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Jennifer Butler (composer)

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Jennifer Butler (b. 1976) is a Canadian composer and flutist living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was the first female president of the Canadian League of Composers.

Jennifer Butler
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Image 04-03-2020 at 15.37.jpg
Image 04-03-2020 at 15.37.jpg
Born1976
Baptised1976
Died
Residence
Nationality
Other names
Alma mater
OccupationComposer / Flutist
Years active  2007 - present
EraContemporary
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Known for
Salary
Spouse(s)
Children
Awards
Website

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Early life and education[edit]

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Butler then grew up in Victoria, BC. She studied flute at the Victoria Conservatory of Music with Dr. Mary Byrne, and began a Bachelor of Music in flute performance with Dr. Amy Hamilton at Wilfrid Laurier University. In her third year she switched her major and completed a Bachelor of Music in composition with teachers Dr. Glenn Buhr, Dr. Peter Hatch, and Dr. Omar Daniels. She received both a master’s degree and a Doctorate of Musical Arts[1] from the University of British Colombia with Dr. Keith Hamel as her principal teacher.

Career[edit]

Butler has been commissioned and performed by artists that include, Victoria Symphony, the Western Front , Redshift, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, Bradyworks, Emily Carr String Quartet (Victoria), Kingston Symphony Orchestra, the Turning Point Ensemble , the Borealis String Quartet and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

From 2000–2016, Butler was an active member of R. Murray Schafer's interdisciplinary theatre project And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon (commonly known as the Wolf Project). The Wolf Project is a week-long theatrical and collaborative event performed in the wilderness of northern Ontario.

In 2010–12, she was part of the creative team that produced Shadow Catch: a new chamber-opera that explored the rich cultural history of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, combining elements of Western Opera and Japanese Noh theatre. Shadow Catch premiered at the Firehall Arts Centre in December 2011.

The style Butler's music has been described as “intimate” [2](Globe and Mail)[3], “beautifully remote” (Vancouver Sun)[4], and “disquieting” (Vancouver Classical Music).

Many of her pieces derive their inspiration from the natural world. She incorporates the patterns she hears and sees and is influenced by the different emotions and narratives that nature evokes. Silence, organic change, layered textures, and holding and releasing tension are important qualities in many of her compositions.

Butler is a board member of Canadian Music Centre(CMC), and Chair of the Coultard Mentorship[5].[6] She is also a board member of Redshift Music Society, Canadian New Music Network, Vancouver Pro Musica, Standing Wave Ensemble, she was a member of ISCM [7]2017 World New Music Days Advisory Committee and was the first female president of the Canadian League of Composers [8](2011-2014)

Works[edit]

Shelter (2019) for solo piano and a jar of broken glass, written for Rachel Iwassa

The End of the World (or else the beginning) (2019) for flute and string quartet, commissioned by the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO), a tribute to R. Murray Schafer, premiered at the Global Soundscapes Festival 2019, by flutist Mark Mcgregor and the Borealis String Quartet

Songs for Klee Wyck [9](2017-20) for mezzo soprano and string quartet, commissioned by Victoria's Emily Carr String Quartet, premiered at the ISCM 2017 World Music Days in Vancouver and the Victoria Symphony New Music Festival, 2019; Poetry by Janet Marie Rogers, Stephanie MacKenzie, and Jennifer Butler/Carr

Four Horses (2018) for soprano, flute, and electric guitar. An apocalyptic song cycle written with Peter Anderson, commissioned by Mark MacGregor.  Premiered on the Vancouver Community College Off Broadway concert series by Dory Hayley (soprano), Mark McGregor (flute), and Adrian Verdejo (electric guitar)

Stay Struggling (2018) for percussion sextet. Commissioned by Driftwood Percussion for percussion sextet, premiered at Music on Main[10]'s Modulus Festival 2019

The Stars Have Closed Their Eyes (2017) for mezzo soprano and electric guitar quartet. Commissioned by Bradyworks for Instruments of Happiness and Mezzo Soprano Marie-Annick Béliveau, premiered at the Music Gallery (Toronto), 2018.

And Birds Do Sing[11] (2011) for orchestra. Commissioned by the Victoria Symphony.

Under Bleak Skies[12] (2012) for large chamber ensemble. Commissioned by Redshift for the Aventa Ensemble.

Selected Performers/Commissioners[edit]

Butler's collaborations include Standing Wave[13], Rachel Iwaasa, Redshift[14], Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Borealis String Quartet, Mark MacGregor, Emily Carr String Quartet, Vertical Orchestra, Dory Hayley, Heather Pawsey, Aventa Ensemble, Music on Main, Helen Pridmore, Waterloo Chamber Players, Brady Works, musica intima, Kingston Symphony Orchestra, Allegra Orchestra, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, L’Ensemble Lunatik, Saskatoon Symphony Players, Ottawa New Music Collective, Western Front, Sonic Boom Festival, Turning Point Ensemble.

Butler has also collaborated with Maria Reva[15], Peter Anderson, Shadow Catch[16], Cosmophony[17], Knick Knack Lemon Whack - Sonic Playground - Video[18]

Discography[edit]

Neptune (2010) for solo piano, on Cosmophony[19]. CD recording by Rachel Iwaasa (Vancouver: Redshift, 2010)

Through Walls[20] (2010) A chamber arrangement of Through Walls was recorded in October, 2009 by the Turning Point ensemble for use in a short film by director John Bolton. Funding was provided by BRAVO! Television. This film was broadcast on BRAVO! during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Sky (2009), for 10 flutes, on Different Stones[21]. CD recording by Mark McGregor (Vancouver: Redshift, 2009).  This recording was nominated for a West Coast Music Award in 2010.

For Dreams of Things Which Cannot Be (2007), on Delicate Fires[22]. CD recording by Tiresias (Vancouver: CMC Centrediscs, 2007). This recording was nominated for a West Coast Music Award and For Dreams has been repeatedly broadcast on CBC Radio Two.

Research[edit]

“Designing Pedagogical Etudes for Interactive Musical Instruments[23]” (2008) Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) pp. 77-80 (peer reviewed)

Broadcasts[edit]

Making Waves - Australian Radio[24]

WFMT - A[25]

Videos[edit]

Redshift - Under Bleak Skies[26]

Emily Carr String Quartet - Klee Wyck Woman[27]

Tide Rises and Falls - Vancouver New Music[28]

Victoria Symphony - One More Way to See[29]

Music on Main - Stay Struggling[30]

Links[edit]

Jennifer Butler Website

References[edit]

  1. Butler, Jennifer (2002). "Phd Composition" (PDF). Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. Boullard, Lise. "Musica intima celebrates women in song". North Shore News. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  3. "Events to 'transform Vancouver's musical landscape'". Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  4. Duke, David Gordon. "New year, new music: Vancouver Symphony’s January Festival spotlights contemporary compositions". www.vancouversun.com. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  5. "June 17, 2019: Jean Coulthard Quartet Readings". Borealis String Quartet. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  6. "The Borealis String Quartet Presents 8 X 5 at the rennie museum". rennie.com. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  7. ISCM (2019-05-15). "Butler, Jennifer". ISCM. Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  8. "The Canadian League of Composers turns 60". SOCAN Words and Music. 2011-12-04. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  9. Bazzana, Kevin. "Classical Music: Cambridge University choir brings tour to Victoria". Times Colonist. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  10. "percussion music is revolution". www.musiconmain.ca. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  11. "All-female orchestra launches to empower women through music". The Vancouver Observer. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  12. "Jennifer Butler - Aventa Ensemble". Retrieved 2020-04-13.
  13. "Composer Jennifer Butler messes with Messiaen at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival". The Georgia Straight. 2020-01-08. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
  14. Haney, Mark (2014-11-20). "Composer Spotlight – Jennifer Butler". Standing Wave. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  15. Reva, Maria (2017-02-28). "Maria Reva". Maria Reva. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  16. "Shadow Catch December 2, 3 & 4". The Bulletin. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  17. prideinart (2015-06-04). "Cosmophony". Queer Arts Festival. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  18. "Sonic Playground returns! - Western Front". Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  19. Canadienne, Canadian Music Centre | Centre de Musique. "Cosmophony". www.musiccentre.ca. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  20. "About". Turning Point Ensemble. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  21. "Different Stones, by Redshift Music". Redshift Music. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  22. "Tiresias – Delicate Fires". Redshift Records. 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  23. Butler, Jennifer (2008). "Creating Pedagogical Etudes for Interactive Instruments" (PDF). Jennifer Butler. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  24. "Jennifer Butler". MAKING WAVES. 2016-06-19. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  25. "World Music Days: Vancouver Part II". WFMT. 2018-01-06. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  26. Under Bleak Skies - Jennifer Butler, retrieved 2020-04-11
  27. "Emily Carr String Quartet - Media". emilycarrstringquartet.com. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  28. Sequitur - Jennifer Butler, retrieved 2020-04-11
  29. "New Music Festival: One More Way To See – Victoria Symphony Canada". Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  30. "percussion music is revolution". www.musiconmain.ca. Retrieved 2020-04-11.



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