Jackhammer Lullaby


Jackhammer Lullaby is an arrangement of Community-Normed, which was commissioned by Continuum Contemporary Music in Toronto in 2008. I’ve become increasingly interested in presenting pieces in multiple versions and combinations. Jackhammer Lullaby, with a few changes, is also the middle movement of Community-Normed. I’ve also written a third version, for a chamber music conference in Vermont in July 2009, with different instrumentation and adapted for amateur performers.

Why multiple versions? Because music today is multiple. Everyone is exposed to music from multiple cultures all the time, from multiple time periods, and in multiple versions. DJs remix pop songs, which are available in numerous versions, and do mash-ups that intertwine multiple tracks in the space of a few seconds. I think this is a good way to deal with the fact that we are, for the first time in history, drowning in more music than anyone knows what to do with. For this reason, creating multiple versions is an important project of mine.

Musically, Jackhammer Lullaby presents a humorous musical setting of trying to fall asleep with construction going on outside the window.

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