Contemporary Music Festival 2020 | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Contemporary Music Festival 2020

Photo by Roger Smith (copyright 2019)

Between the secular and the spiritual

Through their music, composers tell their life stories, their struggles, and their hopes. They forge a unique musical language marked by such diverse elements as spirituality and musical symbolism.

Join us for the second installment of our Contemporary Music Festival, curated by UNB’s Musician-in-Residence, Nadia Francavilla. There are three concerts featuring music by Sofia Gubaidulina, Ana Sokolovic, Kelly Marie Murphy, Helen Hall, and Melissa Hui, as well as a creation for solo violin by New Brunswick’s very own Emily Kennedy.

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Carving Space

Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Progression series

Collage of illustrated violins

Artists: Emily Kennedy (composer) and Carl Philippe Gionet (piano), and Nadia Francavilla (violin)

Carl Philippe Gionet joins Nadia Francavilla in a program of music reflecting some of the uncertainties of our world today. This concert features a new solo violin piece by young composer/instrumentalist Emily Kennedy of New Brunswick, commissioned especially for this event. Carving Space, Collecting Stones is an open form work for amplified violin, delay and loop pedal. It explores the many shapes spirituality can take in an ever-secular world. Also included in the program are pieces by Canadian composers Melissa Hui and Mary Kelly Murphy.

River Entering

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Progression series

A river with leaves floating on it

Artists: Helen Hall (composer) and Helen Pridmore (soprano)

River Entering is a solo violin piece with 6 pre-recorded violin parts. It was composed by Helen Hall of Montreal, who explores an intuitive understanding of music as energy in her varied works for voices, instruments electroacoustics, dance, theatre and film. Her music is inspired by natural, acoustic phenomena such as the rhythm of breathing, and the natural frequencies of the earth’s magnetic field. The title refers to the movement of the music, which begins in “structured time” and slowly moves out of it and into a series of shifting harmonic fields. It is informed by a statement by Ibn Sina, a medieval Islamic philosopher who believed music derives its principles from both the science of numbers and the science of nature, or mathematics and physics, and is an intermediary between the two. All the pre-recorded violin parts are performed by Nadia Francavilla. Joining her for this journey are Helen Pridmore and Sasha French who will perform other compositions by Helen Hall. In addition, there will be an interview with the composer, discussing her process of composition.


Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Progression series

Abstract wavy lines with purple and pink colours

Artists: Helen Pridmore (Voice)

East European composers tell their struggles and their hopes through their music. This concert features music by East European composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina and Dobrinka Tabakkova. Also featured is the music of Quebec composer, Anna Sokolovic, originally from Serbia.

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