Community-Normed

2008

Only a small part of music is actually about sound. The majority of music-making has to do with social interactions more than anything else. Music fulfills certain functions (usually pre-determined) within certain social situations, or serves as a replacement for various social functions when we use it in private. Therefore, music can be said to be a community-normed phenomenon: what makes music music are the people who find a use for it, usually by listening. 

On top of that, the most useful (or best) pieces of music are generally those for which there is the most consensus on usage: Beethoven’s ninth symphony and Michael Jackson’s album Thriller are both “good” because a lot of people agree that they are good; i.e., a lot of people have found those two pieces of music useful for certain social functions. 

The movements for Community-Normed are: 

1. Call-and-Response Concerto

2. Jackhammer Lullaby

3. Two-Chord Rondo (a lo cubano)

Continuum performed the World Premiere of Community-Normed on June 8, 2008.


Aaron Gervais CA

Aaron Gervais is composer of new classical/avant-garde music, born in Edmonton, Canada in 1980. He received a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the University of Toronto, and a Master's degree from the University of California at San Diego. He has also pursued studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, Netherlands. Aaron's teachers have included Chan Ka Nin (CA), Chinary Ung (US), Philippe Manoury (FR), and Martijn Padding (NL), and he has also participated in masterclasses with renowned composers from around the world, including Helmut Lachenmann, Louis Andriessen, and Mario Davidovsky. Prior to studying composition, Aaron studied jazz drumming and Cuban folkloric percussion, including a summer of private study in Havana in 2002. Aaron has had performances and commissions from major ensembles in several countries; his music has been performed across North America and Europe and has been broadcast on CBC Radio/Radio-Canada. Commercial recordings include Toca Loca (2009) and the Society of Composers, Inc. (2009).

Prominent festivals have presented Aaron's work, including Amsterdam's prestigious Gaudeamus Music Week; Toronto's New Wave, soundaXis, and SHIFT festivals; Aberdeen's Sound Festival; and New York's MATA Festival. He was additionally selected as a representative for Canada in the 2008 World Music Days in Lithuania. Aaron was selected as the winner of the orkest de ereprijs's International Young Composers Competition in the Netherlands in 2009; he has also received various other awards and grants including a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (2008), five prizes in Canada's SOCAN Awards for Young Composers (2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2004), a SOCAN residency grant (2006), numerous academic scholarships, and commissioning, travel, project, and study grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Aaron Gervais