(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music and ICOT (formerly known as The Iranian Canadian Composers of Toronto) are delighted to announce their forthcoming album Recurrence, recorded in May at Humbercrest United Church in Toronto.
Recurrence had its genesis at the beginning of the pandemic, when the notion of repetition assumed a novel and unsettling meaning for many people. The album explores the idea of repetition through different iterations in the natural and artificial worlds. In five new, far-reaching compositions, the concept of repetition and its consequences are teased apart in myriad ways through the unique lens of each composer; some took to ecology, some to politics, and one was inspired by the late fashion designer, Alexander McQueen. The result is five exceptional artistic works, each unique in its aesthetic and sonic exploration into the vortex of repetition. Shahi’s Eroded imagines musically the cycle of coastal erosion, while Kayan Emami has created a musical reflection of a young Iranian boy and his boat in Kian in Rainbows, (also paying homage to recently deceased composer, Jocelyn Morlock). Maziar Heidari’s piece, Arrays, alludes to the beauty and potential in mathematics and music of recurrence.
Speaking about the album, ICOT executive director and composer Saman Shahi says, “Recurrence is one of ICOT’s most ambitious projects in scale and concept. Some of Canada’s best and brightest composers and performers are paired with a powerful core concept: how much of our human experience is shaped by patterns, cycles, and routines. Humans find meaning, comfort, dread, fear, and expression in repetition be it in our memories, our daily lives, the politics we witness, the traumas we face, or the nature we behold; this is what this album is trying to investigate and probe.”
Recurrence features the compositions of renowned composers Maziar Heidari (also a conductor), Saman Shahi (also a pianist), Keyan Emami, Jordan Nobles, and Nicole Lizée and will be available everywhere on October 13. The project was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and FACTOR.
The recording features a stellar group of Canada’s finest musicians, including the New Orford String Quartet (Jonathan Crow (violin), Andrew Wan (violin), Sharon Wei (viola) and Brian Charles Manker (cello); Scott Peterson (double/electric bass); Leslie Allt (flute); Peter Stoll (clarinet); Beverly Johnson and Ryan Scott (percussion).
ICOT (icot.ca) is a non-profit arts organization founded in 2011 by five Toronto-based composers and musicians with the mission of creating new works that bridge Canadian and Iranian culture through music and art. ICOT’s current members are Saman Shahi (executive director), Keyan Emami (artistic director), and Maziar Heidari (music director). ICOT has produced two operas, two ballets, twelve orchestral works, dozens of chambers and vocal works, and three calls for scores that allowed ICOT to collaborate with over twenty composers from eight different countries. ICOT’s music has been performed by Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, Symphony on the Bay, Soundstreams, and Ton Beau String Quartet and they’ve taken part in Toronto Symphony’s 2022 Open House, Tirgan Festival, 2017 Ottawa Chamberfest, and Hamilton Philharmonic’s 2014 “What Next” Festival. ICOT’s first commercial recording, Persian Piano Night, was released in 2018 by Pardis Records.
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.
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