This season, our Emergents series has been curated by four “graduates” of recent Music Gallery productions, including two alumni of the series itself.
You’ve seen Mika Posen here in shows with Lisa Bozikovic and Snowblink, elsewhere she’s known for being a member of Timber Timbre and Forest City Lovers.
Posen has subtitled Emergents I “Strange Strings”, in homage to Sun Ra’s 1967 album featuring the textures and timbres of stringed instruments. Here, stringed instruments are the foundation, while genre, style, and additional instrumentation will be left in the hands of three featured composers.
Beyond the use of strings, what unifies this evening’s entertainment is the willingness of musicians and composers to set aside individual artistic identity in order to put on a crazy diverse show.
The Strange Strings Ensemble of Ilana Waniuk (violin), Suhashini Arulanandam (violin), Amanda Penner (viola), and Bryan Holt (cello) is a versatile group of string players who are active not only in the classical realm, but in the world of New Music (The Thin Edge Collective) and in large-scale pop projects (The Big Sound, Classic Albums Live). Ali Berkok (piano) guests on Mike Smith’s Quintet.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Mike Smith’s (Toronto) work explores the interstices between folk music, progressive rock, jazz, and minimalism. Initially trained as a jazz bassist at the University of Toronto, Smith’s omnivorous practice is reflected in his output as leader of Muskox from 2007 to 2012. Margaret Ashburner (Ottawa) studied composition at Wilfrid Laurier University and at the University of Victoria. Composer, violinist, and sound artist Anthony Wallace has written music for film, TV, theatre, and dance. He studied composition at York University and maintains a keen interest in creating works that involve multidisciplinary collaboration, multimedia approaches, and audience participation.