“Combining the wit of Dorothy Parker with the wisdom of Emily Dickinson, Atwood adds a steely grace and richness all her own. If there is beauty in despair, one may find it here”. (Library Journal, 2020)
(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music is excited to release Zombie Blizzard (LM277), an eclectic digital album of concert arias by internationally acclaimed Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and composer Aaron Davis.
In Zombie Blizzard Davis has set to music seven poems from Atwood’s 2020 collection, Dearly. The poems- Zombie, Blizzard, Health Class, Princess Clothing, Shadow, Digging up the Scythians, and Dearly – address themes of love, loss, feminism and …. Zombies! Davis’s musical compositions are sung brilliantly by internationally acclaimed soprano Measha Brueggergosman-Lee, withthe Hannaford Street Silver Band, Toronto’s premier brass ensemble, and Davison piano, George Koller on bass and Mark Mariash on drums. Zombie Blizzard also features recitations by Margaret Atwood of the seven poems.
The new recording gets its launch in Toronto at the Jane Mallett Theatre with all the performers on Sunday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m. with the New Classical FM as the official radio sponsor. For tickets and more information, head to https://tix.to/zombie.
Fredericton-born Measha Brueggergosman-Lee has created many crossover albums and toured extensively with award-winning pianist and composer Aaron Davis, and again blurs the lines between musical genres with Zombie Blizzard, composed for soprano, jazz trio and brass orchestra. The album gives expression to her long-term admiration for and friendship with Margaret Atwood. CBC Music included Zombie Blizzard in their listing of “Canadian albums we can’t wait to hear in 2024.”
Measha Brueggergosman-Lee holds several honorary doctorates and ambassadorial titles with international charities and is permanent Artist-in-Residence with the Canadian opera company, Opera Atelier. The JUNO award winner has presented innovative programs at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Washington’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Madrid’s Teatro Real as well as at the Schwarzenberg, Edinburgh, Verbier and Bergen Festivals. She is completing her second year of a master’s degree in theology and released her best-selling memoir Something is Always on Fire in 2018.
Other milestone recordings in 2023-24 include a song cycle by Robert Fleming for the Canadian Art Song Project, a remix album featuring multi-lingual, multi-national hip hop artists, a new work composed for her by Canadian-Dutch composer Jaap Nico Hamburger and MEASHA – Live at Westben. She also was the executive producer and director of Forgotten Coast, a 30-minute television episode broadcast on CBC Gem telling the story of her Black Loyalist heritage through the lens of hip-hop artist Jay Vernon, with orchestrations by Aaron Davis and Edwin Huizinga performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Alexander Shelley.
Margaret Atwood, poet
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her novels include Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, was followed in 2019 by a sequel, The Testaments, which was a global number one bestseller and won the Booker Prize. In 2020 she published Dearly, her first collection of poetry in a decade, followed in 2022 with Burning Questions, a selection of essays from 2004 to 2021. Her next collection of short stories, Old Babes in the Wood was published in March 2023. Atwood has won numerous awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright, and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
Aaron Davis, composer
Aaron Davis is an eclectic composer, arranger and pianist who has worked with many of Canada’s finest musical talents. He was a founder of the world-beat band Manteca, for whom he wrote and played keyboards for twelve years and is a founding member of the Holly Cole Trio with whom he’s been playing, recording, and touring the world since 1986.
Aaron has co-produced four of Measha Brueggergosman-Lee’s CDs and directed the music of her film Songs of Freedom. He’s also composed film scores for over 120 movies and created orchestral and chamber arrangements for many artists, including the Art of Time Ensemble, Alison Krauss, Natalie MacMaster, The Hannaford Street Silver Band, Jah Mila, Leahy, the Canadian Brass, Kevin Breit, Kuné, Canada’s Global Orchestra, Quartetto Gelato, and the Iseler Singers. Aaron has released three CDs of his own compositions, and is the recipient of two Juno Awards, two Gemini Awards and numerous Genie and Gemini award nominations.
The Hannaford Street Silver Band (www.hssb.ca)
Canada’s award-winning professional brass band was formed in 1983 by a group of professional musicians with a love of brass music and ensemble playing. Since then, Hannaford has been reinvigorating the brass band tradition, to critical and popular acclaim. Its mission is to honour the traditions of this art form while placing it in a contemporary context with a uniquely Canadian point of view. The HSSB has redefined the brass band genre by engaging in innovative creative projects, facilitating more than 40 commissions, and recording thirteen CDs, continually pushing boundaries, and exploring new paths. Since 2020, the band has released several classical music films, including Nine Daies Wonder by Bramwell Tovey with Mark Fewer, and Canadian Trilogy, 3 Films of Music by Canadian Composers that spotlight works commissioned from Kelly-Marie Murphy, Vivian Fung, and Barbara Assiginaak.
David Pell, Artistic Director
David Pell has served as Artistic Director of the Hannaford Street Silver Band since 2010 and is a faculty member of the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He is Principal Trombonist of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and has been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony, the Victoria Symphony, and Orchestra London Canada. He is a member of Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra and performs regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, as well as new music ensembles Continuum and New Music Concerts. He has also performed with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Symphony Nova Scotia, and with the Canadian Brass and Stockholm Chamber Brass.
David earned a doctorate from the Music and Health Research Collaboratory at the University of Toronto and is an active member of two other treasures of Canadian brass music: the True North Brass Quintet and the Canadian National Brass Project.
The support of the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Nova Scotia Cultural Investment Fund in the creation and recording of these songs is gratefully acknowledged. Listen to Zombie Blizzard wherever you stream your music: https://leaf-music.lnk.to/lm277 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.
For more information/photos or to arrange interviews please contact Peggy Walt, email@example.com (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell).