Thin Edge New Music Collective, Tiff, and Riparian Acoustics present:

 

 

CONTRALTO

dir. Sarah Hennies | USA 2017 | 50 min. Video



Sarah Hennies’ Contralto has generated a wave of critical praise since its debut at the Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room last year. An experimental documentary designed to be performed with live musical accompaniment, Contralto — which takes its title from the term for the lowest female singing voice — is based on a common practice among transgender women, whereby they learn to change their voices in order to be perceived as “female.” Unlike transgender men, whose voices deepen due to the testosterone prescribed during hormonal therapy, the voices of transgender women remain unchanged by estrogen therapy, and require conscious practice to achieve a higher pitch.

In Contralto, onscreen interviews with and vocal exercises performed by seven transgender women are accompanied by a live score that emphasizes timbre, pitch and tone — qualities of sound that, when found in voices, often signify culturally determined gender cues. Conceived in part as a “protest piece” that challenges the audience to “change their definition of what they think a woman sounds like,” Contralto is a visceral and beautiful exploration of identity through sound.

Contralto is brought to Toronto in conjunction with Tiff and Riparian Acoustics. TENMC will be performing the piece along with a brand new composition commissioned especially for the collective. TENMC performers for the evening include Ilana Waniuk (violin), Nelson Moneo (viola), Amahl Arulanandam (cello), Adam Scime (double bass), Cheryl Duvall (keyboard/percussion), Nathan Petitpas (percussion) and Germaine Liu (percussion). 

General admission- $14

September 24th, 8pm

Tiff Bell Lightbox-350 King Street West

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Sarah Hennies (b. 1979, Louisville, KY) is a composer and percussionist based in Ithaca, NY. Her work utilizes an often grueling, endurance-based performance practice in a subversive examination of psychoacoustics, queer identity, and performance art. She has presented her work in a variety of contexts including Café Oto (London), cave12 (Geneva), Ende Tymes (NYC), Festival Cable (Nantes), the Johns Hopkins Digital Media Center, O’ Art Space (Milan), and Second Edition (Stockholm) and has received commissions for new work from Cristian Alvear, Bearthoven, Bent Frequency, R. Andrew Lee, LIMINAR, Qubit Music, and the Thin Edge New Music Collective. Her work has been supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New Music USA, New York State Council on the Arts, and in 2016 was awarded a fellowship in music/sound from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Hennies is currently a member of improvised music group Meridian with Greg Stuart and Tim Feeney, a duo with sound/performance artist Jason Zeh, and the Queer Percussion Research Group with Jerry Pergolesi, Bill Solomon, and Jennifer Torrence. In late 2017 she premiered the groundbreaking work, Contralto at Issue Project Room (NYC), a film featuring a cast of transgender women with a live score for string quartet and three percussionists.

In 2013, Hennies founded the record label Weighter Recordings, releasing works by artists working at the fringes of contemporary music including Prune Bécheau, Thomas Bonvalet, Morgan Evans-Weiler, Tim Feeney, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Enrico Malatesta, and Matt Sargent.


Presented with Generous Support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Tiff, Riparian Acoustics, and Arraymusic

 

 

 

Events



 

In Partnership with 918 Bathurst:

Thin Edge New Music Collective and The Music Gallery co-present: 

'FUSING: Premieres VII'

June 22nd, 2018

Doors: 7:30pm

Show: 8pm 

The Music Gallery

918 Bathurst St. Toronto

Tickets: $22 Advanced, $25 At the Door, $20 Music Gallery Members/Seniors/Arts Workers, $15 Students

 

Featuring:

Jason Sharp and Kaie Kellough
Rebecca Leonard
Amy Hull
Juro Kim Feliz
Viola Yip
Sonja Rainey
Janet Sit
Dan Tapper
Patrick McGraw

 



Travel outside the new musical box with a twist on TENMC's annual premieres series. Fusing will include 6 new interdisciplinary premieres fusing new music with dance, circus, literary, visual, theatrical and media arts by emerging and established artists from near and far!

 

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Please note that there are 3 steps to the entrance at 918 Bathurst. Inside the venue there is a short staircase to the basement and a short staircase to the hall. 918 Bathurst has gendered washrooms. 
 



 

A Native of Hong Kong, Viola Yip is a New York-based experimental composer, performer and curator.  Her recent interests fall on exploring the sonic materiality of instruments and found objects, as well as incorporating our musical listening and performing bodies as a form of technology in creating new musical experience.

 

Her works and performances have appeared in places such as Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Ravinia Festival, University of Florida, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UC San Diego, NASA saxophone conference, PAUSA Art House in Buffalo, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Hong Kong City Hall and Radio 4 at Radio and Television Hong Kong, Abrons Arts Center, DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Secret Theater and Flushing Town Hall in NYC, unternehmen mitte in Basel and University of Huddersfield. Her recent collaborations include working with ICE ensemble, JACK quartet, Yarn/Wire, Marco Fusi and Lauren DeBoer among others. 

 

She is currently pursuing her PhD in music composition at Graduate School of Arts and Science of New York University. 


Toronto-based composer Patrick McGraw was born in the United States but has made Canada his home since 2001.   A lifelong interest in the sciences led him at first to a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology, but the pull of his other great love, music, proved irresistible.  He returned to school to study composition, with David Mott at York University and then with Gary Kulesha at the University of Toronto.  His chamber, electroacoustic, large ensemble, vocal and operatic works have been performed in the U.S. and Canada by TorQ Percussion, Reverb Brass, the Cecilia String Quartet, and the Toy Piano Composers Ensemble among others.  He was awarded the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music for his string quartet Glass in 2014, and his piece A Force of Nature for trumpet, electronics and 3D video was recently selected as one of two Canadian works in the 2018 Mise-En music festival.  Although music is now his primary focus, he remains active in the sciences as a teacher and is credited with almost as many publications in Physical Review as works performed. Much of his work is inspired by the quest for a mutually enriching synergy between the two fields, and by a deep appreciation for the abstract beauty of natural and mathematical phenomena.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

photo: Prince Requino 

 

Hailing from the Philippines, Juro Kim Feliz (b. 1987)is a pianist and composer currently based in Toronto, Canada. Along with composition studies at the University of the Philippines and McGill University, he got mentoring from various consultations with composers Jonas Baes, Melissa Hui, Liza Lim, Chong Kee Yong, Dieter Mack and Linda Catlin Smith. He won the Goethe South East Asian Young Composer Award (1st place) in 2009 and landed as a Finalist in the Five-Minute Piano Concerto Competition of the Music Biennale Zagreb in 2017. He contributed and premiered works for festivals and projects including the Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festivals (Indonesia, 2009; 2010; 2014); the Asian Composers League festivals (South Korea, 2009; Taiwan, 2011; Israel, 2012; Philippines, 2015); The Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (2014, 2016); the Project Bakawan Arts Festival (Philippines, 2015); thePivot Mentorship Program of the Canadian League of Composers (Toronto, 2017); the New Music on the Bayou (Louisiana, 2017); the Toronto Creative Music Lab (2017); the Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions (2017); the MATA Festival (New York, 2018); and the Nief-Norf SummerFestival 2018 (Tennessee, 2018). His percussion duo work Gandingan sa Kagiliran(2014) is commercially released in the Millennial Masters Volume 7 album under Ablaze Records.

 

 


 

Sonja Rainey is an inter-disciplinary artist, designer and facilitator. She designs for opera and theatre, projections and puppetry, film and spectacle events. Her approach is tactile and experiential, responding to the visceral qualities of ideas and themes at hand to create immersive environments that blend forms and materials to investigate the questions and stories that lie below the surface. Her work has been presented at the Prague Quadrennial, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and is currently being shown at PAMA. Recent collaborations in Toronto have included the Canadian Opera Company, urbanvessel, Ahuri Theatre, Thin Edge New Music Collective, the Bicycle Opera Project, The Gladstone Hotel and Jumblies Theatre. Her contributions with these companies has encompassed installation, set and costume design; puppets mask and shadow projections, exhibit design as well as the creation of a series of short films. She is thrilled to be working increasingly with musicians and composers in the creation of environments and visuals for listening.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Janet Sit is a composer and pianist currently based in Toronto, by way of Hong Kong and Victoria. Her compositions have been performed in Beijing, Berlin, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria. She holds a B.Sc. in Zoology and B.Mus. in Composition from the University of Toronto and a M.Mus. from University of Victoria. Her research interests include exploring acoustic properties of sound in various spaces and transmission media, seeking dialogue with marine scientists on underwater sound issues, collaborating in multi-disciplinary projects, and more recently, learning about digital music processing through the EQ: Women in Electronic Music workshop led by Rose Bolton. Janet has been commissioned by the Caution Tape Sound Collective, the Gray/Constant Duo, and Dave Riedstra for his cross-Canada tour Topography: new music for solo bass. She is a founding member of the Victoria Composers’ Collective and is currently in her second year as an organizing member of the Toronto Creative Music Lab (TCML). Some of her favourite TCML duties are cooking and baking for the participants, including co-leading a communal dumpling-making session for TCML 2017. In her spare moments, Janet loves to test new recipes on unsuspecting TCML organizers. She is excited to start her composition doctoral studies in the fall at UC San Diego, where she hopes to continue multi-disciplinary research and potentially take a few surfing lessons. She is very thankful to Thin Edge New Music Collective for this opportunity to collaborate with Sonja Rainey for this concert.


 

Amy Hull is an Indigenous dance artist of Mi'kmaq and Inuit heritage currently studying and training at York University. She began her dance training in ballet and has since been trained in the Graham, Horton, and Limon modern dance techniques. She also incorporates traditional Indigenous dance forms into her choreographies which most often express different hardships and tragedies experienced by contemporary Indigenous peoples. Amy combines her passion for dance and her love for her communities to advocate for change and political action, and to share a healing experience with others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Dan Tapper explores the sonic and visual properties of the unheard and invisible. From revealing electromagnetic sounds produced by the earth’s ionosphere, to exploring hidden micro worlds and creating imaginary nebulas made from code. His explorations use scientific methods alongside thought experiments resulting in rich sonic and visual worlds.


 

Kaie Kellough is a poet, sound performer, and novelist whose writing fuses formal experiment with social engagement. His most recent work, Accordéon (2016), was shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award. Kaie's writing about migration, notions of home, and ancestry often take him to the Caribbean region. He is currently working on fiction and poetry that shuttle between South and North America. 

Kaie's collaboration with Jason Sharp has been ongoing since 2011. As a duo, they build performances using multiple voices, found and collaged texts, and layers of electronic and acoustic sound

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montreal-based baritone / bass saxophonist and composer Jason Sharp is known for his creative and musical use of extended playing techniques. His solo saxophone concerts explore acoustic resonances, feedback, and the relationship between breathing and heart rate. As a solo artist he has opened for artists such as David S. Ware, Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark and bands Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Plants and Animals. Jason has recorded with Matana Roberts, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, and Sam Shalabi for Constellation Records and with Roscoe Mitchell as part of the Toronto Montreal Art Ensemble for Nessa Records. He can be heard as a regular member of Joshua Zubot’s Mend Ham, Sam Shalabi’s Land Of Kush, and Nicolas Caloia’s Ratchet Orchestra and regularly collaborates with poet Kaie Kellough and filmmaker Daichi Saito.  As a contributor to Montreal’s vibrant improvised music community he has shared the stage with artists such as Lori Freedman, Jean Derome, and Malcom Goldstein, and is currently serving as president of the board of Innovations en Concert, an organization that promotes new music in Montreal.  Jason's debut album A Boat Upon Its Blood was released on Constellation Records in September 2016 and his follow up Stand Above The Streams was release in February 2018.