Lisa Cay Miller brings ear chocolate to Pyatt Hall

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      Pianist and composer Lisa Cay Miller’s music is often dark and intense—which, it seems, is just the way she likes her chocolate. “Lindt has a 99-percent chocolate bar that I enjoy,” she says. “I don’t like sweets. I like chocolate.”

      The NOW Society artistic director and her audience are going to get to indulge that taste at Pyatt Hall on Friday (November 21). Arguably the most intriguing guest on a program that also features composer Anne La Berge and clarinet virtuoso Lori Freedman, avant-garde confectioner Greg Hook has been tasked with devising chocolates to accompany the three movements of Miller’s new suite, Alea Jacta Est. Complicating the challenge is that the music has some very dark undercurrents inspired by early Canadian feminism, the 1989 Montreal Massacre, and the ongoing wage gap between women and men.

      Hook allows that he won’t be using milk or white chocolate in NOW’s sensory experiment. Other, less conventional ingredients will have a role, however. “For one movement,” says the Chocolate Arts proprietor, “we’ve used Pop Rocks in the chocolate, for a kind of fizzy surprise that goes well with the music.”

      That might be the only pop or rock on the bill, but who’s complaining?