Canadian Music Centre (CMC) B.C. director Sean Bickerton (left to right)

Canadian Music Centre (CMC) B.C. director Sean Bickerton (left to right)

Canadian Music Centre breathes life into local music scene

Some of the earliest memories Christopher Reiche has are sitting at a piano and playing music.

Some of the earliest memories Christopher Reiche has are sitting at a piano and playing music.

When he was roughly six years old, Reiche would attend piano lessons once a week with an elderly woman who taught lessons out of her basement.

He would learn to play songs such as Mary had a Little Lamb and Old MacDonald Had a Farm. At the end of the lessons, Reiche would receive a sticker or candy as a reward.

Unlike some children, Reiche enjoyed the experience and challenge of learning new pieces week after week.

As he grew up, his love for music continued to grow. Heading into university, Reiche decided to dive into a new world — that of composing.

“It’s a very rewarding experience. For me, I really enjoy the act of creating and making something new that hasn’t been made before,” said Reiche, noting he likes taking risks in his pieces. “There’s an exciting part of bringing something that’s brand new into the world. It’s also a very exploratory process for me.”

Since then, the 33-year-old Burnside Gorge resident, has created more than 100 pieces that have been brought to life by various musicians. While most of his work can be categorized as new music in the classical music genre, he describes his work as “experimental,” and in some cases, uses unusual objects as instruments.

For example, some of his more unique works include a piece called Strange Alchemy, which was performed last year in Vancouver, and was written using water, glass objects and salt as instruments.

In another piece, three performers used three pieces of paper to make sound, called Inconsistencies #1.

“People usually do have a firm grasp that there’s people within the popular music world and the band scene creating music. What people don’t realize is that there’s still people writing new music in the classical music scene,” Reiche said.

“When people are learning classical music, they’re spending lots of time with composers like Beethoven and Bach, and they don’t often realize that there’s people writing music for your instrument alive and actively today.”

Reiche is part of a new creative hub in Victoria. The Victoria Creative Hub (920 Johnson St.) is a partnership between the Canadian Music Centre in British Columbia and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. It will offer a lending library with musical scores mainly from Vancouver Island composers and pedagogical materials, an online listening library, workshops, and a composer in the classroom program for children.

Teachers looking for a piano piece for a student entering a competition or professionals will have access to the library. Reiche’s job as the Victoria engagement leader will be to help others find music that meets their needs.

According to Sean Bickerton, B.C. director of the Canadian Music Centre, over the past three decades, Victoria has become a hub for musical composers such as Rudolf Komorous from Czechoslovakia, and Martin Bartlett from London, England.

“Those composers created a Renaissance of new music here in Victoria that is unique almost in the country,” he said.

“The reason we’re doing this (the creative hub) is to recognize, celebrate, engage and support what’s already taking place here — these amazing artists, this amazing movement. People are doing extraordinary things.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Metchosin institution

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Driver stopped on Pat Bay Highway after road rage reports fails breathalyzer test: police

Several witnesses reported driver to Saanich police, school officer intercepted

North Saanich Municipal Hall. The District released its annual report last week. (Peninsula News Review)
Pig shelter at Sandown Agricultural Lands comes down

North Saanich warned centre of stop-work order and possible fine

Victoria’s property tax policy for 2021 will save business owners a little money. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria gives businesses a tax break for 2021

Council decreases tax burden to support pandemic-hit merchants

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read