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Following the performance of The Muted Note: Songs Based on Poems by P. K. Page by Scott Thomson and Susanna Hood, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation is convening a colloquium called “Extraordinary Presences: Women, Poetry, Art Song” from 2:00 to 5:00 on Thursday, 16 October 2014 in the Dodson Room of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia. Two panels of poets, composers, performers and scholars will talk about their own work and their collaborations. Presenters will be investigating the cultural politics of contemporary composition and performance by women: are there particular constraints or challenges that contemporary women artists face? Are there specific musical, textual or performative strategies that women employ in their creative work when faced with such challenges? Is it still necessary or even possible to address artistic work, as performers, composers and listeners, with attention to the complex cultural politics of gender and sexuality? In addition to the two discussion panels, there will be a performance by Lisa Cay Miller of her text-based improvisations for piano, “Lessing Stories.” Admission is free, and the colloquium is open to all, students, artists, academics and the general public.
2:00-3:00 Panel: Extending the Poetics of Song
Scott Thomson, composer and improviser, Montréal and Toronto
Susanna Hood, vocalist, choreographer, Montréal and Toronto
Sandra Djwa, P. K. Page biographer, Vancouver
Phanuel Antwi, Department of English, UBC
Lisa Cay Miller, “Lessing Stories”
3:30-4:30 Panel: Collaborations and Challenges, Sounding Out
Rachel Rose, Vancouver Poet Laureate
Jacquie Leggatt, composer, Vancouver
Bronwyn Malloy, Department of English, UBC
A downloadable PDF version of the colloquium schedule can be found here: Extraordinary Presences schedule
Here are live recordings, from a concert this past Friday evening, of soprano Phoebe MacRae and pianist Rachel Iwaasa premiering two new art songs, each using text taken from my poem “First Person Shooter.” The first, “Drift,” is a setting by Vancouver composer Alex Mah. The second setting, “Torn Daisies,” is by Winnipeg composer David Betz. The premieres were part of the Songfire Festival’s “Playing with Fire” concert, showcasing new music emerging from this year’s collaborative Art Song Lab, part of the Vancouver International Song Institute. My sincere thanks to Ray Hsu, Alison D’Amato, Michael Park and Rena Sharon.