David Jaeger is featured on Vintage Americana, a new release on the Navona Records label

CEE founding member David Jaeger is featured on Vintage Americana, a new release on the Navona Records label.

A work that was composed by David Jaeger in 1979, during the first decade of the CEE, Quivi Sospiri for solo piano and live electronics has been included in a new release of 20th Century works for piano, performed by Toronto piano virtuoso Christina Petrowska Quilico. The work was originally composed for a concert presented by the CEE, and remained in the active touring repertoire of the CEE for many years. Petrowska Quilico, a brilliant, internationally acclaimed piano soloist has championed the work and has recorded it several times.

Essentially a tone poem depicting the third canto of Dante’s famous poem, Inferno (the first part of his Divine Comedy,) Quivi Sospiri was inspired by the qualities described by Dante as his protagonists in the poem enter the gates of hell. As the journey begins, the poet’s imagery is limited to sonic artifacts alone, due to the pitch blackness inside those terrible gates. This is the only time in the great poem where Dante uses no visual imagery. Jaeger felt this circumstance was a perfect opportunity to create a sonic landscape for performance by solo piano and live electronics.

The solo piano part of Quivi Sospiri is fashioned in a manner not too far removed from Romantic piano repertoire, taking advantage of Petrowska Quilico’s extensive experience with the virtuoso repertoire of that much earlier period. The writing for the electronic components of the work complements the virtuosity of the piano part, supporting it and amplifying its progress in the telling of the dark sonic tale.

Quivi Sospiri was included in the Navona album by Petrowska Quilico, along with works by American composers Lowell Liebermann, David Del Tredici, Frederic Rzewski, Mario Davidovsky and Paul Huebner, all composers who were active in the contemporary American music scene in the 20th Century. Jaeger, who was born and raised bu the USA before moving to Toronto in 1970, has had relatively little visibility as an American composer. His profile is much more strongly associated with Canadian music, and in particular, with the CEE.

Vintage Americana, was released by Navona Records in November of 2021, The catalogue number is Navona nv6384. CBC Music included the album in its list of top classical releases of the year 2021. The link for the complete list is: https://www.cbc.ca/music/canada-s-top-21-classical-albums-of-2021-1.6261267 The album is available on most of the popular digital music services as either streamed audio or as a download.

CEE gets the modular treatment

The Canadian Electronic Ensemble is the featured artist on Modulisme, a web site, blog and magazine created and maintained in France by Philippe Petit.


Here’s the link: https://modulisme.info/session/53


There’s wonderful stuff here in all three formats and it will reward an extensive browse after, of course, you’ve enjoyed the CEE. All the audio tracks are previously unreleased material. Enjoy.

CMU releases CEE’s Steiner Lecture

The CEE presented the Steiner Lecture in Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University on February 26, 2020. The event, moderated by Prof. Alexa Woloshyn, provided background on current members and some individual takes on the creative process.

New music for accordion by David Jaeger

Saturday evening at 8 Eastern, concert accordionist Joseph Petric will be presented performing on Vimeo Live. One of the pieces he’s playing is the World Premiere of a work David Jaeger was involved in co-composing, Spirit Cloud for accordion and electronic sounds. Here’s the link: https://livestream.com/accounts/15801205/events/9559455

This piece began its life as a ‘cello solo, and many of you have heard Constable’s Clouds performed by one of more of several ‘cellists who play the work. Spirit Cloud is an outgrowth of that earlier ‘cello composition.

The CEE 50th Approaches

It seems like only yesterday (actually, it seems like a hell of a long time ago) that the CEE presented its first-ever concert to a large group of startled, bemused and enthralled junior-high students in the spring of 1972. Our plans to celebrate have just begun, but the centerpiece will be a 5-album set featuring unreleased material from the intervening years, new projects and new individual projects from all the current members. Given the time-honored traditions of such an august group, there will have to be at least one major performance and subsequent drink-em-up, but the shape of said event will depend on how soon we escape the COVID cave. Stay tuned, or logged on, or whatever it is you kids say today.

While we’re discussing things historical, check out David Jaeger’s concise history of new music in Toronto in the ‘70’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3aHkaMsVAk

PS: a closing historical note. To our American friends: condolences on the events of January 6 and following, and a gentle suggestion: if you are going to insist on having Republicans, please ensure they come equipped with spines.

The PtT Project (Pass the Track)

After the high of the CMU residency, we returned to Toronto at the end of February just in time for the Coronavirus crisis. As the reality of social isolation and physical distancing set in, we decided to try doing some music while maintaining our isolation. The result: the PtT project. Here’s the order of track creation for each part of the project.

  • PtT-1: Paul, John, Jim, Rose, David J., David S.
  • PtT-2: Jim, David S, Rose, David J, John, Paul
  • PtT-3: David S, Rose, David J, John, Paul, Jim
  • PtT-4: Rose, Paul, John, Jim, David S, David J.
  • PtT-5: John, David J, Paul, David S, Jim, Rose
  • PtT-6: David J, Jim, David S, Paul, Rose, John

Here’s two of the resulting projects; PtT-1 and PtT-5 with visuals by Intrepita (Paul Stillwell). Enjoy.

PtT-5 was initiated by John, followed by: David J (Darth), Paul, David S. (Suds), Jim (Mudfish) and Rose (band rule; you have to be over 60 to have a pseudonym). Everybody hears the tracks as they’re produced and can then think about a response. John’s stark opening vocal track was a shoku.  By the time it got to me, Darth, Paul and Suds had each taken the project in new and deeper directions. What could I add to an already rich project?  I decided to relax, and just – breathe. Paul’s video is the exhalation of our combined inspiration – or something.

Mudfish

CEE Residency at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music

It was an intense, eye-opening, tremendously satisfying four days, beginning with rehearsals with the Exploded Ensemble in the magnificently equipped Media Center and ending with a concert in the equally well-equipped Kresge Theatre.  A great treat was the addition of the brilliant improvising violinist Pauline Kim Harris (whose concert with Jesse Styles, guru of the EE, packed the club where they performed the previous evening. Pretty cool scene in Pittsburgh). We were very pleased that the concert included, as well as our collaborations with the EE, beautiful performances of Larry Lake’s Psalm for oboe and tape with Hannah Senft as soloist and David jaeger’s Sarabande for viola and live delay processing with violist Sara Frankel.  Along the way, we collectively presented the Steiner Lecture in Creative Inquiry and four workshops:

              Rose Bolton: Electronic Music making for Women and non-binary Individuals

              John Kameel Farah: Approaches to Piano Improvisation

              David Jaeger and Jim Montgomery: Composing with Electronic Instruments

              Paul Stillwell and David Sutherland: Modular Synthesis 101

The CEE concert performances and our collaborations with the EE are being prepared for release. We’ll let you know.

The CEE: 2020 edition

Rose Bolton was back from her very productive leave of absence just in time to prepare for our residency at Carnegie Mellon University in February. David Sutherland has become an integral voice in the group and so the full sextet set off to Pittsburgh in February. Some amazing music happened in and around the seminars and workshops especially our collaborative performances with CMU’s Exploded Ensemble. The results of those sessions are being prepared for release.