Composer Accelerator Program
To help celebrate Arraymusic’s beginnings and its remarkable 50 years of work with composers since 1972, Arraymusic is pleased to announce its new Composer Accelerator Program, presented with support from the Azrieli Foundation and the SOCAN Foundation. In partnership with the Canadian League of Composers and New Music Concerts, the Composer Accelerator Program will provide more support to composers in their professional development through a series of exciting new programs. Composers are invited to participate in the following Composer Accelerator Program initiatives.
2023|24 • CALLING EMERGING COMPOSERS!
- APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 12, 2024
- WORKSHOP DATES: APRIL 29 – MAY 25, 2024
- INSTRUMENTATION: 4 INSTRUMENTS TBA
- MENTOR: ALLISON CAMERON
- ASSOCIATE MENTOR: BRUCE A. RUSSELL
Arraymusic’s Composers’ Workshop provides mentorship for emerging composers through creative workshopping, composition seminars, and individual lessons.
Four music creators will be selected to work closely with The Array Ensemble and composer mentors Allison Cameron and Bruce A. Russell to develop new pieces (or works-in-progress) to be presented publicly in the final stage of the workshop. Upon selection, artists receive intensive twice-weekly rehearsal sessions with Array’s ensemble and mentors, allowing each participant to try out and refine ideas. Participants are able to book private lessons with Allison and/or Bruce.
Composition Seminars occur weekly and include presentations by the participants, so they get to know each other’s work, and presentations by the mentors.
The workshop provides an opportunity for composers to work closely with professional musicians, to learn about the instruments in greater detail, and to take the time to experiment with techniques, sounds, timbral combinations and other considerations.
TRAVEL AND COVID-19 CONSIDERATIONS/CONTINGENCIES
Our hope is to deliver the workshop with participants joining us in Toronto, however the workshop can be adjusted to facilitate an entirely virtual experience if public health recommendations require.
VENUE & ACCESSIBILITY
Array’s workshop will be hosted at The Array Space—on the second floor of 155 Walnut Avenue in Toronto. The building entrance can be accessed by a ramp. Once inside, there is an elevator and staircase leading to the second floor (location of Array Space). Washrooms are available on the main floor (these are gender neutral, and wheelchair accessible). The venue is within walking distance of two frequent service public transit routes (Queen and King streetcars).
- Sound/music should be an established feature of your artistic practice.
- International applicants are welcome and encouraged to apply.
- This is a voluntary workshop. There is no application or participation fee.
- The jury will prioritize applicants with limited career experiences.
- Successful applicants are responsible for their own accommodation and travel.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested composers should submit application materials via email to David Schotzko ([email protected]) with “Composers Workshop Submission” in the subject line.
These are the Application Requirements:
- An artist resume, CV, or biography .
- Streaming audio/video: performances/presentations of two previous works.
- Recommended: if streaming audio/video samples are based on notated, graphical, instructional, text, and/or software scores, or other documentation, feel free to include appropriate links or uploaded PDF material. This is helpful to the jury, particularly if you plan to incorporate these techniques/methods should you be selected for the workshop.
- Short statement (maximum 100 words): Briefly tell us about your current artistic interests. What is important to you in your process and/or the works you create?
- Other information (optional): you are welcome to mention additional information that would be helpful to the jury/organizers, including logistical or technical requirements that would enable your work, material you would bring/provide as part of your creative process, etc.
WORKSHOP TIMELINE (2024)
- JANUARY 12: Application Deadline
- FEBRUARY 1: Confirmation of participants
- APRIL 28: Workshop begins
- MAY 25: Public presentation
IBPOC COMPOSER FELLOWSHIP
Arraymusic offers limited financial assistance to composers self-identifying as Indigenous, Black, or Persons of Colour in order to help offset the costs of participating in the sessions. This includes lodging expenses and a modest per diem. If you wish to be considered for our Fellowship, please indicate this request in your application.
ABOUT THE MENTORS
A former Artistic Director of Arraymusic, Allison Cameron is a professional composer, performer and improvising musician in Toronto. She has been commissioned in Europe and North America by many ensembles and festivals. Since 2000, she has also been an improviser performing on electronic keyboards, ukulele, banjo, piano, mini amplifiers, radios, crackle boxes, cassette tapes, miscellaneous objects and toys.
Allison has been celebrated in Musicworks Magazine, the UK’s The Wire Magazine, I Care if You Listen and a variety of other online publications. Her reputation for writing compelling compositions for contemporary music ensembles is international. She is also a sought-after improviser with a strong national following. She has completed two national solo tours in the past four years. In 2007 she founded the Allison Cameron Band with fellow musician/composers Eric Chenaux and Stephen Parkinson to explore uncharted territory in her compositions by integrating a variety of musical forms into her work. The result has been a critically acclaimed CD on the Rat-Drifting label of several genre-defying pieces. In 2009 she formed a trio with trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud and drummer Germaine Liu called c_RL (pronounced curl) who released the CD ‘Friends’ to critical acclaim.
Never one to shy away from exploration, Allison went on a residency to Svalbard, Norway in 2013, where she spent time recording underwater sounds from icebergs in the fjords of Spitzbergen. She is also involved in creating sound installations based on her experiences in the High Arctic among others.
Her interest in graphic/instructional notation has resulted in several scores that will soon be published together. Her experimental scores have had performances by Ensemble Supermusique (Montréal), Contact (Toronto), Suddenly Listen (Halifax) and other ad hoc groups in Toronto.
BRUCE A. RUSSELL aka Ibrahim El Mahboob (he/him, b. 1968) is a composer and self-taught pianist living and working in Toronto (Tkarón:to, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat). He studied at York University with James Tenney and Phillip Werren. His early years were spent playing in bands and releasing DIY cassettes of art pop and experimental music, as well as composing predominantly electronic scores for dance, theatre and interdisciplinary productions. Frustrated by systemic racism, personal struggles, and a lack of interest in his work, he stopped seeking a career in music. He continued composing in private, however, sometimes sharing his work through social media. Interest in his work increased in 2020, resulting in performances by Second Note Duo, Prism Percussion, the San Juan Symphony, Idaho Falls Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra and Regina Symphony Orchestra. Arraymusic presented the first full concert of his music in November of that year, and he will be Composer in Residence at Array for three seasons from 2022 through 2025. He has composed new works for Gryphon Trio, the Madawaska Quartet and Thin Edge New Music Collective. He is currently creating music for Ian Kamau’s live multi-media work Loss. He was the host of Radio Music Gallery and has written for Musicworks and I Care if You Listen. His interests are in 20th and 21st century concert music especially postminimalism, and music of the African diaspora.
MORE ABOUT THE COMPOSER WORKSHOP PROGRAM
- “…Extremely valuable for developing new ideas” — Helen Hall
- “I have learned much that just cannot be taught in classrooms.” — Henry Lai
- “The piece suddenly opened up in a way I hadn’t heard before. Because rehearsal time is usually so limited, I had never had this experience. It was an extremely important lesson about the nature of my music, and will forever change the way I approach rehearsals.” — Colin Labadie
- “The time I spent in the workshops offered some of the best lessons I have received in my compositional training… If we want the quality of music being written in this country to improve, we need to provide young composers with such opportunities as that provided by the Arraymusic’s workshop, so they will feel more secure about themselves professionally.” — Ronald Bruce Smith
- “Especially valuable was the chance to experiment with different sounds and ideas.” — Brent Lee
Each year Arraymusic offers four amazing composers who are at an early stage in their careers the opportunity to work with a distinguished composer/mentor, undistracted for a month in our Array Space, and with The Array Ensemble.
Under their mentor’s guidance, each composer collaborates with Array’s musicians and Artistic Director to create a new work for a concert performance by Array’s Ensemble.
Arraymusic’s unique month-long Composers’ Workshop & Concert program enjoys a more than three decades long track record of success. It opens new future opportunities for artistic employment and collaboration for participating young composers and helps them bridge the gap between their education and professional careers.
This program gives young artists’ vital new knowledge and insightful guidance that enables them to make real breakthroughs – which they report they otherwise may never have achieved.
In short, the tools and knowledge Array’s workshop imparts is unparalleled in helping participants to fulfill their promise as exceptionally talented emerging artists.
It not only assists emerging composers with their development, it gives audiences the chance to discover new voices and experience the music of our most promising young talents firsthand. The concert also offers a scouting ground to Artistic Directors looking for up-and-coming talent.
The majority of composers who have come through the program go on to enjoy fruitful careers in the field; for example:
- Christina Volpini – 2017 Participant: Christina has composed for large ensemble, chamber ensembles, soloists, mixed media, live electronics, and film. Her works have been performed in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, and New York.
- Christian Ledroit – 2015 Participant: Christian has won numerous awards as a composer (including two prizes in the SOCAN Young Composers Competition) and has been commissioned by ensembles across Canada and the USA.
- Pierre‐Oliver Roy – 2011 Participant: Pierre is the General and Artistic Director of E27 -‐ Musiques nouvelles, as well as a lecturer at the Faculty of Music at Laval University.
- Jordan Nobles – 1998 Participant: Jordan has won many awards, including a JUNO Award (‘Classical Composition of the Year’), a Western Canadian Music Award, International Composition Competition of the Unbound Flute (Australia July 2016); the Sacra/ Profana (San Diego 2013), and Polyphonos (Seattle 2011) International Composition Competitions.
- James Rolfe – 1987 Participant: Found recognition with a Guggenheim Fellowship, the K. M. Hunter Music Award, the Louis Applebaum Composers Award, the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and others.
Composers have too few places to meet, network, receive mentorship, and hear their music come to life. Without reading programs, compositions can be confined to the page forever, impeding their progress.
Our pilot (non-juried) Composer Salons & Readings series, co-presented with the Canadian League of Composers is designed to achieve the following:
- Fosters inclusivity by removing music’s ‘gatekeepers’
- Breathes life into notated music
- Brings international and local composers (of all ages and experiences) into a meaningful conversation with one another.
NMC / Array co-present a new program to encourage early-career musical creators of all backgrounds to design, produce and lead their own projects. Part composing workshop, part conducting clinic, and part industry training program, MAKEWAY runs every two years and brings together early-career musical creators, conductors and musicians to Toronto’s renowned Array Space for a week of workshops and seminars, culminating in a public concert.
While the Young Composer’s Workshop is tuition free, Arraymusic offers limited financial assistance to composers self-identifying as Indigenous, Black or Persons of Colour to help offset the costs of participating in the sessions–including lodging expenses and a modest per diem.
This fellowship is part of Arraymusic’s Equity Action Plan, which you can discover HERE.
This program offers talented composers an unparalleled opportunity to work closely with seasoned musicians, access to state-of-the-art resources, and the unique chance to see their compositions come to life in performances. Through fostering these creative collaborations, we not only advance the art of composition but also enrich our cultural tapestry with innovative musical narratives.
Other Musical Opportiunities
Arraymusic’s BIPOC Access Program is designed to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour as they rehearse, teach, record and present their work at The Array Space.
If you self-identify as BIPOC and wish to be considered for this program, you can find more information and APPLY HERE.
Arraymusic will review your application and let you know within one month if we are able to assist. Artists may apply once per calendar year. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis (there is no deadline), but space is limited.
*Remember to allow yourself more than one month lead time from your project start date to apply
Array’s BIPOC Access Program is part of Arraymusic’s Equity Action Plan, which you can read about HERE
Array’s mission to ignite a passion for Canadian contemporary experimental music within an international, interdisciplinary context, and each year Array’s Artistic Director reviews scores submitted by composers from around the world as part of planning future Array Ensemble season’s programming. We pride ourselves on performing works by composers at all stages in their career, from emerging to distinguished, young to old. And, we have always sought out new and under-represented voices whose music may be little known or fall ‘in between’ genres, but which deserves a spotlight.
Array tends to program music commissioned by our Artistic Director which is then written expressly for our virtuosic Array (variable size and instrumentation) Ensemble. However, if you have a work that is similar in instrumentation (piano, percussion, clarinet/s, cello, violin; double bass is possible) and would like Array’s chamber group to perform your work, you are welcome to submit a digital score online.
We also accept submissions for co-presentations of works (that may be multi-disciplinary in nature) which feature exceptional experimental music.
Please contact our General Director [email protected] to enquire.
Composers wishing to submit a score can do so HERE.
Red Sky‘s Indigenous Music Creators Project, presented in partnership with Arraymusic, is an innovative, music-driven initiative for Indigenous Music Creators and Composers who seek to create and/or score music for dance and theatre.
This project provides a stimulus to Indigenous music creators and composers within a highly interactive, intimate learning environment
Applications for Red Sky are not being accepted at this time.
In addition to our co-productions, once a year, Arraymusic selects a talented group of artists, or an artist, to take a ‘residency’ in The Array Space.
The Array Resident Artist Incubator/ARAI Program gifts a significant amount of free and/or subsidized time in our space to selected artists to rehearse, record, livestream, teach, and to present their music and performance art.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year and two groups are selected once annually in July.
Past and current Resident Artist groups have included:
- Thin Edge New Music
- The Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan
- The Glass Orchestra
Arraymusic prides itself on partnering with other artists working in our contemporary and experimental music communities to co-present events (i.e. concerts, symposiums, workshops).
Just as Arraymusic approaches other new music artists and organizations from time to time requesting they partner with us to co-present an event or mini-festival, artists are welcome to approach our Artistic Director to request that we review a particular project they are working on with a mind to partnering.
Co-presentation partnerships mean that Arraymusic may provide in-kind support such as the gift of one free day in our Array Space to rehearse or co-present an event, production and/or video livestreaming and technical support, and some promotional and marketing support on our social media platforms and/or through direct mail.
To learn more and enquire about co-presenting with Arraymusic this season.
Equity is a complex problem in Canada that requires engagement at all levels of our society – from governments and service providers to community participants and Arts & Culture organizations, like Arraymusic.
MusicALL is a new initiative from Arraymusic designed to positively impact young people living in equity-seeking communities through monthly workshops and accessible/affordable concert ticket prices to all Arraymusic produced events.
Arraymusic welcomes all and any new Community Partners working with children and youth at risk to enquire about participating in our outreach program, MusicALL.
CONTACT: General Director David Schotzko at [email protected] to enquire.
Arraymusic’s MusicALL Workshops:
- MusicALL: Making Music For Stories Workshop – Ages 5 to 10 – Children gain an early understanding of the importance of sound in animating stories by helping to bring a story to life themselves using an assortment of fun percussion instruments; guided by an experienced storyteller and musician; presented free of charge; reserve early as workshop size is limited.
- MusicALL: Synthesizer Workshops led by The Frequency Freaks – Ages 12 to 22 – Come to Array’s Space once a month to learn how to play moog synthesizers from the pros. Space is limited so apply early (some seats reserved for BIPOC participants per workshop).
Arraymusic is grateful to MusicALL’s sponsors: The Douglas and Frederick Memorial Trust Foundation, the LOHN Foundation, The SOCAN Foundation, and the arts councils — Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.
- “At risk students who have access to the arts in or out of school tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement, according to a new NEA report, The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth.” 
– National Endowment for the Arts Study Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies by James S. Catterall, University of York, U.K., with Susan A. Dumais, Louisiana State University and Gillian Hampden-Thompson, University of York, U.K.
- “Music brings people together. For a moment, immersed in music, it doesn’t matter where one is from… the trauma or the history or the struggles are forgotten. That’s the magical part of music.” 
– Karen Francis, Executive Director Matthew House, Toronto
- “New research suggests that playing music or singing together may be particularly potent in bringing about social closeness through the release of endorphins… researchers found that performing music—through singing, drumming, and dancing—all resulted in participants having higher pain thresholds (a proxy measure for increased endorphin release in the brain) in comparison to listening to music alone. In addition, the performance of music resulted in greater positive emotion…” 5
– Jill Suttie, Editor Greater Good Magazine – Science Based Insights For A Meaningful Life
- “Participation in music builds social skills, communication skills, and can help in the development of self-esteem and self-identify.” 
– Dr. Ripudaman Minhas, a developmental pediatrician in Toronto, points to research showing how engaging in music performance helps children integrate into new surroundings.