The Whole Note
Reviewed by David Olds
The first disc to cross my desk this month was one of a plethora of new releases from the Canadian Music Centre. Launched with a concert at the Enwave Theatre at the end of May, pianist Eve Egoyan’s Simple Lines of Enquiry (Centrediscs CMCCD 14609) features a cycle of 12 interrelated pieces by Ann Southam. I had the pleasure of being at that concert and have enjoyed revisiting these works on the CD in the weeks since then. Unlike Southam’s other piano cycles where we are presented with pieces of contrasting textures, dynamics and tempi, this evocative set encompasses variations on a single contemplative mood. The melodic material is likewise similar from movement to movement, all based on the tone row that has been the underlying cornerstone of Southam’s music for several decades. While this might seem a recipe for boredom, if one is willing to relax and let the music take you away for an hour, there is a wonderful journey to be had here. With her patient attention to detail and willingness not to rush the space between the notes, Eve Egoyan is the perfect guide.