Arraymusic is devoted to producing and presenting speculative new music – music that creates more questions than answers (for musicians and listeners alike). We aim to offer experiences that more than please and satisfy. We aim to share music that draws listeners in and encourages them to know they are active, co-creative participants in every musical experience.

Speculative music is not confined to a style, methodology or genre. And Arraymusic’s productions and presentations feature artists whose practices radiate this diversity. Their work falls in-between traditional categories. 2017/18 sees Arraymusic continue to develop initiatives that allow these artists to fully express their inbetween-ness in collaboration with our community.

At the heart of Array’s 2017/18 Season is our Array Ensemble Concert Series. And we have filled our season’s six concert events with new creations and little-known existing works, which continue to work (and play) and exert their own particular inexplicable wonders.

Concert 1: Quatuor Bozzini+Philip Thomas

Separately and together Montréal’s Quatuor Bozzini and British piano virtuoso Philip Thomas have championed experimental music for years. Their most recent collaboration involves a new, 45-minute piano quintet written for them by British composer Bryn Harrison. Arraymusic will host the Canadian premiere. This concert will also include the Toronto premiere of Canadian Cassandra Miller’s string quartet, About Bach, written for the Bozzinis, winner of the 2016 Jules Léger Prize for Chamber Music.

Concert 2: Music by Ben Patterson

American composer Ben Patterson passed away in 2016 at 82. He was a founding member of the Fluxus movement in the early 1960s, working in New York City and Europe. Patterson had close ties to Canada: He was a virtuoso Classical string bassist but, being African-American, could not find work in America in the 1950s; thus, he became a member of the Halifax Symphony Orchestra (from 1956-57) and of the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra (from 1959-60). Array’s Artistic Director, Martin Arnold, will perform a selection of Patterson’s solo works.

Concert 3: Wilhelm Killmayer at 90: Arraymusic celebrates with Sandeep Bhagwati

In 2017 German composer Wilhelm Killmayer turns 90. Killmayer’s insidiously surreal music is underappreciated everywhere. However, he does have some fierce advocates around the world, including Martin Arnold. Another is his former student, the remarkable Indian-German-Canadian composer, Sandeep Bhagwati. Since 2006 Bhagwati has held the Canada Research Chair in Inter-X Art Practice and Theory at Concordia University, Montréal. The Array Ensemble will perform works by KIllmayer and Bhagwati and host a roundtable discussion featuring Sandeep Bhagwati and Martin Arnold discussing the resonance of Killmayer’s singular oeuvre.

Concert 4: Four New Works

The Array Ensemble performs four new works commissioned by Arraymusic written by four of the most exciting composers working in Canada today: Rebecca Bruton (Calgary), Marielle Groven (Montréal), Stephen Parkinson (Toronto) and Holger Schoorl (Toronto).

Concert 5 (in 2 parts): A&A Mini-Festival

Andrea Young (Montréal) and André Cormier (Moncton) are both quietly extreme composers of highly exploratory, speculative music. Andrea is also a distinguished soprano and a master of digital signal processing. They’ve collaborated, on occasion, since 2008, and Arraymusic is excited to host another such occasion in 2018. This mini-festival will consist of two events:

Concert 5i) The Array Ensemble will perform a new piece by Young and a new piece by Cormier, both commissioned by Array. Both take time to enact their explorations: The Young will be a half-hour and the Cormier, 45 minutes. Andrea’s piece will include her voice, as well as live digital processing of the entire ensemble.

Concert 5ii) The following day Array hosts a concert of earlier collaborative and solo works by André and Andrea.

Concert 6 (in 2 parts): Allison Cameron Mini-Festival

Allison Cameron is one of the most important composers of experimental music working in Canada today. Her music has had an international presence for years, which has grown due to greater recognition by the media here and abroad. She is an acclaimed improviser performing with a highly personal, idiosyncratic collection of what she calls amplified objects. Arraymusic will present work spanning a range of Cameron’s activities across two consecutive concerts.

Concert 6i) This concert will feature a major new work by Cameron commissioned by Array, written for Array’s ensemble combined with two members of Allison’s improvising trio c_RL—Germaine Liu on percussion and Nicole Rampersaud on trumpet—as well as earlier pieces by Allison for open forces.

Concert 6ii) This concert features two of Allison’s ensembles: the AC Band—her post-punk/avant garage composition band and c_RL—the whole trio.

The Rat-drifting Concert Series

Arraymusic is also pleased to announce its 2017/18 Season will see the return of the Rat-drifting Series to its programming. From 2000 to 2005 Martin Arnold ran Rat-drifting at Array’s old rehearsal space in pre-gentrified Liberty Village, bringing together free improvisation, sound performance, noise, psychedelic process music, DIY para-punk composition and post-Fluxus word events. This new Rat-drifting Series will present five concerts, which further this approach, taking over from, and building upon, the strengths of the Array Sessions.

What is Rat-drifting? It takes its name from the colloquial term "rat-running".

"Rat-running" is "the practice of driving through residential side streets to avoid congested main roads." It's a happy metaphor for a kind of music-making and has all that "off-the-beaten-track" stuff going for it. More significantly, it suggests taking an activity to a place where it isn't intended, using something in a way it isn't meant for, unintentionally disturbing someplace comfortable (the disturbance being merely a byproduct of an activity that has another set of preoccupations).

It also has the completely undesirable connotation of someone trying anything to get to a destination more quickly. This idea of being highly motivated to reach a goal has nothing in common with the music this series embraces. Thus, we're drifting, not running.

Young Composers Workshop & Concert Program Of course, Array’s intensive Young Composers Workshop will be back. One of the longest-running workshops focused on nurturing emerging composers, Arraymusic’s workshop is still utterly unique. For an entire month four composers work with Array’s ensemble, receiving individual mentorship from Martin Arnold and taking part in activities that enable them to critically interact with each other. All the while they are focused on the creation of new works to be performed by The Array Ensemble at the end of the month – a major event on Array’s extremely full 2017/18 calendar.

Experimental Turntable Session

Plus, the Experimental Turntable Session will return, only this season re-fuelled by new ideas coming from its core participants, Magic Hour (Melissa Moore), Slowpitchsound (Cheldon Paterson), and Mike Hansen.


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