The Ensemble Made in Canada piano quartet takes on a country-sized musical initiative
Hank Snow’s been everywhere, man, but has he been to Iqaluit and Pouch Cove, N.L.? The Ensemble Made in Canada has, with remote outposts such as Yellowknife and Sechelt, B.C., still on the road ahead for the piano quartet.
For the past year, the chamber ensemble has toured the country with a concert featuring commissioned works representing Canada’s 13 provinces and territories, plus one piece for an Indigenous region. A diverse lot, the 14 composers involved include Acadian indie rocker Julie Doiron, Hamilton-born jazzer and Steinway enthusiast David Braid, eclectic Albertan composer Vivian Fung, double-bassist Andrew Downing and the cabaret-inclined Sarah Slean.
“It’s a big project and we loved the idea,” ensemble violinist Elissa Lee says, calling from the road. “But we were innocent and green. The amount of work was a bit of a surprise.”
Dubbed Mosaïque Project, the initiative consists of not only the commissioned suite of piano quartets and the national concert tour that culminates in early 2020, but also an ambitious website that showcases audience-generated artwork inspired by the musical commissions. The aim is to celebrate the diversity and richness of Canada through the eyes, ears and harmonic notions of its people.