Quito, Ecuador (Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash)

Pedalling to Great Adventure

This week, I received wonderful news that I have been awarded a Music Creation Grant from the Toronto Arts Council to fund a commission from the Ecuadorian performance ensemble, InConcerto. The new composition will be premiered in Quito at their annual festival, MusicaOcupa, in June 2020.

I’m very excited about this opportunity for a number of reasons especially since MusicaOcupa’s mandate is to bring classical music directly to the people. They work to break down the pre-conceived notions of how and where classical music should be performed. By performing music in “everyday” places rather than the traditional concert hall, they give an opportunity to people who wouldn’t normally have a chance to sample amazing live music…and for free!

InConcerto’s socially focussed mindset really aligns with my way of thinking of how music can be shared and appreciated. It’s that connection that inspired me to conceive a reworking of Handel’s Water Music. Instead of a group of musicians floating down a river entertaining the aristocracy, why not have a group of musicians on the backs of bicycles collectively rolling through the streets of Quito entertaining passers-by. That’s why I’m calling my upcoming composition ‘Pedal Music’.

My compositional career has given me many opportunities to share my music publicly, but never in such a direct way like this. I will want the music to attract attention to and fill listeners with a sense of positive energy and beauty. Many major cities in the world are filled with uninspired noise of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is going to be an amazing opportunity to replace that with something more inspired, even for just a short period of time.

I can’t wait to start composing this new piece in the new year and to travel to Ecuador in June to work with this fantastic bunch of musicians while experiencing South America for the first time.

Many thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for helping make this opportunity a reality!

InConcerto, Ecuador

Pedal Music (Photo by Viktor Kern on Unsplash)

Quito, Ecuador (Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash)

UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, InConcerto’s world premiere performance of Pedal Music was canceled. Join Frank’s email list to receive updates on future performances of this composition.


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