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SoundStories: Spotlight on Christopher Mayo

We hope you enjoy this edition of SoundStories, with a deep dive into the music of Christopher Mayo.

“I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in the Seven Deadly Sins project with Soundstreams in 2019. It was hugely inspirational to see how all the artists involved had such diverse and varied approaches to the subject matter. I’m even more grateful to have been invited back to compose a new work inspired by the life and work of Claude Vivier for upcoming international Soundstreams tours. The music of Claude Vivier has been hugely influential on my own work, and I’m so glad that Soundstreams has given me this opportunity to write an homage to this Canadian great.” 

Composer Spotlight: Christopher Mayo

‘Lament’ (2018) is a video/sound installation Mayo did in collaboration with Tal Rosner for Nuit Blanche in 2018 at Toronto City Hall. It incorporates a recording of bpNichol’s poem ‘Lament’ which was intended to be broadcast over the PA in City Hall. 

Christopher Mayo is a Toronto-based composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electronic music. His work, variously described as “cogent, haunting and…desperately poignant” (The Times) and “a steampunk collection of gnarly machine-like noises, flashy timbres, and explosive rhythms” (Classical Voice North America), is characterized by its distinctive rhythmic language and wide range of diverse and eclectic inspirations. 

He is not only a versatile composer but also a versatile orchestrator and arranger, collaborating with artists Carly Rae Jepsen, R&B duo DVSN, throat-singer Tanya Tagaq, DJ King Britt, folk-rock band Whitehorse, electronic artist Matthew Herbert and drum and bass star Goldie among others.

Dive Deeper

WATCH – ‘Walk the Darkness Down’ (2019) is a piece for electric guitars, spacialized around the audience 

WATCH – ‘To Discard All Images’ (2019) is a piece that incorporates recordings of 46 Canadian photographers describing works by John Max

WATCH – ‘Spirit Wrestlers’ (2019), Mayo’s take on Greed from Soundstreams’ Seven Deadly Sins production.

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