The title, ''... The Whistling of the Winds Bearers of Love ... '' is a quotation from the Spiritual Canticle XIV by St. John of the Cross.
The theme of this work is wind, physically and spiritually (pneuma, spiritus). Its presence forms the music - breath, through the pureness of silence : frozen states, fringes of existence, warmth that melts and fertilizes in multiplied and endless plays and possibilities (''... bearers of love... '').
In addition to this verse, two '' presences '' must be mentioned - the winter (moment of composition) and the fascinating idea of the first moment of the Resurrection (see the melodies Resurrexi and of the Alleluia of Easter in plainchant).
The experiments, especially with the various pitches of the flute's '' whistle tones '', were particularly stimulating and useful.
The work is dedicated to my mother, and also to the musicians who gave the premiere, Robert Cram, flute and Ian Bernard, percussion.
INTRODUCTION (tape solo)
I. INTERIOR I
Violin + Percussion Duo
II. CHAMBER MUSIC I
III. EXTERIOR I - FAR
Herd of horses
IV. CHAMBER MUSIC II
V. INTERIOR II
VI. EXTERIOR II - UNDERWATER
VII. INTERIOR III
VIII. CHAMBER MUSIC III
Alone and unalone is an examination of the relationship between individual and collective experience. When we listen to music together, as in a concert, we share a common reality, but we simultaneously have individual, unsharable experiences in our own heads. The piece magnifies this condition by diffusing sound through headphones for the audience: each listener hears sound directed especially toward their own ears at the same time as they hear acoustic and electroacoustic sound in the space common to the other listeners. A confrontation of the philosophical problem of other minds, the affect of the piece endeavours to teeter between solipsism and the kind of empathy-building that occurs through art.
The piece traverses different performance practices, drawing inspiration from ASMRtists (online video performers of ASMR, a subculture devoted to generating tingling sensations), experimental theatre, Baroque music (especially drawing material from Handel’s Keyboard suite in D minor), and immersive environmental sounds.
Alone and unalone was commissioned by Ensemble Paramirabo with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Noise Opera by Gabriel Dharmoo
Texts: Françoise Major
2. Monster Under the Bed
6. Like Kali but Blond
8. The Good Guy
9. Deep Down
10. Make Fannie Cry
11. Noise Trio
12. I’m Ashamed
13. The Art of the Crime
THE MONSTER WITHIN – From the fantastical monsters of our childhood to the little vices and cruelties that dwell in us, at what point does the human end and the monster begin? Does such a clear line exist?
Our collaboration was born of friendship, amplified by a desire to ask questions together. How, in writing, can space be left for the body, and how, in singing, can more space be left for the text? By ceasing the pitting of language against instinct, human against animal, the everyday against the imaginary, we came to work on the monster as a figure that was shape-shifting, fluctuating, and essentially human.
The desire to solicit the participation of the soloists and members of Ensemble Paramirabo became apparent very early in the creative process. We asked them to share a personal “monster” with Françoise, to reveal a personal trait that they found distasteful and were not proud – an experience that took on the anonymous characteristics of a bottle tossed out to sea, since Françoise lives several thousand kilometers away and had never met the musicians. Their confessions became the base materials, the feelings and words to be fleshed out. Sometimes exaggerated, sometimes remaining quite close to the original confessions, these private monsters were then redistributed amongst the musicians by Gabriel – he had no idea who had divulged what and he still doesn’t, nor does anyone else.
The show’s text-setting and dramaturgy were two inseparable steps. Gabriel, inspired by the stage presence, creativity, and virtuosity of the musicians, wanted in turn to inspire them to go beyond themselves in a demanding staging that laid things bare: an approach on the cusp between a detailed score and improvisation involving not only the musicians’ creative input but their total commitment. If we have created a monster, it is thanks to them that it lives, and because of our designers – Nancy, Karine, and Solène – that it has such a grotesquely irresistible form this evening!
On stage, there are nine bodies. The voice resonates, within and without. It slips from one mouth to the next, makes it possible for the beast, slumbering, waking, to express itself, fully or reluctantly. Sing. Scream. Murmur. Coo. Spew. Gulp. The creature voiced by the performers is sometimes selfish, other times shamed, ridiculous, funny or violent; it is always familiar in the pain it awakens.
From belly to belly, the monster isn’t so different. From belly to belly, it lays low, hushed, waiting. But not here. Here, the monster is growling.
Music: Gabriel Dharmoo
Texts: Françoise Major
Artistic Direction: Jeffrey Stonehouse, Ensemble Paramirabo
Performers: Ensemble Paramirabo
Staging: Solène Paré
Sound: Jean-François Blouin
Artistic Advisor: Lorraine Vaillancourt
Make-up: Christos Darlasis
AMONG AM A concerns different modes of listening during a concert experience, and attempts to create an environment where musical listening and environmental listening are blurred: everyday sounds are musicalised, and musical gestures are made concrete. The work thus provides a means to re-examine the performance conditions that create distinctions between musical and non-musical acts, spaces, and sounds. Over the course of the work, the sanctioning of musical space and sound is deconstructed.
The work derives some of its material from Better Git It In Your Soul, the first track from Charles Mingus’ Mingus Ah Um. Mingus often included vocalisations and other ‘extra-musical’ sounds in his studio recordings - in Better Git It In Your Soul, the function of one of these vocalisations is blurred as the shout of “OH YEAH” during the refrain is musicalised through its repetition and ‘crossfade’ transformation into the timbre of of a saxophone wail.
AMONG AM A also concerns the affective qualities of sound, especially as social functions in collective or individual settings. Sounds of revelry are often acoustically similar to sounds of terror - addressing this ambiguity in the work is a means to address my own anxiety in crowds, and the experience of being one among many.
AMONG AM A was commissioned by Ensemble Paramirabo with support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Scena prima : Carcerati d’invenzione
Lazzo del minimalista
Scena seconda : Colonna infinita
Scena terza : Libro dei mutamenti (I Ching)
Scena quarta : Mystico-elastico
Scena quinta : Vertigo temporis
Lazzo (mashup) del terrorista (ou Lazzo della danza sotto la pioggia)
Scena sesta : Cataclisma naturale
Scena settima : Lonely Pierrot
Commedia dell’arte is a theatrical genre that appeared in the 16th century and was a kind of satire of the social values of the time. Through stock characters like Pantalone, il Dottore, Harlequin, Columbina, or Pulcinella, a range of social architypes (aristocrats, servants, etc.) are staged by means of a plot built around betrayal, desire, conspiracy, and other ups and downs of our overly human humanity... Each story is thus a framework with which the actors improvise the performance. Scenes that move the story forward are interwoven with lazzi, which are stock comedic routines of a rather physical nature. From all this, laughter, voracity, bawdiness, and mockery set the tone, and above all this caustic mayhem soar the innamorati (the lovers). They speak to each other in the language of love, displaying a sensitivity and refinement that is otherworldly (perhaps this confers on them an aspect of the eternal, in perfect contrast with the other characters).
In Commedia della musica, I asked myself which musical archetypes would allow me to paint a portrait of our world today. I got caught up in summoning musical personalities who I felt were able, by means of allusions, citations, or borrowing techniques, to translate an aspect of our reality: who could speak to infobesity, cyberattacks, multiplicity, the sacred, globalized mobility, climate upheaval, terrorism, and of course... love... Without providing all the keys to the associations I made (quite freely and with humour!), here are the titles of each section (or “scene”) of the piece: Carcerati d’invenzione; Lazzo del minimalista; Colonna infinita; Libro dei mutamenti (I Ching); Mystico- elastico; Vertigo temporis; Lazzo (mashup) del terrorista; Cataclisma naturale; Lonely Pierrot...
A final warning: any resemblance to known (musical) persons is not unintentional.
The composition of this piece has been made possible through the generous support of Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ).
- Jimmie LeBlanc
In this piece, I used an eight-chord pattern repeated several times, each time in a different manner, reminiscent of the form of a chacone. In the middle of the piece, we find a clarinet and violin cadenza. The material used in this piece was inspired by the folklore of the Balkans. Ciaccona is dedicated to my parents.
- Ana Sokolović