NuMusic at NextFest

Catch the Keys has always had a serious crush on NextFest. We admit we’re even more giddy than usual over the chance to deepen our obsession this year.

Catch the Keys proudly announces NuMusic@NextFest. New to NextFest, this two-part music performance features brave new works by nine emerging composers from across Canada. Played by a fresh five piece music ensemble, this interactive listening experience is your only chance to discover how the world really ends. Join us at the Azimuth Theatre to be saved or sacrificed.

Please, meet your composers and creative team:

Part one: Virion
Tuesday, June 8
Azimuth Theatre

The introduction of technology works like a virus: converting ideas into monstrous entities, viral cells attack and mutate everything in its path until a point is reached where everything changes. Like the point where water becomes ice or vapour, there is a change.

Ruth Guechtal
Ruth Guechtal is a composer and performer who enjoys writing noise for acoustic instruments. Her interests lie in researching ways to emulate electronically produced sounds with acoustic instruments.  In her most recent work Le Sable Mouvant l’Insanité she employs a large chamber ensemble to ‘acoustically’ process a woman’s voice. Ruth has recently completed a Master’s degree in composition at the University of Victoria where she studied with Dr. Dániel Péter Biró. She currently resides in Edmonton where she will be completing a Doctorate degree in composition at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Scott Smallwood. She received her Bachelor degree from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with Linda Catlin Smith.

Tomas Bouda
As a dedicated interactive musician, Tomas is firmly directed by an urge to contribute compositionally to any situation that he should encounter – musical and otherwise.  In addition to being a performer, he is also among one of the first graduates to complete the newly minted Contemporary Music: Composition Improvisation stream from Wilfrid Laurier University.  As a composer, Tomas explores the limitations and boundaries of pre-ordained set rules, as well as the ways to bend and avoid the rules altogether – preferring to combine graphic notation with digital clocks.  It is not uncommon to notice the positive influence of machinery, animals, and exotic localities in combination with contemporary/extemporary music that is from beyond the normal range of human hearing.   

Tom Merkingler
Tom Merklinger was born in Camrose, Alberta, some time before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He comes from a long line of obscure references. He enjoys racing motorcars and painting white picket fences.

Sally Norris
Composer and Pianist Sally Norris received her Master of Arts degree in Composition from Wesleyan University (Middletown CT, USA 2009).  There, her thesis project, Clara: A Music Box Opera, and the written analysis, (un)Telling Clara: trust me, I’m telling you stories was advised by Anthony Braxton and aided by Alvin Lucier, Ron Kuivila, Katherine Young, Brian Parks and Rod O’Connor. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo ON, Canada 2006) where she studied primarily with Linda C. Smith and Terence Kroetsch. Sally is fascinated by notions of translation, re-interpretation and transmission of words, symbols, musics and narrative structures as they are embodied in performance. Through score design and notation she explores a musical geography of models and prototypes. Currently, I am based in Montreal QC, Canada and am preoccupied with issues of geography and tangibility. Sally spends time playing the accordion and knitting.

Part Two: The Eradication of the Unnecessary Chance
Thursday, June 10
Azimuth Theatre

After the change, a new reality exists where remnants of the old way are hunted down and converted. Now is the time to regain some of what we lost. Now it is time to tell the real story. 

Nancy Tam
Nancy Tam is interested in sharing thoughts, sound and time with her listeners and does so through musical performances, compositions and improvisations. When she is not practicing, playing, composing or teaching music, Nancy makes guitars and hones her woodworking skills. Her influences range from Samuel Beckett, fluxus, Frank Zappa, Bjork, Louis Andreissen, Steve Reich and Arvo Part.  Nancy studied with Elaine Lau, Peter Hatch, Linda Catlin Smith, and Boyd McDonald at Wilfrid Laurier University where she received her BMus in composition  and improvisation.  She is an active board member of NUMUS and composes with the Toronto based collective, The Toy Piano Composers.

Raimundo Gonzalez 
Raimundo began his musical training in his birth city of Santiago, Chile. He began singing at the age of twelve, took piano lessons at fourteen, all the while teaching himself the electric guitar. In 2003, Raimundo entered the Composition & Arrangement program at the Instituto Escuela Moderna de Musica, where he studied jazz piano and guitar performance. In 2007, Raimundo made his compositional debut with two string quartets. A year later, he premiered Huaynopo – piece for wind quintet and traditional Chilean percussion. His most recent premiere took place in 2009 with Circus – musical narrative for seven musicians, three dancers and one actor. Circus was written, composed, conducted and produced by Raimundo alone. Raimundo will begin his Master of Music in Composition at the University of Alberta this upcoming fall.

Glenn James
Glenn is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Toronto where he studied composition with composers: Glenn Buhr, Linda Catlin-Smith, Christos Hatzis and Gary Kulesha. Glenn’s music has been performed and recorded with Tapestry New Opera, Scarborough Players, Rosedale United Church, Digital Prowess and The Toy Piano Composers.

Colin Labadie
Colin Labadie is a composer and guitarist based in Edmonton, Alberta. He holds a BMus from Wilfrid Laurier University where studied with Linda Catlin Smith and Peter Hatch, and an MMus from the University of Alberta where he studied with Howard Bashaw, Mark Hannesson, and Scott Smallwood. His compositions explore complex rhythm, patterns, repetition, and subtle change, often juxtaposed against spastic improvisation and timbral extremeties. As a guitarist and improviser, his recent interests involve augmenting the electric guitar through the application of emerging technology. He is currently developing an electric guitar prototype that combines sensor technology with computer software to utilize his playing technique and body movements as a means of control over the sound of the guitar.

Audience Interludes

Daniel James Brophy
Daniel Brophy is a composer, performer and improviser. He composes music for various styles and instrumentations ranging from orchestral and chamber music to electronics and heavy metal. He is also part of the experimental guitar duo MUGBAIT who use a combination of guitars, Max/MSP and circuit bending to explore the nature of sound and noise. Daniel presents music that combines traditionally opposing elements such as texture, melody and harmony, darkness and spirituality, heavy metal and art music to explore the human condition and the nature of balance. Daniel currently resides in Edmonton where he is pursuing a Doctor of Music under the supervision of Scott Smallwood at the University of Alberta. Prior to this, he graduated from The University of Toronto with a Masters of Music under the tutelage of Gary Kulesha and received his Bachelors of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University where he studied with Linda Catlin-Smith.


Michael B. MacDonald, PhD
Michael B. MacDonald is an Ethnomusicologist at the University of Alberta where he teaches courses on popular music. He is currently working on a postdoctoral research project on Canadian Folk Music. His areas of research include folk festivals, social movements, and popular music with emphasis on the relationship between art, community, and the cultural industries. He has published articles and given public lectures on the politics of folk music, cultural sustainability, and the aesthetics of cultural and social ecology. Michael continues to produce albums, ethnographic video, and has toured widely as a musician.