When Sound Meets Colour, May 31, 2013

Time: 7:30 – 10:00pm

Location: Walter Hall,  University of Toronto. 80 Queen’s Park Cres.

Free Public Event

An evening exploring sound-colour synesthesia.

7:30pm Public Lecture:

Some Sort of Coloured Quilt: Collaborative Animated Responses to Synaesthesia

Samantha Moore (University of Loughborough, UK; ASA Keynote Speaker)

Samantha Moore is an award winning British animated documentary maker who works in digital 2D animation. She is passionate about animation’s ability to convey different realities in new and unanticipated ways. She will speak about her film, An Eyeful of Sound, an animated short that visually renders the perceptions of audio-visual synaesthetes. Samantha  has worked extensively in the cross-disciplinary field of animating synaesthesia, culminating in 2010 in her Wellcome Trust funded short animated documentary film, An Eyeful of Sound (2010). The film was made in collaboration with Dr Jamie Ward (reader in psychology at the University of Sussex, UK) and three people with synaesthesia. The film was described as “an inspired visualisation about synaesthesia” (Sight & Sound magazine online, January 2010). It was the winner of the Nature Award for Scientific Merit, Imagine Film Festival (USA) 2010, amongst other awards from film festivals internationally. She is currently developing her research as she completes her PhD through practice at the University of Loughborough, entitled Out of Sight: Animated documentary and the representation of interior brain states, through which she is working with people with prosopagnosia and phantom limb syndrome.

8:15pm Overview of Music Visualization Workshop: Edward Hubbard (Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) will describe and present the initial outcomes and sample visualizations from the Music Visualization Workshop, held earlier in the day.

9:00pm Musical Performance: The Gryphon Trio with special guests

Gryphon Trio: Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin, Roman Borys, cello, Jamie Parker, piano

with: Christina Petrowska-Quilico, piano, Patricia O’Callaghan, soprano

Musical Programme

Joseph Haydn: Trio in C major Hob. XV: 27  i) Allegro  Gryphon Trio

Olivier Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time (Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus/ Praise to the Eternity of Jesus) Roman Borys, cello, Jamie Parker, piano. Images: Olivier Messiaen, Mark Nerenberg, Bernard White

Constantine Caravassilis: View from Pluto Christina Petrowska-Quilico, piano. Images: Constantine Caravassilis, Christina Petrowska-Quilico

Olivier Messiaen: Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus(Praise to the Immortality of Jesus)  Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin, Jamie Parker, piano. Images: Olivier Messiaen, Mark Nerenberg, Bernard White 

Constantine Caravassilis: Soul Ascending  Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano. Images: Constantine Caravassilis, Christina Petrowska Quilico

Astor Piazzolla: Spring  Gryphon Trio.  Images: Carol Steen 

Astor Piazzolla: Autumn  Gryphon Trio

Nick Drake/arr. R. Occhipinti: River Man Patricia O’Callaghan, soprano, Gryphon Trio 

Carlos Gardel/arr. R. Occhipinti: Volver  Patricia O’Callaghan, soprano, Gryphon Trio


The Gryphon Trio

Having impressed international audiences and the press with their highly refined, dynamic performances, The Gryphon Trio has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios.  With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.

Since coming together in Toronto in 1993, the Gryphon Trio has release fifteen celebrated recordings on the Analekta and Naxos labels, garnered two Juno Awards and multiple nominations, commissioned over 75 new works for piano trio, and are Ensemble in Residence at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.

Violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon is Associate Professor, Violin at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Annalee is a laureate of Belgium’s Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition and is one of Canada’s most respected violinists.

Cellist Roman Borys holds degrees from Indiana University and the Yale School of Music. He is Artistic Director of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society, and producers of large-scale Gryphon Trio projects such as Constantinople and Listen Up!

Pianist James Parker, DMA is Associate Professor, Piano at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance. Celebrated by audiences and critics alike, he has performed with every major Canadian orchestra, and has given recitals across North America.

Christina PetrowskaQuilico

Hailed by the New York Times for her “promethean talent” at age 14, Christina Petrowska-Quilico has appeared on the recital stage at such prestigious halls as Carnegie, Alice Tully and Merkin. Concert tours have taken her, as a soloist and with baritone Louis Quilico, across four continents – to Taiwan, the Middle East, France, Germany, Greece and Ukraine, and throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Her orchestral collaborations have ranged from most of Canada’s leading ensembles to the symphony orchestras of Greek Radio and Taipei.  Trained at the Juilliard School in the grand Russian and European traditions, followed by studies in Europe with leading composers, she has long been one of Canada’s leading interpreters of new music – premiering 18 piano concerti and recording concerti, and solo and chamber works by Canadian and international composers, in addition to her recordings of standard repertoire – totalling nearly 30 recorded titles in all.  Four of her CDs of Canadian music have earned JUNO Awards nominations.  Petrowska-Quilico received the 2007 Friends of Canadian Music Award from the Canadian Music Centre and Canadian League of Composers, and together with composer Constantine Caravassilis was named winner of the 2010 Harry Freedman Recording Award, from the CMC’s Harry Freedman Fund. 


 Patricia O’Callaghan

Patricia O’Callaghan divides her time between recording CDs, touring her own shows, and collaborating on other interesting projects.  Some collaborations include singing with Bryn Terfel at Roy Thompson Hall, touring the multi media opera Constantinople by Christos Hatzis to London’s Royal Opera House, among other places, and recording and touring with jazz clarinettist Don Byron, in support of his Bluenote release, A Fine Line.  Recent appearances include playing Polly Peachum in Threepenny Opera with Soulpepper Theatre Company.  Upcoming performances include playing Anna 1 in Weill/ Brecht’s Seven Deadly Sins with Alberta Ballet/Edmonton Opera.

 She has also appeared in television shows, such as her own Bravo! Special Live at the Rehearsal Hall, the Rhombus/CBC special Youkali Hotel, and the acclaimed Ken Finkleman Drama, Foolish Heart. Patricia is achieving her heart’s ambition to bring her distinctive brand of cabaret to a broad-based audience.


 Program notes for music by Constantine Caravassilis  www.caravassilis.ca

 View from Pluto was inspired by an article that I read in the online edition of The Guardian in 2006. In her description of several of Pluto’s properties and attributes, Professor Monica Grady, a planetary scientist at the Open University in Britain, writes: “Naming Pluto after the god of the underworld may seem a strange choice – hell, after all, is depicted as a place of burning heat. Here, at the fringes of the solar system, is where hell freezes over. It is desolate and cold: -233C. Above is a clear, cloudless sky…. Pluto’s tenuous atmosphere does not contain the particles that scatter light and give colour to the landscape… All the god of hell has for company is the occasional comet and his moon, Charon, named after the boatman who delivered souls across the river Styx. From the surface, Charon dominates the sky, its closeness to Pluto meaning it appears seven times larger than the full moon does on Earth… Time passes slowly. Each day lasts almost a week, and each year takes two and a half centuries…” 

This work starts and ends in the key of C minor, which, for me, symbolizes distance and darkness. Several remotely distant tonal areas are explored while a five-note motif orbits throughout, representing different views from and of the surface of the dwarf planet. The character of the music portrays a stealth and cold darkness beyond anything that we experience on Planet Earth, while grandiose outbursts of the orbiting theme evoke an entity of mythical proportions that converts the extreme cold into the flaming fire of the underworld, thereby portraying the duality inherent in the name Pluto.

 Soul Ascending is my response to the powerful words of St. John Chrysostom, in his commentary on the ascension of the soul: “And so mounting as it were by steps, let us get to heaven by a Jacob’s ladder. For the ladder seems to me to signify in a riddle by that vision the gradual ascent by means of virtue, by which it is possible for us to ascend from earth to heaven, not using material steps, but improvement and correction of manners.”

 Life after death (whether an actual physical or transcendental phenomenon) versus the possibility of eternal oblivion, esotericism, and metaphysics in general, are subjects that have both perplexed and fascinated me for many years. But the subject that has intrigued me and triggered my imagination the most relates to the state of the human soul immediately upon departing from its temporary fleshly home, along with the impact of the human journey just completed upon the soul’s post-life progress, if any. I have investigated the many views on these topics held by the ancient cultures of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, as well as the teachings of several religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. This study has not only inspired and influenced some of my musical work; it has also been instrumental in my personal spiritual journey.

Soul Ascending depicts my impression of the experience when a soul leaves its flesh body and the material world behind at the moment of so-called “death” and is ascending Jacob’s ladder. This fantasia was heavily influenced by Egon Wellesz’s book A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography, as well as by an early 19th century painting by William Blake depicting this moment, which is now on display at the British Museum in London.  

The note C#, which I associate with life, vitality, energy, and the spirit, serves as a drone (or ison in Byzantine chant), with the melodic material woven around it in an ever-unfolding melisma. Several bass notes are depressed throughout the piece (using the sostenuto pedal), allowing a number of harmonics to sound constantly, thereby suggesting a spacereality of infinite proportions, one with endless potential for expansion. Toward the end of the ascension rite, a subtle switch to bi-tonality in the music suggests freedom and contentment as the soul separates from all earthy things and enters an eternal meta-state, one that is indescribable, if not inconceivable by human beings still living on the earthly plane.




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