7 Questions With Anthony Tan: First-time Classical Composition of the Year Nominee - The JUNO Awards

Get to know 2023 Classical Composition of the Year nominee, Anthony Tan in our “7 Questions With” series where we speak with first-time JUNO Award nominees from all genres.

Composer, electronic musician, and improvising pianist Anthony Tan intersects notated instrumental practice with signal processing, synthesized models, sampling, and field recording, resulting in music that explores the identity of sound, post-acousmatics, and the fluidity of genre.

1. How does it feel to be nominated for a JUNO award?

I feel very honoured to be nominated alongside composers that I truly respect and admire.

2. Tell us a bit about your JUNO-nominated project.

The work was created in collaboration with the Montréal ensemble No Hay Banda. It is a 30 min composition for instrumental quartet and electronics. Thematically it explores the line between music as an aesthetic object and sound as a healing force. Acoustic instruments are processed electronically using modular synthesizers and other hardware and software effects. Meanwhile, the use of field recordings blurs the space between instrumental and environmental sound worlds.

3. What has been the craziest moment of your music career to date?

My answer is a bit strange but the most exciting moments in my music career happen internally. It is so exhilarating when you have been struggling with a work for months without any sense of where it might be going, and you finally get a compositional breakthrough in your process.

4. Which of your compositions is your favourite and why?

A work entitled “And/Or” written for Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble. The composition process flowed effortlessly, as if the piece wrote itself. It is a work for 14 musicians and feedback electronics.

5. Which Canadian artist would you like to collaborate with and why?

It is hard to choose since there are so many great Canadian artists. Barbara Hannigan, Tim Hecker, the OSM come to mind.

6. What would you like music fans to know about you? How would you introduce your music to
new or soon-to-be fans?

I am an experimental classical composer and pianist who incorporates electronic music techniques and aesthetics into my work.

7. What’s next for you?

Apart from being a composer I am also a professor of music composition at the University of Victoria. This keeps me quite busy, and I am excited to mentor the next generation of musicians. Musically, I have a new album coming out in March that explores the world of piano and electronics, and I have a few commissions that I must start working on.

Tickets for The 2023 JUNO Awards are on sale now! Don’t miss out on an unforgettable night of Canadian music hosted by Simu Liu on March 13.