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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.

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"

03/05/2021 Carrousel Michael Oesterle Listen Close

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

10/11/2020 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.

03/02/2021 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

04/28/2010 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.”

06/04/2021 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.

06/04/2021 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.

06/03/2021 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.

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.

03/05/2021 The Passion of Lavinia Andronicus Omar Daniel Listen Close

Daniel’s oratorio is an exploration of that unknown Lavinia from William Shakespeare’s blood-soaked revenge tragedy Titus Andronicus. The solo vocal groups, consisting of soprano and four male singers (countertenor, two tenors, and baritone), collectively speak with Lavinia’s internal “voice” while the chorus provides external commentary and acts as the voices of those around her.

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.

04/22/2004 Freddy's Dead James Rolfe Listen Close

Rolfe emploie certaines des méthodes que Bach a lui-même utilisées pour l’Offrande musicale, notamment le renversement, le rétrograde et le renversement du rétrograde. La majeure partie de Freddy’s Dead est dérivée du troisième mouvement de la sonate en trio de l’Offrande musicale, dont Rolfe a accéléré le matériau pour ensuite le contraindre en l’ajustant aux temps forts (clé de fa) et aux temps faibles (clé de sol).

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.

05/08/2021 Nonet Ana Sokolovic Listen Close

The characteristic playfulness of Sokolović’s music is prominently represented in this short piece, which the composer has dedicated to her son Gustave. Her aim in Nonet was to create a progression from static, non-evolving material to material that is faster and more directional, and then to repeat this process several times to achieve a humorous effect.

05/09/2021 Indelible Lines, Invisible Surface Kelly-Marie Murphy Listen Close

The emotional roots of this piece lay in Murphy’s own thoughts about the flaws of society and the arrival of the new millennium in the year 2000. The single-movement piece is divided into three sections (fast, slow, fast) that unfold over approximately twelve minutes. It opens with an expressive cello solo that gradually climbs to a high C sharp.

06/09/2021 Sextet Gary Kulesha Listen Close

The first of Sextet’s two movements (fast and slow) contains the “thinking” of the piece: dramatic and rhythmic, it is full of contrapuntal “games” and theatrical gestures. An opening “motto,” played by solo piano, presents the basic material, from which everything that follows derives in some way.