Spur-ing Conversations on New Music

The Hilliard Ensemble by Marco Borggreve
The Hilliard Ensemble by Marco Borggreve

Every winter, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra plays host to some of the most innovative and iconoclastic music being made right now, with its annual New Music Festival.

New Music does a lot of things. It challenges us. It baffles us. It provokes us. It inspires us.

Above all, it asks us questions. And every year the lobbies and backstages of venues across the city are abuzz with some of the answers.

This year, the Spur festival is bringing audiences and performers together, to provide an opportunity for us to ask these questions of each other. We will be hosting free pre-concert talks before five select shows, adding a layer of context to these performances that previously would not be available to those outside of the inner circle of creators.

We’ll be asking some big questions: Why is there a divide between “pop artists” and “serious musicians”? What does “Beyond” mean to you?  Why doesn’t Winnipeg get any credit for creating so many of the country’s musical heroes? What is the future of musical performance?

Check out the list of talks below, and start thinking about what you want to ask. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday January 26th 6pm—Piano Nobile (Plug In ICA Lounge) 
Creating Tesla in New York  
Spur invites Phil Kline, Jim Jarmusch and Bernard W. Carlson to discuss the process of turning Nikola Tesla’s fascinating life into the opera Tesla in New York.

Monday January 27th 6pm – Piano Nobile (Plug In ICA Lounge) 
Crossover Music—New York
Featuring Jim Jarmusch, Glenn Branca and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth.

Tuesday January 28th 6pm – Piano Nobile (Plug In ICA Lounge) 
Forgotten Winnipeg
There’s something special about Winnipeg, having produced some of the world’s finest musicians. Spur asks: who are its forgotten heroes?

Wednesday January 29th 6pm Piano Nobile (Plug In ICA Lounge) 
Branca in Conversation
Spur hosts a rare on-stage conversation with Glenn Branca. Moderated by Matthew Patton.

Friday January 31st 6pm – Piano Nobile (Plug In ICA Lounge) 
Spur explores the New Music Festival’s theme, “Beyond,” by engaging some of Winnipeg’s experts on the topic. Speakers include: Shelley Sweeney, Jayanne English and Chris Rutkowski. Moderated by Sotirios Kotoulas.

In addition to these talks Cinematheque will be screening a collection of films related to Spur’s programming:

    • Spectres of the Spectrums
    • When Pigs Fly
    • The Ice Storm
    • Blank City
    • Survival Lessons: The Greg Klymkiw Story
    • Death by Popcorn


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