Last Call

31.8.2019, 15:00, Janáček Conservatory in Ostrava


Ostravská banda
Lilianna Krych, Conductor

Kimberley Farris-Manning*: almost touching (2019)
Michael Gancz*: Johnny Brook Sits on the Roof (2019) WP
David Zuckerman*: Fissao (2019) WP
Amin Sharifi*: Aposynthesy (2019) WP
Leo Chang*: Respond to Troy: Variation I (2017)
Edgars Rubenis*: A Particular Window (2019) WP

WP = world premiere
*residents of the Ostrava Days 2019 Institute

The matinee concert on the last day of the festival will take place at the Janáček conservatory in Ostrava, which has served as Ostrava Days’ organizational hub since 2001. The Last Call program will present chamber compositions by residents of Ostrava Days Institute, many of them world premieres. The students come from various parts of the world: Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. The concert will showcase an unpredictable mix of authors and performers blending influences, opinions and concepts, bringing up questions such as: To what extent does the trend of globalization impact art? What new horizons are left? What are the interests of the coming generation of composers, and how do these composers cope with the achievements of prior generations of composers? These emerging composers will work with members of Ostrasvká banda to attempt to answer these questions.

Subject to change.


Kim Farris-Manning – almost touching (2019) 

         Kim Farris-Manning’s art bridges many disciplines. As a composer-performer (BMus 2018, University of Victoria), much of her creative output stems from music, while also incorporating visual and spatial elements. Interested in how relationships between objects are manifested through material changes over time, she manipulates sounds and materials to pose or construct a space in which to contemplate the fragility and contradictory nature of equilibrium. Kim Farris-Manning currently works as a freelance artist in Montreal (QC) and performs administrative and communications services for experimental string quartet Quatuor Bozzini.

almost touching 

by Kim Farris-Manning
for An-Laurence Higgins
animation by Sai Win Myint Oo
spoken text by Joël Pourbaix

Do we witness/experience/remember our own birth? Is an identity born?

         “I only really live beside myself; beside myself I think, meditate, know, beside myself I receive the given, vivacious, I invent beside myself. I exist beside myself, like the world. I am on the side of the world beside my talkative flesh.” (Serres, 199)

Enwrapped in this unarticulated skin, what can I do to hear my-self?

inspires questions,
has the tools to dive into – 

Double-birth / re-birth
– where do you start from the second time? 

Is the beginning always also the end? 

(Michel Serres. The Fives Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies. Translated by Margaret Sankey and Peter Cowley. New York: Continuum, 2008.)

Kim Farris-Manning


Michael Gancz – Johnny Brook Sits on the Roof (2019)

         Michael Gancz is an Israeli-American composer, trombonist, conductor and carillonneur pursuing a BA in music from Yale University. Gancz’s music, described as “both beautiful and illuminating” by his professors, has been performed by the Albatross Duo, the Davenport Pops Orchestra, and the Yale Jazz Ensemble, among others. His compositional interests, covering a wide range of styles and idioms, often center on conflicts of identity. Gancz has studied composition with Kathryn Alexander, Konrad Kaczmarek, Ryan Lindveit and Liliya Ugay. He has studied trombone performance with Dan Vaitkus and Corey Sansolo. He studies carillon performance with Ellen Dickinson.

         Johnny Brook Sits on the Roof is a program piece for mixed ensemble that recasts J. S. Bach as Johnny Brook, a modern Midwestern-American who, despite childhood dreams of writing music, never became a composer. Throughout the piece, the ensemble acts out a series of surreal interactions between Johnny’s sensual perceptions and his unreliable psyche, both overloaded by the fireworks of a distant celebration. Central themes of addiction and relapse manifest in the piece’s erratic repetitions and mutations of motivic cells. Special thanks to Kathryn Alexander, Konrad Kaczmarek, Aaron Israel Levin and Ryan Lindveit for their support, insight, and mentorship.

Michael Gancz

And Johnny Brook sits on the roof
To watch the Fourth of July
With a cigarette 'twain his teeth
And a twitch in his eye
Johnny peels of the porcelain spurs
From his six-shooter boots
As he whispers a tune from his throatback —
Which hurts like a mother—
But in his broken bones
The silly dreams
He'd never share
And years ago
And deep within
The ears beneath
His powdered hair
In his head it sounds just like a flute


David Louis Zuckerman – Fissão (2019)

         David Louis Zuckerman is a composer, visual artist, writer and guitarist. He holds an MFA from Bard College (New York) in film/video and sound. Zuckerman’s work includes feature films, operas, performance installations, songwriting, and music for dance. A classical guitarist by training, he has worked as an arranger and musician/actor in acclaimed experimental playwright Richard Maxwell’s New York City Players and is an alumnus of the S.E.M. Emerging Composer’s Workshop, the Skowhegan Residency, the Labyrinth Theater Ensemble, and others. He currently resides between New York City and Lisbon (Portugal). 

         Fissão, translates as Fission in Portuguese. This music and selection of instruments emerged from my time living in Portugal this year. The piece takes up themes of energy, separation and becoming. I have also been influenced by the “fluid modernism” of the architecture and street tiling in Lisbon. Oceanic metaphors lead to an emphasis on the horizontal Y axis off time and flow, as opposed to, a serialism where sounds emerge from an autonomous time-space between pitch onsets. From the first note, every other note is a chain reaction. Nothing is random. My colleague, the artist and poet Tomás Cunha Ferreira, has provided the text for the voice. “Caminh ando ando. Segu indo indo.”(Making a step a step. Walking ahead ahead.)

David Louis Zuckerman


Amin Sharifi – Aposynthesy (2019)

         Amin Sharifi (Mohammad Amin Sharifi), Iranian contemporary composer, studied Composition at the Art University of Tehran and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music under the direction of David Dzubay, Don Freund, Nader Mashayekhi, and Sven-David Sandström. He also has had lessons with Peter Ablinger, Chaya Czernowin, Klaus Lang, Alex Mincek, Krzysztof Penderecki, and many others. His music was called “creative, individualistic, artistic” by the critique of Juilliard School of Music and “product of an unbridled imagination” by the Memphis Daily News. Sharifi’s pieces have been performed by DissonArt, Hypercube, JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, Luna Nova, etc. In summer 2017, his triple concerto TrombionOphone or Riders in the Field of Hopewas the first-prize winner of International Composition Competition Concorso “2 Agosto”. Amin Sharifi currently holds a PhD fellowship in Composition at Duke University in the United States. 

         Aposynthesy (decomposition) is based on the spectral analysis of recording of the piece Booy-e-Baran (Smell of the rain) by the Iranian composer Parviz Meshkatian (1955-2009). Booy-e-Baranis a composition in the Persian mode Navaand in the form of Saz-o-Avaz (vocal and instrumental dialogue) on the Rumi’s poem O Yusef. It has been recorded by the Tehran Symphonic Orchestra in 1985 and has been one of the most inspiring pieces of traditional Persian music in my life. Aposynthesy is my tribute to this piece and in memoriam Parviz Meshkatian.

Amin Sharifi


Leo Chang – Respond to Troy: Variation I (2017)

         Leo Chang is a composer and musician currently living in New York. Born in Seoul,  Chang lived as an expat in Singapore, Taipei, and ultimately, Shanghai during his formative years. The tensions between assimilation, identity, and rootlessness inform his artistic practice and research. Chang holds degrees from New York University and Washington University in St. Louis, and is pursuing his PhD in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

         Respond to Troy: Afro-Caribbean, African American, and Hasidic Jewish communities make up the majority of the population in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Shops, schools, and eateries east of Troy Avenue are utilized by Black communities. Those west of Troy (Albany, Kingston, until around Nostrand Avenue) are clearly operated for Jewish communities. Troy Avenue sits on a juncture where these disparate communities meet. While living in Crown Heights, I was walking down Troy when I witnessed a man angrily yelling at another man to go back to their side of the neighborhood. In 1991, two black children were killed in a car accident involving the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s motorcade. Rumors quickly spread that the emergency personnel operating the Hatzolah ambulance (a volunteer EMS run by the Jewish community) rushed to help the drivers in the car, rather than the dying children. This sparked a three-day riot where an Orthodox Jewish man was murdered. The Jewish community saw this as an act of antisemitism. The media portrayed it as “racial tension”.

Leo Chang


Edgars Rubenis – A Particular Window (2019)

         Edgars Rubenis (1983) is a Latvian composer who currently lives and works in the Netherlands. He recently obtained a master’s degree at the Institute of Sonology in the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, studying with Gabriel Paiuk and Peter Adriaansz. Having started out as an experimental guitar player, Rubenis now writes for various acoustic and electronic instruments, guided by his interest in the relationships that emerge among the structural components of musical acts: composed sound, listening, environmental surroundings, and temporal progression. In his work, he makes use of systems and processes, translation, catalogues, and recompositions of improvisations.

         Built around three lines (ascending, receding and descending), A Particular Window explores the degree to which a certain “totality of a piece” is perceivable, due to it’s clearly given structure.

Edgars Rubenis



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