July/August 2004

2004 Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival
August 2, 2004
Celebration of Ottawa Composers IV

This eleventh Annual Ottawa Chamber Music Festival is international in scope and offers 110 concerts. Two full days and eight concerts are devoted exclusively to showcasing the work of Canadian Composers played by Canadian Musicians, and one of the days celebrates the work of Ottawa composers and musicians. In all, over 200 works by Canadian composers can be heard here. And when they are heard, the composers can be seen in the audience. The quality of the work is pleasing and some of it is astonishing, particularly the dynamic and powerful "Quintet 2004" by Jan Jarvlepp, "America" by Matthew Larkin, and "Give Me Phoenix Wings to Fly", by Kelly-Marie Murphy, the last one played by the Gryphon Trio. The generosity of talent, vision, and commitment is uplifting like no other festival I know.

August 3, 2004

30 Under 30

Christian Elliott, pictured here, playing his own composition for cello and piano in three movements entitled "Modern Prometheus" is one of thirty composers under thirty years of age whose work is being showcased today at the Chamberfest. Christian is twenty. Intense, well structured, and listenable, the piece is about the dangers of going against the natural environment.

Christian Elliott

In another part of the program, Jamie Parker, of the Gryphon Trio, explains how the trio's work with students in two Toronto high schools that feature the arts, and his work at the University of Toronto, typify the source of many of these compositions. We learned that high school students tend to write in minor keys, embodying 'high school angst.' Junior high composers tend to write more upmood major key pieces.

Much of the music had a typical contemporary sound, the wierd haunted house disembodied sounds of creak, groan, drip drip drip, plonk, doinnnnng, pinggpinggpingg, sigh, moan, creeaaak, screeeeeeam, plonk , shrieeeek drip drop, that come when an art-form begins to turn away from conventional elements to focus on the bits and corners that comprise the bigger pictures. Some of the pieces, like Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, composed and played by Victor Herbiet, accompanied by Jean Desmarais, were as sweetly lyrical as the French-Canadian folksong it seemed to be based on.

Report and photograph by Stanley Fefferman
We welcome your comments and feedback – reporters@thelivemusicreport.com

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2004