lilac and aubergine (1995) by john mark sherlock

lilac + aubergine (1995) for Eve Egoyan and Linda C Smith
w/Eve Egoyan and Linda C Smith – keyboards

When I was writing lilac † aubergine many of my concerns surrounded the metaphor of colour and how painters used their material and the ways that material was projected on and existed spatially on canvass – their vehicle. My question was: “What is my material and how can it exist in my vehicle – time and air?” And visual abstraction meant what in music? What is “colour-field” music? This led me to view my work at the time as a stain of pitch, timbre and sound waves on the canvass of air and to seek an abstract musical poetry.

Living in Toronto, John Mark Sherlock studied composition at the University of Western Ontario with Jack Behrens, Arsenio Girón and David Myska. His works have been played by many of Canada’s finest performers and ensembles including Arraymusic, the Burdocks, Critical Band, The Ergo Ensemble, Eve Egoyan, Linda Catlin Smith, the NUMUS Ensemble featuring the Penderecki String Quartet, Richard Sacks , Stephen Clarke and Ensemble KORE. Also, he has written original music for dance or had works used for choreography by Marie-Josée Chartier, Heidi Strauss, Darryl Tracy, Allen Kaeja, Sylvain Émard, Gerry Trentham, Jessica Runge, Meagan O’Shea and Shannon Cooney for Dancemakers.

With composer eldritch Priest, he formed the ensemble, neither/nor. John has, at various times, received the kind support of the Toronto Arts Council, Laidlaw Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts , Ontario Arts Council and the Chalmers Foundation and thanks them all, sincerely.

Sherlock’s work is remarkable for it’s use of electric keyboards and organ dating form the ’60s and ’70s. He is very likely one of the first composers of his type of abstract aesthetic to use so extensively Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, Hohner Clavinet and Hammond organ, particularly in ensemble.

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