Kristi Allik

Kristi (Anne) Allik. Composer, teacher, b Toronto 6 Feb 1952; B MUS (Toronto) 1975, MFA (Princeton) 1977, DMA (Southern California) 1982. Her composition teachers included John Weinzweig, Oskar Morawetz, and Lothar Klein in Canada, and James Hopkins, Frederick Leesman, and Milton Babbitt in the USA.

Allik, Kristi

Kristi (Anne) Allik. Composer, teacher, b Toronto 6 Feb 1952; B MUS (Toronto) 1975, MFA (Princeton) 1977, DMA (Southern California) 1982. Her composition teachers included John Weinzweig, Oskar Morawetz, and Lothar Klein in Canada, and James Hopkins, Frederick Leesman, and Milton Babbitt in the USA. She won several scholarships and grants (from BMI, the OAC, and the Canada Council among others), and also awards from the Chalmers Foundation and the Canadian Federation of University Women.

Allik taught at the University of Victoria (1980-1) and the University of Western Ontario (1982-7) and at Queen's University from 1988. There she was largely responsible for the establishment of the Computer Laboratory for Applications in Music (CLAM); she became director of this laboratory in 1995 and of the electronic music studios in 1996. Allik also taught at the RCMT (1982-7) and in 1988 began to participate in various Artist in the School/Composer in the Classroom projects of the OAC and Canadian Music Centre.

Allik received many commissions from (among others) the Ontario Arts Council, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Kingston Symphony Association, New Music Concerts, and Queen's University. Her music has been performed in Canada, the USA, Europe (Austria, Estonia, Italy, Poland, Switzerland), and Brazil. Her early music, eg, Piano Trio, 1979 and Lend Me Your Harp for chamber orchestra and chorus, 1980, was written for conventional forces. In the 1980s Allik became interested in electronic and computer music, which led to the composition not only of purely electroacoustic pieces such as Introspections (1982), but also to a number of works combining conventional instruments with electronics or electroacoustic tape, eg, Meditation (1984), Silicon Sidewinder, (1985) and Integra (1987). She also wrote for the stage (eg, the chamber opera Loom Sword River, 1982) and created multi-media works with visuals by Robert Mulder. Her collaborations with Mulder range from works requiring only electroacoustic tape and multi-image, eg, Rondeau (1985) and Cometose (1986), to such pieces as Till Rust Do Us Part (1988) for tape, live sound effects, and multi-images, and Electronic Purgatory (1990) for live performers, interactive audio-visuals, and MIDI electronics. More multi-media and interactive works followed (the multi-part Skyharp; Electronic Purgatory, 1997; ~infoweaver (digital music theatre), 2000; Fragrances of Time and Space, 2001). Allik also created orchestral works including Illustrated Earth (1993) and Nimbus (1997). Some of her later compositions reflected an interest in the soundscape and environmentally generated sounds. She was a founding member of LEARK, the Live Electro-Acoustic Research Kitchen Group, in 2001.

Allik admitted to a fascination with unusual sounds; nonetheless her music always exhibits an expressive and compelling quality, regardless of the medium employed. Her compositional journey has taken her through several phases - serialism, minimalism, ethnic (especially Estonian) music - moving from atonality to the use of tonal centres (timbral as well as pitched) and an eclectic musical style. Her Rhapsody may be heard on the CD Twentieth-Century Canadian Chamber Music (QUM 9101, 1991) and an excerpt of her Machine Symphony was recorded on Presence III (PEP 004, 2002).

She was recognized by the Ars Electronica (1990-92) and Bourges Grands Prix Internationaux (1994) music competitions. She served on juries for the Canada Council, OAC, and the Jean A. Chalmers Award. Allik is a member of the CLComp, the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, and an associate of the CMCentre.

Writings

"The TX802 synthesizer: a review," Computer Music J, May 1988

- et al. "Arconet: a proposal for a standard network," Leonardo Magazine, Winter 1989-90

- and Mulder, Robert. "The interactive arts system: introduction to a real time performance tool," ICMC 1989 Proceedings (San Francisco, 1989)

- "Skyharp: An interactive electroacoustic instrument," Leonardo Magazine, vol 3, 1993

-- "Skyharp: An interactive sound installation," Proceedings of the Fourth Biennial Arts and Technology Symposium (Connecticut 1994)

-- "Fragrances of time and space: An omniscape installation," Soundscape, vol 3, no 1, Jul 2002

Discography

The Skyharp (The Skyline Variations). 1997. MAMA CD-M001

The Synergy, MAMA CD-M002

Ecotonal Landscapes. 1998. MAMA CD-M003

The~infoweaver. 2001. MAMA CD-M005


Further Reading

  • Schulman, Michael. "Canadian composer draws on ethnic past to create her own 'epic opera'," CanComp, 165, Nov 1981

    Ricker, M. "Loom Sword River," Ethnocultural Notes and Events (Toronto), Apr-May 1982.

    The New Grove Dictionary