FIVE Wind Quintets
FIVE Canadian Composers
FIVE World Premieres
FIVE Canadian Cities
September 11 – 30, 2018
Our Canada: Forecasting the Canadian Wind is a national and international showcase of Canadian composers and wind quintet musicians, a celebration of the diversity of our land, our people, and our culture.
Our Canada: Forecasting the Canadian Wind spans the nation and beyond in the creation and presentation of new works by five Canadian composers in collaboration with five Canadian wind quintets who are partnered with five international wind quintets, thereby initiating a worldwide network of wind chamber musicians to push the boundaries of the repertoire for this ensemble of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn.
Five Canadian wind quintets are each paired with a composer—Fifth Wind (Halifax, NS) with Emily Doolittle (Nova Scotia/Scotland); Choros (Montreal, QC) with Carmen Braden (Northwest Territories); Blythwood Winds (Toronto, ON) with Daniel Janke (Yukon Territory); Mistral 5 (Saskatoon, SK) with Cris Derksen (Northern Alberta/Ontario); and Ventos (Vancouver, BC) with Cameron Wilson (Vancouver, BC)—in this innovative pan-Canadian project.
The compositions are being developed over the course of seven months, November 2017 to May 2018. The development process includes simultaneous week-long workshops, each quintet with their composer. The quintets will document the workshops in order to share them with one another, allowing all five quintets access to the five composers, saving both time and costs in a true cross-Canada collaboration. The five quintets then have five months to rehearse all five new compositions.
Our Canada: Forecasting the Canadian Wind culminates in a series of five premiere performances, rolling out across Canada in the fall of 2018, starting in Vancouver on September 11, followed by Saskatoon, Toronto, Montreal, and ending in Halifax on September 30, 2018.
Flutist Jack Chen of Fifth Wind, who is spearheading the project, says, “We want to bring the musicians and composers closer together with this project, which we also hope will invigorate the public’s interest in the wind quintet genre. We are often doing the same sort of musical projects in each of our local communities on our own; this concept shows how much more can be accomplished through collaboration. It’s exciting!”
Halifax-born, Glasgow-based composer Emily Doolittle calls Forecasting the Canadian Wind “an incredible initiative that can really put Canada in the role of a leader in the modern chamber music arena!”
The composers have been invited to create pieces that represent their vision of Canada’s future, focusing on any aspect about which they are particularly passionate.
Cameron Wilson set out to create “a uniquely Canadian piece of music reflecting the sounds of a vast and multicultural country” and showcasing “the diverse folk music of Canada from coast to coast.”
Carmen Braden’s piece “Wiilideh is Northwest of Where?” uses melodic transformations as a reflection on the transformation of the identity of Yellowknife and surrounding area, called Wiilideh in the local First Nations language. She explains, “The music will reflect the situation at an abstracted level, and will also arrive at a musical solution to reflect my own hopes for the future of the name and identity of this beautiful part of Canada.”
Chris Derksen’s vision is “to explore the vastness that is the Prairies, using extended techniques to achieve the sounds of nature in the Prairies, while maintaining melodies and harmonies that are relevant to today’s audience.”
Daniel Janke says, “My vision of Canada’s future is of a place where one will still be able to experience two things: cultural diversity and a connection to our natural environment. The guiding notion for my piece can be found in the following sentiment: ‘Music is like air, it flows across borders.’ I like the way this statement presents an image of the ubiquitous-ness of environmental space as a way of describing and understanding cultural diversity. A wind quintet seems the appropriate vehicle for such a piece.”
Emily Doolittle writes, “In this piece for wind quintet I will explore the soundscapes of the three forest regions of Canada that are closest to me: the Acadian forest of Nova Scotia (where I grew up); the boreal forest of Ontario and Quebec (where I camped many times during the five years I lived in Montreal); and the coastal forest of BC (which I visited frequently during my seven years on the West Coast). It is my hope that through drawing attention to aspects of these soundscapes in a concert context, listeners will have a new interest in preserving and protecting Canada’s forests and wild places.”
An offshoot of Forecasting the Canadian Wind is the establishment of Wind Quintet International—a collaborative network of professional international woodwind quintets—and thereby the promotion of Canadian composers, performers, and repertoire not just nationally but internationally.
Our Canada: Forecasting the Canadian Wind is partially funded by a Canada Council New Chapter Grant.