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U of C compositions debut at the Forms of Sound festival

By Brent Matterson, February 8 2018 —

Focusing on innovation and questioning the meaning of not only music, but sound itself, the final concert of the Forms of Sound Festival takes place Thursday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. in the Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall.

Forms of Sound presents works that explore diverse areas in music and the broader sonic arts. The concert features the University of Calgary Orchestra conducted by Edmond Agopian, pianist Daniel Szefer and a small chamber ensemble.

Lauro Pecktor de Oliveira, a doctoral student at the U of C and one of the composers whose work will be featured in this concert, expressed his views on the importance of the performance.

It’s hard [for contemporary composers’ music] to be performed. This is a great opportunity to see new music — to see the music of people that you know and can have a coffee with — not dead composers,” he says. “Not that I [don’t] enjoy dead composers, but there is space for everybody.”

Opening the concert is the world premiere of U of C sessional instructor and doctoral student Naithan Bosse’s composition “Through a Window.” Using the university network, Bosse will connect six different performers situated in three different locations across the U of C campus to explore “the nature of presence in a computer-mediated environment.”

Second in the program is the world premiere of Oliveira’s “Two Soliloquies” for solo piano, performed by U of C student Daniel Szefer. These pieces explore notions of oration and rhetoric in music.

“I started composing the pieces thinking about a soliloquy inside of a play and about the dramatic aspect of speech itself,” Olivera says. “Sometimes you have to convince people not just by the words you say but how you say them.”

Following this is the premiere of “okâwîmâw wanipaliw (Mother Lost),” an orchestral piece by another doctoral student, J. Alex Young. This piece explores the repression of the Indigenous women’s ‘voice’ and how this voice must be restored. Young describes the narrative of the piece “as the burden of these forms of loss become inundated with grief the music transforms into voices of the Indigenous community that begin to break the silence and band together in thunderous protest.”

The program will continue with two pieces by another U of C doctoral student, Brian Garbet. The first, “Illuminating the Windsor Hum – Part 1,” is an excerpt from Garbet’s thesis project. It’s a piece for clarinet and electroacoustics and focuses on the Windsor hum, a mysterious case of noise pollution found around Windsor, Ontario.

The final piece, entitled Northwest Passage, was inspired by a recording of a ferry sounding its horn near Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia. Garbet describing the recording as “both the foundation and point of departure for the piece on many levels, including the evocation of an imaginary voyage.”

Tickets are available online or at the door and are $12 for adults and $9 for students and seniors. Additionally, U of C students can receive free tickets through the Claim Your Seat program if they arrive 15–45 minutes prior to concert, subject to availability.

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