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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.

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.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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 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 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 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.

06/04/2005 Invocations and Last Word John Tavener Listen Close

Four invocations, each invoking a deity from one of the world’s great religions, are punctuated by cries of the mystical syllable “Om.” Each invocation is followed by a poem by the Sufi philosopher Frithjof Schuon; each poem’s setting is based on the musical material of the invocation that precedes it.

04/14/2005 Quintette: Variations psychogéographiques sur Tannhaüser André Ristic Listen Close

Ristic’s piece maps Wagner’s opera to memory and to emotion. As a selective recollection, it has a certain randomness; the notation is almost entirely devoid of specific pitches. Instead, the players read from a page with very specific rhythms and use a reference line to create their own pitch choices.

06/04/2004 Death of Shalana R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

Shafer composed The Death of Shalana with the intention that it should eventually be sung across a lake, with the four choirs on different shores.

04/22/2004 Fred and John Were Having Tea (When I Dropped By) Melissa Hui Listen Close

Hui uses traditional gestures idiomatic to the piano trio to translate and transform the original theme. Her piece contains virtuosic lines for all instruments, each of which exists alone, and within, a densely contrapuntal texture.

02/29/2004 The Fall into Light R. Murray Schafer Listen Close

The Fall into Light is a syncretic work based on texts from a wide variety of sources, mostly gnostic, hermetic, and mystical, but also including writings by Rilke and Nietzsche, along with some reflections of Schafer’s own.

11/03/2002 Under the Sun James Rolfe Listen Close

The assertion that ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ is also comfortingly ironic for a twenty-first-century composer who was schooled as a proper twentieth-century avant-gardist.” Rolfe’s text, condensed and compiled from several different translations, comes from the first chapter of Ecclesiastes. His setting, with its multiplicity of voices, provides a large acoustic space in which to explore the text’s dimensions.

02/27/2002 O, that you would kiss me James Rolfe Listen Close

The text of O that you would kiss me comes from the Old Testament’s Song of Solomon. In this setting, the voices caress each other with shared motifs, at close intervals, weaving in and out at close quarters, touching or overlapping in an embodiment of the intense physicality of the text.

11/05/2000 Paint the Light Jeffery Ryan Listen Close

“When talking about music,” says Ryan, “we often borrow words from visual art to describe sounds. We speak of orchestral ‘colours,’ of ‘brightness’ or ‘darkness,’ and so on.” Paint the Light had its genesis in Ryan’s fascination with actual colours and his interest in the transformation of “colours” within a piece of music.