UVic-led SALT Music Festival challenges music conventions virtually, Jan. 7 and 8

Online performances premiere works of composers from Greater Victoria and around the world

Wolf Edwards working on his piece ‘Civilian Death’ with the Tsilumos Ensemble ahead of the Salt New Music Festival and Symposium, being livestreamed Jan. 7 and 8 from the University of Victoria. (Facebook/Salt New Music Festival and Symposium)

Wolf Edwards working on his piece ‘Civilian Death’ with the Tsilumos Ensemble ahead of the Salt New Music Festival and Symposium, being livestreamed Jan. 7 and 8 from the University of Victoria. (Facebook/Salt New Music Festival and Symposium)

The ninth edition of the SALT New Music Festival and Symposium will stream virtually from UVic’s Philip T. Young Recital Hall on Jan. 7 and 8.

Its set will include concerts, workshops and discussions centred around musical experiences that are innovative, diverse and challenging, said festival co-director Ajtony Csaba. An emphasis will be put on the third aspect, pushing listeners beyond their typical perceptions of music.

“Usually, people think about new and contemporary music in British Columbia as something that’s mellow, or lovely,” Csaba said.

Pieces presented in this year’s SALT festival will run the gambit from near-quiet to pulsating and loud, and lean on mediums from movement art to drums to electronic music.

Seven pieces streamed this Friday and Saturday will be world premieres from young B.C. composers, performed by and with the Victoria-based Tsilumos Ensemble, the festival organizers.

“There are pieces that ask the listener to zoom in and regard one specific aspect of artistic existence. There’s a piece that only uses the skin of a bass drum. Another piece asks that the performers barely move on their instruments,” challenging them on the range of sound, Csaba said. Each will not only demonstrate “the bridge between kinetic theatre (dance) and music,” they promise to be very challenging for listeners.

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“Salt is necessary not only for taste but for survival, so think of that in the aesthetic realm,” Csaba said. “It’s a matter of taste, but we do need it for our own survival.”

Victoria’s Wolf Edwards and members of the Victoria Composers Collective are among those who will be in the spotlight during the festival, as well as international composers Steven Kazuo Takasugi (USA), Bernhard Gander (Austria) and Gianluca Ulivelli (Italy).

Registration for the Zoom event can be made at tsilumos.org.


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