Quasar Quartet – Sonic Territories

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Join Quasar quatuor de saxophones for their residency at the University of Alberta Department of Music! Culminating in their concert on February 5th featuring all Canadian works chosen from a massive nation-wide call:

Émilie Girard-Charest : Bestiaire
Jim O’Leary: Saxophone Quartet
Ofer Pelz: I need to hear it first
Rebecca Bruton: Mammalian Mother Tongues
Jean-Marc Bouchard : Cathédrale-Graffitis (with participation of UofA faculty and students!)

Concert Admission: $20 General, $10 Students and Seniors, Free for Dept. of Music Faculty and Students

All Other Events are FREE

Monday, February 4, 2019

  • 7:00 PM Graduate Composition Student Workshop, room 1-29

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

  • 8:00 PM Concert: Sonic Territories – Con Hall

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

  • 12:00 PM Masterclass – room 2-28
  • 3:00 PM Round Table: Composing Today: What? To What Ends? For Whom? Room Studio 2-7D
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Contempo + XiMe perform new student works

Please joins us for the end-of-term composers concert featuring undergraduate composers and improvisors.  These students have worked hard to create these brand new works.  Come out and support them!

Monday, Dec. 10, 7:30 PM
Convocation Hall, University of Alberta North Campus
FREE / Optional donation

Works by:

  • Isaac Earl
  • Michaela Morrow
  • Michelle Glen
  • Ashley Weskesser
  • Alex McNaughton
  • Noah McRobbie
  • Jackson Hunter
  • Sam Sfirri
  • Cornelious Cardw
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Contempo (New Music Ensemble) Concert

Active since 2000, the Department of Music’s student ensemble “contempo” will be presenting its annual fall concert on Friday, November 23 at 7:30 PM in Convocation Hall. The concert will feature music composed in the last 40 years by international and Canadian composers. All are welcome to listen to a great variety of sounds, shapes, and dramatic gestures.

Contempo is co-directed by Roger Admiral and Andriy Talpash.

Works include Everything You Own Has Been Taken To A Depot SomewhereDifficulties Putting Into Practice, Workers UnionTinkleberries,  ÆTher, and more.

Admission is free. All are welcome

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Welcome to the 2018-19 academic year!

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to a new academic cycle!  For those who are new here, this site is maintained by the composition area, and represents the latest information about the current year’s activities.  Note that the music department pages are still the official location for general music department info, so please make sure you get to know that site as well.  Please note: all dates for student concerts and events are listed in the sidebar (which are subject to change). Please check this site often for updates and reminders!


This year’s new and returning student orientation will be on Thursday, Sept. 30. The current schedule is as follows:

  • 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM Graduate Student Orientation, FAB Studio 2-7
  • 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM Undergraduate Student Orientation, Convocation Hall
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Orientation to the Composition program, as well as new music ensembles, Studio 27-D in the Fine Arts Building (behind Studio 27)
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Graduate Composition Concert

Please join us for an evening of new works for violin + electronics, and string quartet.  Featuring works by graduate student composers Micah Hussell, Thomas Merklinger, Will Northlich-Redmond, Deepak Paramashivan, and Mark Segger.  Performed by Laura Veeze (violin), Yue Deng (violin), Leanne Maitland (viola), and Amy Nicholson (cello), and directed by Andriy Talpash.

Thursday April 19th
7:30 p.m. Convocation Hall

Admission by donation.

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Fishes, electronics, cats, and saturn

An eclectic concert hosted collaboratively by XiMe (U of A’s Experimental Improvisation Ensemble), Contempo Ensemble, MUSIC 470/570 Composition and Sonic Arts 2, and MUSIC 260 Composition.

Thirteen new works by Undergrad and Graduate composers will be premiered by UofA’s Department of Music ensembles XiMe and Contempo. Also Emily Casavant and Isael Huard will perform their own work, and the unique Will Northlich-Redmond will close the night with a memorable XiMe performance.

Join us! we promise there will be multichannel sound diffusion, fishes, interactive electronics, cats, trios, quartets, new conducting techniques, free improvisation, video scores, and even composers having nightmares with Saturn.

XiMe 2018 is Malaya BishopAshley WeckesserSean BorleGreg MulykThomas Woodrow MartinRio Houle & Jackson Hunter

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Miguel Bellusci and the music of Mauricio Kagel

We are very excited to host a talk this Wednesday (March 21) by the renowned Argentinian conductor and composer Miguel Bellusci, who will perform selections from Kagel’s Die Stücke der Windrose as part of New Music Edmonton’s 7th festival of new music (Holy Trinity Church, 7:30 p.m., March 23). The concert also features a work for string quartet and electronics by our own doctoral composition student Nicolás Arnáez, performed by the Vaughan String Quartet. It finishes with the world premiere of a Kagelian musical theatre piece by Bellusci himself.

Composer Mauricio Kagel, who was born in Buenos Aires in 1931 and passed away in Cologne in 2008, lived the first 26 of his 77 years in his home city and the next 51 in Germany. In Argentina, Kagel was often considered a German composer, while in Germany, although his name had a prestige that broadly overcame his biographical data, he was frequently associated with his native home of Argentina. Elsewhere he often simply placed in the blurry category of “Latin American” composer.

For this talk, entitled “The Argentine in Kagel,” Bellusci will trace the Argentinian elements of his works, an orientation which is essential in understanding his music.  Through diverse pieces such as Der Tribun, Mare Nostrum, Die Stücke der Windroseor, Tango alemán, and others, Bellusci will immerse us in Kagel’s unique musical universe, including his formative years in Argentina which shaped his unique and distinctive style.  Bellusci will also touch on his own work as it relates to the concert on Friday, March 23, which will be presented as part of Now Hear This!, the 7th New Music Edmonton Festival of New Music.

Talk:  Wednesday, March 21, 4-5 PM
University of Alberta, Fine Arts Building, room 2-28
FREE and open the the public

Concert:  Friday, March 23, 7:30 PM
Holy Trinity Anglican Church (10037 84 Ave NW)
Buy tickets here (student rates available)

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Echo of Nothing: Faculty Composers Concert 2018

Please join us for an evening of new works by University of Alberta faculty composers.

Faculty composers, Howard Bashaw, Mark Hannesson, Scott Smallwood and Andriy Talpash with new works for Guillaume Tardif, Roger Admiral, and the Edmonton Saxophone Quartet.

March 9, 2018 @ 7 30 PM
Timms Centre

Get Tickets Here

“Every something is an echo of nothing” ― John Cage


  • WIDDENDREAMS | Andriy Talpash
  • WHERE THE BULL DOZES | Scott Smallwood
  • UNDECLARED | Mark Hannesson
  • 12 FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO (2017) | Howard Bashaw


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Salomé Voegelin Talk: Performing Audible Fragment of Political Possibility

The Sound Studies Initiative pleased to host Dr. Salomé Voegelin.

Salomé Voegelin is an artist and writer engaged in listening as a socio-political practice. Her work deals with the aesthetic, social and political realities that are hidden by the persuasiveness of a visual point of view. She is the author of Listening to Noise and Silence: Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art, Bloomsbury 2010, and Sonic Possible Worlds: Hearing the Continuum of Sound, Bloomsbury 2014. Voegelin is a Reader in Sound Arts at the London College of Communication, UAL.

When: Tuesday, February 13th at 3:30 p.m.
Where: Studio 2-7, Fine Arts Building
Light refreshments provided

This talk is an attempt at performing rather than presenting the fragments that make up a collection of essays on The Political Possibility of Sound, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2018.

An essay is an improvisation, a trial of material that is not necessarily good or complete. Its porous and contingent nature forgives a lack of formality while the absence of good style and the neglect of technological perfection or virtuosity releases the potential for the incomplete and the unrealizable. Through its improvisatory and ‘non-virtuous’ nature it lends itself to performance rather than a lecture: to make unexpected connections and juxtapositions that reveal a different way things could be thought.

This performance of essayistic fragments practices rather than articulates between sonic cosmopolitanism and impossible geographies, between the indivisible volume of an auditory world, the speculative reality of the invisible and the audible and inaudible subjectivities that inhabit its sonic depth. It agitates sound’s potential for interdisciplinarity and works across concerns to highlight the sonic in-between: sound is not ‘this’ or ‘that’, but is what things are together and thus it encourages a different thinking about the possibilities of the political.

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Music Through The Eyes – XiMe in concert

Join us in a evening of graphic scores and free improvisation.
Music by:

Earle Brown, Isael Huard, Rio Houle, Greg Mulyk and Emily Casavant.

Performed by XiMe 2017:
– Malaya Bishop, Throat singing and other delights.
– Ashley Weckesser, Cello and surprising hits.
– Jackson Hunter, Percussion and found objects.
– Rio Houle, Drumming things and maybe piano.
– Greg Mulyk, Violin and electronics.
– Sean Borle, Djembe and something else.
– Thomas Woodrow Martin, Clarinet and surprises.
– Nico Arnáez, Double bass and mallets.

Doors 6:30, concert at 7:00. Convocation hall. Entrance by donation.

Monday, Dec. 11.  University of Alberta.

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