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TSB II - Performances

Daytime Performances

Marie Josée Simard & Francois Bourassa
Duo Simuldos
Köng Duo
Reynaliz Herrera
Stephen Solook
Jérémie Carrier
Kairos Quartet
McGill Percussion Ensemble
Philippe Spiesser
SIXTRUM
CPN Marimba Orchestra
La route des Concertos - Marie-Josée Simard (percussion) & François Bourassa (piano)

“La route des Concertos” features works for marimba, vibraphone and orchestra composed especially for percussionist Marie Josée Simard by Quebec jazz greats. The orchestral reductions are played on piano by the incomparable jazz pianist François Bourassa. 1) Concerto Intersection, 1st mvt Delta variations by Christine Jensen, 2nd mvt De résonances et d’échos by Marianne Trudel and 3rd mvt Spirale by Jean- Nicolas Trottier. 2) The third movement En Exil from François Bourassa’s Trois jazettes concertantes. 

A Hint of Timpani in Chamber Music - Duo Simuldos (Manuel López Tovar & Crystal Kim)

As odd as it seems, cello and timpani can work extremely well as an ensemble. The piece “Cinq danses dogoriennes pour 5 timbales et violoncelle” by Etienne Perruchon is a perfect example of what can be achieved with this combination. As a hint of Manuel López Tovar’s research about the role of timpani in chamber music throughout history, he will be performing this well composed piece that is quickly becoming a chamber repertoire standard. 

Frolic by Fish Yu: Exploring Hong Kong Culture through Percussion and Electronics - Hoi Tong Keung, Bevis Ng

Commissioned by KöNG Duo, “Frolic” for percussion, electronics, and spoken Cantonese, is a four-movement work by Hong Kong-raised Toronto-based composer Fish Yu and is based on their shared identity as Hongkongers. Inspired by popular games played in Hong Kong, they reimagine the childhood games played in Hong Kong in the form of music and intend to examine the sonic possibilities between acoustic and electroacoustic sound through the interplay between malletSTATION and conventional mallet instruments. As conservatory-trained percussionists interested in electroacoustic music, Keung and Ng use “Frolic” to explore the interplay between the marimba, vibraphone, and the malletSTATION. With the use of technology, we expand the sonic possibilities of percussion duets and can offer a more vivid representation of the games through virtual instruments and sound effects. The creation of “Frolic” was supported by the University of Toronto TaPIR Lab.

Ideas, Not Theories: Bicycle Beats - Reynaliz Herrera

Reynaliz Herrera is a mexican-born and Boston-based percussionist, composer, producer and educator whose work focuses extensively on the use of the bicycle as a musical instrument. Reynaliz has been composing for bicycles and performing her own bicycle music for the last 11 years. She researched the bike’s wide range of sonorities, the sonic similarities/differences found in different bicycle types, the use of the bicycle in different musical styles and formats, and more. Here she performs her composition: “Ideas, Not Theories- Bicycle Beats”: a 12 min musical
performance of a solo percussion piece written for bicycle, which incorporates some theatrical elements and physical theatre. This performance features different sonorities of the musical bike (frame tubes, wheel, chainwheel, spokes, handlebar, seat), each inspired by by world rhythms such as Afro-cuban and Brazilian samba, combined with some composition techniques such as polyrhythms.

Bows, Bends, and Wah-Wah for Vibraphone - Dr. Stephen Solook

As a followup to the vibraphone research he presented at TSB-I, Stephen Solook demonstrates his multi-bow technique, upward pitch bending, and external resonators techniques for the vibraphone. He also presents information for pitch bending with the new cores and handles along with the accidental possibilities. Stephen Solook will briefly introduce his techniques and give updated information during the performance. Pieces include published etudes and unpublished works.

Flowing - Jérémie Carrier Quartet

In music, rhythm is the main driver of movement. Certain rhythmic challenges require a focused mindset, and a state of flow takes over. When a performer has integrated the complexity to the point of freeing themselves of the analytical mind set, they can simply let the music flow through them. Composed by Jérémie Carrier, Flowing is an exploration of this state of mind through the concept of irregular subdivision. This composition tool is one of five addressed in his doctoral thesis on the integration of irregular rhythmic cycles. It consists of dividing regular meter into multiple uneven cells to create a sense duality. The regular meter providing stability to the music while the irregular subdivision creates tension and an irregular pulse within this same structure.

Chris Mercer : "A Dotted Landscape" - Kairos Percussion Quartet

Chicago-based composer Chris Mercer is most notably recognized for his work in electroacoustic research and composition, and instrumental works for modified conventional instruments. A Dotted Landscape, premiered by the Kairos Percussion Quartet on behalf of the University of Toronto Percussion Ensemble in 2022, explores a variety of colourful pointillistic textures through the timbral nuances and vast aural extent of the percussive keyboard instruments. Throughout the piece, Mercer manipulates time signatures, tempo markings, rhythm, and articulation to create a spirited and imaginative performance. Each performer brings a tonal and individualistic musical fragment to the ensemble, where the parts mix and mold to create a vibrant, chromatically ambiguous musical landscape. Mercer’s use of vibraphone and glockenspiel pedalling, along with dramatic changes in dynamics and articulation creates challenging transitions for the quartet. His choice of instrumentation demands active listening among the performers to create a unified blend between the dry and resonant keyboard instruments. From challenging unison passages to expressive polyphonic phrases, A Dotted Landscape demands both a strong sense of community and individuality from the advanced percussion quartet.

"Summons" - Concert performed by the McGill Percussion Ensemble

I.  Kyoto (2011) by John Psathas (Joseph Chang · Antonin Granier · Zhuying Li · Theodore Lysyk · Tate Orlita)
II. Trois Rivières (1994) by Kaija Saariaho ()Joseph Chang · Antonin Granier · Theodore Lysyk · Tate Orlita
III. White Knuckle Stroll (2010/2014) by Casey Cangelosi (Theodore Lysyk (solo) · William Barbieri · Antonin Granier · Tate Orlita · Stuart Jackson)
IV. Summons (2003) by Nicholas Papador (Manuel Tovar Lòpez (solo) · Polychronia Aretakis · William Barbieri · Joseph Chang · Aaron Carrera Lopez · Tate Orlita · Amanda Wolschleger · Stuart Jackson)

Martin Matalon's "Traces XVII" - Philippe Spiesser

“Like a diary, the cycle of Traces (works for solo instruments and electronics) is the common thread running through my work as a composer, and addresses the compositional issues that preoccupy me at different stages of their writing. These diaries relate the journey made possible by the transformation of sound: a journey inside the sound, inside the instrument, comparable in some ways to the introspective journey one makes when writing a diary.

Traces XVII for marimba, mokubios, wooden drum, vibraslap and electronics consists of 6 movements. Each movement unfolds according to its own temporality and through the timbre produced by the different uses of mallets, instruments, and electronic treatments. In the first movement, the marimba evolves on a plane composed of delicate and heterogeneous percussion sounds. This is followed by a movement of rapid, rhythmically elastic lines, each note of which triggers a woody percussive sound. These lines, whose speed varies from medium to extreme, are transformed into glissandos that are always extended and corroborated by electronic processing. The 3rd movement is composed of 2 sound planes: a kind of choir where the frequency regions are sustained by resonances (like a vibraphone with motor and pedal), and a plane produced by the sounds of metallic brushes with a rhythmic play of brilliant reflections produced by electronic processes. In the 4th and 5th movements, the marimba gradually fades away (4th movement) to give way completely to the wooden drum, mokubios and vibraslap (5th movement). These instruments are a kind of an extension of the marimba and, deprived of pitch, renew the listening experience by immersing us in a unique plane of purely woody sounds. The last movement is a kind of rhythmic and polyrhythmic machine that moves forward without respite, in which the timbre of the marimba is mainly fused with that of synthesizers.

Traces XVII is woven out of the dialectic created by its six forms, which complement, oppose, and respond to each other.” – Martin Matalon

Steve Reich's "6 Marimbas" - SIXTRUM Percussion

“Six Marimbas, composed in 1986, is a rescoring for marimbas of my earlier Six Pianos (1973). The idea to rescore came from my friend, the percussionist James Preiss, who has been a member of my ensemble since 1971 and also contributed the hand and mallet alterations that are used in this score. The piece begins with three marimbas playing the same eight beat rhythmic pattern, but with different notes for each marimba. One of the other marimbas begins to gradually build up the exact pattern of one of the marimbas already playing by putting the notes of the fifth beat on the seventh beat, then putting the notes of the first beat on the third beat, and so on, reconstructing the same pattern with the same notes, but two beats out of phase. When this canonic relationship has been fully constructed, the two other marimbas double some of the many melodic patterns resulting from this four-marimba relationship. By gradually increasing their volume they bring these resulting patterns up to the surface of the music; then, by lowering the volume they slowly return them to the overall contrapuntal web, in which the listener can hear them continuing along with many others in the ongoing four marimba relationship.


This process of rhythmic construction followed by doubling the resulting patterns is then continued in the three sections of the piece that are marked off by changes of mode and gradually higher position on the marimba, the first in D-flat major, the second in E-flat dorian, and the third in B-flat natural minor.” – Steve Reich

"Bolero" by Eustacio Rosales (arr. Müsser) - CPN Marimba Orchestra

Featuring: Julien Bélanger · João Catalão · Joseph Chang · Jamie Drake · Kristie Ibrahim · Michael Jones · Sandra Joseph · Alexandre Lavoie · Theodore Lysyk · Gina Ryan · Philippe Spiesser · Michael Schutz · Annie Stevens · Andrea Venet

"Still Life" by Jorden Nobles - CPN Marimba Orchestra

Featuring: Mark Adam · Brydone Charlton · Antonin Granier · Raphaël Guay · Reynaliz Herrera · Russell Hartenberger · Philip Hornsey · Stuart Jackson · Nicola Loghrin · Marie-Lucie Mathieu · Shawn Mativetsky · Victoria Sparks · Sage Stoyanowski · Manuel Tovar Lòpez · Amanda Watson · David Wertheimer