Delving into the subconscious

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Thu Feb 23 2:28pm

When selecting each year's Special Projects, the panel does its best to choose projects which are well-spaced-out, so that there is time to build the marketing strategy for each show. Usually, it works; sometimes, less so. While the next two Special Projects are separated by just a few days, they are two very different events.

Today I'll cover Spectrum Music's presentation of Tales of the Unconscious, March 4 at Knox Presbyterian Church; next week I'll tackle The Further Adventures of Jazz Money (March 8 at The Rex).

Spectrum Music was formed in 2010 as a way to explore and encourage interaction between the local jazz and classical worlds. I've been excited to see the group - more of a collective of composers and musicians than an ensemble - grow artistically and in its mandate over the past seven years. Now at a Spectrum presentation you are likely to see emerging and veteran talent, from a variety of musical communities, sharing the stage. Spectrum concerts are guaranteed to be unique - where else would the audience be invited to help make the music by literally physically interacting with the musicians (like with their Interface project)?

For Tales of the Unconscious, Spectrum draws inspiration from dreams and the subconscious: why do we dream? What makes up the content of our dreams? As with all Spectrum concerts, repertoire is made up of contributions from a regular collective of composers: Shannon Graham’s piece Bedtime Stories uses poetry inspired by 3 of her own dreams to evoke dreamscapes; Jay Vazquez’s Cuadros is a three-movement piece based on paintings by Mexican artists; Chelsea McBride’s In My Heart is a heartfelt, honest statement about love that remains throughout the years; and Artistic Associate Ben McCarroll-Butler’s The Night is Gone, the Light is Near tells the story of a simple dream of hope.

Of particular interest for this concert is the inclusion of Musicata, a 28-voice chamber choir from Hamilton, whose mandate includes the performance of world premieres and more contemporary works. I look forward to hearing how the four featured composers approach writing for chamber choir and the outstanding jazz trio of Mike Murley (saxophone), Chris Pruden (piano) and Andrew Downing (bass). Having been to other Spectrum performances, I'm quite sure I don't know what to expect, other than an excellent evening of music.

Join us on March 4th at Knox Presbyterian Church for the second of four 2017 TD Discovery Series Special Projects presentations. Complete Tales of the Unconscious details - including a pre-concert chat with a dream analyst - are available here.

Josh