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Machaut Acadian stye


I have four performances of Peter-Anthony Togni’s Responsio in Nova Scotia coming up:

August 22            St John’s Church, Lunenburg (7.30)

August 23            Manning Chapel, Wolfville (7.30)

August 24            All Saints Cathedral, Halifax (7.30)

August 25            Eglise St Bernard, St Bernard (4.00)

(more details and ticketing information on Jeff Reilly’s site here)


Responsio is an extrapolation on the Machaut mass (actually, a response to it…). Living composers working with dead ones has been one of the great creative drivers from the medieval period to the present, and it’s always exciting to be at the sharp end of that process. Togni’s work also taps into the medieval and renaissance practice of expanding an existing composition by adding an extra voice – in this case the bass clarinet of Canadian polymath Jeff Reilly. The instrumental line is part-improvised, part-composed and will enrich the Machaut texture even further, adding a completely different linear element on top of the Machaut chordal structure. The other interesting thing about this line up is that it’s two women (Suzie LeBlanc and Andrea Ludwig) and two men (Charles Daniels and me).   That will create a radically different soundscape from the more usual male-orientated scoring favoured by the early music movement. There’s a very narrow pitch window in which the piece will work for this line-up (it’s often done with a fifth singer to avoid extreme tessituras), and it means that Charles and I will be singing very high and very low from time to time. And then there’s the question of how we pronounce the Latin – Acadian maybe?


The diary for September looks like this:

September 9-11     Conductus (a3) at the Cantum pulcriorum invenire conference, University of Southampton

September 14        Sibelius Academy, Helsinki

Septermber 15      Colosseum (Rome): Hilliard Ensemble

September 22       Conductus (a3) in  Otterberg


In October I’ll be recording in Austria and coaching in Finland (details to follow). The Night Sessions has its first Russian review from Blair Sanderson at Rutcracker.org:

…This album is not for early music purists or people who like to put their music in neat cubbyholes, because the blending of consort music with avant-garde jazz and experimental vocalizations does not allow for easy categorization. Yet the album works surprisingly well on its own terms, not only because of its compelling feeling of darkness and melancholy, but also because it provides many inventive transformations and surprises that keep the listener thinking. It may be called crossover music for the sake of convenience, but Night Sessions really is sui generis.

He gets it.



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