March 15, 2021 – WholeNote Cover Story

Great (and unexpected!) way to start the week: we made the cover of The WholeNote!

In the article we talk about staying creative and positive during the pandemic, upcoming projects including our recent appointment as AD’s of the Ottawa New Music Creators, Kelly-Marie Murphy’s Double Concerto premiere with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, and quinzee building technique… among many other topics!

Read the full article here: https://kiosk.thewholenote.com/?fbclid=IwAR3BvD2JXrSEwBJv6H4d_J4VXgpvt41RCd_LSW1hACLQt_FOL9N44nJX000

February 3, 2021 – In Concert Spotlight

Despite continued COVID setbacks 2021 is off to a great start! If you are reading this blog you have probably seen, or at least noticed, that we launched our NightCAPS w/ SHHH!! Ensemble series on January 30th! If not, check out Episode 1 (ft. Jocelyn Morlock and her beautiful piece Spirit Gradient), here. If you would like to support the NightCAPS series you can make a donation here.

This Sunday (February 7th) at 2:00pm SHHH!! Ensemble will be the featured artists on CBC Radio 2’s In Concert with Paolo Pietropaolo

We recorded this special edition of our SHHHuffle concert live-for-broadcast at Music Mondays Toronto (Church of the Holy Trinity) in October 2020. Needless to say, we are thrilled to be presenting our unique avant-accessible performance to a national audience through the CBC.

SHHHuffle includes music by Francis Poulenc, Andy Akiho, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco alongside three Canadian works: Album of Old Photographs by Christine Donkin, Echoes of the Past by Noora Nakhaei, and Spirit Gradient by Jocelyn Morlock. 

The programme will be available live via https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/2-4292-in-concert; through the CBC Listen app; or on the radio! 

December 31, 2020 – Big News

Ending 2020 on a high note! SHHH!! Ensemble is thrilled to announce that we will be the next co-artistic directors of the Ottawa New Music Creators (ONMC)! 

ONMC assists in the creation and performance of contemporary music, reflecting the diverse music and culture of Ottawa and Canada.

Read more about it here: http://www.onmc.info/news/2020/12/30/qgl8ttib9b79ayfxnamxey54w701nq

We are looking forward to joining this wonderful organization and to continuing to grow and support the new music community in the National Capital Region.

December 5, 2020 – We’re in a barn!

Yesterday we spent a foggy morning/afternoon at Venturing Hills Farm (home of the fantastic concert series Pontiac Enchanté, directed by Carson Becke). We recorded music videos for Jocelyn Morlock’s Spirit Gradient, Noora Nakhaei’s Echoes of the Past, plus a holiday surprise that will be released in the next couple of weeks! While there, SHHH!! Ensemble also took the opportunity to work with our favourite photographer Alan Dean McDowell. Here are some pics of the grounds (from Kevin Reeves) and a couple of Alan’s shots:

November 4, 2020 – ON AIR!!

On October 29th lugged our gear ALLLL the way to Toronto where we had the pleasure of recording our SHHHuffle programme (our avant-accessible mashup program that bridges the gap between classical repertoire and contemporary composition) at the Music Mondays Series in Toronto. Our first concert in months taking place outside our living room… !

The event was made even more special by CBC Radio 2 capturing the performance for broadcast! Stay tuned for more details on that soon!

Until the end of the week you can hear our Music Mondays SHHHuffle concert (featuring music by Poulenc, Akiho, Nakhaei, Donkin, Morlock, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco) via the following link:

https://www.a440.live/artists/5f1754aaeec7ff3ace0cdcbe/events

October 11, 2020 – Musical Language

Through September we have been digging into a new project in collaboration with the Ottawa International Writers Festival, Ottawa New Music Creators, and three Ottawa-based composers in the world premieres of three new works inspired by literature featured at the festival. This project was initially slated to take place in May, but COVID restrictions and postponements have seen it delayed until October 18th (next Sunday at 8pm EST).

The three works are:

  • “Good Citizens” by Kevin Reeves was inspired by Maria Reva’s novel Good Citizens Need Not Fear. Using Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Sonata as a point of departure, Reeves’ work is a driving and unique piece for marimba and piano.
  • “Motel of the Opposable Thumbs” by Adam Saikaley was inspired by Stuart Ross’ poetry collection of the same name. Motel makes use of undulating, psychedelic, rhythmic dissonances and harmonies, following the equally esoteric arc of Ross’ collection (which he based on the structure of Bartok’s 4th string quartet!)
  • ” Echoes of the Past” by Noora Nakhaei was inspired by Martha and Christina Baillie’s collection Sister Language which is a catalogue of the correspondence between two siblings. Martha is a multimedia artists and Christina was a writer challenged by schizophrenia on a daily basis. Their writings give us a rare window into the struggles and triumphs that attend a serious neurological disorder, the urge of two humans to communicate even in the hardest of times, and the love that can grow and flourish under conditions of adversity.

[October 18th EDIT] You can now view the concert via the following link: https://writersfestival.org/events/fall-2020-live/musical-language

August 29, 2020 – #TakeOutArt613

Now that our two week run with the Young Arts Leaders Collective / Collectif des jeunes leaders en arts‘ #takeoutart613 initiative is over, we would like to share our curated playlist with the wider public!

Even though our postcards are no longer available at Pure Kitchen Ottawa, we’d still recommend listening to these tracks while chowing down on a Royale with Cheese (Zac’s choice) or a Warrior Bowl (Edana’s).

Thanks again for the opportunity!

SHHH!! Ensemble’s #takeoutart613 Playlist.

August 16, 2020 – Morlock Premiere!

SHHH!! is really looking forward to our upcoming Tuckamore Festival “Alumni All-Stars” performance on Tuesday, August 18th! On the programme is Andy Akiho’s Karakurenai, our adaptation of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Fantasia for Guitar and Piano, and the world premiere of Jocelyn Morlock’s Spirit Gradient! You can be one of the first to hear this exciting new addition to the piano/percussion repertoire! It’s funky, crunchy, stylish… in a word: BAD-ASS! Tickets and info here.

We’ll be live-streaming from New Brunswick at Chez Higham-Boland, where we have been engaging in some well deserved R&R… SHHH!! style!!! … rehearsing and reading (new scores!)… and of course relaxing as well.

Our Spirit Gradient setup featuring two octaves of crotales, triangles, marimba, and piano!

Also, for our Ottawa-based friends: we are really excited to be partnering with the awesome folks at Young Arts Leaders Collective and Pure Kitchen Ottawa for the #takeoutart613 initiative! Starting this weekend, and for a limited time only, your Pure Kitchen take out meal will include a postcard with a print from a local artist and an exclusive link to a SHHH!! Ensemble curated playlist of some of our recent work. 🤤 🥑 🥦 🎶

June 29, 2020 – Music and Nature

Thanks to Music and Beyond (a classical summer music festival in Ottawa), in late June we had the unique opportunity to record at the Canadian Museum of Nature! We were completely alone in the museum, save for a few security personnel, camera crew, and a handful of other musicians. We recored a little arrangement of the Fossils movement Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals, naturally, this was recorded in the fossils exhibit! Enjoy!

EDIT (August 15th): You can also hear SHHH!! percussionist Zac Pulak’s Cave Drumming improvisation, released today!