To sit, and listen – it’s become an extraordinary gift in our busy and hectic schedules. Some prefer to listen in relative silence, perhaps in a sanctuary or religious building, others gravitate to naturescapes like the seashore or the edge of a river. Lovers of music now have a new concert series to consider. A Place to Listen is the brainchild of Daniel Brandes, a young Victoria-based composer and member of the Wandelweiser school.
Once a month, on the 3rd Wednesday, he curates a concert series that encourages audiences to find the spaces between the notes. In a world that has become increasingly dense in sound, I consider these concerts to be a monthly gift to myself. I sit, and pay close attention – the notes are sparse, time slows, the building creaks, a clock ticks, my breathing calms, and somehow an hour is gone; the concert ends.
For our 9th program, A Place to Listen will be hosting Victoria’s Vis à Vis Saxophone Quartet.
This beautiful program will feature: Margaret Ashburner’s 2009 work Ink Blot, a stunningly gentle exploration of elusive multi-phonics and luminous resonance. Daniel Brandes’ 2012 open-instrumentation piece as if from a distance; intimations of melody , a deeply immersive piece in which each musician of the ensemble independently explores the same melody, allowing it to organically resonate off of itself in an distant and tenuous counterpoint. The quartet will also perform Antoine Beuger’s beautiful 2003 Saxophone Quartet—consisting primarily of soft and distant single tones and diads, Beuger’s Quartet is a piece of deep calm.
A Place to Listen 9: The Vis à Vis Saxaphone Quartet
Where: James Bay United Church, 517 Michigan Street, Victoria
When: Wed July 17, 7pm
Admission: $10, $5 for students
Here is a video of the June concert with Colin Tilney.
More than a concert series, A Place to Listen is about creating a space. A quiet place where, for an hour or two, one can be deeply attuned to something. Nothing spectacular or sensational. Just some tones and some silence. In our current culture of hyper-stimulation and saturation—which attempts to colonize our imaginations and demands that we not look too closely, or feel too deeply—this kind of musical practice is essential. It feeds a part of us that, more and more, we are learning to neglect. The part that needs quiet.
Rather than a concert series, this is a listening series. Thanks for listening.