CONTEST UPDATE: We receive such a great response from our initial Twitter contest that we’re going to make two more pairs of tickets available to win for The Glenn Gould Variations. To enter, like this Facebook status, and like The Varsity on Facebook. Re-entry permitted. Winner will be selected at random on Thursday. This contest is open to students.
Contest: Win 2 tickets to The Glenn Gould Variations this weekend, valued at $500. Retweet this tweet and follow @TheVarsity for your chance to win. Winner will be selected at random on Thursday. This contest is open to students. For more information on the event, check out http://www.glenngouldvariations.ca/
Between film functions and all-night festivals, September in Toronto offers its citizens and tourists some of the richest cultural itineraries of the year. It’s fitting, then, that The Glenn Gould Variations, happening this weekend at Convocation Hall, should recognize the prodigal pianist, who was born and who passed away in the month of September. This month marks the 80th anniversary of his birth, and the 30th anniversary of his death.
An impressive roster of thinkers, musicians, athletes, and artists from around the world will be presenting and performing at the event. Among the Canadian creative delegates are musician Chilly Gonzales, Director Atom Egoyan, U of T professors Mark Kingwell and Jordan Peterson, and former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. International guests include pianist Lang Lang, the 2CELLOS duo, appropriationist Cory Arcangel, and magician Brian Brushwood. In total, over 50 groups and individuals will be presenting at the event.
The Glenn Gould Variations is the brainchild of Ron Davis, who enlisted Dr. Pia Kleber to help co-ordinate the event. Kleber, a U of T professor in the Drama and Comparative Literature programs, and Davis, an accomplished jazz musician, are united in their love for the late Glenn Gould. Neither are shy to pour out their admiration for the man.
“[Glenn Gould] was a great inventor, a visionary, a friend of Marshall McLuhan, and both were many, many years ahead of their times. So, I wanted to learn a little bit more about him beyond what he did on the piano,” explained Kleber.
“Gould was known as a classical pianist, but he never liked being called that. He thought of himself as a writer, a musicologist, and a broadcaster, who happens to play piano,” explained Davis, speaking to Gould’s eclectic range of interests.
In fact, Davis credits Gould with foreseeing the rise of the remix. “Gould predicted the interactive nature of recorded music early on. He proposed a kit that consisted of all the takes that he recorded in a piece of music, and thought to give the listener the kit to play the takes in whatever order they wanted. Everything that’s coming together in remix culture is present in Gould’s idea of ‘the kit’”
This side of Gould — as a thinker — was an important area for organizers to consider. While many of the guests are musicians and performing artists, some too are known first and foremost as thinkers and provokers. Writer and open source champion Cory Doctorow, for example, was chosen not only to present at the event, but also to serve on the advisory board.
One of the express goals of the project was to make it accessible to students, within the financial constraints of an event on its scale. Ron Davis explained his approach to getting students on board.
“The pricing was very much arrived at taking into account student life. We focus-grouped quite a few students to ask ‘what would you pay’ to see a great lineup, and worked back from that. This isn’t quite TED, but we were inspired by TED, and TED is $16,000. The pricing is meant to be attractive to students,” he explained.
With the student discount, the event costs $60 for a one day pass, or $100 for access on both days.
For more information, please visit http://www.glenngouldvariations.ca/