TENOR 2018: Performer Lab Concert

Concordia Dance Blackbox, John Molson Building

May 26, 2018


This is the outcome concert of the TENOR 2018 performer lab.

$10 at the door

The TENOR 2018 Performer Lab offers participants the opportunity to study innovative new approaches and devices for music notation, especially in animated, rule-based, interactive or other situational and technology-based scores. The performers explore the history and practice of such scoring as well as create interpretations of compositions chosen from the conference call. The composers of these works are present to enhance the understanding and nuances of the participants.

The Performer Lab is facilitated by Terri Hron. Recorder player and composer Terri Hron mostly makes music in collaboration with others. Currently she performs NESTING, integrating choreographed musical, visual and embodied practices and Volière Électrique, new collaborative creations with Monty Adkins, Robert Normandeau and Hildegard Westerkamp. Other collaborators include Katelyn Clark, Camille Hesketh, François Houle, Dana Jessen, Paula Matthusen and SpaceMelt. Her works are regularly performed by ensembles and soloists in many countries. She studies ways to encourage and notate collective practices in electroacoustic music as well as the effects of multiple media on performers. She is the Executive Director of the Canadian New Music Network.

Juan Sebastian Delgado
Dustin Finer
Connor Harvey-Derbyshire
Hubert Gendron-Blais
Karl F. Gerber
An-Laurence Higgins
Hanna Kim


Deciphering is a collaborative projectbetween Carl Ludwig Hübsch and Sebastian Adams exploring the possibilities of converting text input into notated music in real-time. It is an open ended system of Max patches that can be reworked based on the requirements of the performance situation, and combines compositional thought with improvisation and the reactions of performers. It explores the impact that text has when placed beside musical notation.

AND THE SEA (2017, ARR. 2018)
And the sea was composed in the BACH environment(Bach Automated Composer’s Helper, for MAX/MSP), and performed with the aid of the SmartVox web application, which delivers and synchronizes audiovisual notation to the devices of the performers (in the mp4 format) with the help of a web server. The musical atmosphere tries to depict the quiet sea mentioned in the text. The piece sets a poem by Robert Bell, in which a tension lies between the calm surface of the sea, and allusions to physical pain – which the poet presumably experienced while writing those lines:

And the sea flattens beneath the iodine
To be limb
Free as before
Thrust water
Picks its point
Of muscular pain
Like electric
While the skin begins to glow
Is filtering
Strange essences
That run along the marrow of the unquiet bone

RIVES & DÉRIVES III (2011-2015)
Let the music wash over you and relish its sensual touch. Or: stay wide awake and be aware of every little, precious, ephemeral sound, make conceptual connections between the different time streams of a musical canon. Can any of us maintain both states at the same time – inwardness and hyper-presence, dream and analytic incisiveness ? In 2011, I drew 40 images that depict different relationships between foreground (in black) and a drone (a grey horizon line bisecting each image). These images became the graphic score of the Rives & Dérives cycle. So far, it has materialized in three different variants: Rives & Dérives I was an outdoor performance for ship sirens, cathedral bells and a dispersed choir in Montréal’s wide port area. The score was realized as a randomizable stack of postcards. Rives & Dérives II is scored for 5 choral groups: one group provides a slowly moving drone or ténor voice (replacing the ship sirens) and the other four each follow their individual on-screen rendering of my original drawings, enhanced with precise animated instructions for variable reading speeds, variable dynamics and transitions between vocal sounds. Rives & Dérives III for 5 instrument groups uses the same live-animated score, but the sound transitions are scored as a set of symbols that indicate sound qualities, to be realized on any instrument. The only condition: all instruments must allow (microtonal) glissandi. The live-animated score is generated anew before each performance, each version is therefore unique and ephemeral. As musicians sight-read the score, they are asked to acutely listen to and blend with the music coming from the drone and the other three groups. Rives & Dérives is an exercise in musical, performative and receptive paradoxes. To be listened to, ideally, with a river nearby – or tuned into the unrelenting sea inside your ear.

EITHER (2017)
Today it is crucial that today’s musicians be implicated in the creative process so that composers can create works that are not only highly personal, but also “belong” to the ensemble they are created for, such that even the personality and experiences of the musicians become integral parts of the work. While working on my third collaboration with Berlin-based LUX:NM ensemble, I encountered William Kentridge’s “Take Off Your Hat” (2014) during an exhibition in Berlin. The documentation of this transdisciplinary artist creating his work on a lengthy strip of rice paper struck me almost as much as the result, and helped catalyze the conception of something like this but not this and not that either (2017). Action, text and traditional notation, a preoccupation with unique musical forms that are intimately linked to their musical materials, and the personal input, feedback and involvement of the musicians throughout the creative process converge in this work for 4 musicians, composer and live-composed

This work was commissioned with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.