Reflections: SiMN in Curitiba, Brazil

Some of the amazing street art in Curitiba, Brazil

The ability to travel is a privilege — one that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be able to afford. Artist life doesn’t typically generate a whole lot of income and those who know me know that I’m pretty dreadful at keeping track of what little money I earn. So I’m extra grateful for organizations, like the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council, that provide travel assistance so that folks like me can share what we do with people around the world.

This past September I had the opportunity to spend a week in Curitiba, Brazil, as guest faculty at the International Symposium of New Music 2016, presented by Grupo de Pesquisa Núcleo Música Nova. During this time I taught some incredibly talented young musicians, worked with a wide array of composers, and presented two concerts: a chamber performance of Morton Feldman’s Why Patterns? with pianist Luciane Cardassi and percussionist Fabio Oliveira; and a solo concert of works by Brian Ferneyhough, Natalia Solomonoff, Dániel Péter Biró, Nicole Lizée, and Salvatore Sciarrino, whose All’aure in una lontananza can be heard below:

During my stay I was overwhelmed by the generous spirit of practically everyone I met. I was delighted to meet Natalia Solomonoff and Hans Tutschku — both marvelous, original composers; and I’m particularly happy to have met flutist Valentina Daldegan and her husband, the composer Maurício Dottori, who went out of their way to show me their city and share their enthusiasm for new music and music education (and for gifting me with a beautiful bottle of cachaça!); and I’m especially grateful to the festival organizers, Felipe Ribeiro and Caio Nocko, for inviting me and taking care of the myriad details that a symposium of this size and scope requires.

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