Souvenirs of IAMA Montréal 2013

Showcasing Canadian New Music to the World

Musi­cians, del­e­gates, audi­ence and more share their thoughts about the Cana­di­an New Music at IAMA Mon­tre­al 2013 project, held in ear­ly Novem­ber, 2013. Vis­it online for full pro­gramme, biogra­phies and more. Thank you to every­one who shared this expe­ri­ence with us!


Tim Brady at IAMA Montréal

Some­times, the best things in life are unplanned!  In late August 2013 CNMN was con­tact­ed by Bar­bara Scales, chair of the pres­ti­gious Inter­na­tion­al Arts Man­agers Asso­ci­a­tion (IAMA) con­fer­ence, planned for Novem­ber 2013 in Mon­tre­al.  She said this was going to be an amaz­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty to put Cana­di­an music on the inter­na­tion­al stage, but that nobody had thought to include Cana­di­an music in this inter­na­tion­al event. Did CNMN want to organ­ise some show­cas­es, to be pre­sent­ed to some of the most impor­tant arts man­agers in the world?  We said YES.

So — in a peri­od of 3 weeks we put togeth­er a part­ner­ship with Le Vivi­er and the CMC-QC, found fund­ing for the project from the Cana­da Coun­cil (thanks!), organ­ised a call for pro­pos­als, held a jury, and put togeth­er 4 events that pre­sent­ed 9 Cana­di­an artists and over 20 com­posers. We had over 50 appli­ca­tions, and the deci­sions were dif­fi­cult.  But the final project at IAMA show­cased an amaz­ing scope of per­form­ers and com­posers from across Cana­da, and across a wide styl­is­tic range.

The reac­tion by the IAMA del­e­gates was very strong and very pos­i­tive.  They loved the idea of new music at the event (this does not hap­pen in Europe, it seems), and were very impressed by the work of Cana­di­an artists.  This project has lead to many new con­tacts, projects and ideas for the devel­op­ment of the CNMN and Cana­di­an New Music.

It was quite insane, organ­is­ing a major pro­duc­tion in less than 3 months, includ­ing fundrais­ing, selec­tion and pro­duc­tion.  But the oppor­tu­ni­ty was too impor­tant to miss.  Kudos to the entire team, espe­cial­ly our admin­is­tra­tive direc­tor (Emi­ly Hall), for pulling this off.

Tim Brady
Pres­i­dent of the Cana­di­an New Music Network


The CNMN / IAMA con­certs were a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to present some­thing beyond one’s local envi­ron­ment, and the event offered a snap­shot of Cana­di­an per­form­ers per­form­ing Cana­di­an music.

Roger Admi­ral, pianist


Emi­ly Hall with William A. Neren­berg, pres­i­dent of Chesa­peake Inter­na­tion­al Artists / pho­to cred­it: Michel Pinault

This is the first time the IAMA con­fer­ence has come to North Amer­i­ca, and it was a plea­sure to be able to show a warm Cana­di­an wel­come by way of the Cana­di­an New Music at IAMA Mon­tre­al 2013 project, which show­cased Cana­di­an per­form­ers and com­posers from Vic­to­ria, British Colum­bia all the way to Hal­i­fax, Nova Scotia.

This was a tru­ly pal­pa­ble cel­e­bra­tion of the rich artis­tic diver­si­ty we have here in Cana­da. The con­cept might have risked feel­ing frag­ment­ed as each unique set took to the stage, but no. It was as if all these remark­able per­form­ers and com­posers had all grown up togeth­er in the same place rather than span­ning a coun­try that’s close to ten mil­lion square kilo­me­tres in size.

How? Per­haps it was the immense tal­ent and depth of indi­vid­ual iden­ti­ty that was shared by every­one. In all that the artists were show­ing us, it was appar­ent at every turn that we aren’t, in fact, a fron­tier to be set­tled. Cana­di­an artists have a ful­ly-explored voice and an estab­lished new music community.

Tak­ing it all in, I was proud to be a Cana­di­an, proud to call these amaz­ing­ly gift­ed artists Cana­di­an, and proud to be part of a com­mu­ni­ty so vibrant and diverse, wor­thy and ready for any world stage.

Emi­ly Hall
Cana­di­an New Music Network


Ensem­ble Trans­mis­sion at IAMA Montreal


As an artist rep­re­sen­ta­tive and for­mer head of inter­na­tion­al mar­ket­ing at Sony Clas­si­cal, I am extreme­ly pleased with the man­date of the Cana­di­an New Music Net­work. The Cana­di­an New Music Show­cas­es at IAMA Mon­tréal exem­pli­fied our artists’ extreme­ly high per­for­mance lev­el and fur­ther proved that our com­posers can become more wide­ly known. While the new music world is often crit­i­cized for act­ing com­pet­i­tive­ly, the per­form­ers col­lab­o­rat­ed in their usu­al fash­ion and proved that this is an open com­mu­ni­ty which wel­comes oth­ers. I look for­ward to our ongo­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Cana­di­an New Music Net­work as it helps to build oppor­tu­ni­ties for our per­form­ers and creators.

Faye Perkins
Real World Artist Management


Jan­ice Jack­son at IAMA Montreal


Only Jan­ice Jack­son could make such a mag­nif­i­cent hall feel so inti­mate and spe­cial.  Her show­case per­for­mance at the Mai­son Sym­phonique on Novem­ber 8, 2013 was both chill­ing and elec­tri­fy­ing, and her solo voice effort­less­ly filled the hall with sound and emotion.

Begin­ning with Marie Pel­letier’s Han No.3, the audi­ence was invit­ed into a twist­ing world of vocal tech­niques and styles bor­rowed from dif­fer­ent cul­tures. I found myself pleas­ant­ly lost in the tex­tures of  sound! Although nei­ther piece had intel­li­gi­ble text or direct sto­ry, I was always inter­est­ed and always had the sense that I was watch­ing a real human event or expe­ri­ence far above a sim­ple col­lec­tion of sounds.

Her deliv­ery of Alice Ping Yee Ho’s Angst, seat­ed on the floor and car­ried out while rit­u­al­is­ti­cal­ly rip­ping apart a red-streaked news­pa­per, was equal parts per­for­mance art and music the­atre, equal parts poised and bizarre. The hall was the per­fect space for her pow­er­ful and ver­sa­tile voice, and I was awestruck at the dif­fer­ent effects that emerged as she turned her body to face oth­er parts of the hall. At one point as she faced away from the audi­ence, she mut­tered some per­cus­sive strings of con­so­nants and I was sure I heard two voic­es as the echo ric­o­cheted off the back wall. Jan­ice stayed true to the essence of the piece until the very end– when she crawled off­stage on her hands and knees!

Sarah Albu, audi­ence member


No micro­phone ampli­fi­ca­tion, just one woman, alone on the vast stage of the Mai­son Sym­phonique, I was fas­ci­nat­ed by Jan­ice Jackson’s fear­less­ness, the trust and the sym­bio­sis she formed between her­self and the hall at her solo show­case, Spot­light on Cana­di­an Com­posers. From the soft­est mur­mur to the most intense out­cry, the hall respond­ed to every detail, trans­mit­ting her mes­mer­iz­ing and tran­scen­den­tal vocals as if she was singing up close, to each and every one of us.

Emi­ly Hall, audi­ence member



The two con­certs at the “Off-IAMA” series [at the Red Roof Church] dis­played a wide range of musi­cal styles. Also, the vari­ety of dif­fer­ent groups and soloists that were fea­tured was some­thing I will remember.

Alas­dair Mon­ey, cel­list – Emi­ly Carr String Quartet


ofNOW, orkestra futu­ra per­formed .. on Novem­ber 8, 2013 at the [show­case] at the Church of Saint John the Evan­ge­list in Mon­tre­al. [It was] a won­der­ful oppor­tu­ni­ty to intro­duce Cana­di­an new music to inter­na­tion­al pro­gram­mers, pro­duc­ers and man­agers. There is a rich and var­ied new music scene in Cana­da and I am pleased that this Cana­di­an music was intro­duced in an inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence of such high stature. [We were] proud to intro­duce por­tions of three new graph­ic scores: Ono­matopoeia by Gary Wilde­man, wise as ser­pents by Lisa Cay Miller and hhh­m­mm by Coat Cooke. I applaud the Cana­di­an New Music Net­work in a well run, effi­cient showcase.

Lisa Cay Miller – Man­ag­ing Artis­tic Direc­tor, ofNOW, orkestra futu­ra


Tak­ing-Off with Aplomb: Cana­di­an New Music at IAMA-Montréal

“Aplomb” is the right descrip­tor for the open­ing Off-IAMA con­cert pre­sent­ed in the ear­ly evening of Novem­ber 7, 2013– one of two Cana­di­an New Music con­certs pre­sent­ed at the “Red Roof Church,” a venue whose excel­lent acoustics serves New Cham­ber Music as well as it does Bach’s cantatas.

The con­cert includ­ed two ensem­bles – Fiolûtröniq from Mon­tréal and the Emi­ly Carr String Quar­tet from Vic­to­ria – plus the vir­tu­oso flutist Mark Takeshi McGre­gor from Vanocu­ver, in a solo performance.

The mem­bers of Fiolûtröniq include the com­pos­er-per­former Cléo Pala­cio-Quintin on flutes, Elin Söder­ström on viol de gam­ba, and Kate­lyn Clark on harp­si­chord. Par­al­lel to the string quar­tet, this com­bi­na­tion of instru­ments has been with us for sev­er­al cen­turies, and is entire­ly appro­pri­ate to high­light what is new in New Music. When the last move­ment of a com­po­si­tion [by Stacey Brown] is enti­tled Stark Rav­ing Lunatic Bitch, the lis­ten­er has the right to expect sounds quite dif­fer­ent from what one usu­al­ly hears in cham­ber music. And that’s def­i­nite­ly the case, even if the piece fin­ish­es with a cer­tain grace, rather than the fre­net­ic mad­ness implied by the term “stark raving.”

The four musi­cians from the Vic­to­ria Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra who make up the Emi­ly Carr String Quar­tet devot­ed the core of their stage time to Ana Sokolovic’s Com­me­dia del­l’arte I, the com­mis­sioned test piece for the 2010 edi­tion of the Banff Inter­na­tion­al String Quar­tet Com­pe­ti­tion. Like all cre­ations of this genre, com­pos­ing this quar­tet is as much a chal­lenge for the com­pos­er as for the musi­cians. Above and beyond the high tech­ni­cal demands imposed on the per­form­ers, there is also the com­poser’s goal of cre­at­ing music that will last. After the smash­ing con­clu­sion of Com­me­dia del­l’arte I, the applause was just as intense as one hears on the orig­i­nal 2010 per­for­mances. Both Sokolovic and the Emi­ly Carr String Quar­tet deserve no less.

After the inten­si­ty of the first two parts of the con­cert, I had my doubts as to the audience’s capac­i­ty to devote the req­ui­site atten­tion to the third com­po­nent of the pro­gram: com­po­si­tions for solo flute. Those doubts dis­ap­peared the instant that flutist Mark Takeshi McGre­gor began the first work: Foundry by Paul Steen­huisen. We see a vir­tu­oso whose move­ments dur­ing per­for­mances can almost be char­ac­ter­ized as dance. This is not an arti­fice for the stage, but very evi­dent­ly the way that McGre­gor lives his music.

-Full con­cert pro­gramme online.
-Watch a video sam­pling of Fiolûtröniq’s reper­toire on Vimeo.
-Stacey Brown’s com­po­si­tion Five Stages of Insan­i­ty Accord­ing to bzh April 10, 2008.
-Thanks to the gen­eros­i­ty of the Banff Com­pe­ti­tion and CBC, we can hear the last­ing qual­i­ties of Com­me­dia del­l’arte Ihere.
-Watch a video per­for­mance of Steenhuisen’s Foundry on McGre­gor’s web site.

Phil Ehren­saft, audi­ence member


Direct link: Sou­venirs of IAMA Mon­tréal 2013
Return to full Bul­letin – Decem­ber 2013