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Aaron Gervais: Biography

Aaron Gervais
1980 -
Region: Prairie

Aaron Gervais

Aaron Gervais was born in Edmonton and studied composition in Toronto, San Diego, and the Hague (Netherlands). Prior to studying composition, he studied jazz, rock, and Cuban music, including a summer of private study in Havana.

Aaron's music has been performed across North America and Europe. He has worked with notable ensembles, including the Nieuw Ensemble (NL), orkest de ereprijs (NL), the Ensemble contemporain de Montreal (CA), Tapestry New Opera Works (CA), Toca Loca (CA), Continuum (CA), the Knights Orchestra (US), and the Arditti Quartet (UK). He has been broadcast by CBC Radio 2 and Radio-Canada's Espace Musique.

Several festivals have presented Aaron's work, including Amsterdam’s Gaudeamus Music Week (his piece Culture no.1 was selected for their 2006 competition), Toronto’s New Wave, soundaXis, and SHIFT festivals, Aberdeen’s Sound Festival, and New York’s MATA Festival. He was additionally selected as a representative for Canada in the 2008 World Music Days in Lithuania. Flüsse-Einflüsse, for solo accordion, was chosen as a required exam piece for the graduating accordion students at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Trossingen in 2006.

Long-term musical directions in Aaron's composing include a focus on rhythm and time, a preoccupation with the social and cultural factors that influence listening and taste, an interest in found materials, an exploration of what in fact constitutes creativity, and a fascination with the ways that social technologies are changing listening habits, to name a few. His music incorporates a wide range of palettes, from rich microtonal textures and shimmering timbres to bright chipper counterpoint, upbeat rhythmic drive, blunt musical gestures, and light-hearted humour.

(Photo credit: Stella Kim, 2008.)


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