Gabriel Dharmoo started composing when he was just a kid; “One thing led to another,” he explained via email. “Making up simple pieces on the cello as a child, writing songs in my teens, then more experimental approaches to sound during my undergrad and onward.”
Dharmoo’s work has been performed internationally, receiving the 2011 Fernand-Lindsay Prix d’Europe composition prize and the Canada Council for the Arts’ Robert Fleming Prize that same year. He is this year’s recipient of the SOCAN Jan V. Matejcek Award.
Dharmoo also performs across Canada and Europe as a vocalist and instrumentalist, most recently with his work Anthropologies Imaginaires. He admits the work to be a favourite of his, not only because in it he takes on multiple artistic roles, but because the conversations it inspires are amazing.
The piece means so much to me because I was fortunate to share it with very open-minded audiences around the world, and it provoked dialogue about many issues regarding satire, cultural identity, exoticism and post-colonialism.
Gabriel Dharmoo has a long history with Soundstreams, and has worked on projects from the Emerging Composer’s Workshop to Electric Messiah. Later this month, his choral work Futile Spells premieres in Music of the Rainbow Nation: A Tribute to Nelson Mandela’s Dream. He cites a variety of inspirations for it:
I imagine strange millennium-old vocal styles/techniques from fictional cultures. This new piece focuses on magical, supernatural or ritualistic spells that might have belonged to ancient populations. But if these civilizations could not save themselves from extinction, can one place trust in their belief systems? Should one dismiss these spells as merely futile, or does cynicism prevent one from recognizing the magical?
Dharmoo is currently completing his PhD at Concordia University.
Experience Dharmoo’s work through Soundstreams:
- Salon 21: Vibrant Voices November 18, 2016
- Music of the Rainbow Nation November 23, 2016
- Electric Messiah December 5-7, 2016