Radio SMCQ: Sean Ferguson

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Fort Vermilion, Alberta, Canada, 1962

  • Composer

Hailing from a small village in the Northern extremes of Alberta, Sean Ferguson has preserved a freshness of inspiration and a sensitivity for the immediacy of form that bear witness to the exceptional talent of this composer, who is now settled in Montréal. His music is inspired by the processes of nature’s organic development, a sort of musical metaphor for the shifting aspects of the environment. The harmonic and rhythmic languages of his works combine in a forcefull impregnation of the overall form.

Born in 1962 in Fort Vermillion, near the seventieth parallel in Northern Alberta. Sean Ferguson has lived in Montréal since 1990, where he studied composition at McGill University. His interest in the mechanics of perception have lead him to carry out extensive research in psychoacoustics and to incorporate these findings into his compositional language. He is also interested in computer assited composition.

His instrumental works include Inside Passage for piano and large ensemble (1999), Marées-Strates-Envolée for solo piano (1994-1999), Apocryphal Graffiti for chamber orchestra (2000), Heiligenstadt for string orchestra (2001), and Corranach for flute, cello and piano (2002). He has also composed a number of mixed works for live performers with technology, including Vox Machina for soprano, chamber ensemble and multi-channel audio (1993), and Conversations for violin, clarinet, percussion and interactive computer system (1999). His composition In the Flesh was premiered in Paris in February of 2003 by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and performed shortly thereafter by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in March as part of the concert closing the Montréal/New Music Festival.

From 1997-2001, he was a counselor of the Société québécoise de recherche en musique, an organization he also served as coordinator of three festivals of Québécois music. Since 1999 he has been a member of the artistic committee of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. Sean Ferguson teaches composition at McGill University, where he is director of the Electronic Music Studio.

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