CNMN > Projects > ACTIVATE: Young Composer Program

Anna Höstman and Aline Homzy

  • Acoustic instruments
  • Digital devices
  • 13 to 18 years of age
  • Education

ACTIVATE: Young Composer Program


ACTIVATE: Young Com­pos­er Pro­gram is an adju­di­cat­ed com­po­si­tion pro­gram pre­sent­ed by The Alliance for Cana­di­an New Music Projects (ACNMP) and Cana­di­an Music Cen­tre (CMC).

ACTIVATE is an ear­ly entry point for young artists (25 years of age or younger) explor­ing com­po­si­tion and sound: in par­tic­u­lar those who are not working/studying in a pro­fes­sion­al con­text, and would there­fore want to access dif­fer­ent forms of men­tor­ship and oppor­tu­ni­ties to hear their music per­formed by pro­fes­sion­al musi­cians. ACTIVATE par­tic­i­pants will gain new skills, and have oppor­tu­ni­ties to con­nect with a peer group from across Canada.

The 2020 edi­tion fea­tured adju­di­ca­tor and com­pos­er men­tor Anna Höst­man as well as vio­lin­ist and com­pos­er Aline Homzy.

Sub­mis­sion Criteria:

  • All appli­ca­tions were sub­mit­ted through an online form (along with the score and sound file of the sub­mit­ted work)
  • Adju­di­cat­ed pieces could be in any medi­um (for any instru­men­ta­tion, includ­ing elec­tron­ics), and have a dura­tion from 2 to 10 minutes
  • To be con­sid­ered for the read­ing ses­sion, com­posers were required to sub­mit solo or duo works, or fixed elec­tron­ic pieces for stereo play­back, that meet the dura­tion cri­te­ria. If a piece is writ­ten for solo or duo instru­ments with fixed elec­tron­ics (stereo play­back) it will be con­sid­ered for the reading.

Pro­gram Experience:

Adju­di­cat­ed com­po­si­tion class:

  • Each com­pos­er received a short writ­ten adju­di­ca­tion from Anna Höst­man or Aline Homzy in response to a sub­mit­ted piece of music (address­ing tech­ni­cal and artis­tic aspects of the work, with some rec­om­men­da­tions for fur­ther devel­op­ment in each young composer’s practice)
  • Adju­di­ca­tor com­ments pro­vid­ed a bal­ance of encouraging/positive remarks, with con­struc­tive feed­back regard­ing tech­ni­cal and com­po­si­tion­al mat­ters. In par­tic­u­lar, adju­di­ca­tors were encour­aged to direct com­posers towards lis­ten­ing or score sam­ples from con­tem­po­rary com­posers active today.

Read­ing ses­sion with guest musicians:

  • Anna Höst­man, along with ACNMP and CMC orga­niz­ers, will select up to six (6) of the adju­di­cat­ed works to be includ­ed in a pro­fes­sion­al read­ing ses­sion with guest musi­cians per­form­ing the works.
  • Com­posers would access the read­ing ses­sion remote­ly using an unlist­ed livestream link, and a video con­fer­enc­ing appli­ca­tion to facil­i­tate real-time interaction.
  • Com­posers select­ed for the read­ing ses­sion will receive a pro­fes­sion­al audio record­ing for per­son­al reference
  • Every appli­cant from the adju­di­ca­tion stage will be invit­ed to audit the read­ing session.
  • There will be an oppor­tu­ni­ty for par­tic­i­pat­ing com­posers and those audit­ing to dis­cuss their music

*If you are inter­est­ed in sub­mit­ting a com­po­si­tion to our next ACTIVATE pro­gram, here are a few tips from Anna on how to get started:

  • begin in one scale and grad­u­al­ly move to a dif­fer­ent scale by the end of the piece
  • cre­ate a piece through com­bin­ing two scales ‑one to be played in low reg­is­ter 1st octave, the sec­ond to be added above in the 2nd octave
  • com­pose a canon
  • com­pose using a sin­gle pitch
  • cre­ate a rhythm com­po­si­tion where pitch is inde­ter­mi­nate (left up to the players)
  • find any kind of noise-mak­er (or sev­er­al) and make a duet for noise-maker(s) and instru­ment (eg. egg beat­er & clarinet)
  • ask an instru­men­tal­ist or singer to show you a few extend­ed tech­niques and include one or two in your piece
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