New music — and beyond
New Music Festival includes U of M musicians and scholars on theme “Beyond”
January 31, 2014 — Playing off music icon Frank Zappa’s declaration that “Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music. Music is the best,” this year’s WSO New Music Festival explores the theme “Beyond” through unusual music, art and scholarship. The 23rd annual festival showcases its final events on Jan. 30.
The world renowned Winnipeg festival regularly features Desautels Faculty of Music musicians — students, faculty and alumni — and this year is no different. The University Singers performed some of the music, as did the university’s string, flute and wind ensembles. Last night, music composition student Zack Bales performed along with U of M music alumnus Sarah Kirsch. Tonight the XIE, the eXperimental Improv Ensemble directed by Gordon Fitzell, performs as part of the pre-concert at 7:15.
In addition to including several university musicians, this year it’s added additional events to explore the theme.
One such event is a panel that will precede the evening of music on Friday evening. Both of the musical pieces imagine other dimensions: Four Seasons Recomposed by Max Richter rewrites the past by reworking Vivaldi’s iconic work The Four Seasons; Valentin Silvestrov’s Requiem for Larissa, written in memory of his late wife, imagines the afterlife.
The panel, which takes place at 6:00 p.m. at part of the pre-concert, takes as its topic a “wide range of the ‘beyond’ from pure science to belief.” It features Shelley Sweeney, head, U of M Archives & Special Collections, associate professor of physics and astronomy Jayanne English and writer, alumnus and ufologist Chris Rutkowski.
Science writer, educator and ufologist Chris Rutkowski, an alumnus employed at the university as a media communications officer, will speak on how the term “paranormal” itself means “beyond normal experience.” With a background in astronomy, he’s been studying reports of UFOs and writing about his investigations and research and has published eight books including The Big Book of UFOs (2010). Rutkowski believes that we are now in the “Steven Spielberg Generation — able to visually interpret the universe in a different way, imagining fantastical things in ways not technically possible by previous generations.”
Find out more about this event here…