Trade Winds (DOUBLE CD)
Disc One explores the musical ties between Canada and Japan — a theme that Rachel and Mark McGregor have great affection for, given that they’re both Hapa (a mixture of Japanese and Western heritage). This cultural exchange is explored from a number of angles: Japanese composers with ties to Canada, Canadian composers of Japanese lineage, and Canadian composers of Western heritage who had been influenced by some aspect of Japanese culture. Works include staples of the 20th century flute/piano repertoire by Toru Takemitsu and Jo Kondo, as well as new and recent works by Canadian composers Kara Gibbs, Elliot Weisgarber, Anthony Genge, Hiroki Tsurumoto, and Derek Charke.
Disc Two showcases the music of three generations of West Coast Canadian composers: Jean Coulthard, Paul M. Douglas, and Christopher Kovarik. These works continue in the vein of Brahms, Mahler, and Debussy, reveling in lush harmonic tapestries and unabashed lyricism. Both programmes are incredibly diverse, ranging from the dissonant savagery of Derek Charke’s Distant Voices to the virtuosic post-Romanticism of Christopher Kovarik’s Sonata for Flute and Piano to the Asian-inflected melodies of Elliot Weisgarber and Paul M. Douglas.
Performers: TIRESIAS – Mark McGregor, flute; Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, piano
Cover art: The Hideous birds by Mark Takeshi McGregor
Photography: S.D. Holman: www.sdholman.com, Jack McKeown (McGregor)
Design: Thinksavvy Designs: www.thinksavvy.com
Translation: Helen Money, Caroline Gauthier
Producers: Emma Laín Fernandez, Mark Takeshi McGregor and Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa
Recorded at: Rolston Recital Hall, Music & Sound Program, Banff Centre For The Arts, Alberta, March 3-5, 2012.
Studio manager: Chris Segnitz
Engineer: Emma Laín Fernandez
Assistant Engineer: Zana Corbett
Digital editing, mastering: Emma Laín Fernandez
Director of audio: Theresa Leonard
Producers: Emma Lain Fernandez, David Simpson, Mark Takeshi McGregor and Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa
Studio manager: David Simpson
Engineer: David Simpson
Digital editing, mastering: Emma Lain Fernandez
Recorded at: Roy Barnett Recital Hall, University of British Columbia School Of Music, Vancouver, BC, Aug 18 – Dec 19, 2008.
Trade Winds is dedicated to Kazuo Iwaasa and Aya McGregor.
1-3. Untitled Scenes: Two Remembered and One Imagined – Kara Gibbs
4. Kasa (Halo of the Moon) – Anthony Genge
5-8. Miyako Sketches – Elliot Weisgarber
9. Walk – Jo Kondo
10. murmur – Hiroki Tsurumoto
11. Piano Distance – Toru Takemitsu
12. Voice for solo flute – Toru Takemitsu
13-14. Distant Voices – Derek Charke
1-3. Sonata for Flute and Piano – Christopher Kovarik
4. Yong – Paul M. Douglas
5-6. Deux Souvenirs – Paul M. Douglas
7-9. Second Piano Sonata – Jean Coulthard
10-12. Lyric Sonatina for Flute and Piano – Jean Coulthard
This recording was made possible through the assistance of the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Coulthard Fund, issued by the University of British Columbia School of Music, and the National Association of Japanese Canadians.
TK428 © 2013 Redshift Music
Hailed by the Globe and Mail for their “tremendous flair and intensity,” Tiresias Duo was formed by flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa in 2002. A blind seer from Greek mythology, Tiresias was transformed from man to woman and back again by supernatural means. S/he symbolizes what Iwaasa and McGregor have set out to accomplish: to speak from two very different perspectives with a single voice, to provide fresh perspectives and insights into conventional chamber music programmes, and to anticipate the future trajectories of the chamber music genre through working with composers and artists from various disciplines. Tiresias Duo has performed extensively throughout Western Canada; they have been featured at the Western Canadian Music Awards, New Works Calgary, Powell Street Festival, the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Tiresias Duo has commissioned numerous works by a diverse roster of Canadian composers, including Jennifer Butler, Simon Martin, Jocelyn Morlock, Jeffrey Ryan, and Rodney Sharman. Their first CD, Delicate Fires, was released in 2007 and was nominated for “Outstanding Classical Album” at the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards. In 2013 Tiresias Duo released their second album, Trade Winds, a double disc set featuring the music of Canadian and Japanese composers, including Toru Takemitsu, Derek Charke, Anthony Genge, Jean Coulthard, Hiroki Tsurumoto, Elliot Weisgarber, Jo Kondo, and Christopher Kovarik — an effort praised by WholeNote Magazine as being “unerringly good.”
Tiresias Duo: flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa (Photo Credit: SD Holman)