Episode 14: In Memoriam Muhal Richard Abrams

Welcome to PRESS PLAY, our recurring web series featuring exclusive performances of extraordinary solos and duos recorded in high quality at the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto. Each jam-packed episode includes intimate and informative conversation on the how and why behind the music with the artists themselves.

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Episode 14: In Memoriam Muhal Richard Abrams

Sept 23, 7pm

In Memoriam Muhal Richard Abrams (2018)*

Tyshawn Sorey (US), composer

Carol Fujino, violin

Joyce To, glockenspiel

*Canadian Premiere

Muhal Richard Abrams was one of American composer Tyshawn Sorey’s mentors and the founding president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Abrams’ legacy is at once musical, spiritual, and communal. “It is a hard connection to put into words,” says Sorey, “but there was a kinship with Muhal that I hadn’t yet experienced with anyone else. The time that I spent with him on and offstage has proven invaluable beyond measure.”

Sorey’s inspiration was Abrams’ 30-minute solo piano exploration Young at Heart. As Sorey describes it, Abrams created “an all-encompassing structure that allows him to take a multitude of approaches in turn. In listening to the kaleidoscopic nature of the work, it soon became very clear to me that the idea of whether or not this piece was completely improvised or composed is an irrelevant and moot point, a fundamental attitude that had led to the establishment of my own musical model.”


Episode 14: In Memoriam Muhal Richard Abrams

production sponsors

Dr. Peter Burns

The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation