Jeremy Berkman/David Brown workshop

Time: 13:00-17:00
Date: 2015 Sep 27
Location: CMC, 837 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Pro Musica Presents:


Sunday September 27 at the CMC 1pm – 5pm (837 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC) $10

Vancouver ProMusica with the generous support of the Canadian Music Centre invite all BC composers to attend this workshop. It is the first in a series that we will be presenting this season to help prepare composers for writing new works for the 2016 Sonic Boom festival. Edward Top. Composer-in-Residence for Sonic Boom 2016, will be present to offer advise regarding his experience and approach to Trombone and Bass.

This workshop will serve as an opportunity for all BC composers to learn more about writing for the trombone, double bass and electric bass. There will also be the opportunity to have brief sketches (up to 3 minutes of music) read by the performers. Jeremy, David and Edward will also provide valuable feedback to accommodate your preparation for your submission to Sonic Boom 2016.

Composers will then have an opportunity to submit their piece to be performed in concert (for more information on the call or to submit a score, please click here.)

Workshop Description

Jeremy and David will provide histories for their respective instruments in addition to providing notes for composition and live performance demonstrating extended techniques. Edward Top will compliment the performer’s perspectives by providing his insight as a composer. Participants will have the opportunity to interact freely with the presenters on any number of topics regarding their instruments. In addition we encourage you to bring sketches for reading by the performers. Be sure to bring copies for yourself, Edward, Jeremy and David. As there are a limited number of sketches to be read, please indicate if you will be bringing a sketch by submitting the following participation form.

Please remember to bring your $10 entry fee to pay at the door.


Performer Biographies:

Jeremy Berkman

“Jeremy Berkman… turns phrases into characters with eloquent tone and smooth line in Underhill’s stunning Trombone Quintet…” – Elissa Poole (Globe and Mail)

A graduate of Juilliard School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory and College (with degrees in music and economics) trombonist Jeremy Berkman currently plays with and leads the education and community engagement efforts of Vancouver’s award winning Turning Point Ensemble (TPE). He performs with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, A Touch of Brass Quintet, and the Jill Townsend Big Band. With TPE, Jeremy has co-led a number of large scale collaborations and in 2011 was honoured with Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award (Music). He has contributed to over 30 commercial recordings, and is featured in Still Image (music of Owen Underhill on Centerdisc). With The Peggy Lee Band he has recorded five cds, toured nationally and internationally, and been nominated for a Juno Award.

David Brown

“My main musical involvement is in the classical, orchestral world and I have been a member of the Vancouver Symphony for over thirty years. I am also a member of the Turning Point Ensemble and enjoy participating in a wide variety of freelance musical activities. I love playing in small ensembles particularly chamber music and jazz. The double bass or the electric bass can be found in most genres of music. Both instruments are known for the authoritative harmonic and rhythmic foundation they provide but they can both also ‘step into the footlights’ on occasion in a solo capacity. I have had a lot of very diverse and interesting musical opportunities over the course of my career as a result of my interest in playing both of these instruments.”

Edward Top

Acknowledged by Dutch newspaper NRC as “The Horror Composer” twenty years ago, Edward Top’s music since is finding a way out-of the pluralism of the postmodernist maze where he has replaced an ironic and contemptuous response to the grand narratives of modernism by a simpler tone of honesty and an economical use of material. Recurring motifs include the grotesque, sentimentality and the sublime. Top’s music is inspired by the symphonic tradition, Baroque forms, postminimalism, film noir, postrock, thrash metal, and the paintings of Hyronymus Bosch, James Ensor and Francisco Goya. His work often oscillates between different concepts using rich textures in detailed orchestrations.

Born in The Netherlands in 1972 Edward Top has lived and worked in London, Bangkok, and Rotterdam. With his wife and baby boy he now lives in Vancouver after recently completing a three-year term as Composer-in-Residence with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He studied composition with Peter-Jan Wagemans at the Rotterdam Conservatoire in The Netherlands where he also majored in violin. He later studied musicology at King’s College London. He has also worked with composers Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Peter Eötvös and George Benjamin.

Besides his responsibilities as Head of Composition at the Vancouver Academy of Music, Top has received commissions from several ensembles including the Schoenberg Ensemble, Holland Symfonia, Calefax, Vocaal LAB, Doelen Ensemble, Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, The Tempest Flute Ensemble and Standing Wave. His works have been performed by the Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Netherlands Ballet Orchestra and Peter Rundel, Tokyo Sinfonietta, Ensemble NOISE at San Diego New Music and the Formalist String Quartet in Los Angeles. The Doelen String Quartet has recorded his two quartets on CD.

Sonic Boom 2016 Timeline of Events:

  • September 27, 2015, 1pm – 5pm: Open workshop at the CMC BC Creative Hub ($10 participation fee.)
  • December 11, 2015: Score submission deadline.
  • Early 2016: Submitters notified of selection results. Rehearsals with composers will be arranged individually.
  • Sonic Boom 2016: March 17 – 20 at The Pyatt Hall, The Orpheum Annex and The Western Front