May 6, 2017
Matthew Ricketts is surely one of the composers to keep an eye on in the years ahead. A graduate of McGill University, where he studied with composers Brian Cherney, John Rea and Chris Paul Harman, he is currently completing his Ph.D. studies at Columbia University in New York under the supervision of composer Fred Lerdahl.
Played on numerous occasions in North America and in Paris, Ricketts’s music has earned him a number of distinctions since 2007, including a full seven SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Composers. Ricketts took part in the 2014 edition of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Forum in Montreal and received a 2016 fellowship from the renowned Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. From 2016 to 2018 he will occupy the position of Composer-Collaborator in residence at East Carolina University’s NewMusic Initiative. In addition to his musical practice, Matthew Ricketts is the author of poetic and prose texts that have been set to music in different ways, including as part of European productions.
The works of Matthew Ricketts are known first of all for a multicolored quality. Devoted almost exclusively to voice or to small instrumental ensembles, they make up canvases sometimes in muted colors, sometimes in bright ones, and where certain moments of radiant vitality are breached by melodic strokes of a fleeting lyricism. In his confidently crafted music, fragility never gets the upper hand on a delicateness that enjoins audiences to pay very close attention.
Highest Light was commissioned from Matthew Ricketts by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for an organ concert that will be presented in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency. The works at this concert will be performed by OSM organist in residence Jean-Willy Kunz on the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique against a backdrop of images of space and of the Earth taken from the International Space Station.
Listen, while following along with the score, to the Matthew Ricketts piece Burrowed Time performed by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne under the direction of Lorraine Vaillancourt.
Listen to Matthew Ricketts’s music on his SoundCloud platform.