CEE Book Party and Performance, October 19

The Canadian Electronic Ensemble (CEE) and the Canadian Music Centre – Ontario region co-host the book launch of An Orchestra at My Fingertips: A History of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble by Dr. Alexa Woloshyn.

Published this summer by McGill-Queens University Press, An Orchestra at My Fingertips is the first detailed study of the history, music and legacy of the CEE. Covering the Ensemble since its inception, and drawing on extensive interviews with group members, Alexa Woloshyn provides unique insight into the musicians that make up the group as well as analysis of the CEE’s compositions, commissions, and improvisation and performance practice. An Orchestra at My Fingertips speaks to the global development and transformation of live electronic music through the history of a group that has been a consistently innovative voice in Canada and beyond.

Join us for live improvisations by the CEE and a discussion of Dr. Woloshyn’s book with the author.

Tickets are PWYC and reservations are requested. Here’s the direct link: Buy: CEE Book Party and Performance – Thursday, October 19, 2023 (salesforce-sites.com)

Thursday, October 19, Chalmers House, Toronto
Door: 7:30pm, Performance: 8pm. PWYC. Cash bar.

CEE at the IMOO Fest, October 13

The CEE quartet will be closing out the first night of the 2023 installment of Ottawa’s IMOO Fest on Friday, October 13 at 10 pm. Details on the full festival location, artists and performance times are available on their website: https://www.improvisedmoo.com/imoo-fest-2023/

This iteration of the quartet will include John Kameel Farah, David Jaeger, Jim Montgomery and David Sutherland. If you find yourself in the Ottawa area, check it out; the festival presents a stellar line-up of excellent improvisers.

New Album! Pass the Track now available on Bandcamp

Pass the Track, the CEE’s newest album, will be available on Bandcamp starting Friday, April 7. 2023. On the first Friday of a month throughout 2023, bands will receive 100% profit from their sales made on the platform – forgoing all fees that would typically be taken out.

In March of 2020. The COVID pandemic was becoming entrenched. 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. Tracks were recorded by each CEE member, and then passed on to the others. 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, Joh

Please check out the album: https://thecee.bandcamp.com/album/pass-the-track

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.