Our study of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring for 13 Instruments” continues

This month, as we get closer to the end of this unique work, we examine how Aaron Copland manipulates tension, and how he is able to present multiple motivic elements simultaneously without any lack of clarity or transparency in the writing.


Don Davis, “THE MATRIX”:   “Very rarely does a truly visionary concept come out of Hollywood, especially in science fiction and fantasy genres that include thousands of entries over many decades. The existential issues raised by The Matrix proposed the idea that everything man knows in terms of “reality” is a computer simulation controlled by machines in a real world of the future, a world in which humans’ bodies are harvested for energy while their brains are fed the illusion of a world contemporary to viewing audiences”. (CueByCue)

So begins The Matrix ‘brand’ with the first of a trilogy of movies. Composer Don Davis was asked to create a ‘new’ type of score for this film, and he succeeded in bringing together a variety of post-modern and avante-garde compositional techniques and blending them with the Hollywood cinematic style to create this impressive and challenging score. It was recorded in 14 sessions over 7 days with a 90-piece orchestra plus 40-voice choir, with Don Davis orchestrating his own score and conducting the recording sessions.

In this preview, we will uncover some of the musical influences behind this work, watch and listen as Davis conducts the recording, and do some ‘Ravel’-style forensics on the opening cue.

NEW ADVENTURES IN LISTENING – Film clips from “On The Waterfront” and “Ryan” are posted on the “Study Materials” page for download. With the sound removed, they can be scored as an exercise, and brough in to “Adventures in Listening” for feedback and analysis. Adventures in Listening is a unique opportunity to get unbiased and honest feedback on your ‘in-progress’ or experimental work from a community of your professional peers. Because it is anonymous, it is a risk-free environment.  Whether you are an emerging composer or an experienced one, and whether your work is for concert or screen, I encourage you to take advantage of this invaluable resource.
Many of you are actively performing musicians or are composers with TV shows or films containing your original scores. If you would like me to mention upcoming concerts or showtimes, please see me during the first hour, and I will make the announcement during “Adventures in Listening”. This way we can get the word out while preserving the relaxed and casual atmosphere that we have created at Toronto Ravel.
We need your helpWe know that Toronto Ravel is viable, but we need to ensure that it is sustainable. There are 2 ways you can help;  First, by spreading the word to your friends, Facebook friends, colleagues, etc., and by passing around the links to our videos – the links are below. Also – you can volunteer a bit of your time and be part of the Ravel team.  We need people who can assist with publicity and promotion to work with Janal Bechtholt in spreading the word.  Please email info@torontoravel.com if you can lend a hand. 
          Promo Video - PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AQN8yoJpDI
          Producer Larry Weinstein talks about Ravel  http://youtu.be/PAsiZJYFeY
See you at Ravel!
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