Creative BC News

The Little Chamber Music Series That Could

Nov 30, 2018 | Funding Recipient

Devoted to Canadian music, focused on BC and Vancouver composers and performers, and known for welcoming new audiences through innovative and humorous events, The Little Chamber Music Series That Could occupies a unique place in Vancouver’s vibrant and diverse new music scene. 

Begun in 1990, The Little Chamber Music Series That Could Society became highly regarded as an innovative presenter of new music in Vancouver extending its arms to audiences not usually accustomed to chamber or classical music. As resident series at the Cultch it gained acclaim for commissioning and producing original work such as "The White Album Concert" and Cam Wilson’s "Playground Rhymes for Grownups".

With an unintended hiatus in 2005, the society returned in 2012 to invite new audiences to participate in contemporary chamber performances through the use of creative stories and ideas. The most recent project of the society was the commission of composer Joelysa Pankanea to write a cycle of songs without words, relating to the death of her father at the age of 14. The result is “The 5th Stage”; five haunting songs that examine the five stages of grief with no words, for five instruments and soprano. The piece was performed for free during the All Soul’s festival at Mountain View Cemetery over Halloween in 2015.

These types of projects help to fulfill the mandate of The Little Chamber Music Series That Could Society, by bringing sound and contemporary music to new and re-contextualized settings; to draw people into new sonic worlds by integrating with other art forms; and to remove barriers (especially financial) to new music.

Their upcoming studio album is based on the acclaimed graphic novel George Sprott published in 2009 by the cartoonist Seth. Composer/double bassist Mark Haney (whose first album Aim for the Roses was the subject of a documentary that played at Toronto’s HotDocs and was the opening film for the 2016 DOXA Festival) is joined by flautist Mark McGregor, cellist Marina Hasselberg, actor Richard Newman, soprano Dory Hayley and many other roles to be occupied by BC performers including Patti Allan, Andrew McNee, Bramwell Tovey, Rebecca Hass, Koralee Nickarz, Allan Zinyk and more!

The album will be performed live in an installation designed by Seth at the Richmond Art Gallery in 2017. "Mark Haney and Seth: Omnis Temporalis" runs from April 8 to June 22, 2017 and will feature the recording that will play in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition, as well as 10 performances by the musicians and some of the actors on the recording. These events are free and accessible.

Follow The Little Chamber Music Series That Could