Featured Articles

Manuella Blackburn’s Landline In the pantheon of sounds, the tone, whirr, and ring of the rotary phone belong in the “gone but not forgotten” gallery. If someone’s mobile phone rings à la Ma Bell—as opposed to the usual pulsating buzz, pop-tune riff, or synthesized animal sound—we[...] Read more

Sound Bite Jennie Punter Issue 133

The Expanding Universe of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan I HAD BEEN GRIPING TO ALASKA B, cofounder of the creative ensemble YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN, that Bloordale didn’t have any decent pizza. I’d recently transplanted myself to the Toronto neighbourhood, one of her stomping grounds, and found it discomfiting to not know where to[...] Read more

Featured Article Zack Kotzer Issue 123

An Inexhaustible Source of Wild Music In the 1970s, electronic music studios at the University of Toronto and McGill University sparked exciting ideas in guitar composition. With a focus on the evolution of Canadian works for guitar and electroacoustics, guitarist and composer Amy Brandon tracks key events and works from[...] Read more

Featured Article Amy Brandon Issue 137

The Creative Constructions of George Lewis “THIS PIECE HAS A NEW NAME,” ANNOUNCED GEORGE LEWIS, composer, trombonist, writer, and professor, speaking from the stage of the Community Church of New York. “I realized as I got into it that the old name—the name you have in your programs—doesn’t[...] Read more

Featured Article Kurt Gottschalk Issue 124

Understory’s Sonic Ecosystem Like many performing musicians, I considered leaving the music business in 2020. The confluence of loss of work due to the pandemic, exhaustion from years of gig-hustling, and the intensity of social, political, and environmental crises left me wanting to help directly (on good days) or hide[...] Read more

Featured Article Jennifer Thiessen Issue 140

Peggy Lee and the Joy of Unknowable Notes Her cello in a white case strapped to her small back, Peggy Lee had walked several unfamiliar blocks in her hometown Vancouver, since the bus dropped her at the edge of a genteel oceanside neighbourhood. She was looking for the Aberthau Mansion, where she would perform later that evening.[...] Read more

Featured Article Nancy Lanthier Issue 131

Thomas, Farah, and D’Eon I’m sitting with Thom Gill and we’re talking about his most recent EP Such Is Your Triumph, arguably his most intimate and personal set of recordings to date. In addition to his beautifully hushed and harmonically inventive takes on two gospel songs made famous by the Clark[...] Read more

Featured Article Nick Storring Issue 112

Winners of Musicworks' 2019 Electronic Music Composition Contest Announced . . . at Last! After a month delay due to challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Musicworks is thrilled to announce the winners of its 2019 Electronic Music Composition Contest. We thank composer entrants for their patience.   Brazilian composer Alex Buck, who is currently based[...] Read more

Featured Article STAFF

The Musical Colours of Dominique Fils-Aimé On the 2004 live-concert recording Tour de Force, the renowned American poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron introduces his 1981 song “Is That Jazz?”: “Go to your record store . . . look at the bottom shelf, you will find a box called miscellaneous. We are miscellaneous. We[...] Read more

Profile Chaka V. Grier Issue 133

Musicworks 132 The final issue of Musicworks' 40th anniversary year features first-person stories, collaborative creativity, and a hint of chocolate. Buy it now!   On the cover: Darcy Spidle Nova Scotia writer Darcy Spidle played in punk bands, ran the Divorce record label, and[...] Read more

Featured Article Issue 132

Anna Pidgorna's Invented Folk Songs With its balance of bold colour palettes, strong melodic profiles, and unexpected performative elements, composer Anna Pidgorna’s work has been catching eyes and ears of late. Her chamber opera On the Eve of Ivan Kupalo recieved a 2013 SOCAN Foundation Award, and Light-Play through[...] Read more

In the Works Nick Storring Issue 123

Composer Wolf Edwards loads the chamber Wolf Edwards’ various stories are so interesting and so curiously entwined that it’s hard to know where to start. Working in the fish-packing plants of Ucluelet, B.C., the ugly-duckling sibling of Tofino’s trendy swan? Playing guitar on the stage of some black-hole dive[...] Read more

Profile Alexander Varty Issue 120