I’m gearing up for the big Vinko Globokar invasion I talked about in my December issue column www.thewholenote.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=40&Itemid=32 , starting tomorrow night (Friday Dec 9 at the Music Gallery) and culminating Sunday night (Dec 11) with New Music Concerts presentation “The World of Globokar” at the Betty Oliphant Theatre.
I wanted to add something to a comment I made in the column – I said anyone wanting insights into trombonist/composer Globokar’s work and mind should start with an interview he did with John Palmer http://cda-nt.concordia.ca/econtact/10_2/GlobokarVi_Palmer.html a couple of years back. Well this is to say there’s an even better place to start, for anyone with 45 minutes to spare, courtesy Paul Steenhuisen.
Many of you know Steenhuisen in his own right as a composer. Some of you will also remember him as the author of perhaps the best, sustained series of interviews “Composer to Composer” we ever ran in this magazine – fantastic chats between Steenhuisen and a veritable who’s who of, mainly Canadian, contemporary composers. The series went on to become a book, SONIC MOSAICS, published by University of Calgary Press, good news for Steenhuisen and book readers – not so good, alas, for us.
In one of those bone-headedly dog-in-the-mangerish moves that (particularly), academic publishers are prone to, we were required to obliterate all traces of the series of interviews from which the book arose from our website, thereby robbing the composers interviewed (and, dare I say it, the author of the book) of any hope of a contant trickle of already interested online WholeNote readers to the U of C Press website.
That being said (gee, it’s good to get it off my chest) Steenhuisen has now gone on to create a wonderful new (ongoing) series of interviews (of which the latest is one with Vinko Globokar), this time in a medium that transcends the limitations of print. Titled THE SOUNDLAB New Music Podcasts http://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/the-soundlab-new-music-podcast/id438086263 the series revolves around interviews, commissioned by New Music Concerts, that Steenhuisen has conducted with a growing list of composers, six to date, including Rick Sacks, Elliott Carter, Jonathan Harvey, Kee Yong Cho, and, of course, as mentioned before, Vinko Globokar.
The beauty of the medium is threefold: the interviews are vintage Steenhuisen (interested, agile, informed); they are edited and embedded in a considered voiced-over narrative; and, the icing on the cake, they include numerous sound samples of the actual music referenced in the course of the interview, not only works by the composer being interviewed, but seminal works by other composers arising in the conversation.
It’s an absolutely brilliant way of getting not only words about the music (guilty as charged!) but a priceless taste of the sounds themselves. No better time to check the SOUNDLAB series out than with the Globokar interview, prior to heading out for a weekend with the master himself.