LUTALICA (n. The part of one’s identity that doesn’t fit into categories. From the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) began with the observation that, for many years, my approach to contemporary concert music programming was viewed through a Eurocentric filter. This was a particularly ironic realization given that my ancestry is anything but Western European: I am half-Japanese, half-Australian, born and raised on the West Coast of Canada — a true product of the Pacific Rim. More recently I have begun to ask myself the question: does my heritage change or inform my relationship with Western music? How do other non-European musicians and artists address the bridge/divide, if at all? In particular, I became very curious as to how contemporary music culture along the Pacific Rim might be interconnected in ways that make it unique from the rest of the world.
As a means of exploring these issues, in April 2016 I put out a Call for Scores, requesting works for solo flute by composers from (or who presently live in) Pacific Rim countries. By the deadline we received just under 200 works by composers from over a dozen countries, many of exceptional quality: 19 works were selected for various performances over the next two years, and all of them will be studio recorded for free digital release through Redshift Records. The selected works are:
Pedro Alvarez (Chile/Australia): De Mares Imaginados
Phil Brownlee (New Zealand): Harakeke
Eunho Chang (South Korea): Sanjo III
Nirmali Fenn (Australia/Sri Lanka/Singapore): Scratches of the Wind
Graham Flett (Canada): Stratus and Shale
Robert Hansler (USA): Broken Branch
Etsuko Hori (Japan): Tamazusa for solo piccolo
Gleb Kanasevich (USA): DUDK*=*FLÖT
Kaiyi Kao (Taiwan): Jingzhe
Emilie LeBel (Canada): Hiraeth
Hope Lee (Canada): forever after
Ellen Lindquist (USA): Nakoda
Mario Mora (Chile): DOO
Rosalind Page (Australia): courbe dominante
Maggi Payne (USA): Reflections
Nova Pon (Canada): Wrenegade
Thierry Tidrow (Canada): Né à l’envers
Shun-Ju Yen (Taiwan): Invisible Wings
Stephen Yip (Hong Kong): A Spring Morning
In addition to these, I have commissioned a new work by Canadian-Mexican composer Alfredo Santa Ana, which will also be included as part of this project, bringing the total number of pieces to 20.
To date, there have been three LUTALICA performances: the first was held on January 19, 2017 at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (presented by Redshift Music), where I performed works by Pedro Alvarez, Phil Brownlee, Graham Flett, Kaiyi Kao, Ellen Lindquist, and Nova Pon; the second LUTALICA took place on July 20, 2018 at Celebration Hall in Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver (presented by Little Chamber Music and Redshift), where I performed works by Etsuko Hori, Emilie LeBel, and Hope Lee, along with works by Eve de Castro-Robinson, Jeffrey Ryan, and Toru Takemitsu; the third LUTALICA performance took place on April 26, 2019 at the Orpheum Annex, Vancouver (presented by Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and Redshift); at this occasion I performed the music of Nirmali Fenn, Chun-Ju Yen, and Alfredo Santa Ana, and the premiere of Kan-Kin by Elliot Weisgarber with zheng virtuoso Dailin Hsieh. The fourth LUTALICA will take place on April 24, 2020 at Mountain View Cemetery, presented by Little Chamber Music.
These 20 composers form a collective portrait that, I believe, represent the diversity of Pacific Rim contemporary music culture: of the 20 composers, 10 are women; 11 are persons of colour; 3 hail from Central/South America; 7 from Asia; 4 from Australasia, and 10 from North America. The works of Canadian composers (six in total) are put into a special international context, demonstrating that they can stand on their own while also revealing unique strands of connectivity with their international counterparts.
To hear an excerpt of Ellen Lindquist’s Nakoda, click HERE.
To hear my performance of Etsuko Hori’s Tamazusa, click HERE.
To hear an excerpt from Nova Pon’s Wrenegade, click HERE.