FutureStops Festival, Toronto September 29–October 1 Program Notes
Buy tickets now! https://futurestops.org/tickets/
Thursday September 29 7:30pm
Cathedral Church of St. James
Kara-Lis Coverdale’s violent delicacy; Thomas Mellan’s furious virtuosity; Kali Malone’s ascetic, medieval counterpoint— we begin the FutureStops Festival with an experience of the genesis of fundamental forces and nebula.
Delicate and refined organ works informed by a myriad of influences; “one of North America’s most exciting young composers, making music that picks apart violence and digital alienation – where ecstatic ambient passages are menaced with noise” –The Guardian
New Works: Kara-Lis Coverdale
This newly minted pipe organ phenomenon out of Boston writes and performs “impossible music” or hyper-challenging repertoire alongside unlikely adaptations, of heavy metal groups like Meshugga, or Chopin, to wide acclaim.
Samsara: Tigran Hamasyan
Misshapen Pearls Canadian premiere: Tristan Heinicke
Past Tense: Meshuggah
Ballade de l’impossible Canadian premiere: Thomas Mellan
Slow, purified, and seemingly austere qualities guide us through an almost trance-inducing process where we become vulnerable receptors for every slight movement, where every miniature shift in sound becomes magnified through stillness.
Selections from The Sacrificial Code and other new works: Kali Malone
accompanied by Stephen O’Malley
Friday September 30 7:30pm
Roy Thomson Hall Auditorium
Raven Chacon’s haunting and mesmerizing Voiceless Mass, winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Music; Amina Claudine Myer’s monumental genre-defying journey Improvisational Suite; contemporary classics performed by the next generation of organ talents— our centrepiece concert grounds us in the exciting and innovative reality of the current context of the organ.
Equally at home making noise music on power electronics, Chacon is a long-time Composer-in-Residence with the Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project, teaching Native American young people to compose string quartets.
Voiceless Mass, for large organ ensemble, is “a mesmerizing, original work for organ and ensemble that evokes the weight of history in a church setting, a concentrated and powerful musical expression with a haunting visceral impact.” –Pulitzer Prize Board.
Voiceless Mass Canadian premiere: Raven Chacon
performed by Arraymusic
RASHAAN RORI ALLWOOD
This exciting emerging composer, pushing the boundaries of contemporary music and broadening the vocabulary of the organ, has performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and Houston Civic Symphony. First prize winner of the Concours d’orgue de Québec in 2017, Allwood is equally at home in live performance with contemporary electronic ensemble, jazz ensemble, and has recently composed an Opera featuring a percussion section of plastic bottles.
Well there!: Rashaan Rori Allwood
In memory of… : Rashaan Rori Allwood
Hommage à Herbie Hancock: Rashaan Rori Allwood
As an innovative, creative arranger, Sarah Svendsen is giving a fresh contemporary voice to music of the early 20th century. “Svendsen is well known for her child-friendly, educational organ outreach concerts and workshops.”–Global News. Member of the versatile Organized Crime duo, as a soloist Svendsen offers interactive performances and is “greatly virtuosic.”–Chronicler musical, La Liberté.
Canadian premiere of a new work by Neil Weisensel
AMINA CLAUDINE MYERS
Amina Myers’ Improvisational Suite is a complex work which defies categorization. Exploring free jazz, spiritual, modernist and blues influences in a work for pipe organ, chorus, soloists, and percussion, a psychedelic experience awaits which will elevate all who witness it. Together with the AACM in Chicago, she “redefined the premises of experimental music-making… her work is insistently post-genre” –Bomb Magazine
Improvisational Suite (Canadian premiere): Amina Claudine Myers
with Nathaniel Dett Chorale and percussion
Friday September 30 9:30pm
Roy Thomson Hall Lobby
Come and celebrate with us, to the sounds of the Jeff McLeod Organ Trio!
Saturday October 1 1:00pm
Roy Thomson Hall Lobby
HACKING THE ORGAN
Sandra Boss’ prosthetic sonic explorations; FUJI|||||||||||TA’s ritualistic craft performance— this afternoon performance and talk features two performers who built their own instruments to offer a unique sonic interpretation of the organ which can be activated in any space.
A midi-controlled bespoke organ handmade by the artist allows for a sound which combines the old and new, post-tuning, post-human playing, Nancarrow meets a digital sampler for performances that weave bubbling sound designs into a compelling narrative
New Work by Sandra Boss
From meditative to ecstatic, unheard sounds produced by voice and hand-made pipe organ device exalt in the unknown, the mysterious, the impossible.
New Work by FUJI|||||||||||TA
Saturday October 1 7:30pm
Metropolitan United Church
FORCES OF NATURE
Sarah Davachi’s wind-sculpting dance of frequency and tone; Matthew Larkin’s flourishing bouquet of conviction and passion; Charlemagne Palestine’s wizard-like creation of transcendent aesthetic experience— we conclude our Festival with a big bang of new directions and possibilities for the organ.
Davachi’s approach to the pipe organ is very much timbral and extremely relational: each performance is unique in that it is adapted to the capabilities and particularities of the specific performance instrument. As such, the resultant sound is one that is constantly in dialogue with the instrument itself, always emphasizing the overwhelming acoustic and psychoacoustic nature of the organ’s inherent listening space.
For this concert, Davachi will present several pieces for solo organ from her repertoire, featured on the albums Cantus, Descant (2020) and Antiphonals (2021), as well as newer works that she has been developing over the past year.
Works from Cantus, Descant; Antiphonals; and New Works: Sarah Davachi
One of Canada’s foremost concert organists, and leading improviser of his generation, a Naxos recording artist whose composition work has been published by the label as well; self-described “barbarian”— Larkin presents two exciting works by Canadian composers.
Riflessioni per organo grande: Bengt Hambraeus
Toccata and Fugue, Op. 30 no.1: Andrew Ager
Palestine’s exultant and ecstatic creative playing are described as “luxuriating in the organ’s infinite sustain and tonal depth…inexorably thickening and deepening, glowering and resolving and slowly clearing, exulting in the sonority of massed pipes” by the New York Times. Palestine presents his ever-evolving work/action Schlingen-Blängen, which he has been performing for nearly 40 years.
Schlingen-Blängen: Charlemagne Palestine