(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Canadian violinist, Gillian Smith is releasing her latest recording, En Route. The album features five new works for solo violin by Canadian composers Carmen Braden, Amy Brandon, Derek Charke, Corie Rose Soumah and Hsiu-Ping Patrick Wu. It will be released in a digital version on November 3 on the Leaf Music label. A free release concert will be held on Thursday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the new Joseph Strug Concert Hall, Dalhousie Arts Centre.
The concept for these pieces was the idea of voices: voices being heard for the first time; voices being heard in new ways and voices interacting in new ways. Each of the composers approached this concept in a unique way and featured the violin in a particular light. Two pieces ask the performer to vocalize in addition to playing the violin. For example, in Tree Talk, Carmen Braden asks the performer to converse with their violin, in fact with the tree whose wood became the violin. Corie Rose Soumah asks the performer to vocalize to add sound colours to the music.
The title track, EN ROUTE, was composed by Hsiu-Ping Patrick Wu, who says the piece is about his Taiwanese heritage and his journey to Canada: “It’s a piece about my nostalgia, homecoming, resilience and determination.” The piece quotes Nova Scotian folk songs and a variation of the traditional Taiwanese hit song, Bang-Chun Feng. Patrick also created the artwork used on the cover of the digital booklet; an acrylic painting titled EN ROUTE.
Amy Brandon’s Dualisms shows the contrasting voices of the violin – one timbral and one more traditional, intended to give a feeling of unease or disorientation. Nebula Variations by Derek Charke is a large-scale improvisation in four movements, a work that plays on space and time, fantasia, counterpoint and virtuosity.
Gillian Smith is an enthusiastic advocate for new music, releasing her debut solo album, Into the Stone on Leaf Music in 2019. The album was nominated for the 2020 Classical Recording of the Year by the ECMA and was described by The WholeNote’s David Olds as “a stunning debut album by a rising star.” She’s also recorded with members of the Acadia New Music Society on the Centrediscs label and performed on Songs of the Invisible Summer Stars, chamber music by Carmen Braden (Centrediscs, 2019). That album was nominated for the 2020 ECMA for Classical Recording of the Year.
Gillian’s solo and chamber music recordings have been broadcast on radio on stations across Canada and in the U.S. and the U.K., and she performs in recital and as a chamber musician in series and festivals such as Open Waters, Shattering the Silence, Musique Royale, Music Room Chamber Players, and others. To learn more, please visit www.gilliansmithviolin.com.
Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, making and distributing high-quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from across Canada. Our growing catalogue of solo, orchestral, and chamber music is distributed by Naxos of America to the world’s most important music retailers, download providers, and streaming services. We are also a provider of professional audio and video production, post-production services and integrated music marketing and distribution in Canada.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts in the presentation of this project.
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