Patrick Cardy

Patrick (Robert Thomas) Cardy. Composer, teacher, flutist, b Toronto 22 Aug 1953, d Ottawa 24 March 2005; B MUS (Western Ontario) 1975, MMA (McGill) 1976, D MUS (McGill) 1981. Patrick Cardy's early music studies were in Kitchener, where he played flute in various groups.

Cardy, Patrick

Patrick (Robert Thomas) Cardy. Composer, teacher, flutist, b Toronto 22 Aug 1953, d Ottawa 24 March 2005; B MUS (Western Ontario) 1975, MMA (McGill) 1976, D MUS (McGill) 1981. Patrick Cardy's early music studies were in Kitchener, where he played flute in various groups. Among his composition teachers were Arsenio Girón, Donald Steven, and Bengt Hambraeus. Cardy served on the boards of Espace Musique (president 1987-8), Canadian University Music Society, and the Canadian League of Composers, (president 1989-90).

Awards
Cardy's numerous awards for composition include three Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada fellowships (1975, 1977, and 1978), the 1976 Canadian Federation of University Women Creative Arts Award, and three finalist selections in the CBC National Radio Competition for Young Composers (1978, 1980, 1982). Apokalypsis (1978) for orchestra and chorus was selected for performance in the 1980 Gaudeamus International Music Week. Cardy was an invited participant in the 1987 Canadian Music Festival and Conference at San Diego State University, California. His Virelai was nominated for a Juno award in 1992 (CBC SMCD 5094); Trobadores was shortlisted for the 2003 Masterprize. David MacDonald's recording of Cardy's Éclat (MVCD 1104) won an East Coast Music Award in 1999.

Characteristics of Cardy's Music

Over 50 of Cardy's compositions were commissioned by the CBC and Canadian groups and individual performers, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the St Lawrence String Quartet, Angela Hewitt, Robert Cram and Beverley Johnston.

His music contains characteristics of post-modernism in its references to earlier music - by Ravel in Mirages (1984) and by Monteverdi and Byrd in Apokalypsis - or to styles, as in Jig (1984) and Tango! (1989). Colourful and evocative sonorities, frequently created with chords of vertically symmetric intervals, contrast with sections of elegant lyric melodies over ostinatos and the occasional outburst of a dramatic gesture. The resultant directness of expression, as found in Virelai (1985) - seven variations for clarinet and string orchestra on Machaut's Quant je sui mis - has attracted performers and audiences in North America and Europe. Virelai was recorded by John Rapson and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra (1988, CBC SMCD-5094). Although Cardy explored electronic possibilities in Vox Humana (1977) and wrote for electric flute in Amulet (1977) and electric cello in Sunspots (1976, rev 1980), his major chamber and solo works were acoustic. They include Love Song (1975), Re-Atum (1976), Canticle of the Island (1976), Golden Days, Silver Nights (1977), Sparkle (1980), Angels (1980), The Snow Queen (1980), The Masks of Astarte (1981), Jeu d'Enfant (1981), "...time presses and night begins to fall ... " (1982), Éclat (1984), Outremer: The Land Beyond the Sea (1985), Les Eaux de Tristesse (1986), Mimesis (1987), Qilakitsoq: The Sky Hangs Low (1988), Tombeau (1989), The Little Mermaid (1990), and Avalon (1990); and many others to 2005. He often wrote the lyrics to his own vocal compositions. The Ottawa Chamber Music Society mounted a concert of Cardy's compositions 11 March 2005.

Cardy was an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. He taught at Carleton University 1977-2005, where he was also supervisor of undergraduate studies. As well as being active as an adjudicator and broadcaster, in 1996-7 he was new music advisor to the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Cellist Julian Armour described Cardy as "a great, positive and healthy force in the Canadian music industry" (Ottawa Citizen, 25 March 2005).


Further Reading

  • Mazey, Steven. "Who's afraid of contemporary music?" Ottawa Citizen, 24 June 1996

    Campbell, Jenni Lee and Laucius, Joanne. "Canadian music loses 'great, healthy force'," Ottawa Citizen, 25 March 2005