• Concert next week in Vancouver

    Concert next week in Vancouver

    I’m very excited to be traveling to Vancouver tomorrow to work with the amazing musicians of Tiresias Duo. They are performing a concert called ‘National InQueeries’ (great title!) on Tuesday night, presented by Music on Main. They asked four queer composers, including myself, to reflect on our queer ‘heritage’ or inspirations as we composed a new work.

    The impeccable and irresistable Mark McGregor and Rachel Iwaasa are doing incredible things with my new piece ‘Stir’, and I’m really looking forward to working with them in person. The work has many open elements for the performers to decide, in the hopes of including them in the creative process and giving them some authorship over the piece.

    October 20, 2015
    Tiresias Duo
    Presented by Music on Main
    The Fox Cabaret
    Vancouver, BC
    Tickets & info here.

  • Autumn


    New collaborations, new creative processes, new indiscernible sketches. Welcome, fall.

  • ‘Sewing the Earthworm’ Recording Launch

    I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release of Sewing the Earthworm, a song cycle I composed for soprano Carla Huhtanen and pianist Steven Philcox. It was recorded in January for release on Centretracks, and we’re throwing a party at the CMC in Toronto to celebrate!

    The cycle will be available for download on iTunes on April 14, 2015. Click here for more information.

    Launch Party:
    Friday, April 17th
    Canadian Music Centre
    20 St. Joseph St., Toronto
    Doors: 5:00pm
    Performance: 5:30pm

    See the Facebook event for more information.

    The team!
    Carla Huhtanen, soprano
    Steven Philcox, piano
    Brian Harman, music
    David Brock, text
    John Gray, engineer
    Paul Vermeersch, cover art

  • Autumn Projects

    After a wonderful summer filled with travel and new ideas, I have several exciting projects to keep me busy this fall.

    – I’m finishing a new work for flute and sho (a Japanese mouth organ, like a big harmonica!) that will be performed in Vancouver on October 22, as part of the Japanese Consulate’s 125th Anniversary celebrations. The work will be performed by Jeffrey Stonehouse (Montreal) and Naomi Sato (Japan/Netherlands).

    – I am curating a concert for the Canadian Music Centre (Toronto) called ‘La Séduction de l’Incertitude’ featuring Quebec-centric music. The concert will take place on November 13, 2014 at 5:30pm and will feature Carla Huhtanen (soprano), Leslie Ting (violin) and Stephanie Chua (piano), with works by Patrick Giguère, Maxime McKinley, Analia Lludgar, Denys Bouliane and the Canadian premiere of my work Skolia, which was performed in Oslo and London in August as part of nu:nord.

    – I’m also currently working on two other works: a chamber orchestra piece, to be performed later this fall by the Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble (conducted by Brian Current), and a commission for 12 instruments, to be performed by the combined forces of the Thin Edge New Music Collective (Toronto) and Ensemble Paramirabo (Montreal) on a Canadian tour this winter/spring.

    – The amazing Cheryl Duvall is also giving repeat performances of my solo piano/video work Still Life in Toronto and Kitchener.

    More info about upcoming concerts coming soon.

  • Another concert venue in Oslo

    nu:nord adventures in Oslo and London

    Concert featuring the Tre Voci cello trio and soprano Silje Aker Johnsen (Oslo, Norway)
    Tre Voci cello trio and soprano Silje Johnsen (Oslo, Norway)

    On top of Oslo's Opera House
    On top of Oslo’s Opera House

    Concert Setup in Oslo
    Concert Setup in Oslo

    Tre Voci performing at LimeWharf, London, UK
    Tre Voci performing at LimeWharf, London, UK

    Violinist Mira Benjamin and soprano Silje Aker Johnsen performing my work Skolia
    Mira Benjamin and Silje Johnsen performing my work Skolia

  • Guest Blogger at New Music Toronto

    I had the opportunity to write a concert review of Friday night’s Arraymusic concert, which featured the music of James Tenney, for the blog New Music Toronto. I love writing about music, and I believe there needs to be more discussion about contemporary music in Toronto.

    Thanks to Paolo Griffin for the opportunity! You can read the review here.

  • Gagaku Music

    Gagaku Music

    Ever since I visited Japan for a wind ensemble competition in 2009, I’ve been fascinated by Japanese culture and music. It was my first time in Asia, and I felt like I was on another planet altogether. Tokyo is deliciously overwhelming in every way, from it’s ultra modern, replaceable architecture to its complex spaghetti bowl transit system and it’s fluorescent pop culture.

    Underneath all this modern gloss, I discovered ancient gagaku and other Japanese musical traditions. I studied gagaku in depth for my doctoral comprehensive exams, and became fascinated with its instruments, its structure and its incredible longevity. It is a rich musical form, different from all other musics I was familiar with at the time, and from which I continue to draw musical inspiration for my own work.

    A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend a concert by Nagata Shachu, a taiko drumming ensemble based here in Toronto. The ensemble performed new compositions written by members of the group in an attempt to enrich this ancient art form, but I found myself drawn more to the traditional music presented, especially that which incorporated complex dance-like gestures into the performance. The last piece on their program, Miyake, was especially rich in both sonic and visual beauty. This was a very inspiring concert.

    Batô, a piece of gagaku music.

  • Babel Scores

    I’m thrilled to announce that my scores are now available through the Europe-based music publisher Babel Scores. My Babel Scores page has easy access to score samples, recordings and program notes. I’m among some excellent composers represented at Babel Scores. I’m honoured to be a part of their community.

    You can access my page here: http://www.babelscores.com/brianharman

    Note that my scores will remain available through the Canadian Music Centre. Here is my CMC page.

  • Listening

    I’m doing some listening as I plan out my next project for the Silver Birch String Quartet, and I came across this amazing piece called Blackjack by Michael Beil. It’s like a giant multimedia puzzle that the composer assembled. Leaves you wanting to watch it again to figure out how it works.


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