In the last few years, I have realized the extent to which North-American culture is ineffable, indescribable, impossible to define in a monolithic manner. Not that it's difficult to discern constitutive elements of an identity distinct from, European tradition, but that these details don't amount to an easily graspable whole. I recognized in John Ralston Saul's important book Reflections on a Siamese Twin some parallel intuitions. Even though our culture is historically documented there are very few subjective studies on the nature of the Canadian being and moreover, one cannot define this enigma in 1000 words or Less. Manifestly deprived of a strong feeling of cultural identity, we often resort to a negative self-definition, by rejecting that which does not correspond to us.
These four composers have dared to allege, to dream aloud, to make the riskiest of statements linking art and Canadian culture, which by their very nature reveal more about the complexity and the irreducibility of human experience and Canadian experience, than most have done before them.
We, as Canadians, are in a deep need for a subjective expression of what makes us, and by extension the music, tick. We all need to dream a Little Louder.
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