musica intima will be joined in Vancouver by composer/curator of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour. Balfour writes : “Nagamo ( Sings) reimagines history and the concept of nation to nation respect and musical dialogue between the nations of the so-called New World and Old World. During the beginning of the 17th century, several Chiefs and esteemed Indigenous leaders journeyed to Europe in the hope of forging alliances. In many cases, they were treated as respected ambassadors. Nagamo explores the fantastical idea of what might have happened if the sharing of music, and the respect of culture had contrived, and how a different history might have played out.”
Revolving around Elizabethan choral music by Byrd, Tallis, and Gibbons, the concert will also feature the unique musical perspective of Balfour’s translations of these motets into First Nations languages. Compositions by Balfour himself will explore universal ideas of governance, diplomacy, and culture, as well as the challenges Indigenous peoples face today. Alongside this program, musica intima has commissioned visual artist Sonny Assu (Liǥwildaʼx̱w of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations) whose new work will be exhibited at the performance.
Andrew Balfour's participation has been generously supported by our Production Sponsor, The Tuey Foundation.
Poster art by Sonny Assu : Making a b-line to HaidaBucks, Salmonberry Frap #ftw #starbucksFAIL #lol, 2016. Digital Intervention on an Emily Carr Painting (Yan, Q.C.I 1912). Archival Pigment Print. 33" x 22". Courtesy of the Artist and the Equinox Gallery.
Of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour is an innovative composer/conductor/singer/sound designer with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works, including Gregorio’s Nightmare, Raven Can Tango, Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Fantasia on a Poem by Rumi, Missa Brevis, Medieval Inuit, Kihewetaniy (Eagle Feather), and Voice of the Lake. Many of Andrew’s works have been performed and broadcast locally, nationally, and internationally. Andrew is also the founder, conceptual creator, and Artistic Director of the vocal group Camerata Nova with whom Andrew specialises in creating 'concept concerts,' where a theme is explored through an eclectic choice of music, including new works written for the performance, and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations. Andrew has become increasingly passionate about music education and outreach, particularly on northern reserves and in inner-city schools where he has worked on behalf of the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
In 1992, a group of friends wanted to sing together. They started gathering in one another’s homes to make music while they shared the artistic values that fed into what musica intima has become today : a collective that fosters human connection through vocal music. Deliciously unique and refreshingly different, this collaborative Canadian vocal ensemble unites twelve professional voices in inspired, profound and moving vocal experiences. The ensemble champions Canadian composers—both traditional and contemporary. In rehearsal and live, musica intima are collaborative and conductor-less, bringing artistic excellence and new energy to the choral canon. They are boundless, exploring vocal genres from jazz to the most experimental of contemporary music.