Aaron Gervais, composer » Biographical https://aarongervais.com Website for composer Aaron Gervais Thu, 18 Jun 2015 01:54:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Biographie en français https://aarongervais.com/bio/biographie-en-franais/ https://aarongervais.com/bio/biographie-en-franais/#comments Sun, 15 May 2011 17:45:10 +0000 https://aarongervais.com/wp/?p=649 Né à Edmonton, Canada, compositeur Aaron Gervais habite à San Francisco, et il est représenté par Art Music Promotion. Il a obtenu un baccalauréat avec distinction en musique de l’Université de Toronto (2005), où il a étudié avec Chan Ka Nin, et également une maîtrise de l’Université de la Californie à San Diego (2007) sous […]

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Né à Edmonton, Canada, compositeur Aaron Gervais habite à San Francisco, et il est représenté par Art Music Promotion. Il a obtenu un baccalauréat avec distinction en musique de l’Université de Toronto (2005), où il a étudié avec Chan Ka Nin, et également une maîtrise de l’Université de la Californie à San Diego (2007) sous la direction de Chinary Ung et Philippe Manoury. En plus, Aaron a poursuivi des études sous Martijn Padding au Koninklijk Conservatorium à la Haye. Il a assisté à de nombreux ateliers avec des compositeurs distingués de partout autour du monde. Avant ces études en composition, Aaron a fait des études en jazz et en percussion cubaine, dont un été d’études à la Havane.

Les œuvres d’Aaron Gervais ont été interprétées dans plusieurs pays par des ensembles renommés, tels que Tapestry New Opera Works, l’Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, le Nouvel ensemble moderne, le Nieuw En­semble, Toca Loca, Continuum, le Knights Orchestra, l’Arditti Quartet, et le London Sinfonietta. Elles ont été diffusées par CBC, Radio-Canada, et la chaîne CIUT à Toronto.

Aaron a participé à plusieurs festivals de musique prestigieux, dont la Semaine de musique Gaudeamus à Amsterdam (sa pièce Culture n°1 a été choisie pour le concours en 2006); le Sound Festival à Aberdeen; les festivaux New Wave, soundaXis et SHIFT à Toronto; et le MATA Festival à New York. En 2008, il a été choisi comme représentant du Canada pour les Journées mondiales de la musique en Lituanie. En 2006, sa pièce Flüsse-Einflüsse a été sélectionnée comme pièce de concours final pour les étudiants d’accordéon de deuxième stage au Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Trossingen en Allemagne.

En 2009, Aaron a reçu le premier prix dans le Concours international de jeunes compositeurs de l’orkest de ereprijs aux Pays-Bas. Il a aussi reçu plusieurs d’autres prix et bourses, dont un ASCAP Gould Award (2010) aux États-Unis, six prix aux Concours des jeunes compositeurs de la SOCAN (2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2004), le Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor of Alberta Emerg­ing Artist Award (2008), ainsi que plusieurs bourses d’étude, de commande, et de voyage du Conseil des Arts du Canada, la SOCAN, et la Fondation des arts de l’Alberta.

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Biografía en español https://aarongervais.com/bio/biografa-en-espaol/ https://aarongervais.com/bio/biografa-en-espaol/#comments Sun, 15 May 2011 15:31:51 +0000 https://aarongervais.com/wp/?p=654 Nacido en Edmonton, Canadá, compositor Aaron Gervais vive en San Francisco y está representado por Art Music Promotion. El obtuvo un bachelor con distinción en música de la Universidad de Toronto (2005), donde estudió con Chan Ka Nin. También obtuvo un Masters de la Universidad de la California en San Diego (2007), estudiando con Chinary […]

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Nacido en Edmonton, Canadá, compositor Aaron Gervais vive en San Francisco y está representado por Art Music Promotion. El obtuvo un bachelor con distinción en música de la Universidad de Toronto (2005), donde estudió con Chan Ka Nin. También obtuvo un Masters de la Universidad de la California en San Diego (2007), estudiando con Chinary Ung y Philippe Manoury. Además, él sigo estudios particulares con Martijn Padding en el Koninklijk Conservatorium en la Haya. Aaron asistió a varios talleres con compositores importantes de todos lados del mundo. Antes de sus estudios en composición, Aaron hizo carreras en jazz y percusión cubana, y la segunda de estas le trajo hasta la Habana para estudios particulares en el verano de 2002.

Las obras de Aaron Gervais están tocadas en varios países para ensambles célebres como Tapestry New Opera Works, el Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, el Nouvel ensemble moderne, el Nieuw Ensemble, Toca Loca, Continuum, el Knights Orchestra, el Arditti Quartet, y el London Sinfonietta. Además, sus obras fueron transmitidas por el Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio-Canada, y la cadena CIUT de Toronto.

Aaron Gervais participó en varios festivales mayores de música, incluyendo la Semana de música Gaudeamus en Amsterdam (su obra Culture n°1 fue seleccionada para el concurso en 2006); el Sound Festival en Aberdeen; los festivales New Wave, soundaXis, y SHIFT en Toronto; y el MATA Festival en Nueva York. En 2008, él fue escogido como representativo de Canadá para los Días mundiales de la música en Lituania. En 2006, su obra Flüsse-Einflüsse sirvió como pieza de concurso final para los estudiantes de acordeón en la carrera Künsterlische Ausbildung del Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Trossingen en Alemania.

En 2009, Aaron recibió el primer premio en el Concurso internacional de jóvenes compositores del orkest de ereprijs en los Países Bajos. También, Aaron recibió varios otros premios, incluyendo un ASCAP Gould Award (2010) en los Estados Unidos, seis premios del Concurso de jóvenes compositores de la SOCAN (2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2004), el Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor of Alberta Emerg­ing Artist Award (2008), y varias becas de estudio, de encargada, y de viaje, por el Consejo de los artes del Canadá, la SOCAN, y la Fundación de los artes del Alberta.

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Short Biography https://aarongervais.com/bio/short-biography/ https://aarongervais.com/bio/short-biography/#comments Mon, 09 May 2011 18:33:20 +0000 https://aarongervais.com/wp/?p=81 Based in San Francisco, composer Aaron Gervais enjoys frequent performances of his work by leading ensembles, presenters, and festivals in North America and Europe. His output focuses primarily on chamber music and opera but also includes orchestral music, live electronics, solo works, and music for theatre and dance. Lauded for his uncompromising approach to modern […]

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Based in San Francisco, composer Aaron Gervais enjoys frequent performances of his work by leading ensembles, presenters, and festivals in North America and Europe. His output focuses primarily on chamber music and opera but also includes orchestral music, live electronics, solo works, and music for theatre and dance. Lauded for his uncompromising approach to modern classical composition, Aaron draws upon humor, quotation, pop music influences, extramusical sources, cultural references, and found materials to create idiomatic pieces with strong resonance for contemporary audiences.

Aaron’s approach has led to a steady stream of commissions and performances by groups such as the Nieuw Ensemble, Tapestry New Opera, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Knights Orchestra, Ensemble Klang, the London Sinfonietta, Artists’ Vocal Ensemble, and the Arditti Quartet. He has also appeared on prominent festivals, including Amsterdam’s Gaudeamus Music Week, New York’s MATA Festival, and San Francisco’s Other Minds Festival. Awards include the orkest de ereprijs’s International Young Composers Competition, an ASCAP Gould Award, six prizes in Canada’s SOCAN Awards for Young Composers, and numerous other prizes.

In addition to writing music, Aaron blogs extensively on his website, on the philosophical and social issues facing classical music today. He holds a B.Mus from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in composition from UC San Diego. When not composing, Aaron enjoys undertaking culinary projects and throwing dinner parties. He is represented by Art Music Promotion.

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Influences https://aarongervais.com/bio/influences/ https://aarongervais.com/bio/influences/#comments Sun, 05 Nov 2006 05:38:55 +0000 https://aarongervais.com/wp/?p=85 Over time, my music has grad­u­ally taken on more and more aspects of my par­tic­u­lar musi­cal back­ground. I grew up play­ing jazz and rock drums in addi­tion to clas­si­cal per­cus­sion, and this influ­ence has become increas­ingly clear in my pieces, although not always in terms of direct appro­pri­a­tion. What is more common is an inter­est […]

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Over time, my music has grad­u­ally taken on more and more aspects of my par­tic­u­lar musi­cal back­ground. I grew up play­ing jazz and rock drums in addi­tion to clas­si­cal per­cus­sion, and this influ­ence has become increas­ingly clear in my pieces, although not always in terms of direct appro­pri­a­tion. What is more common is an inter­est in the cul­tural ele­ments of hear­ing: why we hear things in cer­tain ways, what it is we listen for in par­tic­u­lar genres, and so forth.

In addi­tion, my recent pieces have taken a par­tic­u­larly crit­i­cal slant on these ques­tions. I tend not to trust state­ments or ideas that people take as axiomatic, so I have focused on writng music that decon­structs these “givens” in order to find out exactly how axiomatic they really are—chal­lenge for the sake of chal­lenge, in other words. Almost always I do find some grain of truth in the axioms, though this process of intense scrutiny serves as a sort of inspira­tion to explore some­thing new, to push my music in dif­fer­ent direc­tions, and also to better inter­nal­ize the musi­cal or per­cep­tual or cul­tural truths that I do happen to stum­ble across. And what’s more, I often find myself saying, “Well, I was right, there really is a lot about that idea that is totally superfluous.”

So there are these two facets: one the one hand, my inter­est in cul­tural ele­ments of music, stem­ming from my back­ground in jazz, rock, clas­si­cal music, Cuban pop­u­lar and folk­loric musics, et cetera; and on the other, a kind of rebel­lious side that likes to ques­tion musi­cal author­i­ties for the fun of it.

On top of that, I also have some other more tran­sient inter­ests—flavours of the week that keep things fresh. For exam­ple, over the past few pieces, I have been inter­ested in writ­ing music that is fast-paced, rhyth­mic, and light in tex­ture. I’ve def­i­nitely writ­ten a lot of slow dark music, but it seems to me that there is a pre­pon­der­ance of that kind of thing in the new music com­mu­nity and I want to see how far I can push the other direc­tion. Com­posers like Jacob ter Veldhuis and Richard Ayres have been par­tic­u­lar inspi­ra­tions in that regard, though I am just as likely if not more to look at pop­u­lar music for this. I don’t think my music resembles those two com­posers very much, but they are people whose music I have thought about a lot as I write my own. And again, I also often sit and think about the Beastie Boys or the Black Eyed Peas; Aphex Twin, Björk, Stere­o­lab, or Metric; or what­ever. There’s some­thing to learn from any kind of music; the impor­tant thing is to actu­ally sit down with it and do the thinking.

Another thing that’s come up a lot lately is a rever­sal of formal pri­or­i­ties. Actu­ally, this might be start­ing to fall under the cat­e­gory of axioms I’ve chal­lenged repeat­edly instead of just a flavour of the week, but still… Many pieces by com­posers in the new music tra­di­tion have long, flow­ing forms with strong hier­ar­chi­cal inter­re­la­tions between sec­tions and seam­less tran­si­tions, often built upon a single motive or series of terse musi­cal ideas. That comes from the Beethoven tra­di­tion I sup­pose, which is as good a model as any to emu­late. But I wanted to know if there was another way to do it. So a lot of my recent music deals with very simple long-term formal struc­tures, based on a series of unre­lated musi­cal motives that change from sec­tion to sec­tion with very little tran­si­tional mate­r­ial. Coher­ence is cre­ated through the larger simple formal pat­terns instead of the long-term devel­op­ment of motives.

For exam­ple, Cul­ture no.1 is in four dis­creet sec­tions plus a coda. Each sec­tion is started by an audio sample that the musi­cians then imi­tate, and that’s all there is to the form. No interre­la­tion between the sec­tions, no mate­r­ial that comes back later to be devel­oped. But on the local level, I have very tight inter­ac­tions between mate­r­ial, clear devel­op­ment of motives, and this helps to carry the music through from one sec­tion to the next. The global char­ac­ter of the sec­tions, how­ever, and not the local devel­op­ment, is what strings together the piece as a whole.

As the saying goes, talk­ing about music is like danc­ing about archi­tec­ture, and prob­a­bly this little blurb will seem com­pletely inad­e­quate tomor­row. But that’s always the way it is and I hope at least this serves as a snap­shot of what’s going on in my music right now, which is always useful. Actu­ally, I don’t like that quo­ta­tion; talk­ing about music is noth­ing like dancing about archi­tec­ture. Metaphors like that over-simplify the issue and lead to the kinds of musi­cal axioms I don’t like. Maybe it’s better not to say any­thing. So I’ll just leave it here and you can decide for your­self what my motives are, if you’re so inclined.

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