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Premiere Title of Commission Composer Listen
10/20/2010 Dring, Dring Ana Sokolovic Listen Close

Sokolović describes 'Dring, Dring' as a “little musical theatre piece inspired by the telephone and the actions we take around that common object.” Divided into four sections (“dialling,” “answering,” “lullaby,” and “bye-bye”), the piece explores both the sounds emitted by the telephone and our human interactions with it.

04/29/2010 Mallet Quartet Steve Reich Listen Close

'Mallet Quartet' marked the first time Reich had written for the five-octave marimba. Written in three movements (fast, slow, fast), the work involves a series of interlocking patterns among which the four players move. The marimbas create a dense harmonic background in the two fast movements, while in the central slow movement the texture becomes unexpectedly spacious and transparent.

04/28/2010 Talking Down the Tiger Andrew Staniland Listen Close

Staniland observes, Some percussion instruments “exhibit their most interesting and expressive sounds at the pianissimo dynamic register, which is at odds with the type of blustering, heavy-handed writing often associated with percussion. . . In this piece I wanted to explore a journey from a wild and ferocious sound world that gradually recedes into a mystical and beautiful sound world lying beneath.”

04/27/2010 Time Zones Peter Hatch Listen Close

Written in up to eight different parts with eight different tempi and/or downbeats, 'Time Zones' gives each of the two players’ four mallets its own “time zone.” Performance of the work requires a drum-set player’s “limb independence,” but with the drummer’s independent use of arms and legs replaced by independence in the use of the mallets—a feat that Hatch describes as “not unlike trying to rub your tummy while tapping your head, but much more difficult.”

04/27/2010 Look on Glass Michael Oesterle Listen Close

Though the marimba and the Japanese koto come from divergent musical cultures, their timbres complement each other: both have a particular contemplative quality. Oesterle exploits the sonic texture of this unusual combination of instruments extensively throughout this piece, drifting from extremes of density and volume within a restrained melodic contour.

02/24/2010 Cantares José Evangelista Listen Close

'Cantares' ('Singings') is based on sixteen traditional Spanish songs, mostly from Castile. Encompassing religious songs, love songs, social songs, and a lullaby, much of the material would originally have been sung a cappella, with only rhythmic accompaniment. Evangelista sought a way of presenting them in new ways without imposing a harmonic language.

01/30/2010 Arise, Cry Out in the Night Norbert Palej Listen Close

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 was one of the twentieth century’s most tragic episodes of heroism: a desperate act of Jewish resistance against the murder of the ghetto’s population. Palej’s musical commemoration of this event draws on texts both ancient and modern.

11/24/2009 Berliner Konzert Paul Frehner Listen Close

Created to mark the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this piece does not merely celebrate that momentous event; its larger purpose is to explore through music the entire story of the city’s division. Each of its six movements is inspired by historical events during the Wall’s rise and fall.

05/21/2008 Pan Trio Michael Colgrass Listen Close

In considering what other group of instruments would best complement the pan’s idiosyncratic timbre, Colgrass decided to emphasize its warmth and its sustain with harp, marimba, vibraphone, and other small percussion instruments. The result is an immense palette of musical colours not found in more conventional ensembles.

03/16/2008 Seven Last Words of Christ Paul Frehner Listen Close

In this series of seven musical meditations on the words spoken by Jesus on the cross, Frehner makes dramatic use of counterpoint and other forms of superimposition to explore the meanings and universal resonances of the texts.

02/11/2008 Pimooteewin: The Journey Melissa Hui Listen Close

In this acclaimed and ground-breaking work, the first oratorio ever to be written in the Cree language, Weesageechak and Misigoo bemoan the departure of the living to the land of the dead. They travel to the magic island where the Spirits of the Dead dance by the light of the moon, held up by Atheegis the Frog.

11/06/2007 An Unfinished Life Brian Cherney Listen Close

Etty Hillesum was twenty-nine when she died at Auschwitz on November 30, 1943. 'An Unfinished Life' is based on the diaries that this young Dutch Jewish woman kept from March 1941 to October 1942. Cherney transformed several brief passages of Hillesum’s own writing, including several prayers, into a form of verse, and set these for the voices.

11/03/2006 When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d James Rolfe Listen Close

Commissioned for Soundstreams’ biennial University Voices event in 2006, 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d' is based on the lyric elegy written by Walt Whitman upon the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in 1865. It began life as a piano piece, Lilacs, which imagined the poem’s free-verse rhythms and cadences as a purely musical narrative.

06/04/2006 Fanfare for a Blue Mountain Tryggvi M. Baldvinsson Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/04/2006 Iron Lips Fuzzy Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/04/2006 Fanfare/Processional Chris Paul Harman Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/04/2006 Toronto Fanfare Anders Hillborg Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/04/2006 Without Fanfare Gary Kulesha Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours

06/04/2006 Joy Raymond Luedeke Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/04/2006 Murphy Fanfare Kelly-Marie Murphy Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/04/2006 Isfahan R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

Isfahan’s three brass quintets occupy different spatial positions throughout the performance. Co-ordination is provided by a leader sounding a seven-stroke motif on a slapstick or a drum.

06/04/2006 Axis: Bold as Brass Andrew Staniland Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/04/2006 Fanfare Rolf Wallin Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

06/03/2006 Fanfare Z Alexina Louie Listen Close

The Toronto Fanfare Project, a series of eclectic concerts presented as part of the 2006 soundaXis festival of music and architecture, offered an elaborate five-day welcome to this rich literature for brass ensemble, animating some of the great architectural and acoustical masterpieces in the core of Toronto with a celebration of the music of Canada and its northern neighbours.

05/07/2006 Inventory Brian Current Listen Close

As a young woman who works as a shoe-store clerk daydreams about shoe ownership on a grand scale, her inner reverie alternating with her rapid-fire recital of the romantically named stock of which she is taking inventory, Current makes use of his signature “slanted time” to suggest the character’s underlying neurosis.