Aventa Ensemble – Northern Lights

Fitzell, Magnanensi, and Saariaho

1. evanescence Gordon Fitzell (11:44)
2. Lied • TDU / FS Giorgio Magnanensi (11:21)
3. Techno Messiah: Zoom | Richter | Langsam | Pop Gordon Fitzell (17:54) (Mark Takeshi McGregor, flute)
4. Lichtbogen Kaija Saariaho (18:02)
Total duration: 56:24

Aventa Ensemble
Bill Linwood, conductor; Mark Takeshi McGregor, flute; Russell Bajer, oboe; AK Coope, clarinet; Jenny Gunter, bassoon; Darnell Linwood, horn; Corey Rae, percussion; Roger Admiral, piano; Muge Buyukcelen/Cory Balzer, violin; Mieka Michaux, viola; Alasdair Money, cello; Darren Buhr, doublebass; Gordon Fitzell/Giorgio Magnanensi, live electronics

Produced by Aventa Ensemble
Live in concert:
Evanescence:  May 14, 2015, Victoria, BC
Lied • TDU / FS:  Nov. 8, 2017, Vancouver (ISCM2017)
Techno Messiah:  Zoom | Richter | Langsam | Pop: Mar. 4 2018. Victoria, BC
Lichtbogen: Nov. 4, 2007, Victoria, BC

Digital Editing and Mastering: Bill Linwood
CD design: Denise Burt, Elevator Graphics
Cover Artwork: Denise Burt
Commissions: Aventa gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts in the commissioning of Lied • TDU / FS and Techno Messiah:  Zoom | Richter | Langsam | Pop
Special Thanks: Kirk McNally (University of Victoria); Wise Music Classical; Edition Wilhelm Hansen; Canadian Music Centre; David Pay (Music on Main)

Northern Lights is available from:

TK502 © 2021 Redshift Music

Albums by Aventa Ensemble

Canadian composer Gordon Fitzell has worked with a diverse range of ensembles including eighth blackbird (USA), Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain (France), BIT20 Ensemble (Norway), ensemble mosaik (Germany), and PianOrquestra (Brazil). His music has been conducted by Robert Aitken, Daniel Kawka, Véronique Lacroix, Reinbert de Leeuw and Bramwell Tovey, and has been performed at international festivals such as the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (England), the Pan Music Festival (South Korea), the Tanglewood Music Festival (USA), and the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Germany).   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Fitzell

evanescence (2001-2006) is an interactive work for chamber ensemble and live electronics based on my 2001 work violence, originally commissioned by American sextet eighth blackbird with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts. In writing the piece I was interested in exploring the concept of aesthetic violence. My concern was not with representational violence, but with the violence inherent in the very structure of an art object. Which elements conspire to wage aesthetic war in a work of art? How do issues of syntax, perspective, temporality, ideology and technology help foster such a conflict? Is aesthetic violence chaotic or organized? Is it destructive or constructive? Is it repulsive or alluring? How is conflict sublimated? – Gordon Fitzell

Zoom | Richter | Langsam | Pop  is a direct outgrowth of my collaborations with Aventa Ensemble artistic director Bill Linwood and flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor. As musicians, we have worked together many times. In this case, however, I drew inspiration from our shared love of visual art. I therefore decided to focus on painting—specifically the work of German artist Gerhard Richter. Richter’s intuitive, multi-layered approach to abstract painting informs many aspects of Zoom’s musical construction, including that of the audio electronics, the video, and the acoustic instrumental parts. A second (and seemingly incongruous) aspect of the work is its basis on the electronic synth-pop music of Düsseldorf from the 1970s and 80s. Dubbed the “Memphis of electronic music” and the “Mississippi Delta of electronica,” the city gave birth to a plethora of pioneering bands. These artists, such as Kraftwerk and Neu!, emerged from the underground experimental music scene—“ krautrock,” as it came to be known—of what was otherwise a rather unassuming German city. As with the quietly radical abstract painting of Richter, certain aspects of this deceptively simple music are reflected in Zoom. These two iconic artistic expressions—Richter’s abstract paintings and West German synth-pop music—are admittedly markedly different. But Düsseldorf was becoming a cultural hub, of sorts, where artists of wildly different styles seemed to share a collective pioneering spirit. And whose atelier was next door to Kraftwerks’ famed Kling Klang Studio in the 1970s? None other than Gerhard Richter’s. – Gordon Fitzell

Born and raised in Italy, Giorgio Magnanensi currently lives in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. His diverse artistic practice includes composition, conducting, improvisation, sound art, circuit–bending and video art. From the early 80’s to date he has been working as a composer, conductor, educator, and performer in Europe, Japan and Canada. Recipient of the Mayor’s Arts Award 2017 in Music, Giorgio is artistic director of Vancouver New Music, Laboratorio Arts Society and lecturer at the School of Music of The Vancouver Community College.

Lied • TDU / FS (2017) uses collage techniques and assemblage of heterogeneous forms with a programmatic character. The fragmented nature of these events underlines their character of work in progress: a sort of tale without beginning and ending, a permeable space asserting its non-obstruction to diverse voices, fragments and oneiric sound and video-scapes.  Lied • TDU / FS is dedicated to Bill Linwood.  – Giorgio Magnanensi  giorgiomagnanensi.com

Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish composers and performers who are now, in mid-career, making a worldwide impact. She studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg and Paris, where she has lived since 1982. Her studies and research at IRCAM have had a major influence on her music and her characteristically luxuriant and mysterious textures are often created by combining live music and electronics.

“The name Lichtbogen stems from Northern Lights which I saw in the Arctic sky when starting to work with this piece. When looking at the movements of these immense, silent lights which run over the black sky, first ideas concerning the form and language for the piece started to move in my mind. What is the dependence – and does it exist at all? – between this phenomenon of nature and my piece, I don’t know.” – Kaija Saariaho

Mark Takeshi McGregor
Described by the press as a musician of “huge physical energy,” Mark Takeshi McGregor is flutist of the Aventa Ensemble and an outspoken advocate of new music. He has given the premiere performances of Anna Höstman’s flute concerto Trace the Gold Sun with the Victoria Symphony, Turmalin for solo flute by the Danish composer Anders Nordentoft, and has commissioned new works by composers as diverse as Michael Finnissy, Nicole Lizée, Paul Steenhuisen, and Michael Oesterle. He has performed across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel, including appearances at Festival Montréal-Nouvelles Musique, Music Gallery (Toronto), Vancouver New Music Festival, New Works Calgary, Athelas New Music Festival (Copenhagen), and the Internationale A•DEvantgarde-Festival (Munich). McGregor’s discography includes Delicate Fires (2007) and Trade Winds (2013) with Tiresias Duo, his decade-long collaboration with pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa; Different Stones: Canadian Music for Multiple Flutes (2009), featuring works for ten flutes by Canadian composers; and Sins & Fantasies (2013), a showcase of new works by Dorothy Chang, Gregory Lee Newsome, Owen Underhill, Jocelyn Morlock, James Beckwith Maxwell, and Benton Roark, each inspired by one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Sins & Fantasies was nominated for Classical Recording of the Year at the 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards. marktakeshimcgregor.com

With a reputation for superb performance and ambitious programming, Aventa has established itself as one of Canada’s leading contemporary music ensembles. Comprised of musicians who are passionate about new music and its place in our culture, Aventa pushes musical boundaries through diverse projects, collaboration, and cultural exchange. https://aventa.ca/