Affiliation: Camerata Nova
Presentation: Interest Session, Panel
Title: Calls to Action: Exploring Collaborations with Indigenous Composers and Artists
Abstract: This presentation centres on understandings that grew out of a commission of a piece by a composer of Cree descent. The composer, a traditional Ojibway singer/drummer, and the commissioning conductor will explore what it means to create respectful and meaningful dialogue between Indigenous artists and culture bearers, and composers, conductors, and choirs.
Biography: Manitoba composer Andrew Balfour, of Cree descent, has written a body of choral, instrumental, and orchestral works including Take the Indian, Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Migiis: A Whiteshell Soundscape, Bawajigaywin, Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Missa Brevis and Medieval Inuit. He has been commissioned by organizations such as the Winnipeg, Regina and Toronto Symphony Orchestras and numerous professional and amateur choirs. Andrew is the Artistic Director of the innovative vocal group Camerata Nova which specializes in creating “concept concerts” that explore themes through an eclectic array of music including new works, and inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations. Andrew is passionate about music education and outreach, particularly in schools located in low-income areas of Winnipeg and northern communities. He has worked on behalf of organizations such as the National Arts Centre, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and various Manitoba school divisions, offering young students empowering sessions in the joy and freedom of self-expression through music. Andrew has served as Curator and Composer-in-Residence of the WSO’s Indigenous Festivals.