sounds Go Round R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

This setting for three choirs commissioned by Soundstreams Canada is an abbreviated version of the full spoken text - a poem which has accompanied me worldwide to conferences and workshops and which captures the elusive playfulness of our ever-changing soundscapes. -

11/13/2013 Boiling Song André Ristic Listen Close

This composition uses pop and folk material as building blocks but also introduces “...clear reference to liquid heating, bubbles appearing, and the whole thing turning into vapour at the end"

10/01/2013 Ave Maria Riho Esko Maimets Listen Close

In the summer of 2013 I visited my great aunt in Estonia. At the time I was looking for inspiration to write a new piece for Soundstreams. Although my great aunt was a citizen of Soviet Estonia, she was one of the very few people who was allowed to travel to the West - to Canada, to visit my family.

10/01/2013 Open Road James Rolfe Listen Close

Whitman's long lines and purple passages are a challenge to set and to sing. The soloists deliver the more personal, incantatory lines, with the choir responding, shading, interfering, echoing.

05/14/2013 Distance Fuhong Shi Listen Close

Distance is scored for mixed ensemble including four Chinese traditional instruments and Western instruments.

05/14/2013 Small and Curious Places Dorothy Chang Listen Close

Small and Curious Places, puts aside the question of East vs. West and instead approaches the ensemble as a group of individual instruments and their unique characteristics, with none more distinct or exotic than the others.

03/05/2013 Carrousel Michael Oesterle Listen Close

Carrousel is a quartet for keyboards: Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Marimba, and Piano.

01/27/2013 Five and a Half Bridges James Rolfe Listen Close

11/11/2012 ASAP 4 SATB Ana Sokolovic Listen Close

This choir piece is inspired by text messaging or texting, which we use very often. The piece is written in three sections, each one inspired in a different way by these ‘texts’.

10/11/2012 Sentir de cacerolas Analia Llugdar Listen Close

This piece was inspired by the 'cacerolazos', a demonstration accompanied by the clattering of saucepans in protest against Argentina’s economic and political situation that culminated in December 2001. The words are from the poem Oración de un desocupado (Prayer of the Unemployed) by Argentinian poet Juan Gelman.

10/11/2012 The Mountain Spirit Fuhong Shi Listen Close

The text of this work comes from poetry anthology Nine Songs written by a great Chinese poet Qu Yuan. Nine Songs consists of 11 poems and presents various parts that reflect rituals of ancient China.

03/11/2012 Corpus Paul Frehner Listen Close

Exploring mystical and religious themes of life, death, oblivion, and afterlife, Corpus combines settings of two texts separated by some eight hundred years. Percussion plays an important role, with particular emphasis on the use of skins and metals.

03/02/2012 White Label Experiment (for John Cage) Nicole Lizée Listen Close

Composed to celebrate what would have been the hundredth birthday of avant-garde pioneer John Cage, this work pays homage to the ideas and philosophies embodied in his music and his words. Lizée—noted for incorporating turntables and other electronic devices into the concert-music setting—here makes extensive use of various objets trouvés (including typewriters and vinyl records on portable turntables struck with mallets) as percussion instruments, regardless of their original purpose.

11/29/2011 Tango Melancólico Serouj Kradjian Listen Close

Kradjian was moved to compose this piece after hearing a tango on his alarm clock early one morning while he was studying in Germany. The sound of the bandoneón and the fiery accentuated rhythms and melodies of Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla all provided inspiration for this work.

11/29/2011 Tango: Del Amor Imprevisto James Rolfe Listen Close

Rolfe’s own words best describe the challenge he faced in composing this work—the difficulty of writing from outside of the culture and style—and how he rose to meet it: “As an Anglo-Canadian composer writing a tango, I’m skating on thin ice. How can my stolid northern soul find its way into the very particular language, singing, rhythm, and soul of this dance?"

11/29/2011 Serbian Tango Ana Sokolovic Listen Close

The intention behing this commission was to create new approaches to a familiar form by seeing it afresh through a contemporary lens. Sokolović’s contribution is inspired both by jazz and by the traditional Serbian dance known as kolo.

10/30/2011 Uskok Rhapsody André Ristic Listen Close

Though written for brass, Uskok Rhapsody sounds unlike any brass music with which most ears are familiar. To begin with, its instrumentation is unconventional: three brass quintets rather than the standard ensemble. Ristic describes the work as “a catalogue of psycho-geographic memories” that he collected while visiting the Uskok region of Montenegro.

04/28/2011 Symptoms of a Quase Language Craig Galbraith Listen Close

In the poem from which Galbraith has taken his text, Vancouver writer Desirée Jung uses a mixture of Portuguese and English to describe a state of mind in which two worlds collide and, for a moment, coexist with one another, intermingled and inseparable. A subtle use of guitar accompaniment and close harmony lends further expression to the composition’s theme of merging realities.

03/23/2011 Breathe James Rolfe Listen Close

'Breathe' redefines many musical periods through its blending of ancient and modern texts, and through the performance of new music with historical instruments and techniques. Each part of the piece focuses on one of the four classical elements—air, fire, water, and earth—all of which are strongly present in the poems Rolfe has chosen for his text.

02/24/2011 HeX Andrew Staniland Listen Close

'Hex' explores a series of shifting accents, pulses, dynamics, and textures, ranging from explosive ensemble passages to extremely subtle whistled textures, from highly complex melodic sections to the use of heavy-duty aluminum foil.

01/25/2011 Lost and Found Dorothy Chang Listen Close

Lost and Found represents Chang’s embrace of a musical heritage that had hitherto exerted little influence on her compositions, and her exploration of how that heritage might intersect with her own musical voice. Each of the work’s five short movements takes its own approach to integrating the Chinese and Western traditions.

11/07/2010 The Soul of God R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

Conceived for four choirs, separated in different places around the audience to suggest the mystical omnipresence of God in unlimited forms and revelations, this work brings together texts from diverse eras and cultures.

10/20/2010 El sueño de Aquiles Analia Llugdar Listen Close

'El sueño de Aquiles' ('The Dream of Aquiles') is a setting of a poem by Mexican writer José Manuel Recillas. The composition calls for four immense percussion setups, placed at the front and back of a room. Also, four voices alternate between clusters of close harmonies, complex rhythmic Sprechstimme, and intricate contrapuntal lines.