Friday, March 7, 2008


I've been enjoying the MusiMarch festival. It's a new music festival at McGill. I went to the concerts on Tuesday and Thursday, and I listened to the second half of the concert on Wednesday.

This year's festival has an interesting idea: the concerts mix old and new music, showing connections between older pieces and newer pieces.

The concert on Tuesday started with some traditional African music. There was also a really cool piece by Polo Vallejo for 6 congas. I never knew congas could be capable of so many things! At some points in the piece, it sounded like there were several lines of music going on at once. It kind of reminded me of the compound melodies in Bach's unaccompanied cello and violin pieces. This concert also had a very enjoyable arrangement of Vivier's Pulau Dewata, and a premiere of a piece for cello and ensemble and electronics by Sean Ferguson. I don't know if I've ever heard any of his music before, but I liked this piece.

While listening to the music festival on the internet on Wednesday night, I heard the Ligeti horn concerto, played by the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. It's so beautiful. I'd heard the
CME play it a few years ago too.

I liked the concert last night (Thursday). It opened with Bachianas Brasilieras #5. I've heard that piece many times, it's an old 20th-century "classic", I've played it several times in a few different arrangements -- but I still absolutely love it. Incidentally, this was the first time I've ever heard the lesser-known 2nd movement of it. This concert also included a haunting cello piece by Gilles Tremblay, and some early vocal music selections. A piece that I especially liked was "Fumeux fume" by 14th-century composer Solage. The concert ended with a weird piece by Julian Anderson called "Book of Hours".

In other news, today is Ravel's birthday. It's also my half-birthday. I am now 23 and a half.

No comments: