Soundcloud is to musicians and composers what Facebook or LinkedIn is to normal people: it’s something maintained out of professional obligation, inclusion, and to gain a modicum of e-presence in social media and the world wide web.
Joking aside, SoundCloud stands one of the best resources for listening to and discovering new music — second perhaps only to youtube. Styles, sub-styles and genres and subgenres are seldom more than a click away, and your personal feed is actually entertaining as opposed to an endless barrage of BuzzFeedesq clickbait. Soundcloud has in particular become a major tool for contemporary composers, a simple and efficient way to display their music. Many of the world’s best composers maintain even a modest SoundCloud.
Without further ado, here are our top ten picks for composers from Toronto to follow on SoundCloud.
University of Toronto Faculty of music composer Christos Hatzis’ SoundCloud includes a wide range of genres — from orchestral to chamber from ballet excerpts to pop song. What’s perhaps most grabbing is the eclectic array of influences. Elements of pop, cosmopolitanism, and world music serve as veneers for what is simultaneously intelligent and well-crafted music. All this combined with sheer volume makes his Soundcloud one of the most easily recommended.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Allison Cameron’s music heavily favours and is influenced by experimentation and improvisation. A former director of Array Music, her Soundcloud and catalogue stands as perhaps the most divergent from the other composers on this list, being some of the most visceral and even primal music listed here.
Undoubtedly the most popular composer on this list (a whopping 7,000+ followers (!!!)), Rose’s SoundCloud and music focuses almost entirely on electronic experimentation and soundscape. A good stereo or headphones are a must — much of her music makes exceptional usage of stereo mixing.
Although living in Montana, Emilie LeBel still counts as one of ours having been educated and still relatively active in the Toronto. Her music is difficult to categorise: it has a strong emphasis on timbre and colour but never at the expense of a very focused and recognisable pallet and vocabulary of harmony and sonorities. There are clear conceptual constructs at play, but they never supplant good writing.
Anna Höstman and Emilie were both co-founders of the Blue Moss Ensemble and both of their music prominently features timbre and atmosphere as focal points. From there the similarities end: Anna’s music at times has an almost romantic sense of melody and mood but just as easily emphasises stasis and colour. Always, there is a certain sense of delicateness that is harder than one would expect to pull off, at least with a sense of authenticity.
With a very focused catalogue of music, his young age, and prolificness Matthew’s SoundCloud is strong and growing. Matthews SoundCloud features nothing but live recordings of his choral music, but an impressive number and range of them (29 in total). Definitely one for the choir fans.
The former RBC Affiliate Composer to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a modest SoundCloud… which is putting it politely at only four followers. Still, with a SoundCloud that is only seemingly two months old, what is shared includes almost entirely commercial releases. All of Kevin’s recordings are of an extremely high calibre and worth giving a listen to.
Linda Catlin Smith
“I compose new concert music, in the classical tradition” is all Catlin’s description gives. Whether one agrees that her music is truly the classical tradition or not Linda’s music can best be described as static and anti-developmental in approach to writing. More often than not her music consists of collections of sonorities. Also of note is Linda’s professional credentials: in addition to also being a former Array music director she was the second female winner of the Jules Léger Prize for Contemporary Chamber Music, immortalising her alongside some of the greatest Canadian composers of all time.
Brian Current’s SoundCloud features tracks off his award winning album This Isn’t Silence, other assorted chamber works, and samples thereof. Often, his music contains elements of perpetual motion and “post-minimalism” grooves in an edgier less predictable framework. As well, Brian’s visible commitment to new music pedagogy as a conductor and educator (his own Young Person’s Guide to New Music serving an example) is especially admirable.
Nick Storring’s SoundCloud is perhaps the most diverse on this list. It features of genres ranging from contemporary chamber music, orchestral, film, electronics, and his own studio albums (Gardens and Endless Conjecture — both of which stand as highlights on the Soundcloud). Simply leaving his page running will yield an impressive menagerie of music. No two tracks are quite alike.
If you have a SoundCloud you’d like to share, please do so in the comments. There are obviously more than ten composers with SoundCloud in Toronto, and we’d love to hear them!