Review - World Music Report

The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra Debuts at Koerner Hall

By Danilo Navas

The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, recently created by The Royal Conservatory of Toronto and masterminded by its Executive Director, Performing Art, Mervon Mehta, premiered the music they collectively created, on the evening of June 2 at Koerner Hall, Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. A rousing celebration of the cultural diversity and pluralism of our Canadian country as it turns 150 this year; the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra is a very special musical project, conceived in a very special moment in the history of humankind. When the negativism, irrationality and divisive forces seem to gain strength, the universality of music plays an extremely important role, bringing peace, unity and understanding to our increasingly small global village. We are one planet, one human race, with the same goals and the same destiny.

Twelve talented musicians from every corner of the world were selected to participate in this wonderful project, led by Artistic Director David Buchbinder. They were in residence at the Conservatory through the 2016-2017 season.

The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra’s members are:
Padideh Ahrarnejad (Iran) tar
Sasha Boychouk (Ukraine) woodwinds and ethnic Ukrainian flutes
Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk (Canada – Métis) violin, viola, jaw harp, spoons, and vocals
Luis Deniz (Cuba) saxophone
Anwar Khurshid (Pakistan) sitar, flute, esraj, tabla, vocals, and harmonium
Lasso (Salif Sanou) (Burkina Faso) Fulani flute, kambélé n’goni, tamanin (talking drum), balafon, djembe, doum-doum, and vocals
Paco Luviano (Mexico) bass
Aline Morales (Brazil) Brazilian percussion and vocals
Demetrios Petsalakis (Greece) oud, guitar, lyra, bouzouki, riq, and Greek baglama
Matias Recharte (Peru) drums, percussion, cajón, conga, and timbales
Dorjee Tsering (Tibet) dranyen, flute, piwang, yang chin (dulcimer), and traditional Tibetan vocals
Dora Wang (China) bamboo flute, flute, hulusi, xiao, panpipe, and ocarina
David Buchbinder (United States), Artistic Director

The program presented at Koerner Hall included twelve original compositions, one song by every member of the ensemble. The thirteenth composition in the program, Hymn to Freedom,  composed by Oscar Peterson, was certainly a tribute to one of the greatest Canadian pianists and jazz artists of all times. The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, which reminds me of Yo-Yo Ma’s highly acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble, sounded magnificent on its first big performance. It was an amazing showcase of the talent and creativity of an inspired, true collective of artists who are shaping the new music of Canada. The NCGMO will be travelling within Canada presenting their music, culminating their journey next fall at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, where they will be recording an album.

  1. Lahzeye Sokut (Moments of Silence) – Composed by Padideh Ahrarnejad and arranged by David Buchbinder.
  2. Yaguza – Composed and arranged by Sasha Boychouk.
  3. We Met in Tkaranto – Composed by Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk and arranged by David Buchbinder.
  4. Canto a la Tierra – Composed by Luis Deniz and arranged by Hilario Durán.
  5. No Maney; Rag Kirvani – Composed and arranged by Anwar Khurshid.
  6. Obèso – Composed and arranged by Lasso.
  7. Espere, Esperanto – Composed by Paco Luviano and Hannah Burgé; arranged by Hilario Durán.
  8. Iémanja (part I), Iémanja (part II) – Composed by Aline Morales; part I arranged by David Arcus; part II arranged by David Buchbinder.
  9. Montréal – Composed and arranged by Demetrios Petsalakis.
  10. Lloqlla (Spirit of Rushing Water) – Composed and arranged by Matias recharte.
  11. Tashi Delek – Composed by Dorjee Tsering; arranged by David Buchbinder. Dran-yen Dance – Composed and arranged by Dorjee Tsering.
  12. Jasmine in Bamboo – Composed by Dora Wangarranged by David Buchbinder.
  13. Hymn to Freedom – Composed by Oscar Peterson, adapted and arranged by David Buchbinder, lyrics by Harriette Hamilton and French translation by Dominique Denis.

The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra was presented by the Royal Conservatory of Music in partnership with: Aga Khan Museum, Batuki Music Society, CBC, Diasporic Genius, Lula Music and Arts Centre, Small World Music, York University Department of Music and 918 Bathurst Centre.

Jaclyn Tam