2008 – Aaron Gervais

AaronGervaisComposer Aaron Gervais (born Edmonton, 1980) studied composition at the University of Toronto (B.Mus Honours 2005) and the University of California at San Diego (MA 2007), in addition to further studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague (composition) and in Havana (Cuban folkloric percussion). Teachers include Chan Ka Nin, Chinary Ung, Philippe Manoury, and Martijn Padding, as well as masterclasses with composers such as Gilles Tremblay, Mario Davidovsky, Denys Bouliane, François Paris, and Helmut Lachenmann.

Aaron has had performances and commissions from ensembles in several countries, including the Nieuw Ensemble, the Ensemble contemporain de Montreal, the Nouvel ensemble moderne, Tapestry New Opera Works, Toca Loca, Continuum, the Knights Orchestra, and the Arditti Quartet. His music has been performed in Canada, the USA, Cuba, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, and has been broadcast across Canada.

Various festivals have presented Aaron’s music, including Amsterdam’s Gaudeamus Music Week (his piece Culture no.1 was selected for the 2006 edition of the prestigious Gaudeamus competition), Toronto’s New Wave and soundaXis festivals, Aberdeen’s Sound Festival, and New York’s MATA Festival. He was additionally selected as a representative for Canada in the 2008 World Music Days in Lithuania, and is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and prizes.

Aaron is currently working on a concert-length piece for amplified trio (soprano, piano, percussion). The piece is a collage of short bits of over 100 pop tunes from the ‘80s, rearranged, transformed, and reorchestrated. The piece touches on issues of audience engagement, cultural references through quotation, and the impact of copyright law on the creation of art. It will be premièred in Banff in December of this year.