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Leaf Music Distribution Presents VB8 Ensemble and Winter Magic

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music announces the distribution from Montreal’s acclaimed VB8 vocal ensemble. This recording are all being released on December 1.

VB8 (vocesboreales.org) has recorded its first CD, Winter Magic: A 21st Century Christmas (Magie d’hiver). Founded in 2006 and now under the leadership of Artistic Director Andrew Gray, Voces Boreales chamber choir has carved out an enviable position in the classical music world. In 2019, they created a new vocal octet, VB8, who’ve collaborated with artists like Quatuor Bozzini, BradyWorks and Karen Young. Their first album of songs for the festive season features almost all works written in the last 35 years, apart from two traditional French carols. The disc starts and ends with a favourite composer of the group, Arvo Part, and includes three Canadian composers: Elizabeth Ekholm, Louis Desjarlais and Benjamin Sigerson. The deliberate omission (for the most part) of traditional Christmas carols allows for year-round listening, yet is perfect for holiday traditions, a perfect backdrop to tree trimming or basking in the quietude of a Christmas morning. 

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. Leaf is also a provider of professional audio and video production, post-production services and integrated music marketing and distribution in Canada.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  

For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt,  peggy@leaf-music.ca (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell). 

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Leaf Music and Jaap Nico Hamburger Present: Tzimtzum

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music and composer Jaap Nico Hamburger are releasing Tzimtzum on November 17, 2023. The new recording presents eight of Hamburger’s pieces, recorded in Montreal and Wolfville, NS between 2021 and 2023.

Jaap Nico Hamburger (jaaphamburger.com) is a Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer and Composer in Residence at Montreal’s Mécénat Musica. His compositions include commissions from orchestras and chamber ensembles, and his works have been performed and recorded in Canada, The Netherlands and Israel. He was commissioned by the United Nations and the Government of the Netherlands to compose a new concerto for harp and orchestra that was premiered for the 75th anniversary of the International Court of Justice. His second chamber symphony, Children’s War Diaries, was nominated for the Dutch National Composer’s Award and the 2022 JUNO award for Best Classical Composition. In addition, he contributed work to the 2023 JUNO-nominated Best Classical Album. Hamburger’s first opera, Ariella, was recently premiered during a three-city tour in Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City.

The eight tracks feature a stellar group of musicians, including Ensemble ArtChoral (under the direction of Matthias Maute who also conducts Orchestre Classique de Montreal and Ensemble Caprice); Alex Strauss, violin; Victor Fournell-Blain, viola; cellists Yegor Dyachkov and Juan Sebastian Delgado; pianists Ilya Poletaev, Janelle Fung, Michael McMahon, and Philip Chiu, Lara Deutsch, flute; and soprano Measha Brueggergosman-Lee.

The album is being released three weeks ahead of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. The title track, Tzimtzum, (or “contraction”), refers to a term used in Kabbalah to explain 17th century mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria’s doctrine that God began the process of creation by contracting his Ohr Ein Sof (infinite light) so that new creative light could beam. This echoes the theories of Sir Roger Penrose, the 2020 Nobel Prize winner in physics, who claims the universe goes through cycles of death and rebirth and has experienced multiple Big Bangs.

Hamburger, initially trained as a concert pianist, worked in many countries as a cardiologist before moving to Montreal and turning his full attention to composition. “After all my travels around the world, I wanted to express in my music the universality of people, not just that we are all similar, but that we are actually all one, made from the same energy,” he said. Tzimtzum was premiered at Montreal’s Festival Classica’s Lux Aeterna concert in the spring of 2023, and is scored for bells, vocal ensemble/soloists, harp, and cello.

The other intimate smaller form works on the album are guided by moments from the composer’s life: a blue dress in a painting; a piece for two pianos recalling a rhythm and blues band from his youth; poems by a German-Jewish expressionist woman writer who fled the Nazis; and the largest scale work, Concerto Antico, a “reawakening of 18th-century dance returned to life in the 21st,” according to Dr. Charles Barber’s liner notes. Concerto Antico was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and is dedicated to the memory of Maestro Boris Brott (1944-2022); Souvenirs Fugaces for solo piano was also supported by the Canada Council.

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. Leaf is also a provider of professional audio and video production, post-production services and integrated music marketing and distribution in Canada.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  

For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt,  peggy@leaf-music.ca (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell). 

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Leaf Music and Choeur Louisbourg Choir Present: Tapisserie canadienne aux couleurs d’Acadie

LM291 Cover

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music and Moncton choir Choeur Louisbourg announce the release of Tapisserie Canadienne aux couleurs d’Acadie on November 17, 2023. The new recording, in a digital only version, reflects the choir’s commitment to promote contemporary music, particularly the music of the Acadian and Francophone communities from across New Brunswick.

The recording features fourteen tracks which mostly draw from authors or composers that have a strong tie to Acadie, featuring three new works by composers Rachel C. Léger, Carl Philippe Gionet and Richard Gibson. Many of the pieces have never been recorded and use literary works by writers like Herménégilde Chiasson, the late Raymond Guy LeBlanc and Emma Hache, set to music by Frédéric Chiasson, Richard Gibson, Jean-Francois Mallet, Mathieu Lussier and Aaron Jensen. Compositions by Jeff Enns and Timothy Corlis, as well as arrangements of traditional pieces by Sean Dagher and Donald Patriquin complete the program. Tapisserie Canadienne aux couleurs d’Acadie was recorded in Memramcook, New Brunswick, in March of 2023.

This recording pays tribute to singing and oral traditions, as Acadian poet Herménégilde Chiasson notes: “Following the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, music was becoming an impossible luxury, if only to obtain instruments, let alone find a suitable venue to perform. What remained was the voice, this instrument that everyone carries with them, and which can be amplified to give that presence and magnitude of which this recording is a magnificent example.”

The album features guest musicians Carl Philippe Gionet (piano); Lucia Rodriguez (violin); Marie-Andrée Gaudet (violin); Robin Streb (viola) and Emily Kennedy (cello).

Choeur Louisbourg (choeurlouisbourgchoir.ca) began in 2006, serving at the choir-in-residence of the Sackville Festival of early Music until 2014. The twenty-voice SATB ensemble released their first CD in 2018, Chansons d’amour d’Acadie et de France, on the ATMA Classique label. In 2020, the choir was invited to take part in Against the Grain Theatre’s Messiah Complex project, in collaboration with the Toronto Symphony and over a dozen choirs and Indigenous soloists from across Canada, receiving critical acclaim from the BBC, France Musique and the New York Times, among others. While performing repertoire from the Renaissance and Baroque periods since its founding, the ensemble attaches great importance to new music, having commissioned works from both emerging and established composers.

Artistic Director Monique Richard is a full professor in the Music Department of the Université de Moncton. She’s also Music Director of the Beauséjour Choir and the Faubourg du Mascaret Intergenerational Choir. An adjudicator and clinician at many music festivals in the Atlantic region, Quebec, and France, she holds choral singing and Acadie very close to her heart. She has conducted for the Indian River Festival and the Lameque International Baroque Music Festival.

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. Leaf is also a provider of professional audio and video production, post-production services and integrated music marketing and distribution in Canada.

The choir acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of New Brunswick.

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(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music et le chœur Choeur Louisbourg de Moncton annoncent la sortie de Tapisserie Canadienne aux couleurs d’Acadie le 17 novembre 2023. Le nouvel enregistrement, disponible uniquement en version numérique, reflète l’engagement du chœur à vouloir promouvoir la musique contemporaine, particulièrement celle des communautés acadiennes et francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick. 

Les quatorze pistes de l’album mettent principalement en valeur des oeuvres d’auteurs ou de compositeurs qui entretiennent un lien fort avec l’Acadie, dont trois nouvelles compositions de Rachel C. Léger, Carl Philippe Gionet et Richard Gibson.

De nombreuses pièces n’ont jamais été enregistrées et sont inspirées des œuvres littéraires d’Herménégilde Chiasson, feu Raymond Guy LeBlanc et Emma Hache, mises en musique par Frédéric Chiasson, Richard Gibson, Jean-Francois Mallet, Mathieu Lussier et Aaron Jensen. Des compositions de Jeff Enns et Timothy Corlis, ainsi que des arrangements de pièces traditionnelles par Sean Dagher et Donald Patriquin, complètent le programme. Tapisserie Canadienne aux couleurs d’Acadie a été enregistré à Memramcook, au Nouveau-Brunswick, en mars 2023.

Cet enregistrement rend hommage aux traditions de chants et orales, comme le souligne le poète acadien Herménégilde Chiasson : « Après la Déportation des Acadiens en 1755, la musique devenait un luxe impossible, ne serait-ce que pour obtenir des instruments, sans parler de trouver un lieu approprié pour se produire. Ce qui restait, c’était la voix, cet instrument que chacun porte en lui et qui peut être amplifié pour donner cette présence et cette grandeur dont cet enregistrement est un magnifique exemple. »

L’album met en vedette les musiciens invités Carl Philippe Gionet (piano), Lucia Rodriguez (violon), Marie-Andrée Gaudet (violon), Robin Streb (alto) et Emily Kennedy (violoncelle).

Le Chœur Louisbourg (choeurlouisbourgchoir.ca) a été créé en 2006, servant de chœur en résidence au Festival de musique ancienne de Sackville jusqu’en 2014. L’ensemble vocal SATB de vingt voix a sorti son premier CD en 2018, Chansons d’amour d’Acadie et de Franc, sous le label ATMA Classique. En 2020, le chœur a été invité à participer au projet Messiah Complex d’Against the Grain Theatre, en collaboration avec le Toronto Symphony et plus d’une douzaine de chœurs et de solistes autochtones du Canada, recevant des éloges de la BBC, de France Musique et du New York Times, entre autres. Tout en interprétant un répertoire de la Renaissance et du Baroque depuis sa création, l’ensemble accorde une grande importance à la musique nouvelle, ayant commandé des œuvres à des compositeurs émergents et établis.

La directrice artistique, Monique Richard, est professeure titulaire au Département de musique de l’Université de Moncton. Elle est également directrice musicale du chœur Beauséjour et du chœur intergénérationnel Faubourg du Mascaret. Juge et clinicienne dans de nombreux festivals de musique de la région atlantique, du Québec et de la France, elle porte le chant choral et l’Acadie très près de son cœur. Elle a dirigé pour le Indian River Festival et le Festival international de musique baroque de Lamèque.

Leaf Music est un label d’enregistrement indépendant basé à Halifax, en Nouvelle-Écosse, produisant et distribuant des enregistrements de musique classique de haute qualité par des artistes et compositeurs du Canada. Notre catalogue croissant de musique solo, orchestrale et de chambre est distribué par Naxos of America aux principaux détaillants de musique du monde, aux fournisseurs de téléchargement et aux services de streaming les plus importants. Leaf propose également des services professionnels de production audio et vidéo, des services de post-production et une distribution et une promotion intégrées de la musique au Canada.

Le chœur remercie le Conseil des arts du Canada et du gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick pour leur soutien.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  

For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please, contact Peggy Walt,  peggy@leaf-music.ca (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell)

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Leaf Music and Luminos Ensemble Present: In the Crystalline Vault of Heaven

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) PEI’s professional choral ensemble, Luminos Ensemble has released its latest recording, In the Crystalline Vault of Heaven. The 16-member group, under the artistic direction of Dr. Margot Rejskind recorded the album of music by Atlantic Canadian composers at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, Sturgeon, PEI, in May of 2022. It will be released in physical and digital versions on October 27 on the Leaf Music label.  

The album features a stellar lineup of all-Atlantic Canadian composers: Atlantic String Machine’s Adam Hill, EKR (Evan) Hammell, Emily Doolittle, Terry Pratt, Derek Charke, Peter Togni, Kathleen Allan and David Buley

The evocative title track, In the Crystalline Vault of Heaven, was composed by Nova Scotian Derek Charke. “We wanted an album that reflected the diversity and breadth of choral music being written on the east coast,” said director Margot Rejskind. “We’re showcasing composers like Adam, Emily and Evan, who all wrote these new works for us.” 

Luminos Ensemble is a Charlottetown-based professional choir of trained vocal soloists that formed in 2017. The group received a nomination from the East Coast Music Awards in the inaugural Best Choral Recording of the Year category in 2023 for their single, I am an Island That Dreams by David Buley. They thank the Canada Council for the Arts for their support of this project. To learn more, please visit LuminosEnsemble.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.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:  

For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt,  peggy@leaf-music.ca (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell). 

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Leaf Music and Luminous Voices Present: “Ispiciwin”

(Halifax/K’jipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music and Luminous Voices are releasing a new album, Ispiciwin (“journey” in Cree), a collection of pieces by mostly Canadian composers from Turtle Island. The fifth album from the esteemed ensemble and their third on Leaf Music combines choral music sung in Cree and represents a promising stepping stone on the path to reconciliation. Ispiciwin represents personal and collective reflection by the composers, singers, instrumentalists and directors, culminating in an album that represents many unique compositional voices and styles.  

Luminous Voices commissioned and premiered the works by Arthur Bachmann, Carmen Braden, and Zachary Wadsworth. Edmonton composer Stuart Beatch’s Girl Hours found its way onto this recording through conversations and serendipity with the choir’s director, Timothy Shantz. Sherryl Sewepagaham’s Okâwîmâw askiy was premiered by Luminous Voices as part of Samantha Whelan’s Wandering with Wonder performance project in September 2021 and became a soundtrack to Luminous Voices’ 2021–22 season. I am the Rose of Sharon by Swiss/Italian composer Ivo Antognini, with text taken from the Song of Solomon, rounds out the repertoire and Edmonton composer Laura Hawley’s moving setting of Rise Up, My Love

Ispiciwin is a unique project that brings together many strands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous identity, a sentiment that attracted Winnipeg and Cree composer Andrew Balfour, who said, “Working with Luminous Voices and Timothy Shantz, along with artists Jessica McMann and Walter MacDonald White Bear, is a dream collaboration that results in a closer understanding of truth-telling and storytelling from an Indigenous perspective.” 

Ispiciwin deals with themes surrounding truth, storytelling, and the difficult path toward reconciling the past. Luminous Voices Artistic Director Timothy Shantz says, “We’re all very proud to share the music on this album and hope that all the composers’ unique voices are heard through our performances. More than anything, we want these incredible artists to be heard throughout the world.” 

Luminous Voices continues to thrill audiences in Calgary and beyond through performances, recordings, and workshops. The choir illuminates choral music of the past and present and supports contemporary composers by regularly commissioning new works. Founded in 2012, Luminous Voices unites local, national, and international artists and organizations through exceptional sonic experiences encompassing live and virtual performances, recordings, workshops, and community educational activities. Other releases through Leaf Music are Artem Vedel: Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti & Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (2021) and their 2020 release, Sea Dreams by Peter-Anthony Togni, which was nominated for a 2021 JUNO Award.  

The choir also released The Far West on Bridge Records in 2016, which Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle described as “beautifully sung, as everything here is, by the aptly named Luminous Voices under Timothy Shantz.” The Far West was awarded the 2018 National Choral Award for Outstanding Choral Recording and the 2016 National Choral Award for Outstanding Choral Composition from Choral Canada. Luminous Voices’ first release in 2015, Mendelssohn’s Te Deum, was the 2016 winner of Outstanding Choral Recording from Choral Canada. 

Ispiciwin will be available on all major platforms October 6.  

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. Naxos of America distributes our growing catalogue of solo, orchestral, and chamber music 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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luminousvoices.com 

MEDIA CONTACT:  

For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt,  peggy@leaf-music.ca (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell).

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Luminous Voices: “Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti”

Juno nominated chamber choir Luminous Voices along with Spiritus Chamber Choir are excited to present Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti by Ukranian composer Artem Vedel (1767-1808). Vedel is considered one of Ukraine’s ‘Golden Three’ composers of the 18th century; these masterpieces of Ukrainian Classical Choral Music include Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti & Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Shantz and with support from the Ukrainian Millennium Foundation, the works of Vedel continue to be associated with the boisterous wave of national rebirth, imbued with a connection and influence of national folklore. 

“It is with an immense amount of gratitude that we release this double-CD recording of choral music by Ukrainian composer Artem Vedel. Vedel’s music is emotionally and politically charged, setting portions of various Psalm texts to great effect. The concerti are nearly all multi-movement works with extensive solo passages performed beautifully by the singers. As an ensemble of mostly English-speaking singers, I am curious to learn how it is received in the broader Ukrainian community. It was an intense project from beginning to end, involving many collaborators and colleagues who devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy into its completion. A journey that began seven years ago with Spiritus Chamber Choir saw its completion with Luminous Voices.” – Timothy Shantz, Artistic Director

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Luminous Voices | Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti
Release date: May 7, 2021
Physical & Digital Release
Listen/Buy HERE

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Halifax Camerata Singers Present: ‘Music of the Spheres’

Halifax-based chamber choir, Halifax Camerata Singers is proud to present Music of the Spheres, recorded live from their 2018-19 ‘Look Up to the Heavens’ season. Under the direction of Jeff Joudrey, and in collaboration with pianist Lynette Wahlstrom and narrators Lara Lewis, Lucy Haché, Elyse Delaney, with special guest narrator Ben Caplan, listen and remember your sense of limitless wonder while imagining the Milky Way on a crystal-clear night. Throughout the album’s twenty-one tracks, let lush harmonies of the music and the beauty of the poetry reflect like light through the world’s many challenges. Through this celestial journey of music and poetry, may a sense of awe, marvel, and hope in something much greater than we see around us linger long after the closing chords.

Music of the Spheres
Release date: April 23, 2021
Digital Release ONLY
Listen Here: https://leaf-music.lnk.to/LM241

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Luminous Voices releases their 3rd recording: “Sea Dreams”

Calgary’s professional chamber choir Luminous Voices announces with great excitement the release of their newest CD Sea Dreams.
Sea Dreams features the work of the same title by Canadian composer Peter-Anthony Togni. Sea Dreams is written for double mixed choirs and two flutes and will feature two top Canadian flutists Sara Hahn-Scinocco and Sarah MacDonald. The piece was commissioned by Luminous Voices and Sara Hahn-Scinocco with the support from the Canada Council for the Arts and Paul and Elwyn Brown, and was premiered on February 25, 2018 at the Bella Concert Hall, Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta.

“Sea Dreams is a work that reflects my relationship to the ocean and my thoughts about a journey of faith, a journey full of questions, fears, longings, hopes, dreams, and the gifts of disappointment,” says Halifax-based composer Peter-Anthony Togni. “Each choir represents a ship on the water. Getting into a boat or on a ship is a kind of leap of faith: we can only pray and trust that the journey will be successful.”

“We have forged a strong artistic bond with Peter-Anthony Togni over the past 5 years,” says Timothy Shantz, Luminous Voices’ Artistic Director. “There is something very luminous about his music, reflecting inwards and outwards. Togni exploits sonorities and colours that we really enjoy producing. The compilation of works on this recording represent a variety of styles and periods of his music and celebrates his 60th year.”

Sea Dreams also includes other works by Togni, including Totus Tuus, Requiem et Lux, Earth Voices, Psaume 98, and more. Guest artists include bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly, soprano Katie Partridge, and tenor Oliver Munar.

Luminous Voices, founded in 2012 by conductor and Artistic Director Timothy Shantz, continues to thrill audiences in Calgary and beyond through performances, recordings, and workshops. The choir has released two recordings, The Far West (2016) and Mendelssohn’s Te Deum (2015). Of The Far West, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote “beautifully sung, as everything here is, by the aptly named Luminous Voices under Timothy Shantz.” The Far West was awarded the 2018 Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Choral Recording. The ensemble’s first recording, Mendelssohn’s Te Deum, was awarded the same recognition in 2016. Luminous Voices illuminates exceptional choral music of the past and present while supporting contemporary composers by commissioning new works. The ensemble’s vision is to encourage the advancement of choral art by providing a forum for collaboration among local and international artists in the development and presentation of choral music, as well as musical education programs.

For more information, visit www.luminousvoices.com, Facebook (LuminousVoices), Twitter (@LuminousVoices), or Instagram (@luminous_voices).