If...live/had lived/lived...would have/would/will...in Paris


I often speak about music as a physical and active art form.  I like to think that I am obsessed by this aesthetic — at least, I call it an aesthetic.  It is truly one of the most compelling elements of music, that is, music that suggests movement.  More specifically, with my music, I want the observer, the listener, to feel the corporeal rigour in the music.  I want you to be exhausted by the end of the ordeal (positive experience).

After showing my companion the first minute or so of this composition, she remarked that the music was inhibiting her breathing.  This comment hurled me and the music in a completely opposite direction to the one I had intended.  This piece, originally called Totem, was going to be my attempt to reflect on the art work of the Canadian painters’ collective The Group of Seven.  I suppose at the time I was feeling nostalgic about the Canadian wilderness after spending the previous summer months near Algonquin Park.  My forest experiences, however, were no match of the impact of living in Paris, France.  I believe this piece is more a commentary on life in the big city, than a reflection of anything natural, hence the title.  In this piece, as in any large city, there are moments of inhibited breathing, noise pollution, traffic drone, routine, routine, routine, aggressive pushing, and empty early morning streets.  Are we always so influenced by the environment in which we live?

D Andrew Stewart CA

Stewart currently lives in Paris, France, working as a freelance composer and linguistic consultant.  Most of his current activities are in The Netherlands, Canada and France.  His music has also been featured in the US, Germany, Mexico and Austria.  Out of the more memorable experiences, Stewart remarks upon his time spent conducting his Natural Distortions for the American College Band Directors National Association.  He enjoyed a summer fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Centre followed by highly successful Dutch artist’s collective Concerten Tot en Met in Amsterdam.  For the last six years, Stewart has also participated in R. Murray Schafer’s AND WOLF SHALL INHERIT THE MOON, which Stewart identifies as an essential element in being Canadian.  Stewart completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in composition in Canada with Peter Hatch, Glenn Buhr and Keith Hamel.  He then went on to post-graduate work in The Netherlands with Louis Andriessen and Martijn Padding.  His studies abroad were supported by The Canada Council as well as the Dutch government.

For more information about D Andrew Stewart, click here.