Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

Artist Profile: Doug Blackley, Contemporary Arts

June 09, 2011

Congratulations to Doug Blackley, one of this year’s recipients of a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship for his work in SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA).

This isn’t his first award by far: he’s received Leo and Sterling awards as well as nominations for Dora, AMPIA and the West Coast Music Awards for his musical compositions for film and the theatre. (The Leo was for the NFB documentary Tokyo Girls, in collaboration with SCA alumna Penelope Buitenhuis.)

Doug is focusing on music composition within the MFA program.  He writes:

After years of working with many different musical sounds, I think it is time to really spend time with notes, chords, melody, harmony, and musical form, all unadorned with timbral colours. As such, I am working with music for the piano.  I am primarily interested in a twentieth and 21st century harmonic palette.  I am interested in composition primarily, but an essential tool for composition remains a study of music theory.  I am paying attention right now to the writings of György Sándor Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, and Karel Janecek.

The MFA has many attractions that seductively beckon my attention. I’d like to spend some time paying attention to current state (and background) of the visual arts.  I’d like to paint some more; the “collaboration class” offered me the opportunity to create a painting with a classmate. I’d like to spend more time looking at Max/msp and other methods of new music/media production.  I’d like to find out what’s really going on today in photography. So many things, so little time.

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