Cadillac Moon Ensemble

Archives for April, 2013

Composer Spotlight: Daniel Felsenfeld

Dark Circus is tonight! There will be popcorn…

We’re premiering Daniel Felsenfeld’s Something Wicked, and here’s what he has to say about the creepiness of circuses:

I’ve always been a little afraid of the circus. Clowns have always scared me more than just about anything, as have freak shows and tests of strengths. But the truth is I’ve been to very few actual circuses—only one, in fact, and that recently, and I went with my toddler who delighted and then slept and the whole thing was harmless and actually fun. But the horror persists. My own visions come from movies like Shadows and Fog, Dumbo and The Elephant Man; and from books like Geek Love, Wonder When You’ll Miss Me, and of course looming largest, Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. When I was a kid, I remember thinking the novel was about being old; as an older person, I now understand the book is about being young. Either way, it continues to scare the life out of me.

The movement titles of my Something Wicked (I. “The Maze Does Not Ask” and II. “The Maze Does Not Tell”) come from the text of the book, and while I only vaguely understand what they mean—something about aging and play and the fear of losing what is dear to a child, of giving up childish things—I think perennial questions with inconclusive and open answers can only be properly asked in musical terms. So both movements are in odd versions of the rondo form, a form in which things materialize and re-materialize, but more are my iterations of the books central Carousel, wherein grotesques appear and re-appear in a somewhat-sadistic loop. The surface of the first movement is Britten-like in its irony (the decorousness belies deep, dark subterranean activity) and the surface of the second is sad and pretty and also masks black depths. And the carousel keeps going around and around and around. It always does.

Posted on: No Comments

Composer spotlight: Tim Hansen and Nicholas Deyoe

We’re just a few days away from our Dark Circus concert on Friday! In preparation, we’ve asked some of our composers to talk about how they interpreted the Dark Circus theme and their process of writing for CME.

Here’s Nicholas Deyoe on his piece systemic:

I juggle for your amusement, for your distraction

I seem harmless, even attractive at first

I dig deeper into you

You system thrives because of me

You depend on me

I mutate as soon as you identify me

I am your ringleader

I am deceptively meek

I inspire awe with my super(sub)human feats of …strength?

I am a(n) con(ex)tortionist?

I tame wild beasts,

I quietly manufacture new creatures you have never imagined

I am hopelessness

I am optimism

You don’t know me

I am infection

I am systemic


And here’s what Tim Hansen has to say about D’Aquino’s Flea Circus:

I love circus music. I always have. When I think of circus music, I think old school. I think of a boozed up, ramshackle, barely-held-together group of misfit musicians bleakly lurching their way through dark waltzes while a family of Italian trapeze artists hurl themselves around high above their heads. I think of years of roaming from town to town in a series of decrepit wooden caravans, being cautiously welcomed by the townsfolk long enough for the performers to set themselves up, do their thing, and then get the hell out of town. I think of the “other-worldliness” that circuses never fail to evoke – this whole bizarre world of bright colours and sideshow alleys and death defying feats and freaks and carneys and weird, weird music all living underneath a tent that can evaporate overnight, leaving behind a few sad ticket stubs and the lingering odour of popcorn. It’s romantic and disturbing. Just how I like things to be.

Posted on: No Comments

Dark Circus begins!

We’re gearing up for our Dark Circus concert next week on April 12 at DiMenna Center, and we’re fully delving into the creepy side of circuses! We’ll be premiering four commissions by composers: Rick Burkhardt, Nicholas Deyoe, Daniel Felsenfeld, and TIm Hansen.

As you can see, we’ve already had our clown nose fitting.




Here’s a look into the craziness of Tim Hansen’s D’Aquino’s Flea Circus, a demented circus romp. He’s written some of the most creative program notes we’ve seen yet:



Posted on: No Comments