The SPOGreatMusic Performance Series: S41E15
Release Date: May 07, 2021
On this fifteenth episode of our SPOGreatMusic Performance Series (Season 41, 2020/2021), we’re pleased to present the following videos:
Alex Eddington’s “gibbons vs. Gibbons”
Performed by Odin Quartet.
“gibbons vs. Gibbons” is one of those pieces that started as a title. I was thinking that it was funny that there is an English Renaissance composer named Orlando Gibbons, since gibbons are also a kind of ape. The most wonderful kind of ape!
Watching them swing and play at the Toronto zoo, and listening to recordings of the whooping-swooping duets of white-cheeked gibbons online, I wondered what would happen if these apes encountered their namesake composer.
In my piece, the viola and cello (the gibbons) keep swinging playfully down to bother the violins (attempting to perform a duet by Gibbons), causing unexpected problems in the music. Eventually, apes and musicians find a way to play together for the final cadence – and a whooping finish! “gibbons vs. Gibbons” is dedicated to these endangered primates who give the world a music of their own. — AE
Learn more about Alex Eddington: https://www.alexeddington.com/
Samuel Bisson’s “for Mor”
Performed by Odin Quartet. Video and audio edited by Samuel Bisson. Recorded at Desert Fish Studios.
“for Mor” was composed by Samuel Bisson in celebration of his wife, Mor.
“Gravity” – Animated Short Film
Beethoven’s “Septet in E-flat major” Op. 20 / 1st Movement
Ludwig van Beethoven’s 1st movement (Adagio, Allegro con brio) from the Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20, features violinist Joyce Lai, violist Ian Clarke, cellist Ronald Royer, bassist Tim Fitzgerald, clarinetist Kaye Royer, bassoonist Kristin Day, and hornist Jason Austin.
Joyce Lai was the SPO artist-in-residence for our 2019/2020 season, and we are pleased to share this recording. This recording is from the SPO February 8, 2020 chamber music concert at St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Anglican Church and was a collaboration with the Canadian Sinfonietta.
Audio recorded by John S. Gray. Video by Devin Scott.
Check out this ensemble’s performance of the sixth movement of the Beethoven Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20 here.
Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Household Music” 2nd Movement
Ralph Vaughan Williams, composer; Joyce Lai, violin / Brenna McLane, viola / Ronald Royer, cello / Kaye Royer, clarinet
Sound recorded and mastered by John S. Gray. Video edited by Devin Scott.
Performer and Composer Bios
ALEX EDDINGTON :
Learn more about Alex Eddington: https://www.alexeddington.com/.
SAMUEL BISSON : Originally from Ottawa, cellist Samuel Bisson is quickly distinguishing himself in Canada as a versatile soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Currently based in Toronto, he performs frequently in the GTA and has performed and toured across Canada, the US, Austria and China. He has performed with renowned Canadian piano trio, the Gryphon Trio and performs regularly as part of the Passport Duo. Samuel currently holds the position of principal cellist with the Sneak Peek Orchestra (Toronto) and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (Scarborough) and has appeared as principal and section cellist with the Toronto Concert Orchestra (Toronto), Ottawa Symphnoy Orchestra (Ottawa), Brantford Symphony Orchestra (Brantford), Ontario Philharmonic (Oshawa) and l’Orchestre de la Francophonie Canadienne (Montreal).
Over the years, Samuel has had the pleasure of working with many renowned cellists including Janos Starker, Roman Borys, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Paul Katz, Anthony Elliott, Paul Marleyn and Julian Armour. He has also had the privilege of playing with great chamber musicians and masters such as Pinchas Zuckerman, Mark Fewer, Jean Desmarais, Angela Hewitt and the St-Lawrence String Quartet. Samuel has a special interest in new and unknown music and has an ease with a broad range of musical styles. He regularly performs premieres of new works and has been a guest of Toronto’s New Music Festival for two years. Beyond the boundaries of classical performance, Samuel is an active studio session musician and performer/arranger in a variety of music genres. He has been involved with projects that stylistically range from jazz and broadway to metal and electronica, and has worked and collaborated with artists such as Drake, Sarah Brightman and members of Barenaked Ladies and Our Lady Peace.
Samuel is also a composer and has had many works performed by ensembles across the country. He composed the score to the award-winning short film Nuit Blanche, as well as the soundtrack to the Mandarin language feature film Lovesick, released theatrically in China and Taiwan. Learn more about Samuel on his Website.
ODIN QUARTET : Born in early 2015 on the Philosopher’s Walk in downtown Toronto, the Odin Quartet unites four musicians who represent the diversity that Canada takes pride in. Violinist, Alex Toskov, is originally from Belgrade, Serbia. Tanya Charles Iveniuk, also a violinist, grew up in Hamilton, Ontario with roots in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Veronica Lee, born in South Korea, is a violist from LaSalle, Ontario. French-Canadian cellist and composer, Samuel Bisson, hails from Ottawa, Ontario. In June 2015, the Odin Quartet was selected to be one of the few ensembles to participate in the Luminato Festival’s epic production of R Murray Schafer’s, Apocalypsis. Through this, the Quartet had the opportunity not only of being mentored by the award-winning Afiara and Cecilia Quartets, but were also invited to collaborate with them on outreach and performances shortly thereafter. Since then, the Odin Quartet has been frequent performers of the Ottawa Valley Music Festival, Barrie Concert Series, Guelph Connections, Music in the Atrium, Music at Mount Pleasant, and Music Niagara. The Quartet, which takes its name from the one-eyed Norse deity, aims to promote modern Canadian compositions in addition to collaborating with other musicians and artists of other disciplines.
The Odin Quartet has served as the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s Ensemble- in-Residence since September 2017. In 2018, the ensemble premiered a new piece by Samuel Bisson, entitled EPITAPH foratonality, which featured the Quartet as soloists with the Scarborough Philharmonic, conducted by Ronald Royer. Collaborations have included artists such as Atis Bankas (violin), Victoria Kogan (piano), Raffi Altounian (guitar), Carmen Romero (flamenco dancer), Christopher Kelk (actor, storyteller), the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and Spectrum Music. In 2019, the ensemble celebrated the inaugural concert of its Drying Ink series, performances dedicated to the premiere of new, Canadian works written for the Quartet. Currently, they look forward to incoming compositions from their Lockdown Lullabies call for scores. This project, initiated in May of 2020, aims to inspire composers, worldwide, to continue to create and stay in positive spirits during the challenging times related to the COVID-19 health crisis. Learn more about the Odin Quartet on their website.
STEVEN WEBB BMus, MMus: Originally from South Africa, Steven Webb (b.1989) is a Toronto based composer, with his work being filtered through the personal lens of his own battle with mental illness. His current compositional work is concerned with examining the human experience, with the disorientation, confusion, and dread that arises from living in a world dealing with a climate crisis, growing conflict and marginalization towards minority groups, and the increasing isolation of the individual in spite of our hyperconnectivity.
His compositions and arrangements have been performed by: The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Thin Edge Music Collective, The University of Guelph Symphonic Choir, The Hamilton Children’s Choir, Exultate Chamber Singers, Prairie Voices, among many others. As a film composer, Steven’s credits include: ‘Chopin’s Heart’ for The National Screen Institute, ‘Period Piece’, winner of the best Canadian Short Film at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, and ‘Scheduled Violence’ for MTS On Demand. As a producer and audio engineer, Steven has worked with bands including: The Lytics, Vikings, and Moses Mayes, and has done audio work for Harper Collins, Strata Studios and Astron 6 Video International. He currently works as a full time composer, audio engineer and collaborative pianist. Steven is a member of the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers (SOCAN), as well as the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, and is an Associate Composer at the Canadian Music Centre. Learn more about Steven on his Website.
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