rebecca bruton (CAN) is a composer, songmaker, and vocalist living just north of Moh’kinsstis; the place where the Bow and Elbow Rivers converge; the place where the world began (Siksiká). She creates work that moves in the narrow space between sorrow and celebration; her interests include the pace of trekking through the Rocky Mountains, land/blood memory, the choreographic, multi-species kinship, and the malleable nature of time itself.
rebecca creates across several musical mediums, including experimental chamber music, song, film scores, and free improvisation. Her chamber compositions are widely performed, having been commissioned by Ekmeles vocal ensemble (NYC), Quatuor Bozzini (Montréal), Quasar Quatuor de saxophones (Montréal), Arraymusic (Toronto), Ultraviolet Ensemble (Edmonton), and more. In 2023 she will premiere The Faerie Ribbon, a new work for expanded string quintet performed by Quatuor Bozzini and junctQín keyboard collective (Toronto). The Faerie Ribbon will be released as one side of a collaborative LP of music for expanded string quintet, a multi-year project she devised and co-led with Toronto-based composer Jason Doell.
rebecca is an avid collaborator, especially across disciplines. In the fall of 2021 rebecca performed in the premiere of ‘We needed to be rescued’, a collaborative movement and music work she co-created with choreographer and dancer Heather Ware (produced by Dancers Studio West). She also tends to a long-term collaborative friendship with multidisciplinary artist Angela Rawlings, having set Angela’s 2017 book si tu to microtonal music for four voices (I n s t i t u, 2021), and collaborated with Angela in the polyvocal duo Moss Moss Not Moss.
rebecca lives closely intertwined with her more-than-human furfaced besties Hamish, Ramsay, and Mucho.
Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir
Performer, composer, curator Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir is one of Iceland’s leading figures within the early and contemporary music scene. She has been the artistic director of Nordic Affect since its inception in 2005. Halla Steinunn’s work has been a tour de force when it comes to work with composers, performers, visual artists, and producers. She is driven by an ecosystemic outlook on creation, set to further explore its world-making possibilities through music‘s many mediated relationships.
Halla Steinunn‘s compositional output has spanned everything from electro-acoustic compositions to sound and media installations. 2018 saw the release of her work He(a)r on Nordic Affect’s album by the same title. The album was featured in various best-of- the-year lists, including The Boston Globe, I Care if You Listen and Second Inversion. Recent works have included Spherical White with Diamond, a site-respondent installation created for Curated Place and NATUR (UK) in collaboration with National Trust Formby (UK) and Fjärilarna steg upp (The butterflies ascended) an installation of 8 mono channels created for The Botanical Garden in Lund (SE). Among upcoming projects, alongside the NAC Orchestra’s commission is the release of the strengur album project on Carrier Records.
Jasmine Tsui is a Chinese-Canadian interdisciplinary artist, specializing in percussion performance and contemporary improvisation. Their artistic output usually involves bright colours, noise, theatrics, electronic processing, and occasional silliness. As a percussionist, their versatility has allowed them to partake in ensembles across North America, ranging from the National Youth Orchestra of Canada to the Yarn/Wire Summer Institute. During her time at the University of Toronto, she has studied with Dr. Aiyun Huang, Beverley Johnston, and Charles Settle. Jasmine has recently finished her Masters degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Toronto and is in the process of figuring out what sort of visual eyesores and auditory experiences they can create next.
Constantly seeking new means of expression and eager to create, the flutist-improviser-
composer Cléo Palacio-Quintin (1971) takes part in many premieres as well as improvisational multidisciplinary performances, and composes instrumental and electro-
acoustic music for various ensembles and media works. Since 1999, she is developing the
hyper-flutes. Interfaced to a computer by means of electronic sensors, these enhanced flutes enables her to compose novel interactive electroacoustic soundscapes and videos. She is the first women to own a Doctorate in Electro-Acoustic Composition from the Université de Montréal (2012) and is a collaborator of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT).
Philippe Lauzier has lived in Montreal since his childhood. He is an active musician, improviser, composer, performer and interdisciplinary collaborator. We often see him playing the bass clarinet or the soprano saxophone — composing and producing music using synthesizers, augmented instruments and noises from materials and objects — He has occasionally created sound installations: Pianotissage (2019) — Sept Objets (2018) — Gritty (2014). Having taken part in several tours and residencies in Canada, Europe, USA, Mexico, Chile, Australia and China, he has performed solo and with groups and collectives Sainct Laurens, Motel Hélène, Production Bozzini, Quartetski, Not the Music , Ensemble SuperMusique among others. Philippe is currently a composer and sound designer for films and art projects. He is a part-time music teacher at Collège Jean-Eudes since 2007.
Percussionist Zac Pulak’s infectious enthusiasm for performing and the music he brings to audiences of all ages is boundless. The Ottawa-based performer has gathered awards, accolades, and a steady stream of invitations and commissions, with the CBC declaring Zac one of Canada’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2018.
As a student and emerging young professional, Zac was already performing with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Gryphon Trio and more. As “one of Ottawa’s most dynamic musicians” (CBC), Zac’s participation in nation-wide festivals and series makes it no surprise that Toronto Confluence Concerts deemed him “truly virtuosic and intense”.
Zac’s innovative duo SHHH!! Ensemble (with pianist Edana Higham) has toured widely, with concerts across Canada, including a live-for-broadcast recital for the CBC’s “In Concert”. Upcoming highlights include the release of their debut album Meanwhile on the Analekta label, their concerto debut with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and a feature performance at the SMCQ’s Montreal New Music Biennial.
Voices and improvisers of Stefánsdóttir’s performance score for the electronics i.e., holm’s sedimentation
rebecca bruton (CA), Sofia Härdig (SE), Maja Jantar (NL/FI), Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir (IS)
Improvisations with instruments and activations of objects
Stefánsdóttir, Jantar, and Guðrún Óskarsdóttir (IS, harpsichord/clavecin)
Vera Hrafnsdóttir (IS, age 5) and Bjarki Hrafnsson (IS, age 8)
Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir, Jonas Jönsson
Renée Dahn (viola/violon), Jasmine Tsui (vibraphone/vibraphone), Cléo Palacio-Quintin (bass flute/ flûte basse), Philippe Lauzier (bass clarinet/ clarinette basse), Zac Pulak (marimba/marimba) and Philippe Charbonneau (bass/basse), Halla Steinunn Stefánsdóttir (baroque violin/ violon baroque), rebecca bruton (voice/voix).
SPHERE is presented as part of Nordic Bridges, a year-long cultural initiative led by Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Visit NordicBridges.ca to learn more.
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