Chamberfest preview: Specially commissioned Cannabis Cantata will a musical high point on Monday

One wonders if J.S. Bach would approve of a model new composition co-commissioned by Chamberfest and set to be carried out Monday night time.

In the 1730s, Bach wrote a work for accompanied voices that has come to be often known as the Coffee Cantata. Its phrases, written not by Bach however by Christian Friedrich Henrici, are thought to poke enjoyable on the disapproval that some 18th-century Germans had concerning espresso ingesting.

“If I could not, three times a day, be allowed to drink my little cup of coffee, in my anguish I want to turn into a shrivelled-up roast goat,” goes one of many strains within the cantata.

Not fairly 300 years later, Chamberfest is presenting a double invoice of the Coffee Cantata with a new work known as The Cannabis Cantata: A Musical ‘Pot’ Pourri, which the pageant and the Stratford Summer Music have co-commissioned.

Of course, this new work by Toronto pianist and composer Peter Tiefenbach riffs on final fall’s legalization of marijuana use in Canada. Ottawa-raised soprano Mireille Asselin, tenor Matthew Dalen, and baritone Adam Harris will lend their voices to Tiefenbach’s pot-inspired piece, whereas the composer accompanies.

Below, Tiefenbach discusses his new creative high.

Q: What prompted you to write down the Cannabis Cantata?

A: The thought got here from an viewers member who attended a efficiency final summer season of my Cappuccino Cantata (The Lonely Barista) at Stratford Summer Music. He meant it as a joke, I suppose, nevertheless it was too good an thought to move up.

Q: How does Bach’s Coffee Cantata floor your work?

A: Since that is meant as a companion piece for the Bach, there are a number of passages written in baroque kinds: a French Overture, a Sicilienne, and a Gavotte. There’s additionally a waltz, although that didn’t exist till the 19th century. There are additionally, as within the Bach, a few scenes of recitative separating the bigger musical numbers.

Q: How does the Cannabis Cantata rejoice the legalization of marijuana use?

A: I’m undecided that it does! In the identical approach that the Coffee Cantata isn’t actually about ingesting espresso, the Cannabis Cantata isn’t actually about hashish: it’s about Canadians’ response to having this factor that was as soon as forbidden now being authorized and available (in some provinces, at the very least, however that’s one other comedy ready to be written). The program as a complete is about how everybody has some type of habit.

Q: Not to pry overly, however did hashish use determine within the composing course of?

A: I did a very restricted quantity of hands-on analysis. Most of my inspiration got here from speaking to individuals about their very own experiences since legalization. Students advised me about pals who’d gone residence for Christmas to find their mother and father smoking up within the den, a number of individuals advised me of their panic assaults after consuming edibles, and others advised me of seniors who use hashish for ache reduction or as a sleep support.

Q: Have you tried to write down music whereas underneath the affect, or would you need to?

A: My ordinary compositional methodology consists of months of procrastination adopted by a temporary frenzy of exercise. Maybe substances may average that, however I’m not fascinated by experimenting at this point in my life.

Q: Would your music be any higher carried out whereas high?

A: There are actually musical cultures during which gamers carry out underneath the affect of one thing or different… jazz musicians smoking marijuana between units, or German village bands sipping from the steins of beer underneath their chairs. I can’t do this. If I’m provided even a glass of wine earlier than a live performance, I at all times say I can’t as a result of I’m working heavy equipment (the piano). Sometimes (hardly ever) this will get a snigger. But I actually do discover that even a small quantity of alcohol impacts my taking part in virtually instantly, and never for the higher.

Q: Might it’s extra pleasurable for listeners underneath the affect?

A: Possibly, although I suppose they may snigger at issues that weren’t meant to be humorous, which may very well be disconcerting for the performers. And the creator. But I depart that to the discretion of the person.

Q: Who is your supreme listener for this live performance?

A: “The best audience is intelligent, well-educated and a little drunk,” because the saying goes.

Coffee, Cannabis and Other Substances
When and the place: Monday, July 29, 10 p.m., Ottawa Art Gallery
Tickets: $25 at

[email protected]


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Chamberfest preview: Specially commissioned Cannabis Cantata will a musical high point on Monday

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