2017 Guest Artists
Nicole Lizée and Ben Reimer
Nicole Lizée Biography
Called a “brilliant musical scientist” and lauded for “creating a stir with listeners for her breathless imagination and ability to capture Gen-X and beyond generation”, JUNO-nominated composer Nicole Lizée creates new music from an eclectic mix of influences including the earliest MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, Hitchcock, Kubrick, 1960s psychedelia and 1960s modernism. She is fascinated by the glitches made by outmoded and well-worn technology and captures these glitches, notates them and integrates them into live performance.
Nicole’s compositions range from works for orchestra and solo turntablist featuring DJ techniques fully notated and integrated into a concert music setting, to other unorthodox instrument combinations that include the Atari 2600 video game console, omnichords, stylophones, Simon™, and karaoke tapes. In the broad scope of her evolving oeuvre she explores such themes as malfunction, reviving the obsolete, and the harnessing of imperfection and glitch to create a new kind of precision.
In 2001 Nicole received a Master of Music degree from McGill University. After a decade and a half of composition, her commission list of over 40 works is varied and distinguished: the Kronos Quartet, BBC Proms, the San Francisco Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, l’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, CBC, Radio-Canada, NYC’s Kaufman Center, Powerplant, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, So Percussion, Eve Egoyan, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tapestry Opera, Gryphon Trio, MATA Festival, TorQ Percussion, Fondation Arte Musica/Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, ECM+, Continuum, Soundstreams, SMCQ, Arraymusic, Megumi Masaki, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Her music has been performed worldwide in renowned venues including Carnegie Hall (NYC), Royal Albert Hall (London), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam) and Cité de la Musique (Paris) – and in festivals including the BBC Proms (UK), Huddersfield (UK), Roskilde (Denmark), Bang On a Can (USA), Classical:NEXT (Rotterdam), All Tomorrow’s Parties (UK), Barbican’s Sound Unbound (UK), Metropolis (Australia), X Avant (Canada), Luminato (Canada), Other Minds (San Francisco), C3 (Berlin), Ecstatic (NYC), Switchboard (San Francisco), Melos-Ethos (Slovakia), Casalmaggiore (Italy), and Dark Music Days (Iceland).
Ben Reimer Biography
Winnipeg-born percussionist Ben Reimer became captivated by the drumset and the music that showcases this instrument at an early age. The sounds of drummers such as Neal Peart, Stewart Copland and Dave Grohl fuelled his musical pursuits.
Reimer first recorded with his indie rock band The Lanes (frequently landing on !earshot’s college radio charts in Canada) and artists such as soul singer Maiko Watson (formerly of the pop group Sugar Jones). Touring with Western Canadian Music Award winners Moses Mayes, Reimer played at International Jazz Festivals across Canada, the 10K Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes and the Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia.
Shifting his focus towards classical percussion, Reimer received a BMus. from McGill University in Montreal under the direction of Pierre Béluse, D’Arcy Gray and Andrei Malashenko. He then graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a MMus. under the direction of Raymond DesRoches. In 2014, Reimer completed a DMus. at McGill University under the advisory of Aiyun Huang and Fabrice Marandola (performance), and David Brackett (musicology). His main focus of research and performance was to demonstrate how the drumset, traditionally an improvised instrument, has recently emerged as a solo instrument with prescribed notation. This topic is explored in his dissertation, “Defining the Role of Drumset in Contemporary Music Performance.”
Based in Montreal, Ben has established himself as a leading figure in contemporary drumset performance, commissioning solo works such as Ringer by Nicole Lizée, Full Grown by Scott Edward Godin, Train Set by Eliot Britton and the duet Lakoni in Kazonnde by Lukas Ligeti with David Cossin (Bang On A Can). He has arranged the solos Liberty by Tony Williams and Spooky Drums by Baby Dodds and was featured in the publication, Drummer’s Journal (4th ed. Aug 2013). As a drumset soloist Ben premiered four concertos by Nicole Lizée with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony – Edwin Outwater conducting, the SMCQ – Walter Boudreau conducting, Architek Percussion Quartet and TorQ Percussion Quartet. His album “Katana of Choice – Music for Drumset Soloist” will be available in 2017.
Following a unique artistic path, Pierre-Yves Martel is constantly renewing his musical identity and practice. Though an instrumentalist, he identifies himself first and foremost as a sound artist whose work oscillates between research and experimentation. It is in this spirit that he has revisited the viola da gamba, utilizing this traditional instrument in new contexts and thus reengaging it with the contemporary world. Having created an authentic musical language through non-conventional techniques and instrumental preparations, he also works outside of instrumental music altogether, using a variety of objects rife with new sonic possibilities, from contact-mics and speakers to motors, wheels, surfaces and textures. He lives in Montréal, Québec.
Philippe Lauzier (b. 1977) is an active musician from Montreal. After studying composition from 1998 to 2002, he dedicated a lot his time to the art of improvisation. He plays the saxophone since the age of 10 and became a self-taught bass clarinetist later on.
For his solo and collective works, his ideas incorporate influences from contemporary musical languages as well as sounds from non-Western sources. Creative extended techniques, complex drones from which micropolyphonies emerge, and a certain hypnotic sense are typical of his approach.
Working with several projects, Lauzier has been touring in Europe, North America, Mexico and Australia with groups like Sainct Laurens, Quartetski, Toiture and Not the Music, as well as playing concerts with the musicians Alexandre St-Onge, Cléo Palacio-Quintin, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Martin Tétreault, Franz Hautzinger, Xavier Charles, Jim Denley, Kim Myhr, Tatsuya Nakatani, Nicolas Caloia, among others.
His interest for multidisciplinary arts also leads him to create a sound installation for the FIMAV in 2014; a site-specific piece for Les Symphonies portuaires de Pointe-à-Callière; music for films, contemporary dance and theatre; and a few visual-sound art collaborations such as Motel Hélène with Frédérique Laliberté.