As a celebration of Acadian poetry and contemporary music, and its coming together, Ensemble Sisyphe will present the world premiere of André Cormier’s complete ten-volume work “Conversations”, a setting of the 1999 Governor General's Award (French Language) poem by Herménégilde Chiasson. This celebration in 2019 marks the twentieth anniversary of Chiasson’s poem, while Cormier’s setting of the poem was begun ten years ago in 2009. We gratefully acknowledge the Canada Council for the Arts and The New Brunswick Arts Board for their support.
André Cormier was born in Moncton, New Brunswick in 1969. His work has been presented in Canada, the US, Europe and New Zealand. He has written for solo, small and large chamber ensembles, as well as music for opera, dance, as well as collaborative work with visual artists. His works have been commissioned from a variety of artists in Canada, the us, and Europe. In 2004 he founded Ensemble Ordinature and has since served as artistic director. He produced their debut recording of Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate (featured on ubu.com) and was praised in UK new music magazine The Wire.
In 2008, Cormier launched Éditions musique Sisyphe (www.emsis.ca) and its performing branch, Ensemble Sisyphe. In 2009, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, he undertook an intensive series of consultations with composer Antoine Beuger in Düsseldorf, Germany. While in Düsseldorf, Begegnung, a concert program dedicated entirely to Cormier’s string works was presented by members of the Quatuor Bozzini as part of the Klangraum Series 2009 at the Düsseldorf Kunstraum. In 2010, Clang Clagan, a collaborative work with composer Andrea Young was commissioned by the Vancouver Cultural Olympiad and was installed at The Surrey Art Centre from February to June 2011 during the Nest Built by Birds Open Sound exhibition. In the spring of 2011 Pour Takako Minekawa a concert length multi-disciplinary work featuring Ensemble Sisyphe and guest artist Alison Hrabluik, had its premiere at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.
In 2012, after nearly twenty years along the west coast, André returned to his native Acadie where he adapted Herménégilde Chiasson’s epic poem, Conversations. In 2013 and 2014 he was commissioned to add two final instalments in his Piling Sand–Piling Stone series by singer Helen Pridmore and bassist Andrew Reed Miller respectivly. Through 2014-15
Herménégilde Chiasson was born in Saint-Simon, Nouveau-Brunswick, in 1946. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Université de Moncton (1967), a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mount Allison University in Sackville (1972), a Master of Aesthetics degree from the University of Paris 1 (1976), a master's degree in fine arts from the State University of New York (1981) and a doctorate from the Sorbonne, Paris (1983).
Preferring to stay in Acadia to work as an artist and to make the most of his talents, Chiasson has become deeply involved in various cultural fields. He was director of the Art Gallery of the Université de Moncton, founder of Editions Perce-Neige, president of the Galerie Sans Nom, founding member of the Aberdeen Cooperative and Atelier Imago, founder of the Productions du Phare-Est…
His artistic creations are considerable. He has participated in more than 100 exhibitions. Many of his works are part of public and private collections. Added to this is the production of 14 films, the writing of dozens of books and plays. Herménégilde Chiasson also gave many performances and public readings and participated in ten scenographies.
He was distinguished by the Prix France-Acadie, the rank of Chevalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters, the Order of Francophones of America, the Grand Prix of the Canadian Francophonie, an honorary doctorate in literature of the Université de Moncton and the Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie Award.
Ensemble Sisyphe was established in 2008 as the performing branch of Éditions musique Sisyphe, a publishing house for experimental music. The ensemble’s aesthetic concentration is to engage with the very essentials of music: sound + silence. The ensemble was initiated to focus on performing the works within the Éditions musique Sisyphe catalogue, however not exclusively. Its goals are to form alliances with composers from within the ‘house’ and beyond with musical visions that resonate in sympathy and to present their works. Ensemble Sisyphe fulfils their mandate by supporting composers in the act of musical creation; delivering these creations to the public; and by being a contributing member of musical life in the 21st century. The ensemble also invites the public to be an equal partner in the artistic exercise, and welcomes all to the exploration in the discovery of a unique musical world.
Performers include Ensemble Sisyphe, Jeffrey Bazett-Jones, Robin Streb, Laura Cetilia, Teodora Stepančić, Andrew Reed Miller, Cassia Streb, Herménégilde Chiasson, André Cormier, Quatuor Bozzini, Zacharie Bourgoin Robichaud, Gabriel Couturier, Caleb Bourgeois, Douglas Carew, among others. Featuring singers Juliet Fraser, Andrea Young, Erin Bardua, Catherine Abele Landry, and Justin Guignard.