Soundstreams showcases the work of Canadian and international composers through innovative musical experiences.


CBC Radio, The Sunday Edition: The tragic real-life story of Quebec composer Claude Vivier is mirrored in his music

“The world renowned Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan once said that, as a young singer, she was transported and changed by the “unique soundworld” of the Quebec composer, Claude Vivier. He has been described as the most important Canadian composer in the second half of the twentieth century. From the early 1970s until the early 80s, Vivier’s compositions were…  Read More

Inside: 5 Facts About Jesse Zubot’s Violin

Jesse Zubot – multi-instrumentalist, producer, record company owner and sideman-in-demand. He produced Tanya Tagaq’s Polaris Prize-winning album, Animism, and has collaborated with a variety of artists, including Steve Reich, Peggy Lee, Hawksley Workman, and Mother Mother. Before any of that, Zubot honed his musician skills in rural Saskatchewan, with a violin found by his instructor….  Read More

THE WHOLE NOTE: Your 2017/18 Guide to Handel’s Messiah

From the Article: “Something New Handel wrote Messiah for a traditional ensemble of orchestra and chorus, but not everyone wants to hear that style of classically-performed classical music. For those who like their mulled wine old and their bottles new, here’s the Messiah for you. Who: Soundstreams When: December 4 to 6, 8pm” Read the…  Read More

Ludwig Van Toronto: ON THE RADAR | The Great Big Messiah List: A Guide For Holidays

From the article: “Returning for the third year, Ashelie Corcoran (Stage Direction) and Adam Scime (Music Director) will lead Soundstream’s immensely popular Electric Messiah with Adanya Dunn, Elizabeth Shepard, Jonathan MacArthur and Justin Welsh.  The accompanying ensemble of guitar, electronics, electric harpsichord+organ and turntables, will explore selected popular Messiah tunes with fresh sound and context,…  Read More

Stage Door: Review, Musik für das Ende

“Soundstreams is presenting the first-ever staged performance of Musik für das Ende by Claude Vivier (1948-83).  Written in 1971 as a ceremony to be staged, the work did not have its first concert performance until 2012.  After seeing director Chris Abraham’s beautiful, extraordinarily moving production of the the piece for Soundstreams, it is impossible to…  Read More

The New York Times: A Canadian Composer’s Death-Obsessed Search for Connection

“TORONTO — Death-haunted, drawn to danger and desperate for connection, with his ceremonies in sound charting transitions from life to something beyond it, the Canadian composer Claude Vivier should be the great downer of modern music. But so shimmering are Vivier’s drones, so sweetly childlike his invented languages and mystical geographies, so energetic his need…  Read More

The Globe and Mail: Review: Soundstreams goes cerebral, to haunting effect

“The Canadian contemporary music company Soundstreams, known for difficult and cerebral works, has mounted a music and theatre production about the life and ideas of admired Quebecois composer Claude Vivier (1948-1983), whose life was rough and tumultuous and whose music was cold, luminous and haunting. The production, titled Musik Für das Ende (which is the…  Read More

Opera Ramblings: Musik für das Ende

“Claude Vivier’s Musik für das Ende had to wait until 35 years after the composer’s death for its first fully staged performance.  That happened last night at Crow’s Theatre under the auspices of Soundstreams.  It forms the main and concluding part of a really interesting show  directed by Chris Abraham. The first part of the…  Read More

Inside: The Musik für das Ende Score

In the forward to his score Claude Vivier describes Musik für das Ende as “a Ceremony – of the End”, an exploration of the relationships established between individuals at this “final stage of life”. The score for the piece uses unconventional notation to explore this interaction musically. Let’s take a look at this unusual score…  Read More

Electronics in Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele

Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele (“Do you believe in the immortality of the soul?” was Vivier’s final composition before his untimely death – an eerily titled, premonitive work considering the circumstance of his tragic murder. Interestingly, in addition to voices, narration, and percussionists, Vivier also calls for synthesisers and electronics. Composer and sound…  Read More

Ludwig Von Toronto: ZERO IN | Esprit Orchestra And Soundstreams Celebrate 35 Side-by-side With Claude Vivier

From the Article “On the next day, Soundstreams’ Northern Encounter will draw our ears to a different segment of spirituality: a collaboration of identities. Soundstreams’ long history of cultural exchange, especially with the Nordic nations, led to several large-scale circumpolar festivals in the past. And this time, as a composite of four distinctive parties: National Arts…  Read More

“Do you believe in the immortality of the soul?”

One of the most notable influences in Claude Vivier’s music was his lifelong spiritual journey. He was fascinated with life, death, existence, and the afterlife. These ideas permeated his compositions as he struggled to answer his own spiritual concerns through music. At the time he was composing Musik für das Ende (Music for the End)…  Read More

The WholeNote: From Strauss to Vivier with Albery and Abraham

From the Article: “The other major work of music theatre this month in no way fits the traditional operatic mould. It is Musik für das Ende written in 1971 by Claude Vivier (1948-83), now regarded as one of Canada’s greatest composers. The work Vivier described as a “grande cérémonie funèbre” was originally written for 20…  Read More

The Whole Note: Unvanishing: The Musical Life of Claude Vivier

From the Article: “Lawrence Cherney, artistic director of Soundstreams, never knew Vivier personally – but from the moment he first saw his music years ago, he knew that it was something special. “Somehow, I had been given a copy of the manuscript of [Music für das Ende],” he says. “It was literally written in his…  Read More