The Sybil Music Project

As a complement to the exhibition Sybil Andrews: Art & Life on view at Glenbow from October 19, 2019 - January 12, 2020, three Canadian composers were commissioned to add a musical element to Sybil Andrews’ legacy. Each composer created a new short work inspired by themes in Sybil Andrews’ artwork. The Sybil Music Project was made possible by the generous support of the DeBoni family.

The works are performed and recorded by the Land's End Ensemble: John Lowry, violin; Beth Root Sandvoss, cello; and Akiko Tominaga, piano.


Speedway

Composed by Jocelyn Morlock, Speedway is an interpretation of the theme of "Modern Life" as represented in the artwork of Sybil Andrews.

Composer Notes: Jocelyn Morlock
From the moment I saw it, I immediately fell in love with the fast mechanistic energy of Sybil Andrews’ “Speedway” - you can feel the dangerous thrill of the riders as they race around a curve (it’s so cool how they’re leaning, precarious and exciting). It evokes a feeling of being almost out of control - but not quite. The music is similarly dangerous for the performers, speedy, aggressive, with lots of twists and turns; occasionally it has to make a brief stop, but it races back to life as soon as possible.

Caption

Sybil Andrews, Speedway (detail), 1934, linocut print on paper, 48/60, Collection of Glenbow

Out of the Night, Birdsong

Composed by Alexina Louie, Out of the Night, Birdsong is an interpretation of the theme of "Nature/Forest" as represented in the artwork of Sybil Andrews.

Composer Notes: Alexina Louie
The idea of responding to the gentler beauty of Sybil Andrews’ more pastoral images appealed to me. The darkness and the swirling activity of Storm as well as the gnarled roots of Douglas Firs set the tone for the mysterious opening of my trio. Through these images I imagined the harshness of her life during the difficult war years.

However, just as her life moved from darkness into a realm of light and natural beauty, so too does my piece. I chose the more subtle colours and contours of Fall of the Leaf and the graceful motion in Swans as my inspiration for the end of my trio. It concludes with the gentle, serene flight of the swans and the beautiful sounds of bird calls echoing through the mist of Canada’s beautiful West Coast.

Caption Caption Caption Caption

Sybil Andrews, Western Red Cedar: The Passage of Time (detail), 1977, Collection of Glenbow
Sybil Andrews, Douglas Firs, 1983, Woodcut, Collection of Glenbow
Sybil Andrews, Fall of the Leaf, 1934, Linocut, Collection of Glenbow
Sybil Andrews, Storm, 1935, Linocut, Collection of Glenbow
Sybil Andrews, Swans, 1939, Linocut, Collection of Glenbow

29/39 SA in Motoric Vorticular Cubistic Cuts

Composed by Allan Gordon Bell, 29/39 SA in Motoric Vorticular Cubistic Cuts is an interpretation of the theme of "Interwar London" as represented in the artwork of Sybil Andrews.

Composer Notes: Allan Gordon Bell
Sybil Andrews’ work is suffused with swirling energy and multiple perspectives on the same image. Her forms are always informed by her medium - images that emerge from myriad cuts. This piece does not respond to a single print, instead it responds to the energy and to the forms that thematically link all of the images during this inter-war period while she was in London. Printmakers put series numbers on their works. Hence the title: 29/39 SA in motor, vorticular, cubistic cuts.

Caption Caption Caption Caption

Sybil Andrews, Hyde Park (detail), 1930, Linocut, Collection of Glenbow
Sybil Andrews, Wet Race Meeting, 1930, Linocut, Collection of Glenbow
Sybil Andrews, Rush Hour, 1930, Linocut, Collection of Glenbow
Sybil Andrews, Hire a Bus, 1930, Drawing, Collection of Glenbow

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