22 DIRECTORS’ NOTE
for clarinet, violoncello & piano
for two cellos
Billy Janitsch, writer of Musings on Mind and Music, describes music as “one of the oldest, most widely distributed, and most varied cultural phenomena the human species has produced: it has filled the silence of our elevators, led our armies to war, celebrated our victories, and mourned our losses.” Music is power.
64 for violin, violoncello & piano
65 for violin, violoncello & piano
99 for two violins
SPECIAL THANKS TO A. FERNANDEZ, G. LOW, W. MACMILLAN, M. MULLALEY, N. SAKHAVARZ, A. TOROK
It was grade school and the music unit had just begun. We were instructed to bring in empty tissue boxes, bottles, and paper towel rolls. Soon, plucking of rubberband strings and beans raining down decorated paper tubes filled the room. It was music to our ears.
Entertainers now hold more power to influence and effect change in the lives of youth than ever before. This can be marked as a positive or negative turn of events. Pop culture has functioned in blocking out much of other musical culture in our minds and the mainstream is the only well represented genre. The creation of new music is the responsibility of the new generation. Even Shakespeare once said, “If music be the food of love, play on.”
EMMA LIGHTSTONE, DM MANAGING EDITOR
Diem Magazine is an arts and culture magazine of the students from Earl Haig Secondary School. There are no staff contributors as all submissions are freelance. Diem Magazine recognizes the importance of free press and seeks to provide a voice for all students of the school who wish to participate.
by kathy lu
“Fundamental ability to transcend cultural boundaries.” emma is a grade 12 visual arts major. when not writing essays, she enjoys baking vegan cupcakes and collecting small plastic spoons. p.s. emma post-yodeling low-fi cha-cha fusion
MAXIMILIEN LONGUET, DM JINGLE WRITER
by alex chang
“Music is an open source universal language.”
max is a learner, educator, and devout supporter of music. It’s his 3rd language. max speaks, writes, studies, teaches, lives, and listens to music.
Alex Pauk John Gray Alan Torok Jason van Eyck Micah Lexier
Hera Chan Isabel Lee ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
ameri-anna says she can’t tell you nothing. she’s a really strange person though. We think she is an uber good photographer with uber good style.
Emma Lightstone HYPE MEN
techno, minimal, electronic, hip hop, rap
Camila Guevara Xizi Luo
GABRIEL VOLCOVICH, DM AUDIO GUY
“It’s the one thing that triggers one’s creativity and imagination.”
gabe is a creative teenage filmmaker seeking a career in the film industry. gabe enjoys soccer and is an all-around good guy. p.s. gabe
68 76 84
Drums I Am a Grafitti Artist The Comic Book: An Emerging Art Form
6 8 18 82
The Sky is Crying
World Music Series
Ben Chin Freestar Jazz Odyssey Gaurav Dua Jesse Gold Michael Goldchain Lucas Holoday Isabel Lee Julia Levitan
27 28 29 30 31 36 37 38 39 40 41
“Music is my soul.”
Musings on Mind and Music
jazz and classic rock
AMERI-ANNA OZIGIS, DM PHOGRAPHER
by ameri-anna ozigis
Athena Trinh p.s. max
by moy volcovich
The Cello Project $1 000 000 Tryptics Sculpture PHOTOGRAPHY Valery Vladimirova Victoria McKenzie Alex Chang Lewis Mirrett FASHION Hallway Runway
Probably Kill You And Other Personal Stories
Sophie Sahara Jewelry
Anyone Because They Will 48
CREATIVE WRITNG [RAP]
Music Men Series
34 44 52 66 87
4, 79, 104 10 16 32 62, 66
Musings on Mind and Music Music is one of the oldest, most widely distributed, and most varied cultural phenomena the human species has produced: it has filled the silence of our elevators, led our armies to war, celebrated our victories, and mourned our losses. Many of us associate songs with powerful emotions and memories, and invest countless hours mastering instruments as a means of self-expression.
We rarely stop to consider the implications of these replies. Why is too much sadness a negative quality? How does one define sadness? What does it mean for there to be too much of it? What part of the music causes it to be sad? What instrument, what melody, what note is the sad one? And what about it is sad? Why does hearing sad music make us sad? Can a single sound be sad?
We are able to describe our perception of music in very holistic terms: “I like this song”, “What a terrible singer!”, “The melody would sound better played by a flute.” We may disagree with each other about such statements, but we almost always agree upon the meaning of them. If we are asked to clarify (“Why didn’t you enjoy the song?”), we can usually respond with confidence (“It was too sad!”).
There is a seemingly infinite stream of strange and difficult questions to answer, some potentially far beyond our comprehension. Yet, by nodding in agreement in response to such a “clarification”, we somehow manage to bypass answering all of them while still retaining a sense of mutual understanding. Sound is nothing but a series of repeated fluctuations in the air or in any other medium. In fact, “sound” does not exist at all in physical terms – only these vibrations exist, and it is only because they happened to be a good indication of whether or not something large and dangerous was running towards our distant ancestors that we evolved a mechanism to perceive it.
BILLY JANITSCH It is easy to assume that our “five senses” (we actually have over ten) are the only important tangible ways of experiencing our world. On the contrary, there are myriads of others waiting for a favourable roll of the evolutionary dice, some of which may be even more beautiful and profound than those we’ve accumulated. There is no special significance to “sound” as a means of perception – the vibrations required to produce it cannot even occur in the vast majority of the universe.
Perhaps, to a certain extent, we deliberately choose to avoid putting too much thought into this idea. To speak of music, which appears to be so closely connected to our psychological state of mind, in terms of particle collisions is somewhat unsettling. It means that we are able to delude ourselves into thinking that we are content, frightened, or tired simply by manipulating the air around our ears; music is nothing more than a convincing illusion.
Why, then, have humans almost universally continued to explore sound far beyond its practical use? We strive to analyze, organize, and categorize it as “music”. Sometimes, our results bring us great pleasure and satisfaction. Other times, we find them strewn with imperfections. Nevertheless, even the knowledge that music is nothing more than the bumping of air molecules against our eardrums does not prevent us from enjoying it.
In reductionistic terms, perception is merely the firing of neurons based on chemical interactions controlled by sensory input. The culmination of interacting signals – influenced by what we perceive our experience of the world to be - gives rise to consciousness. If a feeling of happiness induced by music (a form of sensory input like any other) is merely a manipulable illusion, how can we assume that consciousness is any more concrete?
“WHO ARE YOU, JHR?”
ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANNIE BAI
BATA DRUM Bata are traditional Cuban ceremonial drums that are played as an ensemble of three. The bata drum originated in Nigeria and was brought to Cuba during the slave trade.
CAIXAS The traditional caixa is constructed in a classic Brazilian style where two pairs of guitar strings span one of the thin synthetic heads, for a strong snare effect and a crackling bright fundamental pitch. The deep shell gives a stronger resonance.
JUG DRUM The jug drum is made of ceramic and is plalyed by rapping the outside while covering and uncovering the holes.
TONBAK The tonbak is a the chief percussion instrument used in Persian art music.
DAMROO The damroo is also known as the monkey talking drum. This a two-sided drum with an hour-glass shape. The player holds the damroo drum in one hand and gives it a sharp twist with the wrist, causing the beads to strike the drum heads.
DOUMBEK The doumbek African drum is a goblet or chalice shaped drum originating in North Africa. There are many variations of the doumbek drum and many similar names (also spelled dumbek, dumbec, doumbec). The doumbek African drum has a resonating sound due to the depth of the body.
BONGOS The bongos are found in many countries and are typically played in pairs.
MADAL The madal is a hand drum which originates in Nepal. It is made of wood or clay. Both heads are played, holding the madal drum horizontally.
BENDIR The bendir is a frame drum which originates in Morocco. Frame drums are among the oldest and most versatile of drums. Many cultures have frame drums: the Egyptian rik, the Brazilian pandeiro, the middle eastern tar and bendir, and native American versions.
INDIAN KETTLE DRUM The Indian kettle drums are called Nagada, Nagadda, Nagara, and Nagarra. These drums ahve a bowl-shaped body and natural hide heads secured with leather webbing. The Indian kettle drum can trace its roots back to Northern India where it had been used for centuries to prepare warriors for battle. One used to convey messages of joy and emergency, the Nagada is now used many for entertainment. In India, Nagada parties are now common and are presented typically by an all-male troupe.
DJEMBE AFRICAN DRUM The djembe African drum orginated in West Africa and is now very popular worldwide. The djembe is played using different strokes of the hands.
DHOL DRUM The dhol drum is a two-sided drum. The cords hold the heads taut and the small rings around the cords provide a mechanism for tightening. The left head, dhamma, has a slightly heavier sound. The right head is called the purha. This drum is beaton with slightly curved sticks.
jhr’s (Journalists for Human Rights) goal is to make everyone in the world fully aware of their rights. Creating rights awareness is the first and most necessary step to ending rights abuses. By mobilizing the media to spread human rights awareness, jhr informs people about human rights, empowering marginalized communities to stand up, speak out and protect themselves. www.jhr.ca
“WHATEVER YOU WANT ME TO BE.”
DM IS PARTNERING WITH JHR. THERE WILL BE NEWS, PARTIES, CUPS half full, TRAVEL STORIES, PHOTOJOUNRALISM, DOCUMENTARIES, GLOBAL ISSUES, ART, CULTURE, LOVE, AND REVOLUTION? YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED.
PRIDE PARADE (Yonge + Wellesley), Toronto, Canada / 2010
Blue Mountain, Jamaica / 2009
(Hollywell) Kingston, Jamaica / 2009
ALEX PAUK ALEX PAUK IS A COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR, AND EDUCATOR. HE FOUNDED THE ESPRIT ORCHESTRA IN 1983 AND NOW COMMISSIONS, PROMOTES, AND CONDUCTS THE WORKS PRESENTED BY ESPRIT. IT IS THE ONLY CANADIAN ORCHESTRA DEVOTED TO NEW MUSIC. GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO FACULTY OF MUSIC IN 1971 AND STUDIED CONDUCTING AT THE TOHO GAKUEN SCHOOL OF MUSIC IN JAPAN. HIS WORK AS A COMPOSER INCLUDES MUSIC FOR EVERY KIND OF PERFORMING ENSEMBLE, THEATRE, AND DANCE COMPANIES.
How did you first become involved with music? From a very early age musical talent was recognized in me by my junior kindergarten teacher. It was nothing specific as being able to sing as she played piano and led some songs in class. When it came time to go to high school, I started out actually to become a high school music teacher. So I went to the education program at U of T, music education, and got my teaching degree. But then I realized all through university and even through high school that I had been starting groups. Not only dance bands, but in high school, I started a little music program at Humberside Collegiate. I started a little chamber orchestra that played Baroque music as well. By the time I went to university I switched to playing piano and developed a strong interest in composing, although I never studied it there. When I finished, I really wanted to be a professional musician. I taught a little bit, but my career turned to being a professional. How did you come to from the Esprit Orchestra? My first real professional work began in Vancouver; I had the opportunity to help form Array Music. After travelling around a bit in Japan, studying and conducting there, I ended up in Vancouver and had a wonderful opportunity there to be free to work only in music. And so I started many groups there, small groups, performing new music. The idea being that I could hear my music, the stuff I wrote, alongside my friends and with these groups perform music that you would get from other places around the world. When I moved back to Toronto permanently, after living on the West Coast for about ten years, I saw the need and I wanted to start a group that I could conduct and program with my own particular vision because the big orchestras at the time were not playing a lot of Canadian music. I provided the opportunity for many composers to write and get their works played as they should be and that was the inspiration for starting Esprit. What’s the meaning of Esprit? Why did you choose to name it?
(Kensington) Toronto, Canada / 2010
The idea was that there is this spirit, this feeling, this way of thinking in mind, and originally the name was Esprit Contemporaine. Nobody could spell Contemporaine and it didn’t say orchestra. We decided to drop that and just call it Esprit Orchestra. Esprit Contemporaine could have applied to the newest music from any era because there’s always been a contemporary thread in any era. So I was continuing that thread into today’s world. Also, we could have actually shown how new music in any era was important to the culture. Anyway, we focussed mainly on commissioning a lot of new works, playing new pieces from around the world, most of which was written in the last 15 years if not brand new. There’s a need for it because composers don’t have easy access to those big orchestras. But there’s a very particular kind of programming that I do, in a way I compose programs to have a musical contour and shape that has a flow of tension, facing, rhythm, colour. So I just don’t throw any bunches of pieces together in any old way. It’s really carefully thought out. I spend a lot of time doing that so that there’s a satisfying logic or sensibility or artistic taste and flow to every concert.
What was your experience in Japan?
How do you choose the composers and pieces to be performed?
Well, I would say, now this was at a school called the To Ho Gakuen School of Music. So it was actually like a Zen experience. Well, in Japan they have a very highly structured sequence of training sessions. I only studied there for half a year, almost a year, but it was a very compressed study in conducting arm technique only. Everything is step by step, you learn how to do the certain motions and you don’t proceed until you’ve really got that one down. It was really great because in that several months, I got a very highly focussed education experience in just arm technique which has lasted with me ever since. It’s a technique that I’ve been able to adapt to any kind of conducting situation. It was a very pure learning thing, so I wasn’t studying harmony and all kinds of other things; it was strictly this technique. It stayed with me. It’s really been fabulous.
Composers are always sending me music to consider, with or without CDs. Some may have been performed before others are sending because they want to be performed for the first time. I also get a lot of suggestions from music publishers, most of which are not in Canada. We don’t have a strong music publishing industry here. A lot of the publishers, even in Europe, are represented in New York. So I get a lot of scores, CDs, brochures, advertising, all kinds of stuff. They send lists of who their composers are, important performance dates for those composers, and a lot of them have reviews. They promote them and say how wonderful their composer’s work is, but just because they say it doesn’t mean it. I have to open it, maybe look at a score or listen to CDs and decide for myself if it fits into the flow of programming. The other thing is, soloists might come to me and say “Hey there’s this piece I really want to play with you” or the members of the orchestra might have heard something or have an idea and suggest it to me. Many times I commission new works and I ask composers to write something brand new. That was the whole idea of starting out the orchestra. The first concert was entirely new works and now we’re in our 28th season.
How does it feel to conduct an orchestra? Sometimes it’s like flying through sounds. Ideally, you’re having a good time like that, flying through sound in a way, controlling it, shaping it. With new music, some of these pieces are so complex though that your focus is really intense on getting the rhythms right and bringing the people into the performance. Sometimes you’re really not able to step back and be free, just float in sound. So those experiences are visceral, every part of your body and mind and thought and motion is going into making it happen properly and with these complex pieces you know that these other dimensions for the listener are being created, dimensions of density of sound, of striking colours and textures that create emotions, or sense of calm. With a lot of new music, the -conductor making that happen is really about technical problems, musical problems of making that happen, so that the audience can have the experience. With classical music that everybody knows and that soloists know by heart, you can flow a lot more easily. You don’t have to think so much about playing because it’s in your brain already. Do you think the Toronto Symphony [Orchestra] players have to worry about practising Beethoven’s 5th symphony? They’ve played it so many times it’s like they’re on automatic. Whereas with most of the stuff we do, everybody’s playing it for the first time ever. There are very special techniques like how to blow the flute in a certain way that is not normally taught by classical, traditional flute teachers and bowing techniques. So making all that happen, explaining it to musicians at rehearsal, takes a lot of time sometimes. By the time you get to the concert there’s a lot of stuff that you’re pulling together. Where do you draw your inspiration from? For me, it’s been mostly related to nature, the cosmos. I had a series this year, last concert, in May, called Cosmos, in which I tried to depict my impression or imagined idea of the forces of the universe, things crashing together, planets, streams of particles floating through space. I would say, often my music is to create a sense of suspension of time, of floating feeling, the states of mind. I have a piece called Beyond, which means not just beyond the building, but beyond imagination and feeling. Things like that. Most of my early writing experience came from when I lived in Vancouver. The climate there, the clouds floating over the ocean by the mountains, I really got into the sense of nature and even pursued it quite strongly because living down there I sometimes went to Hawaii, and would just think, “look at all this beautiful stuff here,” and “how can I bring that into my music and translate that into sound?” and I pursued that idea into some of my music. And I also pursued the idea of shamanism or sorcery sometimes. I don’t know if you know any books by this American writer called Carlos Capunyega (?), but he dealt with other ways of perceiving the world and reality. It’s a matter of space of dreaming, space of changed perception. Do you have any mentors? I had a mentor, he passed away. He was living in Paris, his name was Maurice Constant. He was originally Romanian, but he moved to Paris at the end of the war in 1945. He became a very important conductor, composer there, he was both. His activity actually inspired me. I followed in many ways to be like him, as both composer and conductor. Interested in all the other arts and bringing them into music too because I do a lot of projects that cross the boundaries, I try to involve painters, dancers with our projects and to do multimedia things. I am quite heavily involved in the film world, writing music for film scores and the orchestra too sometimes. We did the recording for Passchendaele. We do a lot of things like that, new music. So my mentor was very much involved in doing more than just music because his imagination and his interests was bigger than just doing another concert. I would often visit him in Paris. He had a studio that he let me stay in bellow his apartment. Anytime I went there I could go to the studio and just sleep. In terms of his impact, I just admired him and saw that it was important to be both conductor and composer, those two things go hand in hand. One teaches you about the other. They each teach you about the other thing.
What do you hope to achieve through working with different high schools? Well, there are different levels, like some levels, you know that there are kids there who are going to become professional musicians or professional artists. Sometimes we’re working at a high standard, demanding and being able to show those people what it’s like to be a musician. For others, it’s the experience of creating and performing, just as a part of their general education to make them well-rounded individuals who understand and support culture and are not afraid of it, and know that there is more than just Lady Gaga. I like Lady Gaga, but there is more than just Lady Gaga out there. And then for people who aren’t music students, it’s the same thing. We want a country in which we have a lot of different interests, to stimulate us, excite us, to teach us, to engage us, rather than just flopping down in front of the TV every night and being flooded over by American entertainment culture. It just washes over you. It’s to help with the sense of identity, not only for the country, but also to help people with their individual identity, identity of Canadian culture relative to the world. As well as individual identity in knowing who you are, knowing how to express it in either your choice of places when you go out, what you talk about to people, or if you’re an artist or a creative person, being able to use it to express yourself. You worked with Earl Haig, what was your experience like? I thought that that was a group of very capable and talented young people who were very disciplined in the approach to what we were doing at the school and then combining with musicians from the other schools in that big project we did at the Mars Centre. I thought it was a very great experience, very, very good. Is there anything else you would like to add? Sometimes I think that having two teenage daughters myself, they have been exposed to a huge amount of stuff, culture things: opera, ballet, symphony. They’ve had lessons of various kinds. They also know and each have had exposure to all the other kinds of music and culture that’s out there too, the totality of it. What I see though is that their friends have a much more narrow focus in what they listen to. They don’t listen to classical music. They’re not that interested in other cultural forms. I encourage young people to have an open mind, and open ears, and open eyes for the wide range of artistic diversity that’s out there, and not just be influenced by commercial culture and by what it makes young people do in terms of peer pressure and all that, to explore on your own, to find your own interests. I know that coming from a school like Earl Haig, it’s a different environment out there, but if you go to the average school, the range of interest is not huge usually and I just encourage young people to be open-minded about new music, new art, new everything, and not just succumb to commercial culture. Because they’re just pre-packaging it for you and they know what they’re going to sell to everybody, long before it gets to you. You know, marketing power. They can sell any movie. They can just bombard you with marketing to tell you what you’re going to wear. This spring is going to be plaid or have leopard spots on it. Remember that? You think everybody said, “Oh, I’m going to wear leopard spots!”? And I think that’s what I would say, just to not be afraid of things and go explore.
Water Osker, Smug, Lewter, Jaz
I AM A GRAFITTI ARTIST Before you judge graffiti and decide that it is nothing but vandalism you have to do some research. I’m not saying that graffiti is either art or its vandalism; I’m trying to provide some background for those who oppose graffiti with little understanding of its significance. Graffiti is more than just the beautiful murals that you see in alleyways: it’s also the scribbles, bubbled lettering and two color throw-ups (a large graffiti work, that is fairly simple in design) that you see on rooftops and at the street corner. For a writer to acquire the skills to be able to paint a mural they have to learn the basics first: tags. Tags are the foundation of everything that a graffiti artist is hoping to paint in the future. It defines their letter structure, their style and also adds a signature to every masterpiece they create. The throw-up is a way to get known within the graffiti community; it’s quick and easy to pull off. Writers will usually start creating pieces once they are better known so that they can bring their own flavour to the graffiti community. Being able to do a nice piece or a nice throw up is not enough; writers aren’t just doing it for the love of the art. Graffiti artists are also doing it for the rush, the attention, and variety of other reasons that often vary from person to person. What’s so great about the graffiti community is that it’s not limited to its stereotype (homeless “hardcore” kids), there are business men, hip hop fans, rock fans, nerds and popular kids who all participate in the scene; it doesn’t matter who you were before you choose your alter ego, what matters in the graffiti community is your new name and what you do with it. Graffiti is not just an art form; to many it’s a lifestyle. As I go through my daily routine, I can’t help but noticing the names of various artists that are painted everywhere, new spots that I can hit up, and spots that have caught the buff (graffiti that has been removed). For a graffiti artist walking to school or walking to the grocery store is not just a walk, it’s a mission to see how many tags you can paint and get away with. So in a way graffiti is a documentation of an artist’s movement. -ANONYMOUS ALUMNUS
VERSE ONE/ This is a rap I’m writing for Diem Magazine This rap will be explaining what it’s like to be a teen In this day and age, kids filled with anger and rage Feeling the pressures of the wolrd at a very young age
VERSE TWO/ Teachers try to engage their students inside the school Yet classrooms are filled with fools Who cannot follow some simple rules A division, between champs and the children with vision A provision, of the future world leaders is missing
VERSE THREE/ But not all hope is truly lost, there are still kids that can dream Of changing the planet or being a boss on a silver screen They’re the ones that’ll lead, Mankind into the new ear People like me, you, innovators like my good friend Hera
VERSE FOUR/ Teaching, making, awaking the masses to truth That knowledge is power, so hours I spend locked in the booth Just perfecting my lines, my rhymes, ignorance will erode Away, cuz the message is hidden in the song as a code. NO WAY.
VERSE ONE/ These rhymes going over your head, Like a jet plane, missed the flight, playing’s over, go back to bed So you can pretend, you’re not worthless Ya, only in your dreams, me on the other handOut of earth shit, even when I’m in my sleep Like Freddy Kreuger, but I can murder you on any street Not a 360, but I’m elite This ain’t COD Black Ops, I’ll make you really bleed Hip hop looked at me, said this one’s a keeper Emperor, no Brutus, forever hail this Caesar Don’t follow Twitter, guess that makes me a leader Tryna keep in time with my rhymes – your teeth’ll hurt Face gracing pages of rap history How an Asian made it remains a mystery Nobody gets what hip hop means to me Immaculately, ejaculating these words at those dissin me These false garbage artists need a break from rap Bitch have a kit kat, so quit the whick wack Knickknack, paddywack, nursery rhyme crap Here’s some alphabet soup, learn some new words asap Your vocab’s growing old fast, and your glass jaws about to get cracked Lame’s ain’t getting anyfame now or ever, so do yourselves a favour and sit back nuff chit chat, c’mon let’s have some damn action Can’t imagine the day I ain’t spittin crazy, acting passive I’m a laxative, I make you lose your shit Running to the bathroom faster than my rhymes when I blitz I’m a wiz kid at making anybody my bitch Sit, shut up, just suck, spit then dip
VERSE TWO/ Apples and oranges, getting ice n cream, going bananas- split Personality, like how a sea cow calls itself a manatee, which Persona do I wanna be? All these wannabees Hoppin mad like a pack of wallabys But you ain’t a Kangaroo Jack Serious talk, you ain’t jack period I can be mad sad happy, Split slow, fast, or even solemnly I cover this earth like a canopy Ya my words may seem like a blasphemy But this is what happens when you corner a rat Back against the wall, damn straight I lost my sanity Pretty sure I’ll never find it again Even when my life’s flashing and about to end You just actin, lackin magic, maybe you put sleeping spells on people I’m a classic in the making, jack-ass in the box, pop goes these weasels
VERSE THREE/ Passion for the art, I’m sharp as a dart Straight through them balloons, calling themselves rappers Goons pretending to be the next new thing Naw, you don’t even matter. Players in a game they never joined, Fuck fair and square, I’m a double-sided coin So here’s 2 heads up, better step the fuck out my lyrical way Never will I bow down to anybody tryna cage up my rage. When I go platinum, None of you haters are going to see a cent of it These are my waters, I’m a shark, your blood - I just need a scent of it Don’t try to make any sense of this I’m senseless to the point this is gibberish take a bite out of you, like a snickers bar bitch Sticklers snickerin at me now, snivelling later, really they just envious If the rap game was a race Anyone else on the same track as me can only be behind in pace Even if you had a head start, I’m a question mark, that monster in the dark Fuck closets n beds, me without a mic and stage for my art Is fucking unnatural like a dog without it’s bark I spray the hottest lyrics that’ll burn your faces more than a can of mace, Inhale my words, swear to God this shit was laced
VERSE FOUR/ Tryna overthrow me, while I’m up on my throne? Send me to exile? Wut I look like, a child needin timeout? No, motherfuckers, I think y’all just feel threatened - out of time Messin around, mentionin events claimin you almost died Fucking jokes, spitting a pack of lies, tryna up their cred And get a slice of my pie! Go ahead then, and have a bite See how bitter my life is, side by side with your own Know the bogus I been through and quit tryna get up on my podium, Or else you’ll end up getting thrown off like I flipped the switch World upside down, underdog on top, was down on my chips I’ma be everything that I can be bitch Call me pretentious, call me ambitious But don’t call me unless I’m getting a deal in pen n ink Think I’d be satisfied hustlin, more ice than a rink But ain’t such a thing as bein too rich Holiday spirit, I’m stealin this Christmas - Grinch So I’m the only one with any presents left, yep Age 17 got the calibre to rap as my gift.
Is this a diss to someone in the same booth? Nah? Maybe? Fuck ya, listen to the damn clues. Grab any chance for success, separate the mice from the men I’m feelin like a million bucks, sucks for you That you got the damn blues I’m a monster truck, runnin over these smart cars. BOO did I scare you? Fuck someone get me my meds cuz I’m a loon Like I got the bird flu, losin my mind A compulsive liar, but I swear this is the damn truth 21
12 MUSICAL TALENTS.
WE JAM 12 PORTRAITS. 12 INTERVIEWS.
I have been singing all my life, but I really started to get into music in grade 1 when I joined the Toronto Children’s Chorus and started taking piano lessons. 11 years later and I’m still committed to it. Where are you from? I was born in Toronto and I am half-Italian and half-Irish (though I mostly identify with my Italian side).
photographed by wais aldabbagh
photographed by michelle deng
Do you remember your first experience with music?
Main passion in life?
Music has always been my main passion in life. The majority of what I do revolves around my music. Are you planning to go into music in the future?
GENUS/ turntabalist AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ GENRE/ Hip Hop BAND TEE/ The Clash WHY/ ”Influential.”
I would love to go into music in the future, over any other career option.
Do you write your own lyrics?
Hong Kong, PRC
Yes. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Music has always been my way of expressing myself, so my lyrics usually reflect on my own life. They come from personal experiences or things I see or hear that inspire me.
When did you start your career in music? I started playing drums around 8 or 9 years old. What’s your style? I would describe myself playing rock (drums) and hip hop (scratching). Where are you from?
GENUS/ singer, songwriter AGE/ 16 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, GENRE/ Jazz, Pop BAND TEE/ Rolling Stones WHY/ ”My mom gave it to me.”
I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Bangkok. I moved to Toronto in 2005.
Main passion in life? My main passion in life is doing what I love doing. Do you want to pursue music as a career? I do not want to pursue a career as a musician, but I have some interests in pursuing a career that may involve music (music journalist/critic/promoter, arts manager, etc). I plan to keep music making/playing. A part of me sees it as an extremely serious hobby that I won’t stop till death. 27
GENUS/ lead vocs, rhythm guitarist, songwriter AGE/ 16 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Canada GENRE/ Progressive, Grunge BAND TEE/ Jimi Hendrix WHY/ ”One of the only good things that came out of the 80’s”
GENUS/ lead guitarist, backup vocs AGE/ 16 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Buenos Aires, Argentina GENRE/ Progressive, Grunge BAND TEE/ Jimi Hendrix WHY/ ”He’s a guitar god.”
GENUS/ drummer AGE/ 16 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Ontario GENRE/ Progressive, Grunge
B/ Well i started listening to Bob Dylan when i was a couple weeks old, growing up to the classic hits from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and on. Singing started early, at around 6 years old. I would considered myself music crazed by the age of 9. Yea dabbling with music only pulled me in more. What is your main passion in life? B/ Music is it, no matter where it takes you it will never let you down. A/ I have to main passions in life, the first being music, weather it be with my band, or just discovering new artists, the second is photography.
GENUS/ drummer AGE/ 16 GENRE/ Progressive, Grunge
Do you want to pursue music in the future? B/ Definitlely , music is the only direction i’m following and i think about it everyday. I am going to be a well known music producer and performer. I want to become a music freak in the best way. A/ Going into professional music with my band would be a great experience. Do you write your own lyrics and how do you find your inspiration? B/ I write my own lyrics and i also write for the sake of interest. Writing you’re thoughts down is where the music truly becomes you’re own. My main inspiration is made up of everything significant or insignificant that needs to be expressed. I feel inspired to write about love as i find myself exploring it everyday. Love, Death, and fiction are all inspirations in my writing. I cannot entitle only one, because many things inspire me to write. A/ Bryson writes the lyrics most of the time, but from time to time I write some songs. Main inspirations will be anything, it all starts off with an idea in my head, and it will just lead me somewhere, and before I know I’ve written the song.
GENUS/ guitarist, songwriter AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Dubai, Saudi Arabia GENRE/ Folk, Acoustic BAND TEE/ Led Zepplin WHY/ “Led Zepplin is frigging awesome!” When did you start dabbling into music? Does the recorder count? No? Then I started playing the guitar when I was 13 because I was obsessed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blink 182 and other bands like that and I wanted to do what they did. Namely, rock out on guitar. I still have a long way to go though. Where are you from? I don’t know how to answer that. I’m from every place I’ve lived in, I think. I’m Indian by blood, born and raised in Saudi Arabia, have a home in Dubai, am emotionally attached to Kodaikanal, a mountain village in India I was studying in last year, and I live in Toronto now. Yep. That’s pretty much my life story. What is your main passion in life? Probably orange juice.
Would you say you’ve found love?
Do you want to go into music in the future?
B/ Its a certain Yes!
Ideally, yes. But along with some other career. I don’t want my income to depend on my music. I think that would ruin it for me.
What draws you to fiction?
photographed by maliko peck
photographed by eilee su
freestar jazz odyssey
What was your first experience with music?
B/ I can express my need to escape reality. Fiction is my own creation, which makes it more real then ever. there are no boundaries in a world of fiction, which draws me to expressing myself in that world. I often write about cotastrophy, obscene disorders, the afterlife, and ultimatums of the universe.
Do you write your own lyrics? Indeed I do. What is your main inspiration? Anything and everything. Most of the time, my songs are reflections of what’s going on in my life at the time. Recently, though, I’ve started writing stories in my songs. Some vague, some serious, and some about nothing at all. Like a superhero with toasters for feet.
photographed by Isabel Lee
jesse gold GENUS/ guitarist, songwriter AGE/ 16 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Canada GENRE/ Jazz, Pop BAND TEE/ John Mayer WHY/ “My primary inspiration and motivator.”
GENUS/ producer, mixer AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Canada GENRE/ Hip Hop BAND TEE/ A Tribe Called Quest WHY/ ”It’s nice colours and I like them.” What is your style?
What are your plans for your life beyond school? Making music is the one thing I have always wanted to do. It gives me a positive outlet for any and every kind of situation. It’s the only thing in my life that I have found to give me the feeling it does. I know that will be doing music for the rest of my life. How long have you been playing the guitar? I’ve been told that I asked my parents for a guitar at the age of three. I was fortunate enough to have wonderful supportive parents who granted my request (and still do). I have not put down the guitar since. I have a practice schedule of 3-4 hours each day.
I play all different genres of music. I mainly learned classical and contemporary piano but I recently just had my first jazz piano lesson. The style I produce is mainly hip hop. Where are you from? I was born in Toronto and have lived here my whole life. My mother was born in a suburb of London, England called Surrey but was a military brat and lived on a base in Ireland with the rest of her Irish family. My father was born in Chile and lived there up until he went to university. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Berklee was the most incredible opportunity and experience in my life. The things that I learned from Berklee made me a better musician and also gave me the skills to improve on my own. I met my best friends in the world and I had a nice little chat with my primary inspiration and motivator, John Mayer. So...Berklee was the bomb. I’m going back and it’s gonna be even better.
Most of my inspiration is drawn from famous producers on Youtube. The RZA from the Wu Tang Clan is a huge inspiration. He founded the group and produces almost all of their songs and lived life as a starving artist to achieve the star status he has now. He’s also Wu Tang’s self proclaimed leader and spiritual guide or “abbot”. Kanye West is another huge inspiration. He was originally just a producer and produced a lot of songs for Jay-Z before going in to the rap game as well. He still produces all of his songs and has created a style that is recognized all over the world and is actually compared to RZA’s style of producing.
What do you do to get inspired?
How you describe your style?
The way that I get inspired is by listening to as many different genres and artists as I can. The one fact about me that people are always the most surprised to learn is the music that I actually LISTEN to is different from the music I make. You may say that me writing jazz inspired pop tunes while constantly listening to screamo is weird or unproductive, but to me, its the most efficient and brilliant way to write unique and truly musical music.
If i could put a label on it i would call it Hip Hop. I try to incorporate different genres of music into mine using samples from old soul and jazz records while also incorporating my own piano playing in my music. I’m glad that I’m taking jazz lessons because I want to try to get off the sample band wagon and create soul/ jazz based productions using my own playing. I’ve dabbled a little bit in the flashy kind of new age urban beats. I’m still trying to see where I fit in and find my own style and niche but I suppose that just comes with time and practice. 31
How was your summer experience at Berklee College of Music?
MOBILE PHONE PROJECT
DOCUMENTATION I’m usually home at night before anyone in my family, and I find that I’m usually the one who gets the door. I tend to run right up to the door, grip the lock, press my eye against the peephole before unlocking and opening it. It’s almost always a member of my family. I’m sure most people do this – it’s familiar, it’s habitual. I documented the images that I saw when I answered the door - night after night for over two weeks, and compiled the photos together onto a large spreadsheet. I chose the size and the composition of the photos specifically to invite the viewer towards the piece and to squint and attempt to make out every individual image for themselves – much like one does when answering the door. What they’ll see, then, are small, individual figures waiting to come home every day after a day at work, at school, or at the mall. Each photo is a glimpse into my personal life, as well as the subjects of the photograph. KATE GUAN
photographed by rui su
photographed by hera chan
lucas holoday GENUS/ guitarist, songwriter AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Mississauga, GENRE/ Alternative, Ska BAND TEE/ Spice Girls WHY/ ”Like my favourite band ever.”
isabel lee GENUS/ violinist, composer AGE/ 16 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Binghamton, New GENRE/ 21st Century, Contemporary BAND TEE/ Paramore WHY/ “Hokay, it’s the only one I have.”
What would you describe as your primary inspiration for creating music?
When did you start dabbling into music?
Yeah, most inspired by my life, been through a lot.
When I was around 9 years old, my parents bought me a toy violin. It was one of those brightly coloured plastic things where you press a button on the plastic fingerboard and the sound box inside plays a simple melody or tune. I got hooked on that toy and always loved playing with it. A year later, my elementary school introduced a music program to kids who were interested in learning string instruments and I signed up immediately. From that point on, it’s been violin, violin, violin. And some other things.
What do you mean?
Do you want to go into music in the future?
My life has been tough, my dad going to jail, parents splitting up when I was young. But I’ve been trying to write happier lyrics lately.
Fo sho. When I was younger, I once had this obnoxiously long dream that I met Sarah Chang in the streets of Seoul and we went to eat lunch where I randomly pulled out a violin and started performing a piece for her. Since this was a dream, she was instantly blown away and shocked at my range of musicality and technique. She took me to her manager and we set up a contract of some sort and the dream zoomed ahead 10 years and I was performing Wieniawski’s Legende in Carnegie Hall. I think I had this dream when I was around 11 years old and after that I always had this secret fantasy of performing in Carnegie Hall one day as a soloist. Since then I’ve realized that becoming a soloist is not a possible option for me, but there are still so many other career possibilities as a violinist and musician. Plus, I’ve acquired another secret fantasy since then, of becoming a music producer alongside Owen Pallett or Pharrell Williams. Hope that works out someday.
My primary inspiration would be slightly stupid...Jack Johnson. And also older bands like Sum 41, Blink 182, Sublime, and also Green Day. Do you write your own lyrics?
Why did you start playing music? In grade 8, my teacher offered to teach me guitar and I said yes. I’d never taken lessons after that so I just taught myslef. I just got hooked on it and its been a passion of mine ever since. Do you want to go into music in the future? No, just something that I’ve been having fun with in my teenage years. I’ll still keep it up for leisure though.
photographed by mara batdelgar
photographed by jason kung
kalya ramu GENUS/ singer AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Canada GENRE/ Jazz BAND TEE/ Ella Fitzgerald + Louis Armstrong WHY/ ”I love them. Best people in world.”
GENUS/ singer, songwriter AGE/ 16 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Canada GENRE/ Jazz BAND TEE/ Marvin Gaye + Jimi Hendrix WHY/ “They’ve got soul.”
What were your first experiences with music?
What were your first experiences with music?
I grew up surrounded by music. When I was a baby, the sounds of classical and jazz filled our home. My parents often recount the story of how they “knew I had a passion for music.” When I was only a few months old, I began to cry uncontrollably every time they turned off the music, and stopped immediately when they switched it back on. My father also recalls singing me lullabies each night before bed as a toddler. He laughs about how I would get quite upset if he sang the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star incorrectly. “You sang before you could talk, and danced before you could walk,” he always tells me. So I guess you could say I was born with my love of music. But when I was four years old, my parents enrolled me in piano lessons. After that, I was addicted.
I’ve been interested in music since early childhood, and have been singing with different choirs since grade 4, but it was just around my 13th birthday when I began considering music as a career choice.
What is your main passion in life? This is a very difficult question as I am passionate about quite a few things...I can’t pick just one. First, I think it is so important to choose to be a happy and optimistic person, and use this attitude to help others in whatever small or big ways I can. (Corny, but true.) I also really value my relationships with my friends and family. In addition, I am so interested in learning about other people’s lives, thoughts, feelings, etc. Lastly, I am in love with musical theatre, acting, dancing, and, of course, music. Do you write your own lyrics and where do you find inspiration? I do write my own lyrics. I began writing at a very young age. I wrote countless poems and stories. However, I wrote my first song about four years ago. I was going through quite a tough time, and found that the only satisfying way I was able to express my negative feelings was through writing music. For the next two and half years or so, all my songs were ballads that were inspired by my troubles, as well as those of my friends and family. But when things began to look a little brighter, I started to write faster, catchier songs. I am inspired by other artists, experiences (both good and bad), my dreams, my regrets, close friends and family who have impacted me in any way, and relationships.
Where are you from? I come from Middle Eastern roots, more specifically; both my parents were born and raised in Israel. But I was born here, and have lived in Toronto all my life. Do you want to pursue music in the future? As of now, I’m genuinely involved with music and am very interested in pursuing it. I don’t know if I’ll ever end up being a singer, but I sure as hell enjoy singing and won’t ever stop. Also, I do want to go study music, and have already applied for a couple great vocal jazz programs for next year. Do you write your own music? Over the last few years I’ve experimented with writing my own music, more with chords and melodies than with lyrics. I don’t have any finished pieces, and I generally prefer singing my altered versions of other artist’s songs than writing. I think that when I go study music in university and learn more about composition and song writing I will gradually come up with some of my own material. Do you sing in the shower? Of course I sing in the shower..doesn’t everybody? And i don’t have a constant shower song, I tend to sing anything that I recently have been listening to, which these days is Christmas music.. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...” 39
GENUS/ lead vocs, rhythm guitarist, songwriter AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Canada GENRE/ Alternative Indie, Jazz, Reggae, Funk BAND TEE/ Jimi Hendrix WHY/ ”The godfather of guitar.”
GENUS/ lead guitarist, backup vocs AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Amsterdam, Netherlands GENRE/ Alternative Indie, Jazz, Reggae, Funk BAND TEE/ Rancid WHY/ ”One of the best punk bands.”
GENUS/ bassist AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Toronto, Canada GENRE/ Alternative Indie, Jazz, Reggae, Funk BAND TEE/ Protest the Hero WHY/ ”I like to blast my ears with a lil bit of hardcore every now and then.”
A/ I’ve always been interested in music, (hip-hop and rap being the first), then singing, dancing, and acting ever since I was a kid. I think it’s safe to say that my sister was who got me all into it. But then I got into sports and athletics at around the age of 10. After being influenced with rock music when I transferred schools, I got back into music and acting, and have been into it ever since then. N/ Music became a part of my life when my father chose to enroll me in a music program, at the age of 5, which would make you play different instruments every week to see which you prefer. I chose to play the drums, because which kid doesn’t like to bang on stuff, but my father chose guitar because drums were for “punks” (no wonder Vlad is a drummer). So from that day on, I started to practice the guitar. V/ When I was 6 years old I had a choice between guitar and drums, and I chose to bang. What is your main passion in life? A/ My main passion(s) in life are music and acting, but music to be first. N/ My main passion in life is to be happy and have a lot of money. Money part is pretty typical, but in my point of view, that is really what matters in our society now-adays. V/ My main passion in life is making mad dough with absolutely no effort on my part.
GENUS/ drummer AGE/ 17 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Bucharest, Romania GENRE/ Alternative Indie, Jazz, Reggae, Funk
A lot of the rap nowadays is not lyrical at all, like the Black and Yellows, but a lot of my music is performed without a beat so that you can actually hear the lyrics. What got you started? Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you and your music? The first rap artists I’ve ever listened to were Tupac – kind of cheesy – and Eminem. Also Common, because of their lyrics and spoken poetry. Where do you see your music career in 10 to 15 years from now? Right now, performing and writing my own music is just a hobby, and it sounds cheesy but school obviously does come first. I guess I’ll maintain it as a hobby for now and see where it goes from there. Do you play any instruments? I play piano.
Do you want to go into music in the future? A/ Of course…if not then some sort of social scientist, or psychologist. N/ I would love to go into music in the future. My dream is to become famous with our band, always wanted and will want to, but sometimes people don’t have the same dreams as you or just don’t believe in practice makes perfect. I definitely will continue to play music in the future, maybe just for enjoyment than recognition. V/ Hell ya i wanna go into music in the future. Do you write your own lyrics and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Explain what is unique about your style – what makes you different from other musicians today?
photographed by ingrid grozavu
photographed by alex chang
When did you start dabbling into music?
A/ When composing my own songs, yes. I tend to compose songs most when I feel and am influenced strongly about something happening in my life. May be positive or negative.. it all depends on my overall mood and what state I’m currently in, in that particular time. V/ No I dont write lyrics I’m a freaking drummer.
athena trinh GENUS/ spoken word poet AGE/ 14 ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES/ Brampton, Canada GENRE/ Hip Hop BAND TEE/ Tupac WHY/ ”One of the first rap artists I ever listened
Was there any event in your life that has shaped you, either as a person or as an artist? Does it influence the way you write music? I don’t live with my parents – they actually moved half-way across the world when I was really young (in grade three). I was here for a year with my aunt and uncle but after they left but it was hard, so I moved to Vietnam to live with my parents, which was even worse because they weren’t around anyways. So I used, and still do use, music as an outlet. Do your parents still live in Vietnam today? Yes. 41
SOPHIE SAHARA JEWELRY
Original Jewelry SOHPIE BARKHAM Photography HERA CHAN + WAIS Al DABBAGH Models LAUREN EISEN + RENUKA GILES
the cello project
1/ EMMA LIGHTSTONE
2/ PEDRAM SAZESH
3/ JENNIFER WONG
Through its juxtaposition of the predetermined confines of the initial stencil and the chaos of the subsequent mark making, this piece intends to explore the relationship between the arbitrary and the ordered. In some ways, this contradiction of intent and result parallels the intersection of the absolute nature of written music and the variability of its interpretation.
The cello, just like any other object, is only useful when a source of energy is applied. The cello is most useful when a proper celloist is playing it. It is an object that eimts something that excites one of our senses. The sound originates from the middle bar. The flourescent light is a object that shares this quality, it emits an energy (light) when a source is applied (electricity). The length of the fixture is 3 feet long, identical to the length of the upper bar. The source is emphasized by the electrical extension cord. The extension cords that lays on the ground suggests an organic quality and contrast with the linear quality of the light fixture. This invites the viewer for a closer look because the work connected to the space around it (the piece is plugged in to a electrical outlet), and the light that is emited onto the surfaces around. The two “F”s symbolize the cello by representing the “fholes” of the cello. The expressive brushstrokes is a tool I used to emphasize the weight of the object and the horizontal quality of the body. It is there to contrast with the very linear quality of the light. My piece explores the object and the uses of it.
To represent my interpretation of the cello’s figure, I washed over the imprint of the body oil from a female’s back with diluted ink. I saw the cello as a very feminine figure and wanted to convey this impression using the natural curves of a female’s body. In addition, I wanted to gain a personal connection to this piece by using my own body as the subject. This was done to emphasize the individuality of each person’s perception of the same object.
Never Trust Anyone Because They Will Probably Kill You And Other Personal Stories
[playlet] by Aviva Zoe Philipp-Muller
(It is a Tuesday. However, not only is it a Tuesday, but it is also January 3rd 1998. In 1998, January 3rd actually happened on a Wednesday, so this day never actually happened. But it is a recreation of what actually happened inside my heart on that day that actually never happened.) (The location is the intersection called Yonge and Bayview. Agamemnon is sitting on a park bench feeding breadcrumbs to the pigeons in central park. Wilhelmina walks coyly towards him. He looks up at her. They make eye contact. Wilhelmina then blinks, thereby breaking their eye contact. This should be recognized as her cue to speak.) (Oh yeah, and there are no set changes in this script because this would detract from the dramatic affect of this moving, inspirational, and constipating piece of brilliant, revolutionary literature.)
(The millions and millions and millions of stars that cover the sky twinkle and illuminate their faces) AGAMEMNON: I just need to stop lying to myself, pretending around you. WILHELMINA: So I guess this means you feel the same way? (Note the double use of the word “convenience” in the next two lines they should be emphasized because then it’s ironic.) AGAMEMNON: Yes, I think so. This is conveniently a lot easier than I expected it to be. WILHELMINA: Yes, conveniently, it was a hell of a lot easier. (Wilhelmina leans in to kiss Agamemnon who in turn leans away in surprise.)
WILHELMINA: Hey. (raises eyebrow)
AGAMEMNON: What are you doing?
AGAMEMNON: Hi. (said in raspy, arousing voice)
WILHELMINA: What do you mean? I’m kissing you! (raises eyebrows in confusion)
WILHELMINA: Can we talk about something? (her voice goes up at the end, as though she is asking a question) AGAMEMNON: Yeah, I think we should. (his voice does not)
WILHELMINA: But it’s felt like I’ve known you my whole life. AGAMEMNON: Yeah, it’s dragged on! I feel like every time I’m with you, the clock couldn’t move slower! It’s like a slow torture. WILHELMINA: That’s harsh. AGAMEMNON: Well, you obviously don’t understand subtlety. WILHELMINA: There’s a middle ground between subtlety and being an asshole! AGAMEMNON: You’re right. Sorry. (hangs head)
WILHELMINA: Because I love you!
AGAMEMNON: (looks away, avoiding her captivating gaze) It’s hard for me too.
WILHELMINA: I said I love you!
WILHELMINA: I just need to tell you how I feel about you.
AGAMEMNON: Love you? It’s been two weeks!
AGAMEMNON: What the hell?
AGAMEMNON: Yes, this is a rather odd and fortunate co incidence.
WILHELMINA: I thought you meant you love me!
WILHELMINA: (rings her hands) This is hard for me to say.
WILHELMINA: I’m really happy we’re on the same page. (mimes as though she is stuck in a box; if this is directed and acted properly, then it should be moving to tears)
AGAMEMNON: Well that’s what I was talking about when I said I needed to stop pretending around you!
AGAMEMNON: No, you can’t! (Wilhelmina runs her toes through the desert sand) WILHELMINA: I do! AGAMEMNON: Didn’t we just agree to break up? WILHELMINA: No! Absolutely not!
WILHELMINA: So are we breaking up then? AGAMEMNON: (Throws up hands in extreme frustration, be wary that this action is not done in an overly provocative manner.) Oh my God! WILHELMINA: (Steps back in defense. Should perhaps duck for fear that in a fit of rage, anger and aggravation Agamemnon will hit her) Just asking! AGAMEMNON: I have no interest in continuing a relationship with you. WILHELMINA: But I love you! AGAMEMNON: Good for you.
WILHELMINA: That’s not fair! AGAMEMNON: What? WILHELMINA: Shouldn’t we agree on breaking up? AGAMEMNON: No! WILHELMINA: If we’re a couple, we should agree on decisions like this.
WILHELMINA: (shakes head tragically, as though her entire life has come crashing to the crusty earth in balls of fire. Which it has)? No, no, no, no, no!!!! You can’t mean that. AGAMEMNON: (Takes Wilhelmina’s hands in his and says to her genuinely.) I do, I honestly mean it. Being with you aggravates me to the point where I feel as though suicide is my only means of escape from your deathly grip.
WILHELMINA: Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! No! No! No! No!
AGAMEMNON: I’m going to put the gun in my mouth, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.
WILHELMINA: Oh you would put it in your mouth. AGAMEMNON: Shut up!
WILHELMINA: You’d never do it.
WILHELMINA: (hangs her head) I’m sorry.
AGAMEMNON: But we’re not a couple!
AGAMEMNON: Try me.
(Comic relief in a dramatic and suspenseful scene.)
WILHELMINA: In my opinion we are.
(A space ship can be heard blasting off)
AGAMEMNON: It’s not an opinion. WILHELMINA: Well, do you believe that we are still dating? AGAMEMNON: Certainly not! WILHELMINA: And I do! It’s just a difference of opinion; we’ll get over that! (Wilhelmina does a headstand. This should represent how our world is upside down, and there is no way of achieving or maintaining order.) AGAMEMNON: No! It’s a fact, an empirical fact! I. Am. Breaking. Up. With. You. WILHELMINA: And it’s a fact that I love you! AGAMEMNON: Get a life! WILHELMINA: You are my life. You are the stars, the sun, my everything. (The ocean can be heard in the background) AGAMEMNON: And you make me want to kill myself.
WILHELMINA: You don’t have the will to kill yourself. It’s never going to happen. AGAMEMNON: Oh yeah? (Agamemnon is challenging Wilhelmina’s claim, implying that perhaps it will happen!) WILHELMINA: Yeah! (Wilhelmina rejects this rebuttal.) AGAMEMNON: If I had a gun, I’d do it right now! WILHELMINA: I have a gun, do it... AGAMEMNON: Right now? WILHELMINA: That’s what you said. AGAMEMNON: Okay, pass it over here. (Wilhelmina passes gun to Agamemnon) AGAMEMNON: I’m going to do it now. (Note the triple use of the word “okay” in the next three lines. This, too, is ironic and is also a theme.) WILHELMINA: Okay. AGAMEMNON: Okay.
WILHELMINA: (Wilhelmina runs towards Agamemnon in slow motion) Noooooooo!!!!!! BANG (Agamemnon falls dead, his cold body tumbling, just as the tear from Wilhelmina’s cheek had tumbled so recently.)
AGAMEMNON: I’m doing it. (Brings gun about an inch closer to his head)
AGAMEMNON: And now...I...die! (Agamemnon struggles for breath. His lumpy body twitching and convulsing as the bullet passes through his blood stream in a metaphoric way.)
WILHELMINA: (imitating B) Good for you!
(I would just like to point out the allusions to Romeo and Juliet)
AGAMEMNON: I’m pulling the trigger.
WILHELMINA: (falls to the ground, pounding fist into the floor and staring up at the mad gods) Whyyyyyyyyy?????? Oh, gods why?
WILHELMINA: (winks) got it. AGAMEMNON: In three seconds. 3...2... WILHELMINA: (lunges for the gun) I can’t let you do it. AGAMEMNON: Because you love me? WILHELMINA: Yes! (falls to her knees. Looks at the heavens. A tear gently caresses her cheek, then tumbles down...down...down...into the abyss.) AGAMEMNON: Well I don’t care! I’m going ahead with it anyway.
(Agamemnon is dead on the ground. His body is still warm.) (Agamemnon is still dead on the ground. His body is no longer warm.) (Agamemnon is still dead on the ground. Vultures and other scavengers begin pecking at his corpse) (Wilhelmina’s face suddenly grows evil. She lets out a mighty, and evil sounding, evil laugh. Beethoven’s 9th symphony begins to play.) WILHELMINA: Being a hit man is so much easier when you just get them to do it themselves. Fin
WILHELMINA: Fine! I’ll cry my sorrow to the black night! (Wilhelmina shades her eyes from the sun) AGAMEMNON: (sarcastically) You do that. WILHELMINA: I will!!!!! AGAMEMNON: I’m doing it now. 51
$1 000 000 Interpretative paintings produced by the 9 year olds of the Claude Watson Elementary School. If you’ve ever been to a contemporary art gallery and thought a kid could have produced the work shown and sold it for $1 000 000, this is for you. Ms. Fernandez’ grade 4 visual arts class listened to various musical pieces from different periods and painted their interpretation.
symphony no. 5 in c minor, op. 67 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
“The Classical era (1750 - 1825) is characterized by order, objectivity, and harmonious proporation. Classicists emulated the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. This era was an age of strong aristocratic sovereigns throughout Europe. The American Revolution (1775 - 83) and the French Revolution (1789 - 99) profoundly changed political systems and social order. The era saw significant advances in science and ideas, and the Industrial Revolution made mass production possible. German writers were among the first to express a romantic view of the world. “
COMPOSERS FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Forney, Kristine., Machlis, Joseph. The Enjoyment of Music. U.S.A.: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2007.
Classical nora pandy
“The Baroque era (1600 - 1750) was a time of turmbulent change in politics, science, and the arts. It was also a time of religious wars (Protestants vs. Catholics) and of exploration and colonization of the New World. This ear saw the rise of the middle-class culture, with music-making centered in the home, church, and at the universities (in a group called the collegium musicum): art portrayed scenes of bourgeois life. In the New World, music served religion through the singing of psalms, important to both Protestants and Catholics. The conquest of the New Wolrd stirred the imagination and filled the treasuries of Western Eruope. The middle classes acquired wealth and power in their struggle against the aristocracy. Empires clashed for control of the globe. The era was characterized by appalling poverty and wasteful luxury, magnificent idealism and savage oppression. Against contradictions such as these evolved the pomp and splendor of Baroque art, in all its vigor, elaborate decoration, and grandeur.” Forney, Kristine., Machlis, Joseph. The Enjoyment of Music. U.S.A.: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2007.
spring, from the four seasons ANTONIO VIVALDI
COMPOSERS CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI HENRY PURCELL BARBARA STROZZI JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL DOMENICO SCARLATTI ANTONIO VIVALDI JOHN GAY CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK
“Impressionism was a French movement developed by painters who tried to capture their “first impression” of a subject through varied treatments of light and colour. The literary response to Impressionism was Symbolism, in which writings are suggestive of images and ideas rather than literally descriptive. Impressionism in music is characterized by exotic scales (chromatic, whole tone), unresolved dissonances, parallel chords, rich orchestral colour, and free rhythm, all generally cast in small-scale programmatic forms. Many late Romantic composers were highly influenced by new sounds of non-Western and tradional music styles heard at the Paris World Exhibition of 1889.”
Impressionism Forney, Kristine., Machlis, Joseph. The Enjoyment of Music. U.S.A.: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2007.
prelude to “the afternoon of a faun” CLAUDE DEBUSSY
COMPOSERS FRANZ SCHUBERT ROBERT SCHUMANN FREDERIC CHOPIN FRANZ LISZT CLARA SCHUMANN LOUIS GOTTSCHALK HECTOR BERLIOZ JOHANNES BRAHMS ANTONIN DVORAK FELIX MENDELSSOHN AMY BEACH GIUSEPPE VERDI RICHARD WAGNER GIACOMO PUCCINI PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
polonaise in a major, op. 40, no. 1 (military) FREDERIC CHOPIN
CLAUDE DEBUSSY MAURICE RAVEL
Romantic “The Romantic era (1820 -1900) grew out of the social and political upheavals that followed the French Revolution and came into full bloom in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. The Revolution itself was a consequence of the inevitable clash between momentous social forces and signaled the transfer of power from a hereditary landholding aristocracy to the middle class. This change was firmly rooted in urban commerce and industry, which emerged from the Industrial Revolution. The new society, based on free enterprise, celebrated the individual as never before. The slogan of the French Revolution “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” - inspired hopes and visions to which artists responded with zeal. Romantic poets and artists abandoned traditional subjects, turning instead to the passionate and the fanciful; novels explored deep human conflicts and exotic settings and subjects. Sympathy for the oppressed, interest in simple fold and in children, faith in humankind and its destiny, all formed part of the increasingly democratic charcter of the Romantic period.”
Forney, Kristine., Machlis, Joseph. The Enjoyment of Music. U.S.A.: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2007.
“The term ‘new music’ has been used throughout history. Nearly every generation of creative musicians produced sounds and styles that had never been heard before. All the same, the innovations of the last half of the twentieth century have outstripped the most far-reaching changes of earlier times, truly justifying the label ‘new music.’ In effect, we have witnessed nothing less than the birth of a new world of sound. Feminist as well as ethnic art and literature flourished. Modern theater and music merged into performance art, a multimedia genre explored by John Cage and Laurie Anderson, among others. Some composers moved in the direction of total serialism, imposing a more structured organization syste on their works, while others moved toward freer constructions. European and American composers alike responded o societal changes that occurred after World War II to produce experiemental, or avant-garde, music in widely varied styles and genres. Canada has followed the lead of European countries, and France in particular, in establishing significant government-sponsered programs in the arts, with a goal of preserving the country’s cultural heritage and promoting and disseminating the artistic products of its composers and performers.”
COMPOSERS KYE MARSHALL JAN JARVLEPP OWEN PALLETT ANTHONY BRAXTON ENRIO MORRICONE KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN JOHN WILLIAMS PETER MAXWELL DAVIES IANNIS XENAKIS
Forney, Kristine., Machlis, Joseph. The Enjoyment of Music. U.S.A.: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2007. kenara lee
homeless LADYSMITH BLACK MOMBAZO + SARAH MCLACHLAN
21st century christopher chifor
20th century COMPOSERS JOHN CAGE PHILIP GLASS STEVE REICH ANTHONY GERGE EDWARD ELGAR BORIS TISHCHENKO JON LORD OLIVER KNUSSEN WOLFGANG RIHM
“The early-twentieth century composers turned away from the Romantic past and suppressed Romanticism in their music. Early twentieth-century artistic trends explored simplicity and abstraction (interest in non-Western arts, Dadaism, Cubism) and the world of dreams and the inner soul (Surrealism, Expressionsim). These new attitudes took hold just before the outbreak of the First World War (1914 - 1918). European arts sought to break away from overrefinement and tried to capture the spontaneity and the freedom from inhibition that was associated with primitive life. Artsits were inspired by the abstraction of African sculpture, and Paul Gauguin and Henri Rousseau created exotic paintings of monumental simplicity. Some composers turned to the vigorous energy of non-Western rhythm, seeking fresh concepts in the musics of Africa, Asia, and eastern Europe. Out of the unspoiled, vigorous traditional music in these areas came powerful rhythms of an elemental fury.”
Forney, Kristine., Machlis, Joseph. The Enjoyment of Music. U.S.A.: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2007.
pierrot lunaire SCHOENBURG
JOHN S GRAY JOHN S GRAY IS THE AUDIO ARCHIVIST AT THE CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE. HE WAS BORN IN HALIFAX IN 1953 AND STUDIED MUSIC AT THE DALHOUSIE MUSIC DEPARTMENT. JOHN HAS SEVERAL SELF-PRODUCED RECORDINGS DATING FROM 1978 TO 2001. HE IS A MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN LEAGUE OF COMPOSERS. AS AUDIO ARCHIVIST FOR THE CMC, JOHN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SOUND RECORDINGS IN THE ANN SOUTHAM AUDIO ARCHIVE AS WELL AS SOUND SAMPLES ON THE CMC WEBSITE. HE HELPS SEVERAL CMCASSOCIATE COMPOSERS WITH THEIR SOUND RECORDINGS AND WORKS WITH THE ALLIANCE FOR CANADIAN NEW MUSIC PROJECTS OFTEN BY RECORDING THEIR CONCERTS.
Blue B4 Microphone used for recording
CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE CMC-ONTARIO WAS FOUNDED IN 1983 AND WORKS PROVINCE WIDE TO FULFILL THE CMC’S MANDATE, WHICH IS TO PROMOTE THE MUSIC OF ITS ASSOCIATE COMPOSERS, ENCOURAGE THE PERFORMANCE AND APPRECIATION OF CANADIAN MUSIC, AND TO MAKE THIS MUSIC WIDELY AVALIABLE AND ACCESSIBLE AROUND THE WORLD. IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NATIONAL OFFICE, CMC-ONTARIO PROVIDES PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE ETTORE MAZZOLENI LIBRARY, A FREE LENDING COLLECTION OF 20 000 SCORES AND PERFORMANCE PARTS WRITTEN BY OVER 750 CMC ASSOCIATE COMPOSERS. THE LIBARARY ALSO HAS AVAILABLE A COLLECTION OF ASSOCIATE COMPOSER REFERENCE FILES, MUSIC PERIODICALS, REFERENCE BOOKS, AND OVER 10 000 TRACKS OF ONLINE ARCHIVAL AUDIO AND HUNDREDS OF COMMERICAL CDS.
The Composer’s Chair John interviews well-known contemporary musicians in this chair and creates a podcast called The Composer’s Chair. They can be heard online via the CMC website. The latest interview was with Stewart Grant, noted composer, oboist, and conductor. He sat in the composer’s chair and shared a lifetime of experiences with John.
Do you remember what your first experience with music was like? Yes, absolutely. I was given a very special toy piano when I was a toddler, and that was in 1958, in New York City. My father had bought it for me at the famous FAO Schwartz toy shop, which is one of the most high-end shops containing all kinds of toys. Unlike most other kids’ pianos, mine actually had sharps and flats. In most cases, the sharps and flats were just painted on toy pianos, but mine had a fully chromatic, two-octave keyboard. I used to compose and pick up my own tunes on that until one day, when I was later living in the state of Maine (in 1959), I came home from my grade-one class and I went up to my room to see that my toy piano was gone, and I wondered, “Who’s messing with my stuff?!” So I went barging down to my father’s studio and asked, “What have you done with my piano?” And he said, “I got you a bigger one.” I said, “What big one?!” I went down to the living room and there was this 5’6 grand piano. What an upgrade. His words to me then were, “You’re starting piano lessons next week.” So, up until that point, I was really just writing my own tunes or improvising off the top of my head – I was never a particularly good student. After I got the grand piano, I was already going through the “teaching little fingers to play” booklet by John Thompson, instead of learning from a little red book that most other kids in my generation went through. I remember going to see a really cheap “bee movie” science fiction film, and just being completely taken away by the soundtrack of it. I enjoyed looking at images of underwater creatures and hearing the soundtrack accompany the visuals– the music had a sort of a post-Wagnerian kind of sound, and it affected me quite deeply. Although I was only in the second grade, when I went home I tried vigorously to recreate these harmonies and bend them in the direction I wanted them to go. So that was really the beginning of my conscious memory of being a composer. Do you still play the piano?
I have one of those! It was my old piano teacher; she had a crazy cat and used to literally bend my fingers over the keys so that my knuckles would stick out. Well mine was not a knuckle-wrapper, but I remember I had such a highly developed fear when I was nine and ten years old because of the fact that I was never a really good sight reader. As long as the piece was simple enough, I could follow along, and, as soon as my teacher would sight read it for me, I’d get a memory of it and it would help me playback the piece, as long as I had a good memory of what it sounded like. This all came to a crashing halt, however, when we began complex tunes. I was given a couple of Bach corals and suddenly this technique that I had learned when I was nine years old didn’t work. I couldn’t rely on my memory to sight read these pieces because they consisted of three or four lines moving independently. The game was up. They realized I couldn’t sight read. I was depending on my ear more than my eye, and back then no one had the kind of foresight to see a nine year old kid with an ear such as mine and say, this guy can be a performer. No, they all looked at me and said, he might be a composer someday; he’s obviously going to be interested in music theory and how tones are put together. However, they kept telling me, “You got to learn this piece by Bach. You got to learn this piece by Bach.” And I never did learn that piece by Bach. I skipped that coral but every time I hear it today I feel a little beaten because, somehow, I’m taken back to being 11years old and being unable to play it the way the teacher played it. So, when I got to Dalhousie University in 1974 (1st year as a music major), they quickly realized that I had all this bad piano technique; I simply kept improvising. However, I must admit [that] I developed quite the phenomenal piano technique while I was there into my early twenties. After seeing the way I played piano, they tried to put me on the clarinet. I spent about a year playing it until I eventually gave up; it wasn’t for me and I wasn’t going anywhere with it.
No, I have nothing much left of my elbow. Other people can play the piano, and I admire those who still do. Going to be 58 years old now, so … I used to improvise the piano and for years you could hear that I’d just be stretching my hands out onto the piano and playing the music I wanted to. It wasn’t until 2002 that I realized something was happening to my arm. I had to find a new way to make music. Eventually, I had to go for an operation on my arm, where they found that this was a result of bone loss. Did you ever learn any other instruments? Not consciously, there was a very misguided attempt when I went to the Dalhousie music department. The instructors there quickly realized that I had spent so much time being a bad piano student, simply because I had an uninspired piano teacher before then. When I was a kid, we had nothing like the Claude Watson Earl Haig music program that you have today. We just had these poor music teachers that taught us this way.
4 1/ John shows us the first archived CD in the basement of the CMC.
2/ The CD archives in the basement of the CMC, these cases line the walls. 3/ The Eltore Mazzoleni Library. This is where the scores reside. 4/ John shows Isabel the wall of CDs that is opposite the Eltore Mazzoleni Library.
John’s Compositions holiday gift CD given to Hera and Isabel
5/ The basement hallway of the CMC, with more scores. It is specially designed so that in case of fire, a device will suck all the air out of the hallway, therby saving the scores.
BY LEWIS MIRRETT
ALAN TOROK ALAN TOROK IS A COMPOSER AND CURRICULUM LEADER AT THE CLAUDE WATSON ARTS PROGRAM AT EARL HAIG SECONDARY SCHOOL. HE WAS BORN IN AUSTRIA IN 1948 AND STUDIED PAINTING AT THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART. HE PLAYS MANY INSTRUMENTS, MOST NOTABLE BEING CLASSICAL GUITAR.
What did you go to university for? Well, I was going to be a painter. Minneapolis was the major art centre between Chicago and the West coast. Any well known international artist in the States would come through Minneapolis. Like Marcel Duchamp for example. The artist Christo Javacheff, who is now entered into history books, in my estimation for the wrong reasons. But anyway he was at my school when I was in second year. He did one of his first big wrapping projects there, before he was well-known. He wrapped the West German parliament building, in plastic. Famous bridge in Paris, Pont Neuf, he wrapped that. Wrapped the Lourve. And the hard part of all these projects was you had to have political influence. One of the reasons I got out of visual arts was because I didn’t find any of this stuff believable. I didn’t like how visual arts was developing. So when I graduated from the Minneapolis College I immediately came to Canada, to Toronto. Toronto was one of the few centres in North America that had an established classical guitar program. So that’s why I came here. So I find it highly amusing, when so many students come here, especially Korean and Chinese students, and the first thing they want to do is leave and go study in the States. That’s very true. Well, I feel that the music scene in Canada is not as high level as in the States.
What was your first encounter with the arts that you can remember? Sort of, I remember doing a drawing of a warthog. That was grade 8 . Big head. Big tusks. Actually, give me a blank page, this was actually my first experience. It goes back to about grade one in Austria. Papagei. Parrot. I used to decorate my grade one grade two homework with these things. So you were born in Austria? Land of music. I guess it was. My uncle use to play accordion, actually Zither and accordion. My uncle, they were woodsmen. They literally lived in the forest on farms. They would literally clear the forest and cut wood for the landowners. One of my uncles that played the Zither had these huge hands. But he actually managed to play the table instrument. The strings were very close together. I went to visit them once in 1968, ten years after I had come to America, and I asked him to play for me. And he did, with these huge hands. When did you move to Canada? 1956. My mother was the eldest of fourteen kids and got sent off to the farm rather early. She learned English when she was in school and after the second World War things were not too good over there. So we moved to Canada. What kind of music did you listen to when you were a teenager? James Brown. I went to high school in Detroit. This is 1962, 1965. And James Brown was in Detroit.
I don’t fully agree with that. I mean, it’s probably the right idea. The advise I gave to so many of my students is to do their undergraduate here. It’s so much money in the States and they’re just paying for the brand name. Stay here, get to a high level, and that’s when you go. I had a number of students that did exactly that and when you do that, they will pay you to go, get a scholarship as a graduate student. Where do you draw your inspiration from for your compositions? The necessity of needing to have something done by next Tuesday. It’s amazing how that clears the mind. Doesn’t that do wonders for exam preparation? Well, I guess you could say that. At one time I was concerned with following a certain stream of thought and writing things that had not been written before, which is sort of an academic concern. I think it is legitimate but when you have to have something by next Tuesday then your priorities change a little bit. I would say that, especially since coming here, that my priorities have changed quite a bit and more in the direction of creating very direct, expressionistic music. I don’t know if I can put it any better than that but composers, often so-called trained composers, are concerned with cultivating a bag of tricks, a really sophisticated bag of tricks that will impress their colleagues. As opposed to writing something for an audience that could care less about the tricks, what they want is to have an experience. I think my writing has gotten a lot simpler because of my interests in trying to create an experience. Do you play any other instruments? My professional instrument was classical guitar but I studied other instruments for quite a long time. You notice I don’t really pick up a violin much although I can play some Bach, G minor presto. Picked up the cello for a few years, flute, clarinet. And that’s the best, for composers. Actually though, most composers don’t do that, at least since I’ve been in the game. That seems to be the case.
Did you have any mentors?
You mean they don’t play different instruments?
I would say, if I go back to high school days. There was one person in particular. His name was Leonard Johnson. I took Saturday art classes at the Detroit Institute of Art and he taught the classes. He helped me audition for a school like this one. I went down and registered. He was the person everyone was interested in studying with because he helped students find their way to post-secondary schools. There were students coast to coast that came back in the summertime to show him their stuff. He helped students get into the big art institutes in the States: Pratt Institute, New York and Chicago Art Institute, Minneapolis College of Arts. He was the one who prepared our portfolios. We studied with him in the summertime because we knew what he could do for us. Leonard Johnson.
I have a great example of that. Around 1997, just before I quit teaching university, I got a student, a real smart guy, he was offered a scholarship for guitar. Smart guy, so he played, wasn’t very good. He had like a 98% average so he was up for the scholarship. He couldn’t really play much, was miserable actually. He was smart but didn’t have much background. But he was interested in composition. I thought, should I fail him? Well, not really. He’s smart, he’s here, he has a purpose. After first year, he switched to composition entirely. If you don’t know music from the inside, how can you compose? I just do not believe in that. It’s like saying Charlie Chaplin was a composer because apparently he was except he didn’t read music. I mean, there are a few famous examples of that. He’s one. He had a symphony in his head. Well yeah, great, I have a brand new theory of relativity in my head, I just can’t express it. Yeah right. Anyway, getting back to this particular student, I resigned from Western and lost touch with him. A couple of years later, here in Toronto, I ran into a composer friend of mine who’s at the University of Toronto and we’re talking about various people and hey! His name came up. He’s getting a masters degree in composition. 69
And a couple of years later, he’s getting a doctorate. And then after, hey! He’s got his doctorate, in composition. So there are people that are like that. But I still don’t see how, sure you can have ideas, but how can you presume to tell the player what to do if you’ve never put a piece together, never understood what it means to actually perform and to actually know a piece. Knowing a piece from the outside, you don’t know the effects of it. Now’s he trying to make a career, so we’ll see. Oh, and the other thing is, now you’ve written some stuff and it all makes sense, it works on the instruments. But you have no idea how to rehearse it. One of the things I’ve learned from writing for you guys is how to write something that can be rehearsed and can be put together. I use to commission stuff when I was performing and I was involved in a huge number of pieces that were written for me or indirectly for an ensemble. And a huge amount of stuff we got, I mean, we looked at it and said, what the heck? It’s not playable. One composer, who actually has been quite successful, has a career as a performer, he even told me, when I said it would be nice if it fit the instrument better, that he wanted to avoid that altogether. Okay, so I remember the piece, it had a sort of nice quality to it. But I will never play the piece again and no one will ever play that piece again. The only people who will are musicians he gets together and pays. When you’re playing guitar, what’s going on in your head? Well, preferably nothing. For me, that was always very hard to achieve. Everyone plays an instrument for different reasons, and I suppose the ideal performer is someone who wants to be on stage and who wants to show the audience, just wants to show. In other words, to show is more important than what is being shown. They just want to show. To me, that’s the kind of person who can empty their mind because the joy of just showing can drive everything else out. Thoughts like, what’s the next note? Do you ever see yourself as a teacher, before you post-secondary education? Actually, the first couple of years I played guitar, I fantasized about that because after studying guitar in Europe I became associated with a performing arts school in Minneapolis. It was a dance school and they taught guitar there and a few other instruments. A friend of mine and I did their advertising for them. It was a family-run affair and the two sons were both guitarists and one of them taught there. And that’s when I thought, I wouldn’t mind doing that. When I started studying in Canada with one of my teachers, well, he had a school. It was one of the most successful guitar schools in Toronto. I was with him a couple of months and he hired me. In 1971 I was out of town for a few months and came back, boom! I inherited a hundred students. The other teacher had disappeared or something and here was his schedule, with over a hundred students. Is there anything else you would like to talk about? When I first came here we didn’t do a lot of composition, speaking on behalf of the whole department. The person who hired me, Phil Maguire, was a composer, and he did composition with his grade 12 class. That was the only place. My impression was that it was an important project but it wasn’t the main thing. Whereas as I’ve become more involved in things, I began to think of composition as the main thing. The reason why we study theory. All these musicians in the auditions study theory. Well, my idea is we can’t just do conservatory. You can do that with a private teacher and learn it better. Private is better, one on one, attention to detail. Well, I thought, what can we do here? I didn’t want to do history. I’m very interested in history but not as a thing to do in a classroom situation with all of these tremendous musicians. To me, composition became something that engages everything. You have to know about notation. What I’m trying to do here, and what my colleagues are trying to do here, is teach something a little bit broader but has a real point, and the point is composition. For me, I didn’t formulate what was important in performance until I started writing. I knew I liked that piece or that piece. As soon as you write, you have to find a purpose for that piece, every phrase, every little thing. Your teacher’s not just going to tell you. I became very disenchanted with guitar teaching within the first four five years because I kept getting all this advice. You know, do some vibrato here, and fingering advice, which is always good but nothing about the music. One day I went to this masters class and I played this piece. The guitarist asked me, well, do you understand this piece? And I didn’t really know how to answer the question because it’s sort of like asking, are you smart or are you dumb? Well, I said, I think I do. He didn’t press me on it but if he did, I wouldn’t have been able to say much. I wouldn’t have had the language to explain what was going on in the piece here that makes sense to me and that’s what I got from composition. It’s like polishing buttons, they’re brighter, more beautiful, but someone still has to make them. So that’s my philosophy.
Self portrait, watercolour, 2001
asia’s best band!
MBIRA / THUMB PIANO SINGING BOWL
I was still crazily preparing for the high school entrance exam when I listened to Mayday’s music for the first time. Since then, I had become deeply moved and surprised by Mayday’s amazing sound. A good musician can not only make attractive music, but also influences the people around him by his attitude that is present in the music. Why is Mayday so popular and is able to attract so many people? Because they look steadfast and powerful when living their dreams while others believe these dreams are untouchable. We all have a pair of shoulders to bolster the weight of life. We all had a time to dream crazily. However, we all have to face a process called growth. But how many people really have the courage to work on their dreams and make them come true during this process? May Day not only made it, but also helped many people to realize their dreams through their music, including me.
From being an ordinary underground band from Taiwan to being the most popular band in Asia, their assiduousness and determination endured through countless failures. Their honesty and zeal was able to deeply move many. The lead singer, Ashin, has been insisting on composing their music for 12 years. This is why their lyrics can make every individual have different feelings for the same song. Their spirit and music are always with me, especially when I am going through hard times and I struggle to live up to my dreams.
“By way of dreaming and persistence, I met Mayday……”
by sarah wang “因为心怀梦想与坚持，所以我遇见了五月天。。。” 第一次听五月天的音乐时是还在为升学考而奋斗的日子， 一心埋头苦干，在耳边哼唱着“我和我最后的倔强”。从 那以后的无数个日夜里，都是那个清澈而坚定的声音陪我 入眠，伴我成长。一个好的音乐人不仅仅是能做出好听的 音乐，更应该用音乐中积极的人生态度来引导身边支持他 的人。五月天为什么会红？因为当他们站在别人认为的飘 渺的梦想前时依然显得强大。 我们每个人都有一双肩膀，要撑起生命的重量。我们每个 人都有过一段时光，可以肆无忌惮的幻想。我們也都必须 面对一种过程叫成长，然后蜕变，有一天可以用手挡住刺 眼的阳光。可是又有多少人能让美好的幻想真实存在于卑 微的现实呢？五月天不仅自己做到了，更通过他们的音乐 帮助更多的人坚定了他们的梦想，这才是音乐真正的魅 力！ 从名不经传的地下乐团到享誉全亚洲的摇滚天团，五月天 通过自己的努力，让全世界的人听到了他们的声音。主唱 阿信，坚持12年创作，只为带给听众独特的共鸣。他们的 善良与真诚感动了每一个人，他们的坚定与执着更成就了 无数个被困难阻碍的梦想,包括我的。 我很庆幸出生在这样的年代，生长在这样的环境，因为这 里，有他们。
my pipa by kate tian I am from Beijing, China and I went to school there until grade 9 when I came to Toronto with my parents. In Beijing, I attended a music school where I learned to play the pipa. I love learning to play the pipa because it is a traditional musical instrument that was used 2000 years ago. I started learning pipa at 7 years of age. At that age, I was given a small pipa because of my size. Pipa are heavy and quite long and are difficult for a child to hold. From the beginning I had to learn hand exercises to open my hands and stretch my fingers so that I could easily find the spots to play on the strings. The strings are made of steel and can hurt my fingers if I am not wearing the fake plastic nails which I tape to all my fingers on my right hand. The finger motion on the right hand is different than that needed for playing the guitar. The guitar finger stroke is up and in towards the player, but for the pipa the finger stroke down and away from the player. At the beginning I could only play some simple modern pieces of music. After three years I started to play some of the famous ancient musical pieces that are around 2000 years old. To play a piece is not hard, but the hardest thing is to understand and feel the piece. My teacher always asks me to find the feeling. She told me that if I can show my emotion using the proper body movement and hand gesture, then I would get better and better. I joined a Chinese music band and played with other students when I was 11 years old. When I went back to Beijing in 2008, my classmates from the same school band were playing for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I like playing the pipa because it is very different from other modern instruments. It has a clear and distinctive sound. In the future, I hope the pipa will become more recognized in North America.
WORLD MUSIC 73
disco polo daina
j pop beiguan hyangak
bubblegum pop bamboo band
WORLD MUSIC 75
JASON VAN EYCK JASON VAN EYCK IS THE ONTARIO REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE. HE IS AN ACCOMPLISHED VIOLINIST, HAVING RECIEVED A B. MUS. FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA AND A M. MUS. FROM THE EASTMAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC. JASON SITS ON THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE CANADIAN CONFERENCE OF THE ARTS, THE ADVISORY COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH ARTS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE OF ARTSBUILD ONTARIO, THE PROVINCIAL ARTS SERVICE ORGANIZATION COALITION, AND CONVENES THE TORONTO COALITION OF NEW MUSIC PRESENTERS. JASON ALSO WRITES FOR THE WHOLENOTE MAGAZINE AND TEACHES AT THE REGENT PARK SCHOOL OF MUSIC.
What was your first brush with music that you can remember? Besides listening to music on my Mickey Mouse portable turntable, for which I had many vinyl records in all sorts of musical genres, I remember starting piano lessons at age 5. My teacher was very strict, and I found her frightening at the time, so I dropped out of lessons quite shortly after starting. Instead, I joined recorder class and the school choir. I performed in elementary school musicals. I also remember quite fondly having regular music classes in school with Mrs. Navertel, who used the Kodaly method. What was your childhood like? I suppose no different than other kids growing up in my hometown of Ottawa at that time. I went to school; I played with my friends after school in nearby parks or at their houses; I was active in different sports; and I liked to read and draw. My family travelled a fair bit, so I got to see different aspects of the world. My father worked in international development, so I learned much about how people less fortunate than me lived their lives. I was always told that, in Canada, we grow up as millionaires, with all the free education and health care we receive. I stopped playing recorder in grade 6 and started playing clarinet in Grade 7, but I didn’t really enjoy it as much. I continued singing in choirs, including the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir. I didn’t start playing viola until high school, at which point it became my primary instrument. From then on I only played in orchestras and chamber ensembles. I started private lessons at age 14. By age 15 almost all of my spare time was spent practicing or rehearsing. What is a day like being the Ontario Regional Director for the CMC? Wow. Tough question. Every day is so different in my office. When one is trying to build an awareness and appreciation of Canadian composers’ music, and striving to stimulate the performance, study, recording and broadcast of this work, one’s day can bring any number of activities. Let’s take today, for example. Part of it was spent catching up on some reading to make sure I’m up to date on what’s happening in the arts sector. Then I worked on putting the finishing touches on the winter issue of our publication Ontario Notations. That segued into an e-mail exchange with one our partners in the New Music for Young Musicians project, who will be supporting research and evaluation into how composers create new educational music. Then I had to dash off to the Royal Conservatory to check out a space or our spring Ping! event that showcases new music for young musicians created by Canadian composers. Once back in the office, I spent some time following up with new contacts I made while I was in Chicago last week, where we held a CMC event at the Midwest Clinic – an international concert band and orchestra conference. The rest of the day was spent planning meetings for the New Year, some for projects that the CMC is spearheading – a new microsite ideas we have for Canadian concert band and wind ensemble music and our New Music for Young Musicians project – or for other committees and board on which I serve – the Toronto New Music Alliance and the Canadian Conference of the Arts, just to name two. Finally, I looked at the week ahead and planned out the reports I need to write to close up some promotional activity we’ve undertaken this autumn, phone calls I need to make, other actions that need following up, etc. These will be used to set the course for future actions in the next year. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Every day is so busy, it’s hard to remember everything that gets done in trying to achieve our goals.
What draws you to a certain piece? I’m not sure what draws me to any one piece of music. Any composer who attempts to create new sounds worlds intrigues me, who experiments with space, time and timbre to adjust our perceptions of the world that surrounds us. I also enjoy works that make commentary on the times we live in, that open new perspectives on the world, that challenge how we see our place on the planet and our relations to others around us. Why did you choose to pursue working in the field of music? I started playing viola as a fluke. The high school I wanted to attend was in a different school zone from my house and so I needed a cross-boundary transfer. To cross boundaries, I needed to take courses that my local high school couldn’t offer. This included string music. I thought I would try the cello, but it seemed too heavy to take on the bus every day. I knew that I didn’t want to play violin, because it seemed like so many other students played it already. So, the best compromise was viola. I just fell in love with it, and with playing in ensembles. I had a great music teacher who was very encouraging – Mrs. Bradley – but also very realistic about the challenges of a career in music. Yet, it became the only subject that really spoke to me. That’s not to say that I didn’t do well in all my other classes. But music became my passion. And my father always said, “Follow your passion and the money will follow.” By age 16 I knew that I wanted music to by my career, and so I really focused my attention as much as I could on it. What role do you see the CMC playing in the future? The CMC seized a strategic opportunity in 1999 when it became a testing site for digital archiving. This decision has profoundly influenced key decisions that have been essential to the CMC’s renewal, relevance and leadership within the music community. Digitization of scores and recordings, the launch of CMC’s robust website and the implementation of internet-driven workflow tools have created a new effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of CMC core programs and services. They provide the means by which we handle the continued growth of our Associate Composer community, our library & archive collection, our publishing activity, our multi-award-winning Centrediscs recording label and our CD distribution activity. The positive results of the CMC’s digital evolution have spilled out into all areas of the organization. As more and more requests for score loans, rentals and sales funnel through the CMC’s website, the regional centres are freer to explore other programming to meet needs of a growing constituency. Among the regional offices, CMC-Ontario is just one model among five very active regional offices as to how to create a vibrant regional activity centre and outreach arm. In many ways, over 45 years the CMC has grown not only to pursue its core mission, but also to ensure a healthy and strong market for our Associates and our community. Where programs and services were lacking, we have been approached or compelled to fill the gaps. Such gap-filling has included becoming an on-demand music publisher, a composer career incubator, and a preserver of Canadian musical heritage. Therefore, the CMC has grown, and is being asked to grow, to take a foundational role within its community. The CMC has already been deemed a “Necessary Service Organization” by the Canada Council for the Arts, and has now grown into the hub of a nascent contemporary classical music industry. Why did you decide to start writing and teaching? That’s a good question. I’m not sure what the original impetus was to start writing about music. I think that, being in the position CMC Ontario Regional Director, I see a lot of what goes on in the new music scene from a broader or different perspective, and so I can bring a unique view to what is happening in this part of the world. Because of this, I was asked to start writing for Wholenote magazine. This became a great advantage for me. Good writing skills are so important to so much of what I do, and, as any musician know, “practice makes perfect.” Being able to write on a regular basis, to escalate to more demanding writing projects, and to work with some really good editors has really helped honed my writing craft; and the better I can write, the more clearly I can express my concepts and ideas, and the more effectively I can influence decision makers to agree with my arguments and positions. But, really, I think I am inspired by the idea of discovering and sharing the work of really good composers and musicians with a broad audience. As for teaching, I think I decided to take this on as part of my desire to give back to the community. I’ve had so many great teachers in my life, and I feel it’s important to share what they’ve taught me, and what I’ve learned from applying their teaching in my own life. In the process, I learn even more myself, from revisiting what I’ learned in new and contemporary contexts, through interactions with other teachers and especially from the students themselves. It’s a really challenging and rewarding growth experience. 77
Who are some of your favourite composers? I don’t know that I really have favourite composers, per se. Like many musicians, my tastes change over time. My job requires me to listen to a lot of music, and so I come across all sorts of interesting works. If pressed to answer, I would say that currently I’m fond of works by the following composers (in no particular order): Graham Flett, James Rolfe, Linda C. Smith, Chris Mayo, Juliet Palmer, Rose Bolton, Yannis Kyriakides, David Lang, Mayke Nas, Daniel Bjarnason, Andrew Staniland, Ann Southam, Nico Muhly, Rolf Julius, Jennifer Walshe, Taylor Dupree, Marci Rabe, Seth Cluett, Thomas Ades…I’m sure that there are others. Many are Canadian, others I’ve discovered in my travels. How can youth become involved with the CMC? There are lots of ways for youth to become involved with the CMC. You can come for a CentreVisit; you can volunteer in the library or with one of our outreach or education projects; you can take advantage of one of our online initiatives like Sound Progression or Influences of Many Musics to engage more thoroughly with the work of Canadian composers. If you’re an especially talented musician, you could record a piece for your instrument that doesn’t appear in our CentreStreams audio archive and submit it for consideration to be included…you could become part of Canadian music history. Perhaps you have another idea of how to be involved with the CMC? Just let me know. I’m always happy to hear new ideas.
The Comic Book: An Emerging Art Form
by alaura chantelle emily ellis collet ‘Golden Age’ is a term used in the comics community to refer to a time in the late 1930s and 40s, in which sales and enthusiasm for comic books peaked. Since then, comic companies faced a steady decline in profits and a literal Dark Age, starting in the mid-80s, when comics took an almost industry-wide turn towards bleak and macabre material, following the success of Alan Moore’s graphic novel Watchmen. This attempt to ‘mature’ comic series for their aging audience backfired, as much potential for new readers was lost. Yet today, because of a few prime alterations in the driving forces behind the industry, the comic book is set to explore its true potential as an art form. We are now entering, if you will, the Comic Book Renaissance. Although it is still seen as an entertainment industry by the general populace, the comic book is an exciting art form for many new creators. As filmmakers are looking to buy up anything superhero related, comics are fast becoming a profitable medium. While it is true that this means large companies aren’t willing to tread far outside of a non-spandex related genre, the growth of industry that these franchises cause means more opportunity for small independently produced products to find a demographic. The comic book nearly met its end in recent decades when few new readers were being introduced to the medium. Seen as a childish, and simultaneously overly dark and violent, boys-only pastime, comics weren’t exactly a friendly place for newcomers; at least that was the stigma. Because the audience was stagnant, the product remained so as well, creating a weak market. Yet, with the popularization of Eastern comics, or manga, in the West in recent years, an entire generation of readers was brought into the comic community, the majority of them girls. Furthermore, with the further diversification of readers, brought in by comics on the big screen, creators today are given a broad range of potentially sellable products. With that comes greater potential to explore new forms of comics as art. Comics as an art form is still a new idea to most, but a few noteworthy graphic novels have gained mainstream status as artful masterpieces. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was one of the first to break out of the initial Dark Age mold, set by publishers. The series became the beautiful and deeply layered story of Dream, one of the seven god-like Endless, who are anthropomorphized aspects of Destiny, Death, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. Art Spiegelman tells of his father’s survival in a holocaust concentration camp in Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize. Because of these excellent works, which managed to find mainstream attention, it is becoming less unusual for comics to be considered a part of the art world. The only thing to stay comic creators from taking full advantage of this vastly untapped medium, would be that comic book publishing is still a fairly narrow market. However, a beginning in online self-publishing is swiftly becoming an industry norm. Webcomics have exploded in popularity, and the range of genre available on the web is as diverse as that of the novels in any library. Many webcomic artists actually make a profit from their work through the sale of collected editions and merchandise. XKCD was one of the first online series to generate enough profit to become a full time job for its creator. My personal inspiration to create graphic novels comes from comic creator Scott McCloud. In his philosophical look into the nature of the graphic novel Understanding Comics, itself a graphic novel, he writes “The artform – the medium – known as comics is a vessel which can hold any number of ideas and images.” (page 6). The unrealized potential in comics as an artform is vast, while the industry and comics community is now in the perfect position to advance creatively. The coming years will be a fascinating time to watch the emergence of a new artistic medium. 83
What was your first experience with art that you can remember? I remember doing an assignment for grade school that was this huge scrap book that was cut out into the shape of a big over-sized flower and held together with two big metal rings at the top. It was not supposed to be an art project but it was a collection of seeds or dried flowers if I remember correctly. Now that I make exhibitions of found things, this "seed collection book" might have in fact been one of my first experiences with something that might be called making art.
A to B, installation view of the exhibition curated for MKG127, June 2001
MICAH LEXIER IS AN ESTABLISHED TORONTO-BASED CONCEPTUAL ARTIST AND CURATOR. HE WAS BORN IN 1960 HAS A MASTER OF FINE ARTS FROM THE NOVA SCOTIA COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN. HE IS REPRESNTED BY THE BIRCH LIBRALTO IN TORONTO, TRĂ‰PANIERBAER IN CALGARY, ALBERTA, AND GITTE WEISE GALERIE IN BERLIN, GERMANY. MICAH HAS COLLECTIONS AT THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO, THE BRITISH MUSEUM, AND THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA, AMONGST OTHER PLACES.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DANIELA MASON
My mom was a very creative person and she encouraged us to take all kinds of art classes and to express ourselves visually. Both my brother and sister were creative as well but they both became engineers. I was the youngest and the only one to go to art school. A few years ago I was talking with my brother about what each of us did and it turned out that what we did was not that different in many ways. He just gets paid a lot more to do what he does than I do. Did you always know you were going to be an artist? No. I went to art school because I thought I was going to go into advertising. But then I discovered this amazing world and never ended up doing anything else but art. Do you have any mentors? One of the first artists I idolized was David Hockney. For a while I was very taken with the work of Ed Ruscha. I don't think I have any mentors now but I am a great admirer of the the way Ihor Holubizky curates a show. I have been curating shows in the past few years and Ihor is a model for me of how to put a show together - by mixing up artists from a variety of generations and positions. Most of your pieces concern increments of time, what draws you to that? I don't think my work is about time that much any more. It was for a while and I am not really sure why I made so much work about that topic. Perhaps it was because it is something that we all share. We all move through life at the same speed utilizing the same clock and calendar. Perhaps it is something as obvious as that, but I am not really sure. As an artist I make work about what interests me without analyzing why I am interested in that topic. Something gets sorted out in making the work but the core reason for why that topic is not often what is revealed. How are you enjoying curating? What do you look for in the pieces? I love curating because it is an opportunity for me to share my interest in other artists. What I look for changes from project to project. Sometimes I have a theme that I am interested in exploring and I look for artists that make work about that topic; other times I see a number of artists that make work that I feel have similarities and who I feel would be interesting to see exhibited in the same space; and still other times it is about recognizing certain qualities in one artist and my role of a curator is more as an editor or producer to select work for an exhibition that focus in on those qualities.
Twelve of One, vitrine and February display from twelve consecutive vitrine displays, one per month starting January 2001, an installation for Art Metropole, Toronto
What was your childhood like?
Border Crossing, page 71 from a series of pages in Border Crossing, December 2009
I read the article featured in Border Crossings, “This Is Me Writing by Micah Lexier” written by Ingrid Koenig; your works were featured in the magazine itself. How did this collaboration come about? Ingrid’s review and my project were separate projects and not a collaboration. Ingrid wrote a review of a few of my previous bookworks, while In addition to designing cover for that issue, I made a special project for the magazine that weaved its way throughout the magazine. Border Crossing regularly asks artists to make special works for the cover or the inside, so mine was just part of a long history of artist’s projects for magazines. What were you thinking about when you created those pieces? How were they created? A lot of my work is self-referential, meaning that the work questions itself. For Border Crossing I played with some of the conventions and processes of printing a magazine. I made works for a few pages, but my favourite was a right-hand page that had a backwards text, followed by a blank page. When you held the blank page up to the light you could easily read what I had written backwards on the previous page. The content of the text was an explanation of what I had done and what the viewer was seeing. What do you think of Toronto’s art scene? I love the Toronto art scene. I lived in New York for almost a decade and moved back here 3 years ago and could not be happier living in Toronto. I love the scale of this city as it seems to strike the right balance for me of being large enough that you could not know everything and everyone but small enough that there was a sense of community. What do you see in your near future? In your prolonged future? I have an interesting project that I am doing all year at the Rodman Hall Art Centre at Brock University in St. Catharines. They have customized a project space into a long narrow vitrine based on my specifications and I am presenting fifty-two consecutive exhibitions. Each exhibition consists of four items and every week one of the four items changes. One of my favourite things about the project is that at the end of the year I start to re-introduce some of the items I used at the very beginning so that the very last display is one move away from the very first display. Did you enjoy your time at Earl Haig? Yes, I had a great time at Earl Haig. I loved the business card project that we did as a class. Some of the students made really excellent card/multiples. youbeen um, Untitled, plaster, 2009
MARLA HLADY MARLA HLADY IS AN ESTABLISHED TORONTO-BASED CONCEPTUAL ARTIST. SHE WAS BORN IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA, AND HAS MASTER OF FINE ARTS FROM YORK UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDENTS. SHE IS REPRESNTED BY JESSICA BRADLEY ART PROJECTS. MARLA HAS COLLECTIONS AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA AND THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO, AMONGST OTHER PLACES.
What are some contemporary musicians that you listen to? I listen to the usual early contemporary people like John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros. But then there are the more classical people like James Tenney, Morton Feldman, Rudolph Komorous, Maria De Alvear. I’ve also been taken by Pascal Comelade who inspired the Japanese band, The Pascals. What do you think of Toronto’s art scene? I like the Toronto scene – I was impressed with it when I moved here and the scene made me want to stay. There are many conversations going on in the city and because of this it’s not hard to find a community that speaks your language and challenges you. Besides, I always felt that I could make anything happen here. What direction do you see yourself taking in the future?
What inspired you to become an artist? I had always wanted to be an artist since I was a young child. I grew up in the West Kootenays in British Columbia, an area rich for crafts, particularly ceramics. Although I understood ceramics wasn’t my interest, the environment supported my creativity. I suppose the context also suggested a life style I was drawn to.
That’s too hard a question. I’m thinking of right now and I’m not worrying about the future. I’ll know when I get there. Did you enjoy your time at Earl Haig? Earl Haig is a special place. I don’t know of other places like it, certainly not in Toronto anyway.
Do you have any mentors? Currently? Kim Adams has been important as a mentor for many years now. I worked for him when I was just out of graduate school and we have been friends since. Renee Van Halm was also important to me, particularly when I transitioned from thinking as a painter to thinking more 3-dimensionally. Max Dean adopted me once I started making machines and has been a great supporter as well. You started out as a painter, what made you change your medium? I became bored with paint. I discovered I was more interested in ideas and how they might be contextualized through different materials, circumstances, locations. I also discovered I like the technical side of sculpture – I’m constantly challenged. What is it that draws you to using electronics? Electronics is like knitting, once you have a foundation of knowledge making circuit boards is quite relaxing and full of logical detail. But really, it was the control electronics provided that drew me to the medium. I was never interested in making complex machines. I wanted to make reliable machines that were as simple as possible. Electronics provided the nuance, the variation of movement a machine can’t have unless it is controlled in some way – the control, the performance of the machine interests me. Through electronics and machines I moved into sound. How do you get inspired? Music and sound is a big inspiration. By this I mean listening to experimental sound and contemporary/experimental music composition. As well, I do a lot of field recording. But then there is reading, watching films, looking at engineering and physics - being fully aware and engaged in daily life and looking through the lenses of these interests always leads me somewhere.
A Case for Sound, custom fabricated wood boxes, hardware, MP3 player, amplified speakers, sound, AAA bateries, motion switch 2009 (ongoing)
As well as growing up in a rich crafts environment, I was one of six children living in the mountains in a very small community – no organized recreation, only a gas station a mile down the highway. Our parents encouraged independent thinking and self-reliance. I learned to entertain and challenge myself at a very early age. Besides, my father was a bit of an inventor, I think that rubbed off on me.
Playing Piano, player piano, miscellaneous eletronics and machines, logbook, player piano roll, sound using surface resonating speakers mounted to the piano’s sound board 2006 / 2008
What was your childhood like? Where you exposed to art at an early age?
jazz/ blues bars
The Sky is Crying “This is where the soul of a man never dies.” -Sam Phillips (a Memphis Disc Jockey) on Howlin’ Wolf
It’s said that the Blues had a baby and they named it rock and roll. Born out of the southern slave trade, the Blues has and always will be music of the rawest human emotion. Virtually all North American music can trace its roots back to vocal Blues, music that was created from the very soil of the earth- music that was created out of circumstance. The circumstance? One of the greatest sufferings in human history. It’s no coincidence that the first Blues recordings were call and response chants, songs that stemmed from one notion- the notion of taking one bit of one’s own soul and letting it out for everyone else to feel. From the start, Blues was the music that the “have nots” owned. Because it was just so damn soulful, you couldn’t play it without feeling it. And there’s no one who felt it more than the people in the south working for the white man.
“Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel” -Jimi Hendrix
That’s why the first wave of “white man blues” was generally considered to be absolute garbage. Most of it came from England, where kids who had never seen the Mississippi in their life started singing about it. This was best put by Sonny Boy Williamson- “These English kids want to play the blues so bad... and they play the blues so bad.” At the start, anybody who hadn’t lived as a vagrant for a bunch of years couldn’t play the Blues even half decently. The guys who really knew what it meant to be out on their ass were the only ones who could really play the Blues. At first, they were so out on their asses that they didn’t even have instruments. Blues was vocal. The first wave of Delta Blues musicians made way more than something out of their nothing. Probably one of the most important Blues recordings ever, Son House’s “Grinnin’ in Your face,” illustrates this perfectly. Son House didn’t need a band. He put soul straight onto a record using only his voice.
“It meant everything about rock and roll, it meant everything about expression, creativity and art... it didn’t matter that he was clapping off time, it didn’t matter there was no instruments being played, all that mattered was the attitude.” -Jack White on “Grinnin’ in Your Face”
It’s no secret that Blues musicians, when compared to musicians from other genres, aren’t known for being virtuosos. But this doesn’t discredit the Blues one bit. Blues was never about who could fit more notes into a space- in fact, it was the polar opposite. A Blues musician’s talent is based on how much pure emotion they can spit out. In Sam Phillip’s words, he described legendary Chicago Blues musician, Howlin’ Wolf, as a man who, “sang with his damn soul.” There’s no denying this statement, all that you need to listen to is the first 24 seconds of “Moanin’ at Midnight.” Wolf’s voice alone does more to shake your soul, terrify you make and your blood run cold than any other a capella performance could. It’s true that this may not have needed incredible chops, but what it did need was an understanding of how to reach deep into the dark part of the human psyche and let hell break loose on the microphone. In a way, the performance embodies all of Blues, in that it lacks any sort of musical convention or tradition, but is pure human emotion.
by Scott Cooper That’s why in Blues less is almost always more. No Chicago bluesman understood that better than Albert King, who is probably the most imitated guitarist of all time. “The Velvet Bulldozer” (as he was called) played his axe all wrong; it was upside down and strung the wrong way, but hat didn’t stop his style from being piercing the sole of anyone who heard it. One of his live favourites, “Blues Power,” give you goose bumps when he hits the first lick after saying, “This is Blues Power! Are you Listening?” His simplistic style was enough to tear your soul to shreds, and reduce you to raw emotion- never mind the fact that he was playing a pentatonic box solo. In fact, that’s besides the point: the point being that a solely sonic experience communicates primitive emotion and brings you closer as human beings than almost anything else could. All this really boils down to is a music that comes from the souls of the people who play it, without any heed for what is “musically acceptable.” If it has soul, there’s no denying it. That’s really all that counts in Blues. That’s why it trumps so many other genres. The Blues is universal human emotion. The Blues is real. The Blues is where you go to take your own soul and the souls of others, and feel it out. The Blues is everything about high expression, because it’s where you go to bridge the gap between you as a human being and those around you.
“The Blues has been... the Blues is... the Blues will be, as long as time.” -Willie Dixon
SONGS THAT WILL TEAR YOU HEART TO SHREADS/ Grinnin’ in Your Face son house 32-20 Blues robert johnson Never Get out of These Blues Alive john lee hooker My Home is in the Delta muddy waters Moanin’ at Midnight howlin’ wolf Smokestack Lightnin’ howlin’ wolf I Can’t Quit You Baby willie dixon Blues Power albert king Blues at Sunrise albert king Have You Heard john mayall and the bluesbreakers Red House jimi hendrix Hear My train a Comin’ (Acoustic) jimi hendrix You Shook Me led zeppelin
ALLEYCATZ, THE ANNEX LIVE, AQUILA RESTAURANT, AZURE RESTAURANT AND BAR, THE BLACK SWAN, BON VIVANT, BRASSAII, CASTRO’S LOUNGE, C’EST WHAT, CHALKER’S PUB BILLIARDS AND BISTRO, CHICK N’ DELI, THE COBOURG, LE COMMENSAL, THE COMMUNIST’S DAUGHTER, DESOTOS, DOMINION ON QUEEN, DOVERCOURT HOUSE, GATE 403, GROSSMAN’S TAVERN, HAREM RESTAURANT, HUGH’S ROOM, JOE MAMA’S, LATINADA, LULA LOUNGE, MANHATTAN’S MUSIC CLUB, MEZZETTA MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT, MOMO’S BISTRO, MY PLACE: A CANADIAN PUB, N’AWLINS JAZZ BAR AND DINING, THE OLD MILL, THE PAINTED LADY, PANTAGES MARTINI BAR AND LOUNGE, PERO LOUNGE, THE PILOT TAVERN, QUOTES, REPOSADO BAR AND LOUNGE, THE RESERVOIR LOUNGE, THE REX JAZZ AND BLUES BAR, TEN FEET TALL, TRANE STUDIO, TRANZAC, ZEMRA BAR AND LOUNGE 91
12% OF THE
WORLD’S POPULATION USES OF ITS WATER, AND THEY ARE NOT NATIONS OF THE
WORLD’S MIDDLE 60% CONSUME 21.9%
1 BILLION PEOPLE ENTERED THE 21ST CENTURY
UNABLE TO READ A BOOK OR SIGN THEIR NAME, 1999 unicef
DEVELOPING WORLD, 2001
WORLD’S POOREST 20% CONSUME 1.5%
institute for food and development policy
IN AID GIVEN TO A DEVELOPING NATION,
$25 IS SPENT IN DEBT REPAYMENT world bank
WORLD’S RICHEST 20% CONSUME 76,6%, 2005
HALF THE WORLD, 3 BILLION PEOPLE, LIVE ON LESS THAN $2.50 A DAY, 2008
780 BILLION $US IN MILITARY SPENDING IN THE WORLD, 1998 un human development index
400 BILLION $US IN NARCOTIC DRUGS SPENDING IN THE WORLD, 1998 un human development index
51 OF THE WORLD’S 100 WEALTHIEST BODIES ARE CORPORATIONS, 2000
ips, institue for policy studies
105 BILLION $US IN ALCOHOL SALES IN EUROPE, 1998
un human development index
First Year Undergrad, UofT, Faculty of Music/ EH Alumnus FAVOURITE INSTRUMENTAL SOUND/ The Shepperd Scale
GRADE/ 11 FAVOURITE INSTRUMENTAL SOUND/
GRADE/ 11 FAVOURITE INSTRUMENTAL SOUND/
GRADE/ 12 FAVOURITE INSTRUMENTAL SOUND/
CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC SHPEEL/
CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC SHPEEL/
The first thing one needs to know about contemporary classical music before stepping into the concert hall is that what he is about to hear is not “music” in the sense he knows it to be. The average person understands music solely as something to dance to, or something that compliments the action of a film. What he needs to learn is that modern music can serve a variety of purposes in addition to the two just mentioned. The listener needs to anticipate music that was not made for dancing or downloading, but for purposes often unique to the composer – most commonly self-expression. And to compensate for the fact that so much music has already been written, the composer turns to new (and often obscure) modes of creation so that he may express himself as an individual. Now, in the 21st century, where most composers are trying to express themselves independently of one another, the listener gets lost in a musical anarchy because he has no foundation or standard to listen for. Essentially, it is this lack of a foundation that scares off the average listener where it should in fact be drawing them in, to the realm of infinite possibility. RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS/
Christos Hatzis, Owen Pallett, Arvo Part
Bird-call sound created from sliding harmonics on a cello Contemporary Classical is a very special genre of classical music. These pieces of music are usually written to convey an expressive and wandering feeling. When I listen to contemporary classical pieces, I often feel like I am dreaming, and a generally blurry image comes to mind. Harmonically, contemporary pieces are often written more freely than those of earlier time periods. Personally, I favour contemporary pieces because they give one the benefit of doubt. You don’t know where you’re headed, and when you get there you experience a (sometimes enjoyable) jolt to your brain. Some contemporary pieces do not follow a particular harmonic structure at all. These pieces are particularly mesmerizing, unfolding its dreamy presence over the audience and captivating their imaginations. One such piece was a “Bird-Call” piece written for the cello. The whole duration of the piece was a brilliant imitation of bird calls and sounds. After hearing this piece, I was quite stunned to discover that I was still in a hall full of people, rather than in a forest surrounded by hundreds of birds.
GRADE/ 11 FAVOURITE INSTRUMENTAL SOUND/
CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC SHPEEL/
Perhaps it’s not so much what I feel when I hear contemporary classical music as it is an unfolding story: one that depicts the evolution of musicality. Modern music itself had always existed. It was just a matter of finding new ways make “sound” into music that can be expressed in all of its complexity. With all the material resources we have today, possibilities of uncovering unfound sonorities are endless. Yet, earlier musicians had to undergo tenuous advances which eventually built up the foundations of the music that we enjoy today. We often take “their” music for granted since such easily fits into the typical “classical music” stereotype. I say that we shouldn’t deem classical music as an extremely outdated fad, but as a window that peers into the rich history of our music. RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS/
Shulamit Ran, Bright Sheng, Nikos Skalkottas
CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC SHPEEL/
Contemporary classical music is very different from many other songs you would hear today, and the songs before then, such as the Baroque era. It is much more interesting to listen to, rather than the repetitive pop songs you hear on the radio, and can really make you think. Each song in this genre is very percussive, and sometimes, it can even have the craziness of heavy metal, but the musicians somehow find a way to put in birdcalls. Some songs, you can’t even tell if they’re related to the title, because they are so crazy. But the more I listen to this style, the more I realize that it’s really hard to write something that isn’t like mainstream hip-hop songs, repeating the same tune over and over again, and appreciate this style of music more and more. There really is no type of music that is better than the other. You may agree or disagree with me, but whatever it may be, you should enjoy music, whatever it is, wherever you go. RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS/
RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS/
Christos Hatzis, Kye Marshall, Matt Poon, Alan Torok
Monta Shen Ezra John (EJ) Pablo
Entire orchestra doing a glissando at the same time (though I’ve never heard of it being done before)
GRADE/ 12 FAVOURITE INSTRUMENTAL SOUND/
CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC SHPEEL/
Contemporary classical music is, in my opinion, the most boundless, undefined genre of music today. It shows me that there is so much more to explore with regards to classical music. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what the true limits of music are. When I listen to this genre of art, I truly feel confused. The classical training I’ve garnered throughout my life has definitely not prepared me to tackle the pieces of the 20th century. The beauty and complexity are hard to harness without a foundation in contemporary music. Without this knowledge to build on, I can only admire contemporary classical music from afar. RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS/
Samuel Barber, Bela Bartok, Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussey, Philip Glass, Larysa Kuzmenko, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, Dmitri Shostakovich
pinpoint. Possibly A♭
CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL MUSIC SHPEEL/
This is a pretty complicated question. It used to be rare for me to listen to music without knowing some of its back story, which meant that I went into the piece with a preset knowledge of what the composer was trying to communicate. This tactic, while providing valuable insight into the piece, sometimes gave me prejudicial thoughts. I’ve recently been trying to cut down on this way of listening in order to feel the music and what it’s trying to express. It saddens me to report that I am not good at not researching musicians. (It’s been a bizarre hobby of mine since I was little.) So to say I approach music in an analytical fashion would be true, but that is not to say I don’t hear the emotions put into a piece. I cried the first time I heard Gorecki’s famous Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into with that piece. I started listening to it at 3 A.M. and I couldn’t move until it was done, I was transfixed by how horribly tragic everything was. When listening to music I try and let it tell me what it wants to say now, rather than telling it what it supposed to be saying. RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS/
John Adams, Milton Babbit, Richard Barrett, Tyondai Braxton, Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Henryk Gorecki, Steve Reich, Alfred Schnittke, Anton Webern, John Zorn
Many have a misconception about contemporary classical music. It sounds like “noise”, like “wrong notes”. Music composition students come forth to change this mindset, how contemporary classical can be all the right notes.
ANASTASIA NIKIFOROVA TAYLOR JANTZI
MARK CLAPA DIANA EDELMAN
VICKY LIU, HATLEY WALKER
YOUSEF MAJIDI 97
RYAN CHO, ERICA HO
PHOTOGRAPHED BY AMERI-ANNA OZIGIS
SCOTT COOPER QUINTON NAUGHTON