Guitarists descend on U of O, Dominion-Chalmers, for four days of cutting-edge lectures and concerts

Although virtually 50 guitarists are already on the invoice for a gala live performance Saturday evening at Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, there’s nonetheless room for as many as 25 extra — you, maybe? — to get in on the music-making.

“Bigger is always better,” jokes Amy Brandon, one of the organizers of the four-day-long 21st Century Guitar Conference that begins in Ottawa Thursday, which is open to the general public and will current that distinctive live performance and 5 others, plus three dozen lectures on the University of Ottawa, two keynote addresses and a luthier workshop.

“Ottawa is kind of a guitar town,” provides Brandon, an Ottawa-raised guitarist and composer who’s working on her PhD at Dalhousie University in Halifax. In the 2000s, Brandon was learning guitar at Carleton University with such Ottawa-based guitar mentors as Roddy Ellias, Tim Bedner, Garry Elliott and Wayne Eagles. Just a few years in the past, Brandon returned to Ottawa from Nova Scotia to get her grasp’s diploma in composition at U of O.

Her forward-thinking, cross-genre and jam-packed occasion will deliver greater than 120 guitarists, composers, performers and company to Ottawa from as distant as New Zealand and Surrey within the United Kingdom, the house of the International Guitar Research Centre.

Among the convention’s high-profile performers are London, U.Okay.-based classical guitarist Bridget Mermikides, the cutting-edge American jazz guitarist Miles Okazaki and Vancouver-based guitarist Gordon Grdina, a deep explorer of music performed on the oud, a Middle Eastern lute.

Brandon can be one of the 9 composers whose works can be carried out when that uniquely inclusive “double-guitar orchestra” takes to the stage Saturday. However, she received’t be selecting up a guitar.

“I got some advice: Don’t play at any concerts you organize,” she says.

“One of the conference’s goals is to engage the public,” Brandon says. “So this double-guitar orchestra concert” — double refers to acoustic and electrical guitars  — “was designed to be performed by amateur guitarists who may not read music, as well as professionals,” she provides. If the Dominion-Chalmers stage turns into too crowded, guitarists will transfer to the balcony.

Indeed, Vancouver-based, Juno Award-winning composer Jordan Nobles has written a “new installation work” for 30-plus acoustic guitarists, through which they may play clusters of chords from the Dominion-Chalmers balcony, Brandon says.

Brandon carried out one of Nobles’ items final summer season in Newfoundland and says “they are quite lovely and easy to play regardless of one’s level of playing.”

Some items will contain improvisation by the orchestra, below the steering of its conductors, Tim Brady and Ottawa-based Craig Visser, Brandon provides.

A bit referred to as HiveMind, by the U.Okay.-based composer Milton Mermikides, “is an exploration of the swarming and movement patterns of seven different animal species,” she says.

In holding with the convention’s curiosity within the integration of expertise with modern guitar music, many items on the live performance can be enhanced by eight-channel surround-sound and the dynamic imagery projected by German artist Kurt Laurenz Theinert and Halifax-based Lukas Pearse.

“The resultant sound is intended to be quite varied and complex,” she says.

Rehearsals for the orchestra challenge are scheduled for Thursday morning, early Friday night and early Saturday night earlier than the live performance. The volunteering performers received’t be paid, however they may be capable of attend the convention’s different concerts for free.

For seniors and college students, admission to concerts may also be free.

Among the convention’s different shows are two extra gala concerts on Thursday and Friday evening. Thursday evening will see a set of concerts at U of O’s Freiman Hall that Brandon has dubbed the “Canadian Music Marathon,” which appears a bit like a one-night competition.

During its six-hour length, greater than 30 guitarists in numerous rooms will carry out “all the Canadian guitar and electro-acoustic music we can get our hands on,” Brandon says.

The marathon may be attended free of cost. “People can just come and go,” Brandon provides.

Three mid-day solo concerts at Freiman Hall can be convention highlights. On Friday at 11:30 a.m., classical guitarist Mermikides will carry out. On Saturday at 1 p.m., Miles Okazaki, who final yr launched a landmark six-volume set of Thelonious Monk’s music for solo guitar, will play. Sunday’s live performance at midday will characteristic Grdina.

Online registration for the convention, which covers admission to all concerts, lectures and different actions, is $42 plus tax. A restricted quantity of single tickets for some concerts could also be accessible on the door for $20.

The 21st Century Guitar Conference
What: International interdisciplinary convention on guitar composition, efficiency and pedagogy
When: Aug. 22-25
Where: University of Ottawa, Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre
Info and


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