Buildings

Buildings – for chamber ensemble

25 min long work in 11 movements inspired by buildings in Toronto and Montreal.

Please contact me if you would like to perform this work! Only a few movements have been performed.


Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Percussion (bongo, vibraphone, cymbal, tom-tom and snare drum) and Piano

This work is inspired by architecture, and it marks my first serious foray into writing chamber music. The five movement suite is sewn together with repeating musical links or sidewalks as I see them, in the form of a Prelude, various Interludes and Postlude; these movements share a common time signature and theme. In between these traveling gestures are pieces that are influenced in someway by buildings.

Prelude, Interlude and Postlude: fast and fleeting, these short fragments break up the seriousness of the buildings. The music offers a cleansing transition using a light atmosphere with a whimsical rhythmic vitality. The instrumentation ranges from solo, duet, trio, quartet and full ensemble writing.

2600 Pierre-Dupuy Ave:

Habitat67 was constructed for Expo67 in Montreal Canada. It was designed by Moshe Safdie. He planned the work using Lego bricks – the story is he bought out all the bricks in Montreal stores. It is a brutlist style featuring large concrete blocks that were built elsewhere and combined on site. The music is in a linear form, organically developing from the opening gesture. This linear style is influenced by Habitats shape.

44 Charles Street West:


The Manulife Centre is a brutilist building, and a staple of Toronto architecture. It was completed in 1974 and at the time was the tallest concrete building in Canada. Currently it is 80th tallest building in the country, and 32nd tallest in the city. The piano motif articulates the A sections, meant to capture the rich history of Bloor street and the ‘Mink Mile’ where the building is situated. The percussion in featured in the B section; it represents the Manulife Centre’s dominating, huge scale. It is undeniable taking up an entire city block and always present in the city. The instruments flicker and weave around the ever present percussion, as if to portray the light reflecting off the concrete squares, or other buildings glass reflections and also the colourful inhabitants who live in the apartments.

438 Richmond Street West:

Known as “The Morgan” this condo is in the heart of the Toronto fashion district, it captures the Art Decco style of 1920’s Manhattan NY. The music recreates the tension the city can bring; the hustle and bustle of the city, always moving, sometimes safe, sometimes violent. There are moments of calm repose juxtaposed with chromatic outbursts illuminating the fluidity of city life.

460-480 Queens Quay West:

Arthur Erickson’s “Kings Landing” (1981) building has long horizontal concrete lines with terraces and solariums which curve and flow, emulating lapping waves from the lake. This work for violin and piano captures the beauty of Lake Ontario, as well as the ominous storms and freezing winter ice articulating natures power.

 

383 Ellis Park:

This building known as “Home on the Park” sits at the edge of Toronto’s High Park. The building is almost hidden due to the large terraces which flow into the High Park trees. There is a blurred boundary between condo and park. The music captures the rolling hills, wildlife trails, zoo and water of the park.


Prelude full ensemble

2600 Pierre-Dupuy Ave – full ensemble

Interlude  – flute, clarinet and piano

44 Charles Street West –  full ensemble

Interlude –  full ensemble

438 Richmond Street West –  flute, clarinet, violin and percussion

Interlude –  solo violin

460-480 Queens Quay West –  violin and piano 

Interlude  – vibraphone and piano

383 Ellis Park –  flute, clarinet and violin

Postlude –  full ensemble

About Composer

Matthew Emery (b.1991) is a Canadian composer whose music has been performed in sixteen countries. He currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada where he maintains an active composition and teaching studio.

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