Correlating we shall go

Exploring correspondences between Canadian and British new music

This month in back to back concerts (April 24 at Gallery 345, and April 25 at the Music Gallery), Continuum presents works by Canadian and British composers. The first concert, Out of the Apartment, features UK pianist Philip Thomas alone. On faculty at Huddersfield University, Philip specialises in performing experimental notated and improvised music as a soloist and with the leading experimental music group Apartment House (hence the concert title Out of the Apartment). And once you’re out of the apartment, where do you find yourself but on the street? Hence the title Correlation Street (this disingenuous explanation by way of apology for the pun). But correlation there is between British and Canadian music. In a second newsletter soon to come your way, my colleague Ryan Scott presents his interview with Philip on this subject.

The Canadian composers in Correlation Street – Trevor Grahl, Christopher Mayo and Gordon Williamson – all came to Continuum’s notice through our Call for Scores, and they all live abroad. It’s more by chance than design that they have all ended up on the same programme, but is there something to the fact that their work stood out in the Call? Is the desire to explore, to expose one’s self to new influences also reflected in a more exploratory kind of music? This proposition does not imply that good training is not to be had in Canada – but perhaps the effect of this good Canadian training would be most beneficial to foreign students for whom the whole structure of society, way of living and making music, was different than what they knew (at least at the post-graduate level) – as is the case for Canadian composers studying abroad. Being abroad, in other words, is broadening.

I put questions of this nature to Trevor Grahl, who has written a new work, Pierement Parade (commissioned through the Canada Council for the Arts) for this concert. The responses are interesting – come out to hear his new piece and speak with him in person. You can read the full interview here.  And for a taste of what’s to come, see a preview video here.

  • Out of the Apartment
  • Wednesday, April 24, 8 pm
  • Gallery 345, 345 Sorauren Avenue
  • $30 / $20 / $10
  • Tickets available at the door 


  • Correlation Street
  • Thursday, April 25, 8 pm
  • The Music Gallery, 197 John Street
  • $30 / $20 / $10
  • Tickets available at the door or online