Ann Southam

Ann Southam

Boat, River, Moon

for soprano, flute, percussion and tape (1967) 8′

Friday 8 July, 2022
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»Boat, River, Moon« was commissioned for a modern dance, choreographed by David Earle of the Toronto Dance Theatre and was first performed in September of that year. The general format of the music – divided into four sections – follows the narrative of the dance, but the rhythm within each of the sections, that is to say the change in flow of tension and energy in the sound, is not meant to parallel or duplicate the movement of the dancers, but rather to explore the drama of the dance in its own time. The dance itself is constructed in Noh Theatre form and presents the allegory that the three aspects of ourselves – the warrior (mind), the woman (senses), and the priest (spirit) – are at war with each other and where one is weakened, the whole is vulnerable and oblivion reclaims us. 52 // Freitag 8. Juli Freitag 8. JuIi // 53 »Boat, River, Moon« was composed in 1972 at the Electronic Music Studios of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Equipment used for the realization of the music involved two small Putney synthesizers with keyboards, six additional sine-square oscillators, three two-channel Revox tape records and two four-input, single-output mixers.

Ann Southam (b. Winnipeg 1937, d. Toronto 2010) completed her musical studies at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music in the early 1960’s. She began a teaching and composing career which included a long and productive association with modern dance. As well as creating music for some of Canada’s major modern dance companies and choreographers including The Toronto Dance Theatre, DanceMakers, and Rachel Browne, she was an instructor in electronic music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. While a great deal of her work was electroacoustic music on tape, in her later years she became increasingly interested in music for acoustic instruments. Ann Southam’s work was commissioned through the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the CBC, and has been performed in Canada, Europe and the U.S. She is a member of the Canadian Music Centre and a founding member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers. She was the recipient of the Friends of Canadian Music Award in 2001. Ann Southam passed away November 25, 2010.

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