Brackishwater: New Works for Brass by Faculty Composers


Admission for this concert is Pay-What-You-Can at the door.

This concert is also being Livestreamed free of charge. Find the link in the tab below.

Brackishwater: New Works for Brass by Faculty Composers

September 11, 2022
3:00 PM | Convocation Hall

Pieces by: 

Scott Smallwood, Mark Hannesson, Andriy Talpash, Heather Hindman, Nicolás Arnáez


Bok Brass (Joel Gray - trumpet, Russell Whitehead - trumpet, Megan Evans - French Horn, Alden Lowrey - trombone, Hannah Gray - tuba)

The University of Alberta Music Composition Area is thrilled to present five premiered pieces for Brass Quintet in collaboration with Edmonton own Bok Quintet. Exploring the theme of water, life, tension, deception, protest and environmental culture these works explore new sonorities through traditional acoustic settings, octophonic electroacoustic real-time sound processing and live electronics. 

Program & Notes

1. Heather Hindman, Fanfare for an Uncommon Person  (ca. 7 mins)

This piece celebrates the silent but fiercely dedicated stewards of the ocean on Canada’s west coast. These everyday people who live with, rather than in their environment, are amongst the first to sound the alarm in defence of environmental intrusions on their home, their waters and their communities. The piece, kitschly based around 3 time-stretched pitches of Copland’s ubiquitous Fanfare, embraces unity, slowly grating forward together, and relentless voices rising above the noise.

2. Mark Hannesson, 8 Count (open duration)

3. Nicolás Arnáez, Antes (ca. 7 mins)

Waiting for answers and resolutions, implying outcomes, mixed sensations, subjective debates. Giving everything for it and then expecting. Would it happen? Are we successful? What if we are!? Spray of existence!

What if we aren’t?…. lifeless waters…

4. Andriy Talpash, Cousteau’s Ripples – Four Images from the Ozero (ca. 9 mins)

The famous oceanographer, filmmaker, author, and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) produced over 120 television documentaries dedicated to ocean ecosystems, marine life, and their preservation. These documentaries left a deep impression on me, and I am continuously reminded of Cousteau’s efforts when reading or watching the news discussing the effects of global warming. In this piece for brass quintet, I look to a seemingly more innocent time: some memories of time spent on Wabamun Lake as an adolescent. (A.T.)

5. Scott Smallwood, Aquacultures: for brass quintet and octophonic soundscape (ca. 20 mins)

i. the warming
ii. excursions
iii. beluga
iv. cove
v. shrimp
vi. farewell
vii. the depths

In contemplating the word Aquaculture, which normally refers to the industry of fisheries and the human consumption of seafood, I wonder about the word as a more general term for cultures who rely on water, human and otherwise. What is the culture of the creatures we refer to as seafood? How can we understand the importance of water, and all of the diverse life it cultivates?

The sounds in this piece are, in some cases, recordings of actual water and underwater environments, including the sounds of animals. These recordings were collected by the composer in Colorado and Washington in the US, the Northwest Territories and Nova Scotia in Canada, and Brisbane, Australia; Other sounds are inspired by water, its fluidity, its necessity, and its mystery.

This concert is a part of the Department of Music's 2022-2023 Faculty & Friends Series.


Music News

Past Concerts

You can watch past Virtual Prism recorded concerts on the Faculty of Arts YouTube channel

Stand Alone Violin Part II
June 11, 2021

Dreams and Fantasies for Clarinet and Piano
May 28, 2021

Trombone Romances
May 14, 2021

The Jealous Cellist
May 7, 2021

Support Fine Arts