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Overlap Time!

It’s that crazy overlap time of year. The snow has made it’s first appearance, which means December is approaching, which means my schedule, or at least my mental demands will soon lighten, which means February is almost here, which mean I have to start thinking about NEXT season!

“But I’m still in the middle of THIS season!” the haggard Artistic Director cries out into the soggy night.

“Yes indeed, you are” says Fate (also known as our generous funding bodies), “but get your brilliant ideas together and get them down on paper, ‘cause the deadline is just around the corner”.

“Oh, woe!” says I. “I’m still trying to keep all the balls in the air, I can’t handle any more!”

“Whatever” sez Fate.

So here I am again, adding to the juggle, overlapping this year and next. Before you get all sympathetic and worried about my mental health, be comforted, I’m feeling good this year; I got a couple of my brilliant ideas in late summer! So really it will just be the transcription of these ideas from my brain into concise and exciting prose, impressing Fate and ensuring the continuance of our work, that will be necessary! No sweat.

But this tale of challenge and the sweat of my brow, leads me to give you a little heads-up on what exciting ideas I had about a year ago! Maybe you don’t know about this stuff yet…..

So we have some amazing concerts coming up, you can see that info on the website: Gerry Hemingway, only about the greatest creative drummer out there, will be playing a recording with me, Tim Crofts and Lukas Pearse for our second CD. We are pretty excited about that. That’s in early February. And in May, Pauline Oliveros will return to play with EHRES (PO, Ione, John DS Adams and me). Pauline is one of the true innovators, creating some of the first electronic music, working with the pioneers like Cage, playing with many of the important figures of this century and the last, and inventing Deep Listening which she has practiced, and surrounded herself and her students with for decades. She’ll play a concert with EHRES, and give a half day Deep Listening Intensive to members of the public. Anyone and everyone will be welcome to this, and I encourage you to experience Pauline’s teaching. Your ears may get turned right around, and your ideas about music may be irrevocably changed! I hope they do, mine were!

Okay that’s the stuff you know about. The exciting things you don’t know about include a flash mob and a telematic project that links students from here to California to Taipei, Taiwan!

Okay, that one first: Last season, you may remember suddenlyLISTEN assembled three cellists from Nova Scotia who played in real time with Chris Chafe a cellist and pioneer of telematic music, (music that is shared between far flung locations through the institutional internet, called the Canerie Network, here in Canada). That was cool, we had crystal clear sound with next to zero delay, and we shared a nice concert across 4000 or so kilometers. This year I’m giving it to students. I’m connecting music students from Halifax to others at Stanford and (get this) the National Taiwan Normal University! The back-story to this is I asked Chris Chafe, who is a professor at Stanford University, to help me connect to somebody really far away for this. He said “how about Taiwan”. He has an ex-student on the composition faculty there, who is familiar with this work and is ready to go! I’m totally excited; Taiwan is really, really far from Halifax - Like 13 hours of time difference! I don’t even know how we’re going to schedule this concert! But we will, and audiences will hear new music played by students that have collaborated entirely online, facing the challenges of distance while taking advantage of bleeding edge technology to do it. As Chris Chafe said last season at our concert: “All the people doing this work are astronauts, exploring undiscovered territory”. So up, up and away we go! This concert will be held at Dalhousie University’s MacAloney Room at the Dal Arts Centre on January 14th. The time is not yet confirmed, due to those time zone implications, so I’ll keep you posted on that. I can’t wait to hear what the students can come up with!

The second special project is even more up in the air (on several levels, as you will soon see). suddenlyLISTEN is commissioning Nova Scotian composer Sandy Moore to create an all new flash-mob piece to be performed in a large public space this spring! Sandy will have a grand palette of musicians at his disposal include the Halifax Boys Honour Choir, the Dalhousie New Music ensemble and a mish mash of Halifax’s finest musicians, surprising and delighting you when you least expect it! This piece is the major celebration of suddenlyLISTEN’s 10th anniversary, and will be taking place in April 2011. The location is still being negotiated, but it will be big, trust me! I’ll keep you posted.

Now back to new ideas! This is meeting week, to hash some details and brainstorm with people. Fun, fun, fun. Fate will hopefully be pleased!

Nov 28, 2010 at 23:04

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