Ritornello Festival 2015 and other projects

I’m excited to announce that my composition a small piece of sky will be performed at the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival in Saskatoon on 30 May 2015.


The festival runs from 29-31 May at three different venues. Carissa Kolopoushak and Jaqueline Woods have been producing this festival for seven years and always have an exciting lineup featuring a number of local musicians as well as musicians who have grown up in Saskatchewan and studied and worked around the world.

a small piece of sky will be featured as part of a concert of all new music:

LATE NIGHT AT VILLAGE GUITAR – 30 May 2015 – 8:30pm
Come get your indie-classical fix with some of the most ethereal and groovy chamber music out there! Featuring Lara St. John, Carissa Klopoushak, Ryan Davis, Simon Fryer, Scott McKnight, Jacqueline Woods, and surprise guests!

On the program:
LIA PAS “A Small Piece of Sky” for variable number of performers (2009)
PHILIP GLASS String Quartet no. 5 (1991)
RYAN LOTT “Beautiful Mechanical” for Sextet (2011)
SUFJAN STEVENS (arr. Klopoushak) “Chicago” (2005)

This is a special late-night show! Tapas included with ticket price, cash bar. Only 140 tickets available.

$25 Adult. $20 Senior. $15 Student

A weekend pass for all three concerts at the festival is also available for $60 Adult, $50 Senior, $35 Student.

A bit more about a small piece of sky:

a small piece of sky was originally written for a piece of choreography by Jackie Latendresse (of Free Flow Dance Theatre) inspired by letters and writings by women who had been wrongfully incarcerated in mental institutions. Jackie asked if I could compose something for 3-4 voices that could be performed live with the choreography. She had choreographed a number of short movement phrases that the individual dancers could choose from while performing so I wrote the piece using the same idea.

After performing this piece a few times with Free Flow Dance Theatre, I wrote up a set of instructions that could be used for any instrumentation and any number of players. It was first performed in this way with the Mysterium Choir (a choir of 11 singers which I was directing at the time) accompanied by Free Flow Dance Theatre and then as part of Paved Arts‘ CORE series on oboe, flute, basson, viola, and double bass accompanied by a beautiful film (titled Mysterium) by Jennifer Sparrowhawk. Last fall it was performed by the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra as part of their fall retreat concert.

The piece can range in length since it is directed by either the performers themselves or else by a conductor. About 5 minutes seems to work for most performances, though it has been both longer and shorter depending on the situation. It is a fairly slow and melodic piece, but the players also have the option of playing the phrases at twice the speed or with different articulations once the piece starts.

Other things I’ve been working on:

I had the opportunity to act as vocal coach for Colin Gibbings’ live performance of the introduction to The Canturbury Tales at the University of Saskatchewan. Colin performed the piece in Old English and had the audience enraptured. You can see Colin’s performance on YouTube).

give me the taste of earth
Tina Lia April 2015
Since December I’ve been working on a movement/text/voice piece with dancer/choreographer Tina Bertoncini. We showed it as a work-in-progress at New Dance Horizons’ Blueprints series in Regina in April. The piece is very meditative in nature and we hope to show it in Saskatoon this summer or fall.

June WIP
On June 20 Jackie Latendresse will be showing a work-in-progress version of new piece of solo choreography as part of her 20th anniversary as Artistic Director of Free Flow Dance. The music for the piece is three solo piano pieces of mine: sky above plains, ground beneath grass, and Twins. Visual artist Adrian Stimson is designing the costumes and set.

Banff International Voice Workshop
This May I’ll be once again attending this workshop led by Richard Armstrong. I’ve been working with Richard since the mid-1990s and always come away from his teaching with a deepening of my voice practice. I’m very much looking forward to spending ten days at the beautiful Banff Centre (which I have nicknamed “The Artist Spa”) singing, rolling on the floor, and working on a couple new pieces for….

Fihi Ma Fihi (It Is What It Is) – Rumi
My BIGGEST project this year is writing libretto and music for and performing in a new Dance Opera with La Caravan Dance Theatre. The artistic director, Maya Lewandowsky, and I met at the Banff Centre in 2012 and have taken the leap to create this full-length work together.

Last September we performed a teaser at La Caravan’s La Soiree fundraiser:

We are booked to perform in Calgary June 6-9, 2016 and are in the process of looking into places in Saskatoon to perform as well.

Needless to say, it’s been a busy year and continues to be very full, but full of wonderful things!