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Performing Arts as a Living Collection

BLOG_header_arts_living_collection_2014(Image credit: “The Seven Lively Arts” mural by R. York Wilson at the Sony Centre in Toronto)

The future library will not be a bricks and mortar institution, but distributed and decentralized.

Imagine a library full of not books, but performing artists. As you walk down the aisle, you can experience any sort of performance you can think of – and a great number of ones you couldn’t even imagine.

If such a library existed, I would spend all my spare time there, happily getting lost, exploring every art form. Read on…

The Connective Joy in Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale


“To me, the joy is watching like-minded multidisciplinary performers come together, and share each other’s world.”

Tickets to Toronto Masque Theatre at BeMused Network!
$20 student / $23 general & over 65
(Oct 25, 2014, 6:45pm) The Soldier’s Tale • (Oct 20, 2014, 8:00pm) The Soldier’s Tale
Performances at Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts.

Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale is often only heard in concert; the full production involving actors and dancers can be an unwieldy undertaking. But for artistic director Larry Beckwith, it is one of many such multidisciplinary productions that Toronto Masque Theatre has presented since 2003.

This coming weekend, presented as part of Soulpepper Theatre’s Global Cabaret Festival, Beckwith will conduct an ensemble of top-notch instrumentalists in collaboration with long-time artistic associates Derek Boyes as narrator and choreographer Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière. Read on…

Continuum Marks 30 Years With Souvenir Film Project


“Doing this is so hard, the musicians and composers have to come from a love and understanding of new art music.”

Tickets to Continuum Contemporary Music at BeMused Network!
$10 student / $20 artist & senior / $30 general
(Oct 19, 2014, 8:00pm) Souvenir(Oct 20, 2014, 8:00pm) Souvenir
Performances at Betty Oliphant Theatre.

As Continuum Contemporary Music celebrate their 30th years of championing new works by contemporary composers, their first concert of the season at the Betty Oliphant Theatre on Oct 19 & 20 presents a film project 20 years in the making.

Initiated by founding artistic director Jennifer Waring and her friend and filmmaker Gary Popovich, “Souvenir is a tale of the history of the universe and humanity’s place in it. The film features six commissioned works by different composers as the soundtrack. This is an unusual performance for Continuum, as it features a large-scale projection against which the Continuum ensemble and guests artists will perform on stage. Read on…

Spectrum Music Launches Remarkable Season


This is contemporary music that doesn’t leave the audience behind, and actively makes the music relevant to our daily lives.

Tickets to Spectrum Music at BeMused Network!
$15/$10 single tickets. $49/$34 subscriptions.
(Oct 8, 2014, 6:30pm) Tell It Like It Is(Dec 6, 2014, 8pm) Journeys
(Feb 7, 2015, 8pm) Starry Night(Oct 8, 2014, 9pm) Your Wish Is Our Concert
All performances at Alliance Française de Toronto.

Spectrum Music’s season launch at Alliance Française this Wednesday evening at 9pm is both a party and a mixer. Set against a soundscape created by composer and cellist Nick Storring, this is a rare opportunity to experience the other-worldly vocal and electronics duo, Barnyard Drama, featuring Christine Duncan & Jean Martin.

Founded in 2010 as a collective of contemporary music composers with their feet planted in the classical and jazz tradition, Spectrum Music has cultivated a strong roster of performers who are regular collaborators, with the support of Duncan herself as artistic advisor, and advisor emeritus Andrew Downing. Read on…

Spectrum Music’s Interface at Nuit Blanche


A living metaphor of what happens when the boundaries between performers and audiences are erased.

Art installation meets live improvisation with audience interaction at Spectrum Music‘s remount of Matthew Roberts’ electro-eco-acoustic “Interface” during the upcoming Nuit Blanche in Toronto. “Interface” is a participatory audio-visual installation that uses live performers, electronics, and human touch in synergy to create morphing soundscapes. It is a living metaphor of what happens when the boundaries between performers and audiences are erased.

“Interface” was first presented at the season launch concert for Spectrum Music last year. With their 2014-2015 season launch slated for next Wednesday, the re-mounting of “Interface” at a larger scale as part of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche activities is a fitting pre-launch party. Find them at Artscape Youngplace (180 Shaw Street) with new performers every hour form 7pm to 7am. Read on…

Go Concert Hopping this Thursday


The middle of the week, and sometimes even the middle of the day, is a time when rewarding musical experiences can often be found. Here is a concert hopping itinerary for this Thursday, October 2nd: Start the afternoon with a lunchtime concert with pianist Adam Sherkin, then follow up with the Paris-based Trio Wanderer presented by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. After a nice dinner, wrap up the day with the Eybler Quartet at Heliconian hall. And if you’re hungry for more, come back for a bonus concert on Friday night with Ensemble Polaris.

Read on…

Essential Opera Grows with Paride ed Elena


Essential Opera offers an appealing format for local audiences to experience a more intimate form of opera, and pique audiences’ interest in opera with fresh vocal talents.

Get your tickets to see Essential Opera at BeMused Network!
(Sept 27, 2014, 8:00pm) Paride ed Elena at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre in Toronto ($25/$20)
(Oct 1, 2014, 7:30pm) Paride ed Elena at Registry Theatre in Kitchener ($25/$20)

Essential Opera is kicking off its 5th season with remarkable signs of growth. They will be presenting Gluck’s well-loved Paride ed Elena on the stage of Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on September 27 (home to Tafelmusik and Toronto Consort), followed by the Registry Theatre in Kitchener on October 1.

While financial considerations informed their concert format with piano accompaniment, the company has come up with an essential formula: Great music presented with wonderful vocalists and personalities to present the operatic experience in miniature. There is enough to engage all our operatic senses, while the spaces in between encourage deeper listening and trigger our imagination. Read on…

The Art of (Performance in) Public Space

BLOG_header_SalonWest_Public_Space_2014(Photo: “green monster” A wall along Calle 7 outside La Candelaria in Bogota, Colombia. Credit: Aziza Mohammed)

The spaces and places that ‘host’ the performances are transformed, as are all the artists and audiences who are part of that experience.

Everywhere around us, conversations are happening about the ways the arts sector is changing: At the bar after a show, at community events, at industry meet-ups, and even at policy discussions. One such conversation is coming soon to Salon West, a series of curated conversations led by “thoughtful individuals from different sectors to discuss the arts and culture scene that makes our city a great place to be”.

Related Blog Post: Q&A with Clay and Paper Theatre’s David Anderson

The September 26, 6pm event at the Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton Ave.) is entitled “Toronto The Bad, The Good and the Ugly: The Art of Public Space.” It is a call for all of us to develop a more thoughtful response and understanding of public spaces, and our role in shaping it.

The Salon will feature three guest speakers: Javid Jah (Graffiti Artist/Architect), Elle Alconcel (Curator from Daniels Spectrum) and Ashley McKenzie-Barnes (MANIFESTO! Visual Arts Director). Read on…

Fundraiser for Thin Edge to Reach New Heights


Private support from their audiences and collaborators will not simply elevate that platform to new heights; it will be the ultimate vote of confidence that will drive them to reach even higher.

Thin Edge New Music Collective has been making a splash in Toronto’s contemporary music scene with their unusual ensemble of instrumentalists and active collaborations with composers across Canada and overseas.

Related Post: Music Premieres on the Edge

The group has just announced their 2014-2015 season, starting with a private fundraiser concert on Sunday, September 21. The event is hosted by a benefactor, but everyone is welcome to come celebrate TENMC’s fourth season, and help the hard work already put into the season go even further. Read on…

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