If you’ve been to new-music concerts around town in the past while, you’ve probably encountered Dorothea Hayley, and, if you’re lucky, you’ve also encountered her voice. Dory returned to Vancouver a few years ago after extensive music studies in Montreal. She now produces the very fun Blueridge International Chamber Music Festival (which, this summer, featured at least one performance involving four pianists playing the same instrument, so everyone should go see what shenanigans they’ll devise this year…). Much sought after as a virtuoso performer, Dory has premiered works by contemporary composers far and wide, and by this point, is able to sing, well, just about anything.
Although she has been known to improvise, Dory would never call herself a composer, making her the first specialist performer we’ve interviewed thus far. On Thursday, we hope to hear her insights not only on the music she brings to concert but also the way she interprets, curates and contextualizes it to make the complicated programs her audiences have become familiar with.
On Thursday our friend Ben Wylie will join us in the studio (interviewed by Matt, who, despite having populated most of this blog, has not previously appeared live on the show!). Wylie’s work emerges from the tradition of American microtonal instrument-building set off by Harry Partch and Ben Johnson. His deep interests in minimalism and the psychoacoustic properties of the harmonic series often draw Ben to writing lengthy processes rather than gestures, pulling an audience into a noticeably altered state of attention. Listening to such works as James Tenney’s Postcard Pieces might prove an interesting primer for some of Ben’s sounds.
Since moving to Vancouver Ben has extended his compositions to involve lights and theatrics; indeed, we can expect theatricalized music to become an increasingly important thread in his work. On Thursday, we have a lot to talk about. Heck, we might even say a thing or two about playing the guitar and using power tools.
The episode on Rodney Sharman did not actually air last week, due to sudden illness. It will, however, air later this month if scheduling permits. This week we have Ben Wylie in the studio – more info in the next post.
Tomorrow, we bring forth an interview (recorded earlier this year) with Rodney Sharman. A nationally recognizable member of Canada’s concert milieu, Sharman composes with confidence and a deep sense of history, perhaps in part because his teachers number among the most esteemed composers active in the later decades of the 21st century. Where many of our guests – and some of us too – tend to be classified as ’emerging artists’, Sharman has most certainly emerged, and the relationship between his weighty, sculpted work and the rousing cacophony hammered out by the struggling youngsters of today leaves much to contemplate.