Commissioned by The Esprit Orchestra
23 Nov 2017, Trinity St. Paul's, Toronto ON
The Esprit Orchestra; Alex Pauk, conductor
One of three types of poetry identified by Ezra Pound, Melopoeia, is a process through which musical properties are infused into certain words in order to fundamentally alter their meaning. Through a series of careful adjustments one may induce altered emotional correlations that wouldn’t necessarily be present using normative speech behaviour.While finding a way into the inspiration for this piece, I was contemplating the circumstances of this particular commissioning project and what an “Ontario Resonance” would potentially mean for me. I decided to make a list of places in Ontario that each produced a strong emotional impact on me as a child: trips to the North, seeing Niagara Falls for the first time, snow-coveredwintry woods and so on. The natural thing to do would be to physically revisit these locations to capture field recordings and analyze the resonant qualities of these places - a technique that would produce some basic musical material. Instead, I thoughtof what these places meant to me emotionally and developed a collection of associative vocabulary. I then recorded these words as uttered from my own mouth and at the same time applying Pound’s speech process. I then analyzed the resonant qualities of these words to generate a series of harmonies for the piece. Therefore the resonance you hear throughout the piece is quite literally an audible rendering of my own emotional experience of the beautiful provence I call home.