Frank Zappa meets Varèse and Oswald
The Present Day Composer Refuses to Die
We know Frank Zappa as a daring innovator, synonymous with audacity, virtuosity and crazy inventiveness. But as a youth he cut his teeth on Edgard Varèse, one of the twentieth century’s great composers. In this musical spectacular, arguably Canada’s boldest composer John Oswald and the Turning Point Ensemble pay tribute to both masters. Excerpts from Frank Zappa’s The Yellow Shark, completed just before his passing, will be performed; which includes some of his most beloved and outré works, including “The Dog Breath Variations/Uncle Meat ” and “The Girl in the Magnesium Dress ” Varèse gets a stunning tribute as well; the ensemble will play two works from the mid-twenties that show just how far ahead of his time he was.
Zappa and Varèse are two of the most striking musical figures of the last century, and Oswald and the ensemble are just the artists to give them their musical due. Put one of our best avant-garde composers together with a group of 30 instrumentalists and you have the perfect complement to these two geniuses. There’s a paradox here: this is a look back at the musical past in which the works themselves were futuristic. Zappa and Varèse are ahead of their time even in death, and in this performance their mad innovations get the honour they deserve.
The Canadian composer that best exemplifies the Varése/Zappa tradition of fearless invention is Toronto’s John Oswald. From his plunderphonics to micro-sampling to his most recent sold-out After Hours-Blackout performance, Oswald’s work is daring and always surprising.
Turning Point Ensemble is proud to present a new commission especially composed for this Zappa-tribute program.
Cultural Partner - SFU Woodward's
Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival