The choir's approach is truly collaborative, its members sharing administrative duties and decisions regarding the selection and interpretation of repertoire. As a self-directed ensemble, the element of body language during rehearsals and performances is key in addressing technical issues such as tempo, dynamics, entrances and cut-offs. The choir often performs in circular formations and is known for incorporating choreography into its performances.
musica intima performs a diversity of repertoire, ranging from early music to contemporary compositions, with a particular emphasis on music by Canadian composers. These have included Stephen Chatman, Craig Galbraith, Rupert Lang, Imant Raminsh, R. Murray Schafer, Bruce Sled, and Claude Vivier. The choir has also commissioned many works from Canadian composers, including Peter Hannan, Jeffrey Ryan, Jordan Nobles, and Jocelyn Morlock, whose piece Exaudi was recorded on the choir's disc Into Light (2010). Many of musica intima's traditional arrangements have been composed by choir members, including Jonathan Quick's popular arrangement of the Scottish folksong Loch Lomond.
Concerts, Tours, Recordings
Over the course of the performance season (held between September and May), musica intima presents an extensive concert series in Vancouver. These have included choral evensong services at St. Philip's Church in Vancouver, in addition to regular concerts held at such venues as the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (including a performance for the Vancouver Cultural Olympiad in 2010) and Christ Church Cathedral. In addition to performing on its own, musica intima has frequently joined forces with other ensembles and artists, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; conductor Hervé Niquet, in the premiere of newly discovered works by French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier; and jazz pianist/composer Uri Caine, in a concert of innovative arrangements of Bach's Goldberg Variations in 2004. Recording projects have involved such diverse artists as composer Owen Underhill, on the CD Celestial Machine (2000), and rock musician Matthew Good, on his album Avalanche (2003).
Since 2006, the choir has acted as a Canadian musical ambassador through extensive touring, travelling to Ontario, Quebec, the Yukon, the Maritime provinces, the United States, and Europe. In 2006 the choir took part in the Polyfollia Festival in France to considerable acclaim. Featuring works by North American composers only, that program became the inspiration for musica intima's disc Into Light. Equally successful was its appearance in Ireland's Cork International Choral Festival in May 2008. Writing in the Irish Examiner, Declan Townsend noted: "The stars of Thursday night's gala concert were musica intima from Canada, whose uninhibited natural sound, superb choral discipline and extraordinarily varied programme was a joy to hear." In July 2008, the choir travelled to Copenhagen for a number of performances at the World Symposium on Choral Music, the only Canadian choir to do so.
musica intima won top honours in the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs throughout the 1990s, including first place in the contemporary music category in 1996. It has been nominated for two Juno awards, the first for its self-titled CD in 1999 and the second for Into Light in 2010. That year, Into Light also won classical recording of the year at the Western Canadian Music Awards.
Clear. 1999. Atma Classique ACD22227
Invocation. 2002. Atma Classique ACD22284
Nativité. 2002. CBC Musica Viva MVCD1154
Veljo Tormis: Forgotten Peoples. 2006. Atma Classique ACD22354
O Nata Lux. 2008. Atma Classique ACD22577
Into Light. 2010. Atma Classique ACD 22613
Author Richard Haskell
"Big success for small choir," Musick, Mar 1997
"musica intima CD release," British Columbia Choral Federation Newsletter, Winter 1998
Power, Kevin. "Canadians hit all the right notes for audience," Evening Echo, 2 May 2008
Townsend, Declan. "Chorus: The Cork International Choral Festival once again delivered top-class singing," Irish Examiner, 6 May 2008
Werb, Jessica. "Spiritual sounds by musica intima," Georgia Straight, 15 Dec 2008
Dykk, Lloyd. "musica intima ushers in the holiday season with a radiant Noël," Georgia Straight, 16 Dec 2009
Links to Other Sites
musica intima: You Have Ravished My Heart
Watch a video of musica intima performing "You Have Ravished My Heart" by Stephen Chatman. From YouTube.
The website for musica intima, an internationally renowned vocal chamber ensemble. Features profiles of individual singers, a listing of their musical arrangements, and a discography with a selection of audio clips.