New Symphony Not Possible Without Modern Technology
Canadian composer and virtuoso pianist Paul Tobey joins forces with the Brantford Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of “A Journey Through Spain -The Road to Santiago Suite.” Guest Pops conductor Daniel Warren of the Kitchener Symphony Orchestra will be at the baton on Sunday, Feb 18th at the prestigious Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts in Brantford, Ontario.
Composed by Paul Tobey during an eight hundred and fifty kilometer trek across northern Spain, The Road to Santiago Suite began as a result of an accidental meeting with a local Spanish conductor. “He saw that I was composing for smaller ensembles and asked me if I’d consider arranging one of the pieces for his symphony orchestra,” said Tobey. “I took it as a challenge and without realizing it, a few hundred kilometers later; I ended up with an entire suite for piano and symphony!”
And, there was plenty of inspiration in Spain for Tobey’s masterwork. “The rhythmic sound of my footsteps on gravel, the pulsations of my heartbeat, the flow of the wind in the windmills, the joyful musings of the wheat fields, the chimes of the church bells, the crackle of the fire, and grumblings of tired pilgrims is the natural music of the Camino. The music is part of the road if you just listen,” explains Tobey.
During his journey, Tobey had the rare opportunity of being welcomed inside the famous 16h century Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos. There he met with Padre Ramon, a monk from the Benedictine Order world-renowned for their Gregorian Chants. Tobey was encouraged by the Padre to perhaps incorporate chanting into his compositions. So, he did. The honor of performing these chants at the concert will be twenty members of the award winning Grand River Chorus.
Tobey’s vision of The Road to Santiago delivers much more than traditional classical music. While still honoring classical tradition, the music is laced with hot Spanish rhythms, folk music, jazz and some wonderful solo piano passages. Samples of Tobey’s symphonic suite can be heard on his website at www.paultobey.com.
“The shear volume of music that I composed wouldn’t have been possible without modern technology. When I think about how composers used to do it with quill and ink, I get bewildered. Imagine carrying that amount of paper across Spain in my backpack,” jokes Tobey.
Armed with a laptop computer and a small two octave keyboard Tobey was able to get the job done. “I stuffed more than double the recommended weight in my backpack, 17 kilos worth, and walked an average twenty five kilometers a day,” said Tobey. He and his Director of Photography, Drew Dekker, also carried video gear to film the journey. Clips from Tobey’s upcoming documentary will be screened during the live performance.
To attend the Brantford Symphony’s Orchestra world-premiere of A Journey Through Spain – The Road to Santiago Suite, tickets can be purchased by calling the Sanderson Box Office at 1.800.265.0710.
Visit Paul Tobey’s website to listen to free piano music and music samples of the Road to Santiago Suite.
About the Author: Paul Tobey is a symphony orchestra composer who will be performing his award winning piano music with the debut of his Road to Santiago Suite.