ISCM 2017: Local composing stars Jocelyn Morlock and Lisa Cay Miller weigh in with World New Music Days picks

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      It’s not the ISCM World New Music Days’ push for gender parity that makes Jocelyn Morlock and Lisa Cay Miller two of the busiest people in Vancouver: it’s that each is an exceptional composer (and, in Miller’s case, pianist). As composer in residence with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Morlock will present That Tingling Sensation at the Orpheum on Sunday (November 5) and has a piece on the bill for the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s opening-night gala (see page 14).

      Miller will help present some of the festival’s most provocative sounds when the NOW Society Ensemble blurs the line between composition and improvisation at the Orpheum Annex on Saturday (November 4). She’ll also contribute a score to Redshift Music Society’s presentation of spatial music for 18 guitars, at the Vancouver Public Library central branch atrium at 1 p.m. and 10: 15 p.m. on Tuesday (November 7). Busy as they are, the two creators found time to list their first-choice pick for festivalgoers.

      Tops, for Morlock, is the double bill—at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre on Friday (November 3)—of the Hard Rubber Riot Ensemble and otherworldly clarinetist Lori Freedman. Morlock admits some bias in the matter: Hard Rubber leader John Korsrud is her boyfriend. “But our relationship sprung from me trying to get to know him because I loved his music so much,” she explains, adding that Korsrud and crew will be previewing Riot, a multimedia investigation of the 2011 Stanley Cup rampage. As for Freedman, Morlock describes her as “an incredible, ferocious composer and clarinetist” and “a force of nature”.

      Lisa Cay Miller


      Miller, in turn, is looking forward to the 16 new works “from composers all around the world” that will be heard in A Kind of Magic at the Vancouver Playhouse on closing night, Wednesday (November 8). Performing will be “four of the best pianists on the planet (who happen to be Canadian)”: Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, Eve Egoyan, Megumi Masaki, and Bang on a Can’s Vicky Chow.