Strata Festival of New Music

Looking for a new and exciting musical experience this weekend? Saskatoon will be hosting the sixth annual Strata Festival of new music June 10-12. This festival focuses on new music created by Canadian composers and performed by Canadian musicians, with an emphasis on Saskatchewan and prairie composers. Composer workshops/masterclasses will take place June 11 and 12 in the afternoon with the festival’s guest composers, and the guest composer’s music will be featured in the showcase evening concerts. The evening concerts will take place at the Saskatoon Symphony rehearsal space (408 20th Street W) and PAVED Arts (424 20th Street W).

This year’s guest composers are Brazilian/Canadian pianist and composer Luciane Cardassi, Edmonton-based composer Allan Gilliland, and Saskatoon’s own Chad Munson. Click here for more information about the Strata Festival and this year’s guest composers.

This year, I will be performing Paul Suchan’s new composition Songs of Ebb and Flow for alto saxophone and piano, featuring Naomi Suchan on piano. We will be performing four movements of the six-movement cycle – here are the titles of the movements:
I. Haste to the Wedding
II. Drops of Brandy
III. Devil’s Reel
IV. Long Night Moon
This performance will take place Sunday, June 12 at 7:30pm at the SSO rehearsal space.

I will also be performing on the Saturday night concert starting at 9:00pm at PAVED Arts. Over the last couple months, I transcribed a violin piece by Canadian violinist, composer, and member of Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre Sarah Neufeld. I will be performing her piece from her recent album The Ridge, “A Long Awaited Scar” for saxophone and electronics. Brett Graham will be joining me on drums. We will have a bar and snacks set up for this concert!

If you are starting to get into composition or would like to know a little more about the creative process for professional composers, I highly recommend checking out the composer workshop on Sunday, June 12 starting at 3:00 at the SSO rehearsal space. Allan Gilliland will be working with emerging composers and providing feedback on pieces that they have submitted for the workshop. Allan Gilliland is a highly successful composer working in a wide range of musical genres, especially classical, jazz, and pop, and his pieces are performed around the world.

If you are a pianist, come check out Luciane Cardassi’s piano masterclass taking place Saturday, June 11 at 3:00pm. Luciane’s approach towards sound and artistic creation will certainly give you some new and intriguing thoughts on your repertoire and playing.

I hope to see you at this year’s Strata Festival!