New vid with Alex Samaras

May 26th, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

The piano sounds pretty good for all of its multiple broken strings and the fact that it hasn\’t felt the loving touch of a tuner for longer than Toronto has been under lockdown (a very long time). For you gear nerds, I used a pair of Line Audio CM4s – I think they sound amazing for the price. Love what Alex Samaras did with this (we recorded virtually). New tune by Juliet Palmer with text by Richard Sanger.

Industry Tactics Ep. 77

May 24th, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

A fun time shooting the sh*t with a good friend, Dr. Richard Marsella. Forgot to post this when it came out, so enjoy!

New Reich Quartet recording is out! Plus…

May 14th, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

So Russell Hartenberger (from NEXUS) just dropped off the latest NEXUS CD, which includes our recording of Steve Reich\’s Quartet, which we made a few years back with Bob Becker and Midori Koga, with Ray Dillard at the board.


He also dropped off a copy of his new book, the Cambridge Companion to Rhythm, where I am quoted:


So this was a good day!

Sunflower Sutra

April 29th, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve been going through old recordings and thinking about new projects. I’ve always wanted to record this work, as well as Vivier’s Shiraz. Turns out I actually will be recording Shiraz in June 2021, so maybe I should try to squeeze this piece in as well. This is a live version from the Music Gallery, recorded by Paul Hodge.

NYO Replay EP. 2

April 22nd, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

I really loved talking to Emilie LeBel and James O\’Callaghan in this interview for NYO Canada. Not only have they written really wonderful music and sounds, but they really got me thinking about some important issues in a very clear way. What is classical music? How should we be approaching music education? What is the path to becoming a composer? Check it out!

PIVOT weeks 2 and 3

April 22nd, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

Some great stuff here by this year\’s cohort of PIVOT composers.

Ep 2 featured Seeking Congruency by Carlie Howell.

Also Coloured-in Black and White by Joseph Chiu.

One interesting this about this recording – with the sudden (less than 24 hrs notice) change in COVID regulations, our two days of recording got smushed into one. Then the hard drive got corrupted, and…well, it was due to everyone being really good at their job that we got takes of everything.

Ep 3 features Snowmelt by Liam Gibson

and King of Chlorophyll by Kim Farris-Manning. In the latter, I got to do a lot of singing, humming and muttering. Also my first time playing the strings with magnetic tape.

PIVOT composer workshop Week 1

April 12th, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

Here are some great pieces by the participants of the PIVOT composer workshop, a joint venture of Continuum and the Canadian League of Composers.

Always a pleasure to play with Carol Fujino and Paul Widner.

Round 1: Trios by Sointu Aalto and Kevin Gironnay. Cool thing about Kevin\’s piece – the actual notes of the piece are uniquely generated with each performance.

NYO REPLAY debuts!

January 6th, 2021 § 0 comments § permalink

I loved working on this interview with Juliet Palmer and Ian Cusson. We dish on their commissioned works for NYO Canada, decolonizing the orchestra and their paths to makerhood.

To my second mom, Marietta Orlov, Rest in peace.

November 8th, 2020 § 3 comments § permalink


I always used to call Marietta Orlov, my piano teacher, my second mom. She was the most important person in my artistic life – everything I am as a musician, she had a hand in it. I cannot begin to tell you how much she gave me and all of the things that she taught me and helped me discover. I am so glad to be among the hundreds and hundreds of people she touched; her inimitable (yet often imitated) singing, her compassionate insight and joy will live on in us and in all the people we go on to work with. She taught me how to think for myself, and how to teach creatively and what music, the discussion and learning and sharing of music, should be about.

When I was auditioning for music schools, and getting rejected by most, she saw something in me that I think only she could really see. She often joked that she saw some talent in me, and a lot of laziness. She told me that she was not going to allow me to be lazy anymore, even if it meant giving me two lessons a week, even during the summers. And that\’s what she did, for five straight years. (For which she never allowed me to pay her for.)

I don\’t think that what I became as an artist was anything that either of us would have predicted, but I suppose that\’s one of the amazing things about her teaching – she didn\’t want you to be anything specific, she didn\’t have an Orlov \”sound\” or \”aesthetic\” – she just wanted to you figure out how to figure it out, and not be too, too barbaric or ridiculous along the way. \”Okay – well, if that\’s what you\’re going to do, would you consider this…\”

So goodbye, mom. I am so happy that you managed to lead such an incredible life, and infect so many of us by example and through your wonderful, innigster, heartful teaching. Always with love.

Listen to the Animals – The Cave reviewed in The Star

June 30th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

Photo of Alex Samaras, Derek Kwan, Neema Bickersteth and Andrea Koziol by Delal Hagos

Great review by Karen Fricker in the Toronto Star of the world premiere of The Cave at the Luminato Festival. Hopefully this is just the beginning! Great piece by John Millard, Tomson Highway and Martha Ross, and a killer band – Rob Clutton, Germaine Liu, Matti Pullki and Karen Ng, with John and yours truly leading the way.