Bringing together the medical and artistic worlds, and the worlds of children and adults, Inhale/Exhale presents major new works by composers Taylor Brook and Nova Pon that address their own life-experiences in birth and parenting. Taylor Brook’s Viola Concerto is entitled Provenances and is written for soloist Marina Thibeault and Turning Point Ensemble. The concerto explores the shared traumatic experiences of composer and soloist as recent parents, and is intended in part to “provide respite for other parents and children with similar experiences.” Nova Pon’s new piece, Symphonies of Mother and Child is a personal response to the various stages and emotions associated with the parenting of her first-born child including wonder, attempts at soothing, playfulness, togetherness and independence, calmness, and alarming growth. In addition, we are pleased to present Vancouver premieres of two compositions by Arcade Fire multi-instrumentalist Richard Reed Parry recently recorded on his debut album as a classical composer, Music for Heart and Breath. Parry’s intimate duet for viola and piano, and nonet for ensemble utilize basic body rhythms of the performers including heart beats and breathing. Please join us for an extraordinary program in the Chan Shun Concert Hall at UBC that transcends the boundaries of traditional concert experience.
*This concert is a co-presentation with the University of British Columbia
About Marina Thibeault
Violist Marina Thibeault’s “plangent tone and expressive phrasing” (The Strad) foreground a great richness in her playing that is on display across genres. Since being named Radio-Canada’s classical “Revelation” for 2016-2017, Marina has delighted audiences across Canada, the United States, and Europe with her elegant, spellbinding performances and engaging presence.
An accomplished soloist, Marina’s many performance highlights include Berlioz’s Harold in Italy with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal and the North American premiere of Peteris Vasks’s concerto with the Sinfonia Toronto.
Marina’s first album, Toquade, was released in April 2017 on the ATMA label, and was nominated by the ADISQ and Prix Opus for Album of the Year. Her critically-acclaimed 2020 JUNO award-nominated album ELLES honours groundbreaking female and non-binary composers from Clara Schumann to the present day.
A passionate advocate for women’s rights, Marina has utilized the broad-ranging ELLES project in various iterations to reach out to at-risk women and raise awareness for organizations that support this important cause. A certified Sivananda yoga instructor, Marina integrates mindfulness techniques into her teaching. When not playing the viola or spending time with her children Lucien and Tabea, Marina keeps her hands busy knitting, spinning and sewing. Marina would like to sincerely thank Canimex for their generous support.
About Taylor Brook
Taylor Brook writes music for the concert stage, electronic music, music for robotic instruments, as well as music for video, theatre, and dance.
Described as “gripping” and “engrossing” by the New York Times, Brook’s compositions have been performed around the world by ensembles and soloists such as the Ensemble Ascolta, JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Quatuor Bozzini, Talea Ensemble, and others.
Brook studied composition with Brian Cherney in Montreal, with Luc Brewaeys in Brussels, and with George Lewis and Georg Haas in New York. In 2008, he studied Hindustani music and performance with Debashish Bhattacharya in Kolkata. His music is often concerned with finely tuned microtonal sonorities.
In 2018 Brook completed a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in music composition at Columbia University with Fred Lerdahl and was a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow in music composition. Currently Brook is a Banting Fellow at the University and Victoria and the technical director of TAK ensemble.
Statement from Taylor Brook
Provenances is a concerto for the violist Marina Thibeault that reflects on our shared experiences and challenges around parenthood. I hope this music will be engaging for audiences of all ages, providing a reflective and immersive experience. Embedded in the piece are breathing patterns that invite audiences to connect physically with the music as the musicians synchronize their breath in performance.
About Nova Pon
In creating her music, Nova Pon (b. 1983) strives for evocations of ideas and experiences that are both deeply personal and humanly primal. Her degrees are from University of Calgary and University of British Columbia, and she continues to follow her curiosity in many fields. She has composed over fifty works across most genres, and her music has been performed on four continents. She won the Canadian Music Centre’s Emerging Composer Competition in 2015, and also was a Western Canadian Music Award nominee, and was the resident composer for Ethos Ensemble in that year. Performers of her music range from Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Kensington Sinfonia, Erato Ensemble, Ensemble Paramirabo, and Standing Wave Ensemble, to musicians like Mark McGregor, Jeremy Brown, and Luciance Cardassi, who have commissioned, collaborated on, and recorded her works, She is also a passionate teacher and flutist, residing with her husband and daughter on Bowen Island.
Statement from Nova Pon
Symphonies of Mother and Child is a intensely personal work inspired by my bond with my child, which was composed during our early years together. While the work is symphonic in some ways, the word “symphonies,” plural, in the title, actually refers to the older, broader connotation, from the Greek, of “sounding together.” Through the work, mother and child “sound together” through love and wonder, exploring, struggling, and brooding, as they learn to attune, to cherish, and to let go.
About Richard Reed Parry
As the red-headed polymath and multi-instrumentalist at the heart of the endlessly inventive art-rock band Arcade Fire, Richard Reed Parry has performed in front of immense crowds and sold millions of records across the world. But this is only one aspect of an artist whose unconventional trajectory has resulted in work that is as varied as it is surprising and unique.
In between the last few Arcade Fire world tours Parry has crafted an innovative debut record of solo compositions released in Summer 2014. Realized slowly and thoughtfully over a handful of years, Music for Heart and Breath is an exquisite collection of modern neo-classical pieces in which each note is played in synch with the heart rates or breathing rates of the performers, each musician generating their own tempo by listening to their pulse with a stethoscope during the performance. At times fragile, playful, sombre and intimate, these unique and stunning creations have been dreamt into life by Parry’s refreshing compositional approach and his own philosophical belief that music and nature – in this case the human body – can be, indeed are, explicitly linked.
Adding to the breadth of that picture, Parry has premiered a piece for Bang On a Can at the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York, created a surround-sound, sci-fi electronic composition for synths, voices and, yes, bicycles called Drones/Revelations, and collaborated on The National’s last two critically acclaimed albums.