Montreal’s Quasar Saxophone Quartet brings its “Territoires sonores” project to Vancouver’s Western Front at 303 – 8th Ave. East in Vancouver this evening at 5pm where four Canadian composers – Rebecca Bruton (Alberta), Émilie Girard-Charest (Quebec), Alec Hall (Ontario), and William Kuo (British Columbia) – will present the results of their research and creation residency.
The public workshop in Vancouver will be followed by a round-table discussion led by CMC BC Director Sean Bickerton: “Composing today: What? To what ends? For whom?”
Admission is Free! Western Front, Tuesday, October 10, 5pm
The next phase of Quasar’s Territories Sonores project will take place in Montreal in December.
Rebecca Bruton (Alberta) is a Western Canadian composer, song-maker and vocalist. Loosely characterizing her work as understated, Surrealist folk music, Rebecca often involves sonic ideas that aestheticize tuning discrepancies, auditory illusions and other acoustic phenomena alongside of simple and surprising melodic structures. Her compositions have been performed by Quatuor Bozzini (Montréal, CA), Continuum Ensemble (Toronto, CA) and by her own ensembles. As one half of the vocal performance duo Moss Moss Not Moss (with Canadian-Icelandic poet Angela Rawlings), Rebecca has also presented original work at Tectonics Festival Glasgow. With Australian sound artist Alexandra Spence, she co-founded Tidal ~ Signal, a Vancouver-based festival dedicated to women and trans- identifying artists working in experimental music. Rebecca lives in Banff, Alberta.
Émilie Girard-Charest (Quebec) is a cellist, a composer and an improviser. As a chamber musician, a soloist and with different ensembles (Allogène, SuperMusique, La Machine, Quatuor d’occasion, Stéphane Pécas, Ensemble for New Music Tallinn, duo Collard-Neven-Girard-Charest), she dedicates herself to new music. As a performer, she took part in more than sixty premieres and played at numerous festivals in Québec, United States, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Estonia, Finland, Spain and Macedonia. She also played concerts in France, in Russia, in San Marino and in Uruguay. In addition to that, she took part in various theatre, dance and performance art productions. She is now developing different projects with multidisciplinary artists, namely with the dancer and visual artist Sarah Bronsard and with the composer-performer Charles Quevillon.
Émilie holds a degree in cello (Denis Brott) and in composition (Michel Gonneville) from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and a CoPeCo Master (Contemporary Performance and Composition) from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. She is now enrolled as a doctorate student at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon under the supervision of Philippe Hurel and Laurent Pottier. She is the recipient of the Bourse de développement de carrière from the foundation of the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal (2014) and of the Prix d’Europe of Composition Fernand Lindsay (2015).
Alec Hall (Ontario) is a Toronto-born composer living in New York City, where he is currently a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow. His compositions have had been performed by such notable groups as the Ensemble SurPlus, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, JACK Quartet, ICE, Talea Ensemble, Either/OR, Wet Ink, Continuum, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Ekmeles, the Cecilia String Quartet, and soloists Séverine Ballon, Stephane Ginsburgh and David Broome. Upcoming projects include commissions for the TAK Ensemble, Ensemble Proton, Ensemble Dal Niente and violinist Marco Fusi. Installation work is major component of his artistic practice, with major exhibitions in New York City since 2014, and also at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music in 2016.
Hall won six prizes in the SOCAN competition for young composers, and was a finalist for the Jules Leger Prize in 2011. He was a guest composer at the 2015 Beijing Modern Music Festival and the Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal toured his violin concerto through nine cities across Canada as part of the 2014 Géneration project. His string quartet 28 Hours was selected to represent the Canadian section of the 2016 ISCM World Music Days. His work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, the New York State Council on the Arts, the French-American Cultural Exchange and New Music USA. Hall is a co-founder of Qubit, a New York-based collective dedicated to producing events that highlight new and experimental works with technology, for which he presently serves as co-artistic director.
William Kuo (British Columbia) is a Canadian composer based in Vancouver. He strives to continually renew his listening habits and question his influences by observing cultural boundaries and human relations in the collective experience of art. Over the past year, he has worked with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Paramirabo, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. More recently in August 2017, he shared his music with Ensemble Multilatérale and soprano Juliet Fraser at the Royaumont Abbey.
William received his Bachelor’s in Composition from McGill University in 2013, under the guidance of Brian Cherney, Chris Paul Harman, and John Rea. In 2015, he earned his Master’s in Composition from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, where he received valuable insight from Michel Gonneville, Serge Provost, and Louis Dufort. He continues to develop his artistic vision through pivotal encounters such as the Orford Arts Academy, Bozzini Quartet Undergraduate Composers Kitchen, Darmstadt New Music Summer Courses, Manifeste Academy, and the 13th International Young Composers Forum in Montreal.
Passionate about the music of its time, the Quasar saxophone quartet devotes itself to the creation and promotion of contemporary music. Whether it be instrumental music, improvisation, electronic, they are up for all avenues of discovery. On their own or accompanied by symphony orchestra, acoustic or plugged-in, Quasar offers the public programming that is both unique and profoundly original. The group has been the recipient of 6 OPUS prizes awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique, including that of “Interpreter of the Year”. Quasar presents a series of concerts in Montreal and performs regularly across Canada, the United States and in numerous European countries.
Since its founding in 1994, Quasar has commissioned nearly one hundred works covering multiple aspects of musical creation. The quartet works closely with composers involved in research, experimentation and the emergence of new ideas. A member of the Vivier group, Quasar is supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, le Conseil des arts de Montréal, Socan and Vandoren.
Marie-Chantal Leclair: Artistic Director, soprano saxophone — Mathieu Leclair: alto saxophone André Leroux: tenor saxophone — Jean-Marc Bouchard: baritone saxophone