May/June Roundup

It’s been a busy (and awesome, and beautiful, and nourishing, and other lovely adjectives) few weeks… here’s the scoop! 🥄🍦👇

May 24-June 1: Back at the barn

We spent a week and a bit at Venturing Hills Concert Studio rehearsing and putting the finishing touches on our Spirits program… we also ogled at birds, horses, and the inspiring sunsets over the Eardley Escarpment.

June 3-5: Open Ears Fest

SHHH!! performed Spirits at the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound in Kitchener-Waterloo! We had a blast sharing incredible new music by composers like Andy Akiho, Kevin Hanlon, Micheline Roi, John Beckwith, John Gordon Armstrong, Monica Pearce, and Jocelyn Morlock!

It was also great to hear Carmen Braden perform her Seed Songs with a killer band and experience Grace Scheele’s Not Yr Angel Bby Harpist.

June 6: Super News From SOCAN

We got word from the SOCAN Foundation that we have received funding to commission NYC based composer Harry Stafylakis. We’ve asked him to write us a fast and furious “SHHHred-isode”… stay tuned for that!

June 7: World Premiere of “Enable Original Sound”

In the words of SHHH!! percussionist Zac, “I don’t always compose, but when I do it is always for percussion!”

Commissioned by the Centre d’Excellence Artistique d’Ontario at École Secondaire De La Salle, Enable Original Sound engaged graduating music students at the school who, due to COVID restrictions for most of this year, were unable to play their normal (non-percussion) instruments. Zac coached them on basic percussion skills and wrote a piece for them! They rose to the occasion and played beautifully!

June 9: Final mixing session at Le Lab

Meanwhile is almost here! We spent the afternoon at Le Lab Mastering in Montreal with our producer Carl Talbot working on the Dolby Atmos mix. It sounds incredible and we are so excited to share this music with you!!

June 11: “Odaabaanag” at Pique Summer 2022

Together with Debaser, Jumblies Theatre, Ottawa New Music Creators, and No Borders Voices we presented Odaabaanag at Pique Summer 2022. Odaabaanag is a suite of two original musical compositions by Melody McKiver and Beverley McKiver, inspired by the words and stories of Garnet Angeconeb, Josephine King and Tom Chisel from Obishikokaang (Lac Seul First Nation). It was a deeply moving and very special experience for us (and for everyone that attended the concerts!).

What’s Next?

We are working towards the world premieres of Daniel Mehdizadeh’s Ritual and Edward Enman’s That Star Is Awake at Ottawa Chamberfest’s New Music Now event on August 1st, continued preparations for the launch of Meanwhile, prepping a brand new program to be debuted at Été Musical de Barachois on August 25th , and planning ONMC’s next season… never a dull moment!

ONMC 2021-22 Look Book

What a thrill it was to curate our first Ottawa New Music Creators season! We relished in the opportunity to expand our creative horizons, feature the work of INCREDIBLE artists, commission new music, and create memorable events for our community.

A BIG thank you to the performers, composers, ONMC board, and our tireless Executive Director and photographer Curtis Perry! Thank you also to the City of Ottawa, CMC Picanto, SOCAN, and the Ottawa Art Gallery for making all of this possible!

Take a peak at the gallery below and check out what ONMC was up to in 2021-22!

CONCERT NO. 1: IN THE LOOP

in the loop showcased the work of loop-pedal-violist performer-composers Kathryn Patrica and Radia!

📍 La Nouvelle Scène, Bistro

Kathryn Patricia

Radia

Concert NO. 2: Vistas

vistas featured guitarist Adam Cicchillitti and flutist Lara Deutsch in an evening of music by Toru Takemitsu, Gabriela Ortiz, Gulli Björnsson, Jason Noble, Ottawa-based composer John Gordon Armstrong, and emerging composer call-for-scores winner Jano Williams.

📍 La Nouvelle Scène, Bistro

Adam & Lara

John Gordon Armstrong

Special Project: IN SEA By Jesse Stewart

With the generous support of a Picanto 7X Video Production Grant and the Ottawa Art Gallery, we embarked on a special project commissioning a new piece from Ottawa based composer Jesse Stewart. In Sea is Stewart’s 21st century take on the minimalist classic In C by Terry Riley. We had a blast recording and collaborating with this all star band!

📍 Ottawa Art Gallery (ft. the installation Google Optical Display by AM Dumouchel)

Concert No. 3: Simple Lines of Enquiry

For our third concert we welcomed Montreal based pianist-composer Edward Enman for a livestream performance of Ann Southam’s Simple Lines of Enquiry and the Canadian premiere of Enman’s own work Silver Light.

📍 Venturing Hills Concert Studio

Edward Enman

Concert No. 4: Art CRUSH | ENSEMBL’ARTS

For our season closer, we were thrilled to present Art Crush | Ensembl’arts, an exciting and genre-defying interdisciplinary group featuring violinist Marc Djokic, visual artist Avery Zhao, and dancer/choreographer Ariana Pirela Sánchez. Marc performed works for solo violin by Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Philip Glass, Astor Piazzolla, and Canadian composers Ana Sokolovic, Murray Adaskin, and Richard Mascall.

📍 Ottawa Art Gallery, Alma Duncan Salon

Ariana Pirela Sánchez

Avery Zhao

Marc Djokic

We’re already looking forward to next season! Stay tuned!

Photo credits: Curtis Perry, Ming Wu (top photo of SHHH!!)

Gone Fishhhing

About a week ago we got hit with our biggest COVID-era cancellation. We were devastated. Since then, a big “Gone Fishhhing” sign has been posted on our studio doors. This week we plan to get back into the swing of things: learning new notes and telling everyone about this really cool thing we did! 😎👇

One of our dream projects over the past year has been to find a piece that would allow us to collaborate freely with a variety of other musicians in a hip, accessible, and groovy way.

The Answer? Jesse Stewart’s In Sea

In an ocean of open score oeuvres, we came across many good candidates: some were more obvious (like Terry Riley’s In C), some were more obscure (like Erik Griswold’s Action Music), but none felt quite right for this particular project. What we really wanted was a tailor made piece that featured our duo as a sort of anchor (sorry, but there will be many nautical puns here…), augmented by an indeterminate ensemble comprised of any number of any instruments.

Co-commissioned by SHHH!! Ensemble and the Ottawa New Music Creators, In Sea is a new work for flexible ensemble by Ottawa’s Jesse Stewart. Inspired by Terry Riley’s open score classic In C, In Sea is Stewart’s 21st century take on the well known minimalist work.

A huge thank you to the Canadian Music Centre and Picanto (a new video hosting site dedicated to Canadian new music) for their support through the 7X Video Production Fund. We are honoured to be one of seven artists/collectives from across the country to be awarded this funding. Our video premiere drops on February 7th as a part of the Picanto 7X Festival!

On November 15th we filmed the world premiere performance with eight Ottawa New Music Creators at the Ottawa Art Gallery with stunning artwork by Gatineau, QC artist AM Dumouchel as our backdrop. We had a whale of a time! 🐳🎶😀

The incredible musicians involved in the world premiere recording are:

  • Raphael Weinroth-Browne, cello
  • Travis Mandel, trumpet
  • Ben Glossop, bassoon
  • Yolande Laroche, clarinet
  • Sean Clarke, flute
  • Alex Moxon, guitar
  • Erica Miller, violin
  • Kathryn Cobbler, viola

Audio/video recorded was provided by Julian Bertino Sound and Nikolas Labossiere. Stills and additional footage by ONMC’s Exec-extraordinaire Curtis Perry.

Back in November, we were between waves of COVID and the public health guidelines in Ottawa allowed us to meet to rehearse and record for one glorious day of sonic exploration. In the company of such fine musicians recording was **preemptive cringe** plain sailing.

With so many COVID-cancellations plaguing our winter schedule we have been buoyed by this upcoming pandemic-proof premiere!

Following the premiere screening of In Sea on the Picanto platform, SHHH!! is looking forward to continue to perform this new work and using it as a way to connect with other artists and new audiences!

Some pictures from the recording day by Curtis Perry:

Hope to sea you on the 7th! 🙂

Fall Update

Many projects going on this fall! Here is quick overview of what’s up over the next few months:

  • October 17, Spirits recital at Pontiac Enchanté in Luskville, QC! Get your tickets here.
  • October 27, Ottawa New Music Creators (ONMC) season opening concert ft. loop pedal violists Kathryn Patricia and Radia. Get your tickets for that event here.
  • October 29, Spirits recital at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB.
  • November 1-9, Residency at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (LAMP) in Nova Scotia.
  • November 15, Video recording session ft. ONMC members and SHHH!! in the world premiere of a new work commissioned by ONMC/SHHH!! (more on this coming soon!!).
  • November 22-24, Debut album recording session at Domaine Forget in Charlevoix, QC with producer Carl Talbot for the Analekta label. HUGE thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for funding this project! 🙂
  • December 3, ONMC Concert 2 ft. Lara Deutsch (flute) and Adam Cicchillitti (guitar).
  • Continued learning of the approximately 3,000,000 notes involved in Kelly-Marie Murphy’s new double concerto Machines, Mannequins, and Monsters! World premiere on January 26, 2022 with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Never a dull moment!

ONMC Season Launch

We are thrilled to announce our first season as the Artistic Directors of the Ottawa New Music Creators (ONMC)! 🚀😀

We have an incredible lineup planned featuring local artists, innovative performer-composers, and interdisciplinary collaboration. See below for details:

First, a few thank-yous and shout-outs:

  • To the City of Ottawa, thank you for your ongoing support. This may be our first season, but it is ONMC’s 10th (🍀🤞), and we could not have got this far without you!
  • To ONMC’s membership and wonderful audience of auditory explorers. Thank you for trusting us to curate a creative, inclusive, and groundbreaking season.
  • To ONMC’s board for the support and encouragement, suggestions, planning sessions, and marathon meetings. 🍻
  • To our season artists, we cannot wait to hear you play. It is going to be incredible. ✨
  • Finally, to Curtis Perry, ONMC’s tireless Executive Director, without whom ONMC could not exist. Your creative and organizational talents are much appreciated by the ONMC community. Also, your posters look AMAZING! 🤩👌
And now, on to the lineup:

Concert No.1 – In the Loop, October 27th

ft. Kathryn Patricia & Radia

Concert No.2 – Vistas, December 3rd

ft. Lara Deutsch & Adam Cicchillitti

Concert No.3 – Simple Lines of Enquiry, February 27th

ft. Edward Enman

Concert No.4 – Art Crush – Ensembl’Arts, April 7th

ft. Marc Djokic, Avery Zhao-Djokic, & Ariana Pirela Sánchez

Ticket Link for Concert No. 1:

Some of our Summer

With all of the ups and downs that the last year has brought, thankfully this summer is shaping up to be one of our busiest and most creative! 🙂☀️🎶

That being said, we did allow ourselves a little break last week in beautiful Prince Edward County:

Since our last post:

  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Evolution: Classical has continued with incredible weekly mentor sessions and EvoFest concerts. Always so inspiring. EvoFest concerts are available for free on the Banff Centre YouTube channel, here.
  • Episode 3 of NightCAPS w/ SHHH!! Ensemble aired ft. world premiere performances of Monica Pearce’s leather and Patricia Morehead’s Moon on Shimmering Water. You can still watch the performance, here.
  • On June 20th we had the pleasure of recording Monica Pearce’s leather at Revolution Recording in Toronto for her upcoming Textile Fantasies album.
  • SHHH!! percussionist Zac Pulak received a City of Ottawa Creation and Production Fund for Professional Artists Grant to complete a new solo percussion work he has been developing since the start of the pandemic (to be premiered this Fall).

Coming up:

  • Chamberfest released their season lineup! We will be performing three concerts (available online or in person)! Click here for complete details.
    1. New Music Now ft. Jocelyn Morlock’s Spirit Gradient and Monica Pearce’s leather
    2. Bring the Kids! concert ft. some really fun and engaging participatory pieces
    3. Record Centre SHHHuffle recital ft. classical arrangements plus new music by Jocelyn Morlock, Mari Alice Conrad, Noora Nakhaei, and Andy Akiho.
  • We are honoured to be partnering with the National Arts Centre as artists in residence for the 2nd instalment of the Banff Centre Evolution: Classical program. Thanks to the NAC’s support, we will spend two glorious weeks putting the finishing touches on our new repertoire at the Venturing Hills Concert Studio in Luskville, QC. The new program will be live-streamed from Venturing Hills via the Banff Centre’s EvoFest series.
  • PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING for the Ottawa New Music Creators’ season launch (early September). It’s going to be RAD. 🤙

More to Come SOON! 🤫😉