Now Hear This


MARCH 18-20, 2016

For the past 30 years, New Music Edmonton (NME) has been hunting down the world’s most innovative, cutting edge sounds to bring back to Edmonton. As we mark this musical milestone we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to host our 5th Annual Now Hear This Festival March 18-20, 2016 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church (10037 84 Ave.).

We hope you’ll join us for this special double anniversary as we present three days of sonic art from as far away as NYC to right here in Edmonton.

Spanning three days with dozens of performances, Now Hear This showcases an incredible roster of local, national and international artists who all create, innovate, and inspire audiences worldwide with provocative sound art. Events include concerts alongside free lectures, panel talks and open participation events. Edmonton has the early music, the rock music, and the classical music festivals, but this is the event for the cutting edge and the avant-garde.

New Music in Edmonton (NME) has been Edmonton’s premier organization for the promotion and presentation of contemporary music and sound-related arts for three decades. NME is committed to seeking out and bringing the widest possible spectrum of musical and sonic art practices to its audiences.



Schedule of Events:

Monday, March 14 – Thursday, March 17

Darren Copeland workshop(s) with emerging artists

Thursday, March 18, 10 AM – Noon:  Holy Trinity Anglican Church (10037 84 Ave.)

Lori Freedman workshop(s) with emerging artists

Thursday, March 18, 2-3:30 PM:  University of Alberta, Fine Arts Building (FAB) Studio 2-7

School Outreach

New Music Edmonton Education and Outreach 2016 will take place the week prior to the “Now Hear This” Festival. Junior and Senior high school aged students will participate in the presentations, which are based on the Alberta music curriculum. The students will be led through an explanation of the Elements of Music, and how they extend to relate to “New Music”.

Students will be introduced to the gestural diffusion system compositions of Darren Copeland, and Lori Freedman’s improvisations.

Through the generous support of New Music Edmonton, students will have the opportunity to receive passes to the Festival.

Outreach Dates:

Thursday, March 10: Old Scona Academy
Friday, March 11: St. Thomas Aquinas School, Spruce Grove
Thursday, March 17: University of Alberta Stollery School


Friday, March 18

4:30 pm – Opening Reception, Holy Trinity Basement

Kick off the fifth installment of the NME Now Hear This festival with live music by the Dan Davis Trio, with Dan on saxophone, Chris Andrew on piano, and Jamie Cooper on drums. Relax with other music lovers and get ready for three days of diverse, cutting edge music. 

7:00 pm – Lori Freedman, The Virtuosity of Excess

Featuring works for bass and contrabass clarinets by Lori Freedman, Brian Ferneyhough, Richard Barrett, Paul Steenhuisen, Raphael Cendo and Paolo Perezzani. View the full program.

8:30 pm – Darren Copeland and Friends
Featuring multi-channel electroacoustic works by Darren Copeland, Norah Lorway, Nico Arnaez and Gary James Joynes. 
Program to include the world premiere of Darren Copeland’s while working and walking.

while working and walking: After living in suburbia for almost my entire life my partner and I moved to a rural home 22 km west of South River, Ontario. It is an area of the near north that is familiar through her family, but one that represented a significant life change for me.  Being interested in the sounds of the natural environment, the adjustment has been a favourable one.

In this piece I have combined recordings made while working outdoors or walking around at different times between early spring and late summer. Some key moments include the cat trying to pounce on a squirrel, burning brush, wind, water dripping in spring, the neighbour’s pigs chowing down on household veggie scraps, and ice sounds from the lake.  Many sounds pass by without being noticed while I am trying to complete different tasks.  My everyday soundscape is richer then I often realize.

while working and walking was made in 2015-16 and commissioned by New Music Edmonton with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. Travel funds for this premiere performance was provided by the SOCAN Foundation.


Darren Copeland is a Canadian sound artist active since 1985 and living in the rural community of South River Ontario. He is also the Artistic Director of New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) in Toronto.  His key interests include multichannel spatialization for live performance, fixed media composition, soundscape studies, radio art and sound installations. His fixed media compositions are published on the empreintes DIGITALes label. His radio art works have been commissioned and presented by Deutschlandradio Kultur, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, and Kunstradio (ORF).  His sound installations include Sound Columns, co-created with Andreas Kahre and commissioned by the Edmonton Arts Council for the Queen Elizabeth Pool at the Kinsmen Centre.


About this concert:

Tonight’s concert is presented using live octaphonic spatialization that has been developed through a residency supported by New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) in Toronto. Darren Copeland is the Artistic Director of NAISA.

At NAISA Darren has developed multichannel spatialization systems, beginning in 1999 with the Richmond Sound Design Audiobox and ABControl diffusion software. In 2006, this technology evolved to a performance-oriented system using the Polhemus Patriot as a gestural controller along with customized software by Benjamin Thigpen.  In 2011 he received research funding to add another spatialization performer controlling directional loudspeakers called Holosonic Audio Spotlights. He is currently touring this new system for NAISA residencies and performances in the UK, Europe and Western Canada with support from the Media Arts Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.

10:00 pm Late-night Live 1 –
 Featuring Jeffrey Roberts, Shawn Pinchbeck, and the Northlich-Redmond/Wall Project

*Admission by donation

Saturday, March 19

10:30 am – Live interview

Scott Smallwood interviews guest artists Lori Freedman, Darren Copeland, Jen Mesch, and Nate Wooley
*free event

2:00 pm – Edmonton Saxophone Quartet
Featuring Edmonton premieres of compositions for saxophone quartet curated from our open call. Program to include works by Mei-Fang Lin, George Andrix, Lansing McLoskey, and Erin Rogers.
View the full program.

3:30 pm –
 Panel Discussion with Raylene Campbell, Nico Arnaez, Norah Lorway and Allison Balcetis. Moderated by Ian Crutchley

*free event

7:00  pm – Damn magpies and Lori Freedman

Edmonton’s recently-formed improv sextet performs live with special guest Lori Freedman. View program info.

8:30 pm – LISH: a newly created performance for dance and trumpet by Jen Mesch and Nate Wooley.

View concert details.

10:00 Late-night Live II – Featuring works by Tonewheel and Gene Kosowan

*Admission by donation
View concert details.


Sunday, March 20

11:00 am – Soundwalk with Scott Smallwood

2:00 pm – Violet Collective
Featuring Edmonton premieres of compositions for our resident ensemble curated from our open call. Program to include works by Talia Amar, Alex Mincek, Anna Pigdorna, Colin Labadie, Lansing McLoskey, Erin Rogers, Morgan Krauss, and Lesley Hinger.
View the full program.



Ticket Prices

Individual tickets can be bought at www.tixonthesquare.caTicket prices are as follows:

$20 General
$15 Student/Senior
$10 NME members.

*Late-night Live concerts are by donation
*Workshops, Interviews, and Panel Discussions are free


Interested in being a part of the festival?

We always welcome new volunteers! Learn how you can get involved.