The door

As my departure from Vancouver draws nigh, I am feverishly working to complete the final objects involved in the semi-theatrical piece Through closed doors for the Thin Edge New Music Collective. I don’t think I’ve ever had to use so many different skills in any of my creative projects. There has even been carpentry involved (my ‘day’ job coming in handy). The only thing I haven’t done here is fiber arts.

The final ‘score’ for the piece is an antique door, which the violinists will circle in pursuit of each other. The piece was inspired by it and built around it. You can see some pages of the hand-inked manuscript I made first by scrolling down to some earlier posts.

Here’s the door all ready for engraving with the manuscript laid out below it. 

The door ready for engraving
My original plan was to burn the notes into the wood with a wood burning pen. It seemed like a good idea until the metal nibs started bending from the heat of the tool they were made for (talk about quality!). Moreover, the wood the door is made from has widely varying density and is not that suitable for pyrography (things got rather bumpy).

After an episode of some first rate artistic misery, panic and hair-pulling (“Oh my god, this whole project is a disaster!!!! Who the hell did I think I was trying to pull something like this????), I discovered the Sharpie oil-based paint pens. Life is looking up.

Some music on the door

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“Ivan Kupalo” wins award

I am ecstatic to announce that my chamber opera On the Eve of Ivan Kupalo has been awarded the BMO Mainstage Award by the Boston Metro Opera Company. I have no information yet beyond what is available on the website above, but it seems that the opera will receive a fully staged performance in Boston! I will post most details as they become available.

Ivan Kupalo shared the first prize in the Godfrey Rideout category of the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers in the summer of 2013.

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Violin duo illuminated

Now that the violin duo Through closed doors has been premiered and the music tested for errors, I have started making the final score. Drawing inspiration from medieval illuminated manuscripts, I am creating a two-colour score with large rehearsal letters built right into the wavering staves.

The first page from “Through closed doors”

Violin duo illuminated, first page

I have estimated that the whole score (title page and notes included) will take up about 16 pages, so this should occupy me for the next month or so.

This work was commissioned and premiered by the Thin Edge New Music Collective.

 

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The Child in Uruguay

On Tuesday, March 25, the lovely French violist Claire Poillion will perform the viola version of The Child, Bringer of Light in Montevideo, Uruguay. Claire and I met at the Banff Centre in 2011. She was living in the Netherlands at the time and now she will be giving my music its South American debut. Crazy how life works these days.

The Child in Montevideo

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