Reception and Offering Music


By fashioning a number of musical quotations that either overlap, adjoin or evolve into one another so as to depict the sense of transmission or transference between composers, and by placing these references within a context which is expressly the acoustical context of Tibetan ritual music, I am suggesting that some composers seem to assimilate the achievements of earlier composers much like the way Tibetan mystics come to accept the possibility of communication (visualization, transfer) with buddhas and bodhisattvas. Both the entity invoked (assimilated) and the invocation (assimilation) are magical.

Reception and Offering Music, thus, seeks to welcome and render homage to the apparitions-in-sound of various composers for whom the designation buddha or bodhisattva (one about to become a buddha) should indeed be fitting, not only in view of the paths they undertook to travel during their artistic lives, but also for the influence they generated along the way.

Reception and Offering Music was commissioned by the York Winds, and was given its first performance in Toronto, March 1976.

John Rea

John Rea CA

Recipient of many awards, John Rea has been frequently commissioned and has written works in several genres: chamber music, music-theater, electroacoustic music, and compositions for large ensemble such as orchestra, ballet, choral, and opera.

Since 2001, his re-orchestration for 21 players of Alban Berg’s operatic masterpiece Wozzeck, op.7, commissioned and first performed by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM) in 1995 has been performed in a dozen new productions around the world.

Since 1973, he has taught composition, music theory, and history at McGill University where he served as Dean of the Faculty of Music (1986-1991), today the Schulich School of Music. He co-founded two musical societies in Montreal (Les Événements du neuf, and Traditions musicales du monde), and for twenty-five years was a member of the artistic committee of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ).

For the season 2015-16, he was named by the SMCQ as composer of the year in their Homage Series.


John Rea