As a composer, one of the steps in the creative process that I often find mentally difficult to grapple with ...
Album Release Week takes a major turn today with the unveiling of The Current Agenda. While yesterday was all about sharing the themes of love and togetherness, today is all about using the power of music to bring awareness to some of the major injustices in our world.
The 6 compositions that make-up The Current Agenda all have one goal in mind, to present the facts and emotions behind some of the biggest stories in the news, all through the sound of acoustic instruments and electronics…that’s right, no vocals for these ‘protest songs’.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t hear words…some of the pieces are treated like a radio documentary. It was important that the inspirations of the pieces reflect the gritty realism of the subjects. I have found over the years that “classical” music doesn’t often use it’s voice to take a stand against anything. I’m not sure why this is…perhaps it’s out of fear of offending those with power and money from providing funding and sponsorships?
This for me has always been a sin and I think this was the main motivation to bring this album to life. I think The Current Agenda is also a bit of a sequel to my 2010 album, A Little Dark Music. All of those socially minded pieces were piano focussed and performed by myself. After the release of that album, I did the very extensive (and exhausting) Green Keys Tour. After it was done, I was burnt out. I worked on other projects but having my music stand up for something important never left my heart. So here we are today.
Of the 4 albums being released this week, this is the one that was most epic in regards to the process. Many musicians, 2 different studios, multiple days of recording, many weeks of editing and mixing, electronic elements combined with acoustic instruments… It was a huge project for only 6 chamber works.
But I am extremely pleased with the result. I listen to each piece now and I’m very impacted, deep within my soul, by what I hear. It’s almost like the pieces have a life of their own now…I’m proud of that.
This is not the type of album where you tell people, “I hope you like it”. It’s more about awareness, engagement, and pondering of thoughts. If my audience comes out of a listening session with that in mind, I know I will have done my job!
Special thanks to the following talented individuals who brought this album to life: Samantha Chang, Kathryn Ladano, Christopher Lee, Gregory Millar, Daniel Morphy, Erika Nielsen, Lisa Tahara, Jamie Thompson, Michael Westwood, Jean Martin, Julian Decorte, Jeremy Darby and Dennis Patterson.
Click here to listen to the album in it’s entirety. I would love to know what it makes you feel.
BTW, if you’re curious, the album title is a merging of the titles of the CBC Radio show, The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti, and TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paiken. Two fine current affairs shows that helped inspire the composition of the pieces on this album.