I haven’t been posting news for months due to projects, but I’m finally back on track! It definitely won’t be a short update, but I’ll try to be quick about it:
(1) Time Moves, Straightfoward…
Commissioned for the second time by the Art Song Collaborative Project (Toronto), I created an “art song” (in quotes, for a lack of a better term) for tenor, violin, percussion and live electronics. Besides writing the haiku texts myself, the score involves a lot of aleatoric procedures based on basic cyclical structures. The hardest part of this project is actually creating the score (taking 10 weeks to complete!) and programming the live electronics component (still forthcoming). Premiere is set sometime mid-July 2019, with details still to be confirmed.
(2) Noise, (Dis)enchantment, and (Re)birth
After some hiatus from Nomadic Sound Worlds due to personal reasons, I’m back on track and finally published its second installment. Featuring composer Sandeep Bhagwati, poet Bänoo Zan, violinist Wanes Moubayed, and the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto, this episode is something special because we negotiated here with what displacement and nomadism looks like (and also what it doesn’t look like). Hearing Wanes’ story of being a Syrian refugee, Bänoo’s story of enstrangement with her homeland, and Sandeep’s insights on shedding off home-addiction tied up with the ICOT’s recent opera production named The Journey: Notes of Hope. You can know more about this journey in my Nomadic Sound Worlds page.
(3) A Study on Exile, No. 4: Paagos (Drift)
Even while doing both projects running at the same time, Sarah Maria Samaniego approached me and asked if I can create music for her upcoming work “Paagos” for its dance premiere in Montreal this April. Listening to the sounds of the Pacific Ocean made me miss home for sure, but it dawned on me that it goes in full circle with my current semi-journalistic inquiries in Nomadic Sound Worlds that I thought, “what if dance goes hand in hand with an audio documentary instead of music?” This juxtaposition led me to conceive another addition to my ongoing series of “studies,” using the voices of Sandeep and Bänoo to intermingle with haiku poetry I end up writing for this project. All completed within a fast-paced 6-week timeline, it would blur the boundaries between the practices involved in making an acousmatic work and an audio documentary, along with other curiosities as well. Now premiered in Montreal (presented by Tangente Danse), the show runs until the 7th of April so you can catch it and see Sarah negotiate through the oceanic tides of space-time. The production also involves lighting design by Chantal Labonté, video design by Louise Jashil Sonido, and mentorship/collaboration with Roselle Pineda.
(4) Commission for a clarinet-accordion work
While all of this is going on, I received great news from the Canadian Music Centre that I was selected as one of the commissioned composers to write for Martin Carpentier (clarinet) and Joseph Petric (accordion) for an upcoming presentation of new works for next year. Details to come once we start work with this one.
(5) Paper presentation of “Nomadic Sound Worlds: Towards the Transitory and the Migratory”
Nomadic Sound Worlds is also now on a longer journey beyond my intentions with it as a platform of journalistic inquiries. My research paper proposal for its presentation was selected for a Study Day named “Transnationalism and Transculturalism in Canadian Music, 1969-2019” at the University of Ottawa School of Music on 27 September 2019. Program details will follow soon, so catch it and talk to me if you happen to be in town at that time.
(6) Project Key Code with the Cyborg Art Collective
To top it all off, I’m also collaborating with Netherlands-based Cyborg Art Collective for their presentation of Project Key Code at the Toronto Digifest 2019 this April. With the influx of advancements even in the realm of music and technology, this project figures out how to use your musical keyboard as an interface in sending out messages in text. Hint: everyone’s still working on it lol. Catch the presentation when they visit town!