Mark Haney wants to strip new Canadian music of its pretension, so he’s re-launching the Little Chamber Music Series That Could on Oct. 26 with a Halloween dance party.
The double-bassist, composer and artist in residence at the field house in Renfrew’s Falaise Park is re-launching the beloved chamber music series after nearly a decade to commission and produce new works by Canadian composers and introduce new audiences to “new classical” music.
“When I went on a tour last fall across Western Canada, I talked to the audience every night about how I felt the classical performing arts, of which I am a practitioner, owed the general audience an apology for three or four decades of sort of thrusting them away, pretensions and snobbery and elitism,” Haney said. “And it really, really struck a chord, far more than I thought it would.”
The event at the Roundhouse, called Back on Track, features Montreal composer Nicole Lizée, who first gained attention more than a decade ago when she developed techniques to include a turntable in orchestra pieces.
“She was a heavy metal drummer as a teenager and she does a lot of stuff with electronics now,” Haney said.
As Montreal’s SaskPower, Lizée controls the electronics and video alongside guitarist Steve Raegele and percussionist Ben Reimer, who will be joined by Little Chamber Strings, which is Haney on double bass, Cam Wilson on violin and Marcus Takizawa on viola.
“It’s a performance meant to emulate a rave,” Haney said. “It’s constant pulsing rhythms that shift and morph with a visual display and it¹s meant to take the audience on a journey.”
Admission will be $10 for adults in costume, students, artists and seniors. It’s $20 for “adults dressed like adults.”
“We want to produce work at the highest level,” Haney said. “We want to work with people at the highest level and we want everyone to love it and have a good time. It’s not just for a small group.”
The series is also presenting the world premiere of Lizée’s piece Ouijist at a free, community event on Halloween, at All Souls at Mountain View Cemetery.
This summer on Friday evenings at Falaise Park near Grandview Highway and Boundary Road, Haney performed what he called “Sunset Sounds,” 90 minutes of mellow, improvised bass looping on the front porch of the field house just before the sun lowered in the sky.
“And the last one, there were about a hundred people there,” he said. “It’s simply the reality that there are tons of people and tons of families living in these areas not near Commercial [Drive] or Main [Street] or downtown, or whatever. Maybe it’s time to start finding ways to bring artists to these other areas.”
Haney has been composing new music with elementary school children for the East Side Animals Project that will culminate with a community performance in February. The name of the work is inspired by a stone mosaic in Falaise Park that includes animals.
“We have Sir Chubby the Bear, Cranium the Crane,” Haney said. “These are names by democracy, which is how we ended up with Justin Beaver.”
Government grants Haney applied for didn’t come through so he’s been fundraising for the series online.
“It’s nice to know I can actually put on East Side Animals,” he said.
Haney wrote in an August blog post there are two Vancouvers.
“There’s the Vancouver for the people with money (bonus points if you’re a property developer),” he said. “And then there’s the Vancouver for the rest of us.”
“It’s time for those of us who create and live on the “have-not” side of the fence to start creating for and with the audience on the same side of that line,” he suggested.
Haney, who last year premiered a piece called “3339” that celebrates his hero Terry Fox, hopes to premiere the piece he’s been working on for more than a year based on the graphic novel George Sprott by Seth in June, “funding dependent.”
For more details, go to littlechambermusic.com.
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