Transient Canvas

Transient Canvas takes contemporary music to unexpected places

Transient Canvas should feel right at home when the contemporary music duo shows up in Bowling Green to play a show at the Clazel Monday, Nov. 20. Amy Advocat on bass clarinet and Matt Sharrock on marimba have played all manner of venues, including being featured on a series of concerts at microbreweries in their home-base Boston where brewers concocted a special beer to serve with the music. “One of the things we love about this group is so we’re so mobile,” Advocat said in a recent telephone interview. “We want to reach people in unexpected places.” Transient Canvas will perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 20 in a free Music at the Forefront concert presented by the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music at Bowling Green State University. On Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m., the duo will perform in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. Advocat said the programs for the two shows are tailored for the different venues. The museum concert will featured “a thoughtful program, more classically oriented.” On the program “Looking Forward, Looking Back,” the program notes state: “The composers featured … have created something new and fresh by evoking the past, acknowledging their influences without directly emulating them.” At the Clazel, Transient Canvas will turn up the volume, and play a set of electro-acoustic works, that draw on a range of influences including pop and acid rock. All the pieces on both programs have been written expressly for Transient Canvas. Advocat and Sharrock first got together to play a piece he had performed at conservatory. They also read through other pieces, hardly a handful, written for clarinet and marimba. They liked the sound and working together. “We found the bass clarinet has just a remarkable blend and balance with the marimba, so recently we’ve been sticking with that,” Advocat said. “If it work, it works.” Sharrock said that having two instruments in the same range makes the partnership a more equal one. Whenever Advocat would play a higher pitched horn, it would always feel like he was the accompanist and she the soloist. Having the lowest octave on his five-octave marimba also adds more heft to the sound. They approached their composer friends to write pieces, and have since extended their circle of collaborators. In the past six years, Transient Canvas, which made its concert debut in April, 2012, has commissioned more than 75 compositions. And they haven’t stopped. They have created a fellowship program aimed specifically at encouraging younger composers. They work closely with composers. In person, or using email and Skype as needed. At the Clazel they will premiere Dan VanHassel’s “Epidermis.” Their work with VanHassel represents the “optimal” way of working with a composer. Before he started writing, the composer told Sharrock and Advocat that he needed to spend a couple days…