New Generation Film Composers Program 2020-21

Offered in partnership with Sheridan College’s Animation Program, the New Generation Composers’ Program at the SPO pairs emerging composers with a recently completed animated short for an exercise in film composition.

New Generation Composers 2022

New Generation Composers Workshop, 2021-22 Program

Performed by Odin Quartet (Alex Toskov, violin / Tanya Charles Iveniuk, violin / Matt Antal, viola / Samuel Bisson, cello). These compositions were presented as part of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Generation Composer’s Workshop activities from our 2021/2022 season. Due to the pandemic, finishing audio recording and video editing delayed the release of these NGCW works. The SPO is pleased to have completed this core project and we appreciate the patience of the composers involved with this project, as well as the outstanding efforts made by the musicians and editors.

This project was made possible through the support of:

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra is pleased to present new music from young Canadian composer, Mr. Harris Clark, as part of our ongoing SPO New Generation Composers Workshop activities. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, Mr. Clark used electronic sound generators to produce and record this selection. Mr. Clark also created the video to accompany his music. Here’s a brief message from Mr. Clark: “I created the song first, and I wanted it to be exciting and energetic. I also wanted to use a few different sounds, such as the piano and various electronic instruments. Then, I was invited by the SPO to create a video to go along with the music. It tells the story of a man getting out of work for the weekend, going to a party, and on the next day, going for a walk in the Guild Park and Gardens in Scarborough.”

FORGETTING – Shreya Jha – Mor Shargall-Bisson and Talisa Blackman 

New Generation Composers 2021

These works were presented as part of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual  2020-21 New Generation Composers Workshop project. The NGCW creates opportunities for young, Canadian composers to create new music for small ensembles and to be mentored by professional Canadian composers from the SPO community, including SPO Music Director and Conductor, Mr. Ronald Royer.

The 2020-2021 New Generation Composer Program was made prossible, in part, through the support of:

Finding Focus, Paul Kawabe, composer

 

Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: Lesley Duff (flute), Gillian Howard (oboe), Kaye Royer (clarinet), Larkin Hinder (bassoon), Andrew Merideth (horn), Connor Crone (bass) with the Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin I), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin II), Veronica Lee (viola), and Samuel Bisson (cello) Video assembled and edited by Paul Kawabe.

Paul Kawabe is a Toronto based composer and Master’s student at the University of Toronto studying composition with Prof. Gary Kulesha. His compositions explore the imagined or hidden personalities of any material he finds interesting – ranging from plant evolution to old buildings. His past compositions have been performed by peers, youth orchestras, and read by professional ensembles such as the New Orford and Calidore String Quartet.

Telephonic, Steven Webb

Steven Webb, composer; Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: Lesley Duff (flute), Gillian Howard (oboe), Kaye Royer (clarinet), Larkin Hinder (bassoon), Andrew Merideth (horn), Connor Crone (bass) with the Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin I), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin II), Veronica Lee (viola), and Samuel Bisson (cello) Video assembled and edited by Steven Webb. Sound mix by Steven Webb.

Here’s a personal programme note from Steven Webb: “I began my work on what would become ‘Telephonic’ after reading a news article on recently discovered early audio recordings from the 1860s. Through the use of modern computer and laser-scanning systems, we are now able to playback some of these early recordings that would otherwise be inaccessible due to the fragility of the playback cylinders. I was overwhelmed by the idea of hearing human voices from over 150 years ago, and the beauty and imperfect nature of these early recordings strongly resonated with me. Since many of these early recordings were captured by the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, I began to think more about how his invention began the transformative process of the development of the information age in the 20th century, ultimately leading to the invention of the internet and other instant telecommunication devices we take for granted in the 21st century. Telephonic thus ultimately turned into a tribute to this invention, and its massive impact upon all aspects of human society. The electronics are made up entirely from two early recordings — an 1860 recording of the French folk-song Au claire de la lune and an 1880 recording of G.F. Handel’s Israel in Egypt. Special thanks to the SPO and the SPO musicians for the opportunity to participate in the New Generation Composers Workshop program and to have had this amazing opportunity” – SW

Amino, Laia Bent

 

Laia Bent, composer; Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: Lesley Duff (flute), Gillian Howard (oboe), Kaye Royer (clarinet), Larkin Hinder (bassoon), Andrew Merideth (horn), Connor Crone (bass) with the Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin I), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin II), Veronica Lee (viola), and Samuel Bisson (cello) Sound editing and mixing by Bruno Degazio. Video assembled and edited by Cassandra Yao.

Here’s a personal programme note from Laia Bent:

“Amino is a musical adaptation of the amino acid sequence of a spinal protein, bringing the music of life to the SPO. The process of writing the piece began with assigning each of the 20 amino acids, the fundamental building blocks of life, to a note on the chromatic scale based on their affinity for water. This allowed the music to reflect the actual layout of the protein, with ‘water-liking’ amino acids towards the exterior of the protein assigned to higher notes, and vice versa for ‘water-disliking’ amino acids. Using this method, an 8-letter sequence was translated into a melody, which formed the thematic basis for the rest of the piece.” Laia is a grade 12 student at the University of Toronto Schools. She is interested in global health, music, and international affairs. She is also a leader amongst her peers and has presented on the world stage. Laia’s passions come together in “Amino”.

Michael Maevskiy, composer; Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: Lesley Duff (flute), Gillian Howard (oboe), Kaye Royer (clarinet), Larkin Hinder (bassoon), Andrew Merideth (horn), Connor Crone (bass) with the Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin I), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin II), Veronica Lee (viola), and Samuel Bisson (cello) Video assembled and edited by Michael Maevskiy.

Here’s a personal programme note from Michael Maevskiy: “Air was inspired by both the lyrical baroque form of the same name, as well as by the physicality of the breath. I have been often fascinated how long, slow, swelling, and shimmering phrases can entrance the listener, and I wanted to try that out for myself.”

Michael Maevskiy (b. 1997) is a Russian-Canadian composer based in Kingston, ON. His music explores conceptual and philosophical ideas, often expressed through visceral gesture and ephemeral apparitions of sound. His style favours rich harmonies and melodic lines transfigured through a contemporary perspective, inspired by his heritage of romantic and contemporary Russian composers.

Patience, Lucas Fournier

Lucas Fournier, composer; Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: Lesley Duff (flute), Gillian Howard (oboe), Kaye Royer (clarinet), Larkin Hinder (bassoon), Andrew Merideth (horn), Connor Crone (bass) with the Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin I), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin II), Veronica Lee (viola), and Samuel Bisson (cello) Music edited and mixed by Bruno Degazio. Video assembled and edited by Lucas Fournier.

Lucas Fournier is an aspiring musician currently living in Montreal, Quebec. He went to high school at University of Toronto Schools and currently he is studying music at McGill University while working on his first album, Many Waters, hopefully to be released in mid-to-late 2021. Lucas is passionate about songwriting and composition, blending elements of classical and popular music in his indie-folk songs, and composing and arranging music for string quartet and chamber ensembles. His music is inspired by artists like Bon Iver, Radiohead, Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, and S. Carey. Follow @lucas__fournier on instagram for updates about current and future projects and releases!

Here’s a personal programme note from Lucas:

“Often when I write music, it’s a quick, instinctual process, but Patience was written over the course of several months. Interestingly, I originally developed some of the melodies and harmonies before the pandemic began last March, but only gave structure to the piece in the fall of 2020. Although only about 7 months passed from when I began and finished Patience, it was started and finalized in two completely different worlds. As I brought the piece together with this in mind, I wanted it to tell a fragmented story with twists and turns, though not a melancholic and hopeless one. The result is an unpredictable piece that subverts expectations in structure but maintains a cohesion through a sense of hope and belonging.”

 

Michael Cheng, composer; Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: Lesley Duff (flute), Gillian Howard (oboe), Kaye Royer (clarinet), Larkin Hinder (bassoon), Andrew Merideth (horn), Connor Crone (bass) with the Odin Quartet – Alex Toskov (violin I), Tanya Charles Iveniuk (violin II), Veronica Lee (viola), and Samuel Bisson (cello) Music editing and mixing by Bruno Degazio. Video assembled and edited by Ira Puri.

 

Here’s a personal note from Michael Cheng:

“The idea for this piece came while watching a video essay called “Why Miyazaki’s Films Sound Pretty” analyzing the work of composer Joe Hisaishi, who scored many films for legendary animator and director Hayao Miyazaki. I wrote a tone poem depicting part of the Japanese folk tale of the “Snow Woman” (Yuki Onna), as told by Lafcadio Hearn. To summarize, an old woodcutter named Mosaku and his apprentice Minokichi are caught in a blizzard and take refuge in a small hut. Mosaku and Minokichi both fall asleep. After a while, Minokichi is awoken by a beautiful pale woman with an ethereal glow and ice-cold breath. The woman tells him that she feels pity and will spare his life on the condition that he never tells anyone about her. She disappears, and Minokichi finds Mosaku frozen to death. (0:000:51) represents calm before the storm, drawing heavily on impressionist influences, particularly Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloe”, in which his use of quintal harmonies, soft string accompaniment, and soaring wind melodies create a serene, beautiful atmosphere. The title of my piece is an allusion to this work. (0:512:47) marks the beginning of the storm. I moved away from impressionist influences, looking towards Béla Bartók’s string quartets for a more aggressive, rhythmically-driven sound. (2:473:23) symbolizes the appearance of the Snow Woman. I used a similar texture to the intro with darker harmonic language; the quintal shape of the strings replaced with darker quartal harmony. I also incorporated Japanese influences more explicitly, as the melody is loosely based on the “Edo Lullaby” (Edo Komoriuta). Both melodies are based on the miyako-bushi scale, one of the darker scales used in Japanese folk music. Many thanks to the SPO for this incredible opportunity, to Ira for producing this stunning video, and for everyone’s hard work in making this piece possible!”

A note from the Ira: “I’ve worked with Michael before, for an art project where he scored an original video work of mine, so I was excited to embark on this project where I would produce a film for an original composition. ‘Minokichi’ is full of audio cues — trills, ascensions, striking chords. A picture immediately came to mind, of frozen ice and strong winds, of magic and darkness, and creative new worlds. I wanted to reflect the warped and frenetic atmosphere I visualized when listening to the piece. Over the winter, I took long walks around the city. Every time I found vibrant colours in the darkness, I collected footage. Sewn together in Premiere, the short clips became warped, slowed and tinted to create the world my character enters on a cool winter’s day. The frozen-lips ending of the film is inspired by the original story of the Snow Woman, replicating the eerie pale woman in possession of ice. Michael’s pieces continue to astound me, and the SPO’s rendition of his composition was full of rich audio imagery. I hope you enjoy our collaboration, and many thanks.”

Clocking Out – Harris Clark

Harris Clark, composer, performer, producer.

The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra is pleased to present new music from young Canadian composer, Mr. Harris Clark, as part of our ongoing SPO New Generation Composers Workshop activities. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, Mr. Clark used electronic sound generators to produce and record this selection. Mr. Clark also created the video to accompany his music. Here’s a brief message from Mr. Clark: “I created the song first, and I wanted it to be exciting and energetic. I also wanted to use a few different sounds, such as the piano and various electronic instruments. Then, I was invited by the SPO to create a video to go along with the music. It tells the story of a man getting out of work for the weekend, going to a party, and on the next day, going for a walk in the Guild Park and Gardens in Scarborough.” Image and video attributions are included in the video.