stephen chatman

Beyond the Gates: Performances in North America and Asia, a conducting residency, and choral music galore

Corey Hamm and Nicole Ge Li of the Piano and Erhu Project

Corey Hamm and Nicole Ge Li of the Piano and Erhu Project

Dr. Corey Hamm, Professor of Piano, won UBC’s Dorothy Somerset Award for excellence in performance. The award recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions to art, music, creative writing, theatre or film. With PEP (Piano and Erhu Project), Dr. Hamm and Nicole Ge Li premiered the full orchestra version of Dr. Dorothy Chang’s double concerto Gateways in Seattle with conductor Julia Tai and Philharmonia Northwest. He also embarked on several tours: a solo piano tour of Asia (Hong Kong, Chonburi, Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing) with masterclasses and lectures, and a debut Atlantic tour with PEP. He performed Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in Minneapolis with conductor Yuri Ivan, gave three solo recitals with masterclasses in Alberta, and was the pianist for an educational outreach composition program with Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble.

In March, Dr. Graeme Langager and the University Singers performed with famed soprano Sarah Brightman at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.

Dr. Jonathan Girard conducting the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Jonathan Girard conducting the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Jonathan Girard, Director of Orchestral Activities, led the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra in a concert in Kodak Hall in Rochester, New York in February.  The program included Poulenc’s Orchestral Suite from Les Animaux Modeles, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major (featuring Fantee Jones, piano), and Franck’s Symphony in D Minor. The concert was the culmination of Dr. Girard’s residency as a visiting professor of conducting at Eastman, where he taught the graduate orchestral conducting students of Neil Varon.

Dr. Girard and Dr. Robert Taylor, Professor of Conducting and Ensembles, presented a special session at the College Band Directors National Association Conference. The session, titled “Maestro Media: Harnessing technology in the evolution of the 21st Century ensemble program,” highlighted the cutting-edge technology they are using with conducting courses and large ensembles at UBC.

In March and April, many different works by Dr. Stephen Chatman, Professor of Composition, were performed across North America. Highlights include the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus performance of Time Pieces in New York, Tapestry Choir and York Chamber Ensemble’s performance of Peace in Newmarket, Ontario, and a special performance of Proud Music of the Storm by the Chorale, an oratorio choir of 150 singers from Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

New Research and Publications

Prof. John Roeder and Assistant Prof. Claudio Vellutini

Prof. John Roeder and Assistant Prof. Claudio Vellutini

Prof. Nathan Hesselink recently spoke at two universities as a Distinguished Speaker for the Association of Asian Studies Lecture Series and presented talks at two international conferences. He gave the lecture “Korean Drumming and Cosmology: Music Reflecting and Shaping Local Culture" at Mt. Allison University (New Brunswick, Canada) and the University of California-Davis (U.S.A.); and he presented "Cross-Cultural Resonance in the Cadential Hemiola” at the Fifth International Conference on Analytical Approaches to World Music in Thessaloniki, Greece, and "Cultural Legacy, Transmission, and Future Prospects for Gochang Nongak" at the 2018 World Forum for Intangible Cultural Heritage in Jeonju, South Korea.

Prof. John Roeder gave three keynote addresses in 2018: at the Analytical Approaches to World Music conference in Thessaloniki, Greece; at the Rocky Mountain Music Scholars conference in Tucson, AZ; and at the Meter Symposium 3 in Sydney, Australia. This summer Prof. Roeder gave lectures at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, and at the 2018 Perspectives on Chinese Contemporary Music Conference, sponsored by the Harvard Shanghai Center.

Dr. Claudio Vellutini has been awarded an Insight Development Grant for his research project “Entangled Histories: Opera and Cultural Networks between Vienna and the Italian States, 1815-1848.” Recently, he presented two conference papers on topics related to this project: “Opera Networks between Vienna and the Italian States: Domenico Barbaja and Der Freischütz” at the 20th Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music; and "Donizetti's Italianità and Viennese Publishers" at the third conference of the international research network Re-Imagining Italianità: Opera and Musical Culture in Transnational Perspective.

Prof. Stephen Chatman published two new compositions: “Life Has Loveliness,” a work for SATB choirs and piano, and “Six Preludes” for alto saxophone and piano.

Dr. Ève Poudrier published “Tapping to Carter: Mensural Determinacy in Complex Rhythmic Sequences" in Empirical Musicology Review. The article investigate the influence of style-specific expertise on musicians' ability to find the beat in a passage from Elliott Carter's 90+ for piano (1994).

Sessional lecturer Dr. Maria Virginia Acuña received an SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship for her project, “Cultural Transfer in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Spain: The Italian Castrato in Madrid.” With Susan Lewis, she co-authored a book, Claudio Monteverdi: A Research and Information Guide. She also published two peer-reviewed articles: “Love Conquers All: Cupid, Philip V, and the Allegorical Zarzuela during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–16),” in Eighteenth-Century Music (March 2018), and “Sobbing Cupids, Lamenting Lovers, and Weeping Nymphs in the Early Zarzuela: Calderón de la Barca’s El laurel de Apolo(1657) and Durón and Navas’s Apolo y Dafne (ca. 1700)” in Bulletin of the Comediantes (2017).

Dr. Brandon Konoval published “Pythagorean Pipe Dreams? Vincenzo Galilei, Marin Mersenne, and the Pneumatic Mysteries of the Pipe Organ” in Perspectives on Science (February 2018), and “Is the Essay Dead? Research and Writing in the Humanities at a Research-Intensive University" in Higher Education Review (50th Anniversary Issue, Spring-Summer 2018).

Harpist and adjunct professor Elizabeth Volpé Bligh published “Cracking the Nutcracker,” a new article in Harp Column about the ballet’s iconic harp part.

Lost and found

Musician and educator Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe (BMus’80, DipEd’91, MEd’92, EdD’14) talks about how she lost her hearing and found her true calling — as a composer of children’s operas

By Tze Liew

Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe. Photo: Takumi Hayashi/UBC School of Music

Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe. Photo: Takumi Hayashi/UBC School of Music

Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe is passionate about music and education. She is also deaf. Having suddenly lost her hearing in 2010, she can no longer hear music or sing in tune, or do many of the things she used to enjoy as a skilled pianist and singer. But in the aftermath of this life-changing event, she has found her unique calling as an educator-composer and librettist, working around her hearing loss to write children’s operas for elementary students in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

As Head Teacher at Confederation Park Elementary in the Burnaby School District, she and a few colleagues founded an arts-integrated program which saved the school from being shut down – the student body had dropped to only 90 students when they first took over in 2006. She began to compose children’s operas for the curriculum in 2011.

“We were trying to get students to understand what opera was, and also learn something significant about our history [and] society,” she says.

The challenge of writing operas for children prompted Windsor-Liscombe to create what she calls musical-operas. “While there’s some recitative in my works” — that is, dialogue which is sung to move the story along — “it’s too challenging and unreasonable to expect untrained elementary students to take on recitative fully. So the pieces I compose have considerably more spoken dialogue than an opera.”

Her first project was based on a children’s book: Mean Jean the Recess Queen, about bullying on the playground. Working in close collaboration with Bonnie Ishii, Confederation Park’s music and dance educator, she adapted the story for grade four and five students to perform.

“Writing the music and re-crafting the story into song lyrics was just a lot of fun – and very gratifying,” she says. “It worked really well for the kids, so I wanted to keep writing more.”

In the following years she wrote the operas Sadako and Kinderzug, integrating the grade seven studies on World War II Japan and Germany, respectively. Sadako, adapted from Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, tells the true story of Sadako Sasiki, a young girl who died from leukemia in 1955 due to radiative exposure from the Hiroshima bomb. Kinderzug is Windsor-Liscombe’s original story, about a teacher who is determined to deliver three Jewish children safely out of Nazi Germany.

“The kids loved them,” she says. “It’s better than just reading a book. When the kids can become the characters in a certain point in history, they live the history more.”

Scene from Kinderzug. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe

Scene from Kinderzug. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe

Besides helping the students learn through experience, Windsor-Liscombe’s operas give them the opportunity to express their talents, and work together in a community.

“It’s great for encouraging self-esteem. Kids who you thought couldn’t carry a tune came forward wanting to do lead roles, and they were wonderful,” she says. “Then there’s always that one kid who just doesn’t want to be onstage. So they do tech or backstage work instead. Everybody gets involved. It’s really rewarding.”

Bringing community together is important to Windsor-Liscombe. Over the years she has invited parents to volunteer as photographers and technicians, as well as guest artists to help with the productions. “It’s about as professional as you can get in a school gym,” she says, laughing. Recently she had Sadako professionally recorded with UBC Opera students Spencer Britten (BMus’15, MMus’17), Andrea Wyllie (BMus’18, MMus student) and alumna Marie Civaterese (MMus’17). For Kinderzug, she hired Civaterese as an artist-in-residence to help teach the students and sing the lead role.

“The Pearl” — a scene from Sadako. Video courtesy of Suzanne Windsor-Liscombe

“Having Marie here took everything up a level, because the kids got to work with a real performer. The kids loved her, and I think she had a good time too,” says Windsor-Liscombe.

“From our first meeting, Suzanne's passion and excitement for her stories was infectious,” Civaterese says. “We discussed the libretto in detail, and once I started learning the music I could immediately feel her connection to the characters. Her operas are a most special educational tool to teach our history to children in a way that helps them connect with the emotional context of the events.”

Since Windsor-Liscombe first helped Confederation Park transition into an arts-integrated school 12 years ago, the school has flourished. It’s filled to capacity today, with students pouring in even from other districts. Her opera productions are an important part of the curriculum.

Windsor-Liscombe says she pieces the music together bit by bit in her head, relying on her knowledge of theory and cadences.

“Even though I can no longer hear music, I can hear it inside my head. It was like my external world became my internal world. Sometimes I think I’m going a little crazy – but now that it’s internalised, I want to get it out.”

It’s a slow and difficult process, but it works. She believes she is lucky to have had good training from teachers such as Stephen Chatman and Cortland Hultberg while studying at UBC in the late 70s and early 80s. But it wasn't until she lost her hearing that composing became profoundly important to her.

“I used to play for ballets, musicals, sing in choir, direct things, teach, go to concerts. All of that was just completely washed out when I couldn’t hear anymore,” she says. “I think composition saved me. It made me feel like I still had some ability after all those years. More than anything else I’ve done in music, this makes me the proudest.”

Windsor-Liscombe continues to teach and to write about issues that matter to her. Currently she is working on another opera: A Letter to Wanda, which focuses on bullying in its many subtle forms, based on the story The One Hundred Dresses by Estelle Estes. It will be performed next spring at Confederation Park Elementary.


Banner image: Takumi Hayashi/UBC School of Music

Jazz visionary John Stetch goes back to school

Six-time Juno nominee and graduate student John Stetch talks about his restless, path-breaking career, the excitement of re-envisioning classical music through a jazz lens, and his decision to return to school 

Text by Tze Liew
Video by Colleen O’Connor

Over the past three decades, John Stetch has made a name for himself as one of Canada’s most innovative jazz pianists and composers. He has performed with contemporary greats such as Mark Turner and Chris Cheek and has recorded sixteen albums, including his most recent release, Ballads. Yet in the middle of a successful career that has earned him critical acclaim and half a dozen Juno Award nominations, he made the extraordinary decision to come to UBC to pursue an M.Mus in Composition.

Part 1: John Stetch talks about his decision to go back to school and the importance of community.

“I wanted to get a Master’s because the nature of work and teaching [in music] has changed in many places, and often requires more than just a Bachelor’s degree. I knew I was going to be living in Vancouver, and I’d heard of UBC and its beautiful campus. There wasn’t really a jazz program around, so I thought a Composition Master’s would be a great fit, since I’ve been starting to write some classical chamber music, not just jazz,” he says.

Stetch is no stranger to change. Ambitious and experimental, he has always forged his own path, inventing new techniques and musical styles — for instance, fusing classical and jazz music in his compositions. Reinterpreting well-known classical works by Mozart, Bach and Chopin through the language of jazz, he is fearless in altering the chords and rhythms, adding new textures with techniques like plucking the inside of the piano to create exciting new renditions, while still keeping the originals recognizable.

“I have this instinct to want to play a little differently every day,” he says. “There are so many interesting possibilities. What if you double up the octaves? What if you play the scale down instead of up? Or change the ending completely?”

Stetch was inspired to play classical music, especially after listening to Glenn Gould playing Bach. Gould’s daring, percussive style pointed to interesting possibilities within the classical canon. But Stetch, a jazz musician, wasn’t sure how to approach the material at first.  

Part 2: Stetch demonstrates his unique approach to piano, performing a reinterpretation of Mozart K 333, Third Movement.

“It was too strange to play Chopin in a jazz club,” he says. “So I ended up rearranging the classical pieces, making them my own style, and treating them as homages to the original composers. Now I can perform them in both jazz and classical contexts.”

Stetch has reworked pieces such as Mozart’s Sonata No. 13 in B-Flat, Chopin’s A-Flat Major Polonaise and Bach’s Italian Concerto, which he recently performed in a Wednesday Noon Hours concert. The Mozart Sonata is a bluegrass arrangement, inspired by a banjo concert he attended. The Chopin and Bach arrangements are jazz-influenced – in Chopin, he plays with odd rhythms to vary and contrast with the original; in Bach, he mixes time signatures to elongate or shorten the theme.

“Mozart and bluegrass were a perfect match. Bluegrass usually has a lot of fast notes, an obvious pulse, and the kind of tonic-dominant-subdominant chord progression that Mozart’s pieces [also] have,” he says.

For Stetch, the interaction between jazz and classical is a two-way street. While bringing jazz improvisation techniques to classical pieces, he also admires classical music for its emphasis on organisation, and tries to bring that into his jazz playing. “I’ve often heard complaints that jazz rambles on too much, that it’s too complicated and random. I don’t like that myself, so I try to keep my playing organized like classical pieces.”

Part 3: Stetch talks about the appeal of experimentation and how he combines classical and jazz music in his compositions.

For such an accomplished pianist, Stetch started piano relatively late, at age 18. He grew up learning clarinet and saxophone, and originally pursued studies in saxophone at the University of Alberta. There he was introduced to figures such as Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarett and Wynton Marsalis, and was struck by the beauty and the rhythmic and harmonic possibilities of the piano.

“I stopped saxophone and switched to piano. I was addicted to it, obsessed with the harmonies and sounds that can be gotten from chords.”

He went on to study piano at McGill University, and later moved to New York, where, with the help of a grant, he sustained himself as a musician for two years and became a pianist for Rufus Reid’s band.

“I worked really hard and even felt behind when I first arrived at NYC, playing with people my age who had been playing all their lives. But at age 26 I found a classical teacher who changed my life. Burton Hatheway, who is now 86, had to get me to forget everything I knew and start from the beginning. It was one of the hardest things I've ever been through — it took about five years to make progress and 10 for it to really sink in.” 

While in New York, Stetch threw himself into the scene. He did so many gigs that he learned to be quick-minded and versatile – playing through unfamiliar standards, figuring out keys, working with singers and making sure the phrases flowed beautifully, all on the go. His improvisations didn’t always work out the way he wanted, though – there were always ups and downs.

Part 4: Stetch demonstrates his reinterpretation of Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat.

“Sometimes they were magical performances, and sometimes I really disliked my own music. You’re your own worst critic, after all. But through the repeated formative experience of trying to improvise and having it fail so many times, the desire to make it better pushes you to find ways to improve.”

It was these heady experiences of failure and growth that made John the improvisational, forward-looking musician he is today — always changing, always evolving. Counterintuitive though it may seem, his decision to uproot and move across the country to study at UBC made perfect sense.

“It’s been a long time since I got feedback on my compositions, so I thought it’d be really neat to get honest feedback and criticism from people like Stephen Chatman, Dorothy Chang, and Keith Hamel, who’ve been listening critically to new music for decades,” he says. “It’s a special introduction to Vancouver, having this instant community of composers to work with.”

At the School of Music, Stetch is challenging himself to compose for instruments he has never worked with before, such as strings and brass.

“John is one of the most naturally and innately talented musicians I have worked with,” says Hamel. “He seems to have the ability to quickly absorb diverse musical styles, to understand the musical materials that comprise each style and to construct new works, which contain elements of the model but are uniquely personal. He understands composition as an act of communication between musicians and an audience, and he always writes with this foremost in his mind.”

Most recently, Stetch composed a piece for brass quintet for the ChanFare series performed by Thunderbird Brass this October at UBC’s Chan Centre. He will tour New York with his band Vulneraville in January.

Banner image by Takumi Hayashi/UBC School of Music


BONUS FOOTAGE: John Stetch on how to play the piano like a string instrument

Video: Tze Liew/UBC

Jocelyn Morlock wins WCMA 'Composer of the Year' award

Image: Break Out West

Image: Break Out West

This weekend, School of Music alumna and lecturer Jocelyn Morlock (MMus’96, DMA’02) won Classical Composer of Year at the 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards. The award is the latest highlight in a big year for Morlock that also includes a Juno Award for Best Classical Composition for her orchestral work, “My Name is Amanda Todd.”

Congratulations to Morlock and all of the WCMA nominees! The Classical Composer category was dominated by faculty and alumni from the School of Music’s vibrant Composition Division, including Morlock and professors Keith Hamel and Stephen Chatman.

Learn more about composition at UBC School of Music.

New recordings

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Two new compositions by Professor Keith Hamel — “Touch” and “Corona” — appear on Music4Eyes+Ears, a multimedia project created by pianist Megumi Masaki. The project “explores how sound, image, text and movement can interact in live performance.”

Watch the album trailer

 

Professor Stephen Chatman released Dawn of Night (CMC Centrediscs, 2017), a collaboration with Conductor Hilary Apfelstadt and the University of Toronto’s Macmillan Singers that weds original music with the poetry of Joanna Lilley, Christina Rossetti, Sarah Teasdale, and Tara Wohlberg and others.

Listen to Dawn of Night (Spotify)

 
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Composer and sessional instructor Jocelyn Morlock (MMus’96, DMA’02)’s new album, Halcyon (CMC Centrediscs), features a who’s who of great Canadian musicians, including baritone Tyler Duncan (BMus’98), cellists Ariel Barnes and Joseph Elworthy, conductor Leslie Dala (MMus’96), pianists Corey Hamm and Erika Switzer (BMus’97, MMus’00), vibraphonist Vern Griffiths (BCom’90, BMus’94), violinist Nicholas Write, and soprano Robyn Driedger-Klassen (BMus’00). Morlock’s new piece “Petrichor” appears on Duo Concertante's Incarnation, and her Juno Award-winning composition “My Name Is Amanda Todd” appears on the National Arts Centre’s Life Reflected. 

Listen to Halcyon (Spotify)

 
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Also in December, Sessional lecturer Alan Matheson and Wade Mikkola released the second volume of their Souvenirs project, a collection of jazz interpretations of Finnish composers, on AMK Recordings.

Listen to Souvenirs (Spotify)

 

 

The Vancouver-based saxophone quartet Saxophilia, featuring sessional lecturer Julia Nolan and alumnus Colin MacDonald (BMus ’93), released their debut self-titled album in December on Redshift Records. The album includes compositions by Professor Dorothy Chang, alumnus Peter Hannan (BMus ’75), John Burke, and Colin MacDonald. Listen to Saxophilia (Spotify)


Julia Nolan also appears on Chor Leoni Men’s Choir’s new album, Wandering Heart, on Elektra Women’s Choir’s latest, Your One and Only Life, and on Sea and Sky Ensemble's Chromaticity.

Composer Denis Bedard’s new album, Works for Organ and Other Instruments, features Nolan on saxophone and Katherine Evans, the School of Music’s Manager of Admissions, on trumpet. 

New research and publications

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Dr. Hedy Law’s essay on the female “citoyenne” in 18th-century French opera — including Sapho (1795) by librettist Constance-Marie de Salm and composer Jean-Paul-Gilles Martini — was published this spring in The Opera Quarterly.

This November, Dr. Ève Poudrier presented a talk entitled “The influence of grouping and tempo on subjective metricization” at the Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting (APCAM) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The presentation slides are available here.

Dr. David Metzer’s new book, The Ballad in American Popular Music: From Elvis to Beyoncé, was published by Cambridge University Press.  It is the first history of the ballad in recent popular music. Prof. Metzer chronicles a musical history of the ballad, looking at how such celebrated singers as Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, and Whitney Houston have shaped the genre. He also offers a history of emotions in popular culture, showing how ballads capture the changing ways in which feelings have been understood and experienced. You can listen to Prof. Metzer talk about his book on the School of Music podcast.

Music theorists and editors Dr. Laurel Parsons (MA ’91, Ph.D ’03) and Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft (Ph.D ’93) won the Society for Music Theory’s 2018 award for the Outstanding Multi-Authored Publication for Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2016). It is the first of a four-volume series.

Dr. John Roeder gave the keynote address at a conference in London about the operas of Thomas Adès. At the Society for Music Theory annual meeting in November, he also presented papers on music of Chen Yi, and on teaching musical meter.

P’ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance

P’ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance

Dr. Nathan Hesselink gave three talks in the past year: "The Backbeat as Expressive Device in Popular Music," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Vancouver; "Korean Drumming and Cosmology: Music Reflecting and Shaping Local Culture," presented at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon; and "Radiohead’s OK Computer," presented as part of Rain City Chronicles “The Record Club” Series, Macmillan Space Centre, Vancouver. The Korean translation of his first book on Korean folk drumming, P’ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance (University of Chicago), was published by the Academy of Korean Studies.

The School of Music’s Rhythm Research Cluster hosted its first symposium, "Entrainment and the Human-Technology Interface," in September. UBC faculty, students, and guest lecturers together explored the history and nature of interactions between live human agents (performers and composers) and an externalizing and regulating entraining agent (both metronomes and click tracks). The next symposium, titled "Modeling Rhythmic Complexity," will focus on the cognition and production of complex rhythmic structures (such as polyrhythm and syncopation) using tools and methods from fields as diverse as linguistics, music information retrieval, behavioural psychology and neuroscience. It is scheduled for January 2018.

Elizabeth Volpé Bligh published a new article in the November issue of Harp Column

During his first year at UBC, Dr. Claudio Vellutini was invited to present at the conference London Voices, 1820-1840 hosted by King's College London and at the Rossini 2017 Conference organized by the Rossini Foundation in Pesaro, Italy. He also gave a paper at the Second Transnational Opera Studies Conference in Bern, Switzerland. His article "Opera and Monuments: Verdi's Ernani in Vienna and the Construction of Dynastic Memory" has been accepted for publication and is forthcoming in the Cambridge Opera Journal. In Vancouver, he was a guest of the radio programme Place à l'opéra on Radio Canada), and gave pre-concert talks on Verdi's Macbeth and Otello at the Italian Cultural Institute and at the Vancouver Opera Festival.

Prof. Stephen Chatman published four new books of sheet music: Shine! shine! shine! from A Song of Joys, Dawn of Night, Forever, Remember Me, and O Clap Your Hands. All are available via Morningstar Music

In May, Dr. Brandon Konoval presented a conference paper for the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science: "The Disenchanted Flute? Music, Max Weber, and Early Modern Science." He also published an article in Modern Intellectual History: "Between Aristotle and Lucretius: Discourses of Nature and Rousseau's Discours sur l'inégalité."

UBC Music faculty and alumni receive four WCMA nods

UBC School of Music faculty and alumni have been nominated for four Western Canadian Music awards in 2017! 

Contemporary chamber music ensemble Standing Wave received nominations for 'Classical Ensemble of the Year' for New Wave, their latest album with Redshift Records, as well as for 'Classical Composition of the Year' for two different pieces on the album — "Raven Tales" and "Pots 'n' Pans Falling.

The ensemble features School of Music lecturers Christie Reside (flutes) and Vern Griffiths (percussion), alumni A.K. Coope (BMus'90) and Allen Stiles (BMus'84, MMus'86), and includes contributions from composer Michael Oesterle (BMus'92) and producer Will Howie (BMus'04).

Professor Stephen Chatman is also nominated for 'Classical Composition of the Year' for Choir Practice: A Comic Opera in One Act. Released by CMC Centrediscs, Choir Practice was performed by the UBC Symphony Orchestra and UBC Opera, with words by Tara Wohlberg. 

The winners will be announced in September 2017. Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

New recordings

Contemporary chamber music ensemble Standing Wave released their latest album, New Wave, on Redshift Records this January. The album features School of Music lecturers Christie Reside (flutes) and Vern Griffiths (percussion). The album includes compositions by Michael Oesterle (BMus'92) and was recorded and produced by Will Howie (BMus'04).
 

 

Redshift Records' brand-new compliation, Redshift XVfeatures works by Prof. Keith Hamel, alumnus Benton Roark (MMus'07, DMA'13). With performances by School of Music ensemble-in-residence PEP (Piano and Erhu Project) as well as Standing Wave and Saxophilia. Performers include Corey Hamm (piano), Paolo Bortolussi (flute), Christie Reside (flute), Vern Griffiths (percussion), Julia Nolan (soprano sax), and Mark Takeshi MacGregor (DMA'12) (flute).

 
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In 2016 Chrystal Records released Double Concertos for Violin and Clarinet, part of their "Making of a Medium" series, which features Prof. Stephen Chatman's 20-minute concerto in four movements for clarinet, violin, and orchestra. One reviewer describes the piece as "a joyous, rhapsodic work that lives up to its putative subject matter." 

 
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In 2016, the chamber duo Couloir — featuring UBC lecturer Heidi Krutzen (harp) and Ariel Barnes (cello) — teamed up with composers James B. Maxwell and Nico Muhly to release Maxwell Muhly & Couloir, a recording that features "gossamer, glacial sonorities as well as aggressive, pounding rhythmic structures, all bound together over the course of an epic sonic journey."

In October Couloir won a Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Music Artist/Ensemble of the Year.

 

In March, Dálava — the award-winning duo of Ph.D. student Julia Ulehla (vocals) and Aram Bajakian (guitar) — released The Book of Transfigurations, a new album of Moravian folk songs channeled through 21st century jazz, world, and post-rock music. The Georgia Straight calls it "astonishing music."

 
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Also in March, composer Matthew Emery (BMus'14) released Sing Your Song, an album of choral works performed by Amabile Choirs of London, Canada and released on the Canadian Music Centre's Centrediscs label. 

Amabile’s performances and Emery’s writing "question and challenge the human spirit and exemplify why Canadian choral music is renowned around the world." 

New research and publications

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Dr. John Roeder presented two conference papers recently:  “Formative processes of durational projection in 'free rhythm' world music” at the Fourth International Analytical Approaches to World Music Conference in New York last June; and “Durational process and affect in a Papua New Guinea song” at the SMT World Music Analysis interest group meeting, in Vancouver in November. Dr. Roeder also published "Superposition in Saariaho's 'The claw of the magnolia….'" in Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960-2000, ed. Laurel Parsons and Brenda Ravenscroft, 156-175. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Drs. Alan Dodson, Nathan Hesselink and Ève Poudrier were awarded a grant from the Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters: Performing & Creative Arts for a series of three symposium on the theme “Exploring Musical Time” during the academic year 2017-2018. The newly formed Rhythm Research Cluster brings together the research interests of six UBC faculty members (including Drs. Richard Kurth, John Roeder, and Michael Tenzer) in the fields of music theory and ethnomusicology that converge on the study of musical time and the production and experience of musical rhythm, timing, and periodicity. The first symposium on “Entrainment and the Human-Technology Interface” is planned to take place in September 2017; stay tuned for more details in the next issue!

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Dr. Brandon Konoval published a chapter entitled "Discipline and Pianist: Foucault and the Genealogy of the Etude" in Foucault on the Arts and Letters: Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century (Rowman & Littlefield, October 2016). In July, he presented a paper at St. Anne's College, Oxford, "Pythagorean Pipe Dreams? Ratios of Pipe Scaling from Vincenzo Galilei through Marin Mersenne," for the international conference in early modern science, Scientiae. In December, he was a panelist at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies for 'Foucault on the Arts and Letters.'

Sessional lecturer Elizabeth Volpé Bligh published “From Solo to Section,” a new article in Harp Column magazine about the role of harpists in an orchestra.

Dr. Stephen Chatman published three new educational books for piano at part of Canticle Publishing’s “Mix and Match” series. His compositions offer “an array of stylistically varied pieces, all paired with harmonically rich duets” for beginning students to learn from. 

Sessional lecturer James Palmer published “Humorous Script Oppositions in Classical Instrumental Music,” an article about humour in the works of Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Mozart, in the latest issue of Music Theory Online.