In a Large Open Space

James Tenney’s

I n   a   L a r g e   O p e n   S p a c e

LaSaM and Quatuor Bozzini (Montreal)

March 12, 2011, 2 – 4 pm at the Church of St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra Street, Victoria, BC.

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Joined by special guests Quatour Bozzini (Montreal), LaSaM presented a transcending musical experience of the harmonic series in architectural space.  James Tenney’s In a Large Open Space is an exploration of the natural phenomenon of the harmonic series.  In this performance, the audience was surrounded by the musicians, immersed in the sound of sublime harmonies resonating through the expansive space of the Church of St. John the Divine.


Quatour Bozzini: Clemens Merkel, violin; Isabelle Bozzini, cello; Stephanie Bozzini, viola; Charles-Etienne Marchand, violin
LaSaM and Guests: Jamie Drouin, modular synth; Nick Fairbank, trumpet; Alexei Paish, vibraphone, bass harmonica, tuned glass; Tina Pearson, tuned glass, voice; Christopher Reiche, keyboards; David Stratkauskas, organ; Andrea Young, voice

James Tenney’s In a Large Open Space gives a living breathing experience of the harmonic series in architectural space. Quatuor Bozzini has performed this composition in Europe and Canada to critical acclaim. In a Large Open Space was also presented as a significant all-night sound and light performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koehner Hall in Toronto as part of Nuit Blanche 2009.

In Victoria, the musicians (Quatuor Bozzini, LaSaM and guest musicians from Victoria) will be spread throughout the main space of the Church of St. John the Divine, sounding the notes from the harmonic series from locations based on their frequency spectrum. Visitors will be invited to move through the room, experiencing the sounding of the subtly shifting harmonic series from many vantage points.


James Tenney (1934-2006) was a Canadian-American pianist, composer and teacher and a student of some of the Twentieth century’s greatest composers, including Edgard Varèse, John Cage and Harry Partch. He was an early pioneer of computer-generated music, and of the application of information theory to the art of composition. Tenney’s approach to form and the compositional process stemmed from his understanding of the phenomenological bases of music perception. Tenney coined the term ‘harmonic space’ for research and experimentation in intonation based on the harmonic series. His latest works focused on music for acoustic instruments.

In a Large Open Space has been performed internationally, and was a significant installation of the 2009 Nuit Blanche events at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s  including Koehner Hall in Toronto.

The presentation of In A Large Open Space connected a few of LaSaM’s interests and activities: the creative investigations of sonic phenomena, the performance of the music of influential composers whose work is undervalued, and the commitment to collaboration.


Quatuor Bozzini (Stephanie Bozzini, Clemens Merkel, Isabelle Bozzini and Charles-Etienne Marchand)

The Quatuor Bozzini (Montreal) is an internationally-known string quartet of new, contemporary, experimental, and classical music. The Quatuor Bozzini has commissioned and premiered many works and is known for its detailed and beautifully nuanced performance style. It presents a regular series in Montreal, hosts readings for young composers and is a frequent guest artist in residencies in Canada and Europe. It regularly tours in internationally and it hosts its own record label, the collection qb. In 2007, the Quatuor Bozzini was awarded a Prix Opus from the CQM and the Förderpreis from the Ernst von Siemens Foundation.

While in Victoria, Quatuor  Bozzini also performed a concert March 10 at Open SpaceVisionaries, a project of gentle, focussed, disquieting music included works by James Tenney, Walter Zimmermann, Christian Wolff and John Cage.


Supported by the SOCAN Foundation and the Church of St. John the Divine.

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