Select Positive Mentions

“…by the time the end of the piece arrived, I fully understood its direction, the themes, and the whole work made sense. It is that quality alone that makes me wish I could have a chance to see it again.”

“The effect was unique, unsettling, a bit repetitive and often funny.”

“Gervais and the performing ensemble captured both the wearisome, monotonous grind of work and the exciting generative capacity of humankind’s labors.”

“I could tell you that Aaron Gervais’s Shoot Like a Film Star ambitiously attempts to create a miniature opera from the unpromising libretto of a single spam email subject line.

“But you know what, this is just really great fun…”

“Aaron Gervais[’s] piece was just entertaining. He is the composer of the night for me. Such a funny piece, I cried tears of laughter.”

“His music stubbornly refuses to do what modern classical music is supposed to—not because he’s reactionary or defiant, but simply because he would rather do things his own way.”

“I laughed my head off last week when I watched the ‘Live Action Composing Video’ Aaron Gervais has on his Myspace. It is so true to life. Most people think composing music is some near religious experience where the composer is carried away with the great emotion of their music. The reality is that it’s mostly sitting around erasing things.”

“An artist in full command of his technique whose compositions are most original and inventive, very sophisticated and intellectually engaging.”

Select Negative Mentions

“Did it succeed? To my ears, not really. The structure of the music and the endless repetition of hockey terms (Slapshot! Penalty! High sticking!) did not evoke a sense of the brutal ballet that is hockey.”

“Ger­vais has three exam­ples of pieces that con­sist of hav­ing peo­ple declaim frag­ments of phrases along with some instru­men­tal lines. He seems to be a one-trick pony, and the trick doesn’t maintain its interest for very long. But perhaps a modern art music version of rap is in the making.”

“Aardig was Culture no. 1, van Aaron Gervais (Canada, 1980) een grappige poging om door middel van een Apple-laptop de populaire cultuur te verzoenen met de klassieke. Harp (Ernestine Stoop) en piano (John Snijders) wonnen het ruimschoots van de eletronica!”

[Next was Culture no.1, by Aaron Gervais (Canada, 1980), a funny attempt to reconcile pop and classical music, by means of an Apple laptop versus harp (Ernestine Stoop) and piano (John Snijders)—the laptop won!]