April 17 2024

Honoured to share that I'm the receipient of a 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship, which will support my compositional work over the next year across a variety of projects.

April 8 2024

Some exciting world premieres coming up across three countries:

Bug, a new work for saxophone quartet and electronics for Quasar, will premiere on April 19 in Montreal as part of live@CIRMMT: Série Électro 9e édition alongside three other new works.

Cryptid for ten players and electronics, written during my time as composer-in-residence with Crash, will premiere on April 27 during New Music Dublin's late night concert Changing States.

Songs for Fallow Fields for Quatuor Bozzini will premiere in full on May 7 in Cologne as part of ACHT BRÜCKEN's Long Gradus concert.

March 12 2024

Delighted that Bestiaries has been nominated for Classical Album of the Year (large ensemble) at the 2024 JUNO Awards, a huge honour in a category that very rarely recognizes ad hoc ensembles. Toi toi toi to the fabulous ensemble members attending the awards in Halifax!

February 5 2024

Excited to be in Provo, Utah as part of the Barlow Endowment's 40th anniversary celebrations - I'll be delivering two lectures, teaching a number of private lessons, and attending a performance of metamold by eighth blackbird.

March 16 2023

Over the moon that Bestiary I & II has won the 2023 JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year! "Bestiaires" was an intense, personal effort to bring together, and it's incredibly fulfilling to see the resulting work acknowledged in this way. Hurray!

February 9 2023

I'm so delighted to share that Bestiary I & II has been nominated for a JUNO award for Classical Composition of the Year! I look forward to watching the event via livestream on March 11.

Feel free to take a listen to the recording, featuring an amazing ad hoc ensemble made up of Charlotte Mundy; Brian Current; Sarah Fraser Raff; Jeremy Potts; Leslie Ting, Jamie Godber; Carolyn Blackwell; Emilie Gelinas-Noble; Amahl Arulanandam; Bryan Holt; Adam Scime; Sara Constant; Anthony Thompson; Liz Eccleston; Sam Fraser; Daniel Howells; Jessie Brooks; David Pell; Wes Shen; Sanya Eng; and Evan Bowen.

January 5 2023

Bestiaries made three year-end lists for best music of 2022, including coming in at #5 on 5against4's Best Albums of 2022, where Simon Cummings uses descriptors like "ethereal and atmospheric doomjazz" and "never-ending avant-lyricality."

Bestiaries also found a spot on A Closer Listen's Top 10 Experimental of 2022, where Richard Allen describes the album as "Turning the notion of an ensemble on its tail, Simms offers a set of enthralling devices that turn like clockwork yet move like animals. One can imagine a bestiary of unidentified creatures, some extinct and some alien, clamoring for attention and perhaps for blood. Every instrument sounds like it wants to eat the listener. Will the symphonies of the future sound like this? If so, we can’t wait."

The list also features a lovely intro describing the criteria, stating "In an unusual twist, to win support across the board from our staffers, even the wildest music needed a window of accessibility. As unusual as these albums may be, each is inviting rather than off-putting, best defined as curious, intriguing and beguiling. One is even advertised as a set of sonic bedtime stories! While this music might not allow one to sleep, it invites one to dream."

In naming "Bestiaries" his (tied) top album of 2022, Scott A. Gray calls it "world class sound magic."

Vinyl coming sometime this spring!

October 28 2022

It's here! Bestiaries, my second full-length album, is now available digitally and on CD with pre-orders for vinyl:
Purchase/stream digital copy
Purchase CD or pre-order the vinyl LP

Critics have called Bestiaries "enthralling and unique... a melange of intricacies, colorful, yet frightening, grotesque, yet intriguing" (A Closer Listen) and "beastly creations [which] likewise evoke images of writhing viscera and elements entwining violently. To call it uncompromising hardly does it justice; suffice it to say, little else released this year sounds remotely like the material on Bestiaries." (Textura). "Simms crafts a tapestry of strict essentials that are tensile without being harsh, like finely knit silk crochets transforming to steel mesh. Is there such a description as densley translucent? This would be it" (The Whole Note).

The album was featured on Peter Margasak's Best Contemporary Classical on Bandcamp: October 2022 edition, where he described it as "contemporary music that enfolds external inspirations with dazzling rigor and logic," producing landscapes of "scrapes, sighs, honks, thumps, and groans of inexpressible heft."

Please take a listen and consider purchasing the album!

October 10 2022

Some upcoming performances/events for the month of November -

As part of their fall tour, Standing Wave will perform my new work for Pierrot sextet doubling on amplified ocarinas, bottles, and harmonicas "single Red flower" in Vancouver on November 7 as part of the Modulus Festival by Music on Main and in Toronto on November 20 presented by New Music Concerts.

My TSO-commissioned work "Bite" (2020) will be performed by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on November 10 - I'm delighted to see an orchestral work programmed so shortly after its premiere this past June!

And finally, on November 30, my work "stone or rot" (2021) for cello, double bass, and live electronics will be screened at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin as part of the video premiere of all of Crash Ensemble's Reactions commissions.

I'm delighted to be able to attend the Vancouver and Dublin events - maybe see you there!

October 3 2022

Two things I'm delighted to share -

Firstly, I'm absolutely chuffed to be named artist-in-residence with the amazing Crash Ensemble. I've received a major grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to write them a new concert-length work, premiering at New Music Dublin 2024.

Second, the release of my second full-length album is in just a few weeks time! Featuring chamber orchestra works written in the last 3 years, Bestiaries will be available on CD and digitally streaming on October 28. Expect the vinyl pre-release to drop soon as well!!

July 2 2022

As of fall 2022, I will hold the post of Lecturer in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and be based in Glasgow. I'm excited for what comes next but will sorely miss the amazing musical community of Toronto and hope to return frequently.

June 15 2022

I'm so excited to have my Toronto Symphony premiere tonight, where they will be premiering "Bite" as part of Gimeno + Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. Repeat performance on June 16, 18, and 19.

The premiere of my work for "stone or rot" for amplified cello & double bass + electronics will also take place this month, on June 21 at 8pm as part of Crash's tour stop at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. This work is part of their audiovisual Reactions series. Take a listen if you're around!

February 25 2022

It's here! Studio recordings of the first three "Skinscape" pieces and "Jubilant Phantoms" are now available together as a cute lil EP, Ghost Songs, through my lovely friends at People Places Records. Take a listen to the wonderful playing by Kalun Leung, Amanda Lowry, Thomas Morris, and Joseph Petric. Cheers!

December 20, 2021

Happy to share that I'll be taking a Sessional Teaching Staff in Composition position with the University of Toronto for the 2022 winter semester, teaching applied composition. How lovely to be returning to my alma mater in this fashion!

December 6, 2021

"metamold" for amplified sextet and electronics, co-commissioned as part of the 2019 Barlow prize by Eighth Blackbird, Crash, and New York New Music Ensemble, has been nominated for the 2022 Gaudeamus Award! I'm ecstatic to be one of five finalists for this prestigious international award, alongside Rohan Chander, Alex Paxton, Baldwin Giang, and Bethany Younge. I look forward to being in Utrecht for Gaudeamus Muziekweek next September and hearing everyone's nominated (and new!) pieces live!

November 9, 2021

Delighted that AuditivVokal Dresden will give the first international performance of my vocal quartet + electronics piece “Slept Unwell,” which was developed during the RBC Bridges program (formerly Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop.) It will be presented as part of "Von heißen, geliebten Lippen" in Frankfurt and Alzenau on November 19 and 20, respectively. More details here.

October 31, 2021

Super happy to share that Lina Andonovska will give the Irish premiere of “Skinscape” for flute and electronics this November as part of Music Current produced by Dublin Sound Lab; you can find more details about the November 11 Smock Alley performance here.

October 5, 2021

A new orchestral album is on the way courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council! "Bestiaries" will include my chamber orchestra work "from Void" as well as my concertos "Foreverdark" and "Bestiaries I & II." It will release on Centrediscs in Fall 2022 - I'm so excited to share it with you.

There's also two new exciting videos of my music you can check out:
Jubilant Phantoms for virtual just intonation accordion and electronics, with video by the wonderful artist and composer Phong Tran: video here shedding, as if sloughed for violin, piano, and electronics, which was selected by ScoreFollower's call-for-scores and made into this fantastic score video.

I was fortunate to have performances of my sextet+electronics work "Everything is...Distorted" in New York and Halifax in September/October 2021, and have upcoming performances in Montreal, Dublin, and throughout the United States; the American performances include this wonderful tour by Eighth Blackbird. Hoping to visit one of the tour stops!

July 10, 2021

I'm happy to share that I have taken the position of General Manager at the Canadian League of Composers, the national advocacy organization for Canadian composers. The CLC is near and dear to my heart, and I'm super excited to help with the administration of an organization that has the best interests of Canadian music makers at heart. I will begin the position as of July 19, 2021.

I will also be joining the Don Wright Faculty of Music for a limited term, fall-2021-semester appointment as Assistant Professor. I'm looking forward to teaching Intro to Composition to the students at Western!

July 9, 2021

Some recent digital performances and upcoming live performances:

The world premiere of the live electroacoustic version of my work "Jubilant Phantoms" by Joseph Petric took place on July 8 during "Accordionology II," presented and commissioned by NUMUS; details here.

Sound Symposium will be presenting Onsound II over the course of July, and have included two of my works on the program:
Plunge, commissioned by Redshift in 2019, will be performed by Watershed Ensemble in a free spatialized concert at The Rooms at 7:00NDT on July 14, and shedding, as if sloughed will have its live premiere by its commissioner Duo Concertante on July 15, 7:30NDT at the Anglican Cathedral in St. John's.

Duo Concertante will also be performing shedding, as if sloughed on July 26 at 12:00EST during Ottawa Chamberfest at their Ecology of Being concert.

March 31, 2021

I'm happy to share all the details for the upcoming premiere of metamold by Crash Ensemble:

The concert will take place (streaming online for free!) on April 25 8:30pm Dublin time (3:30PM EST). All info and streaming link here.

March 6, 2021

I'm happy to share some news about upcoming digital performances, as well as the video premiere of a new work.

Duo Concertante presented the video premiere of shedding as if sloughed for violin, piano, and electronics on August, 2020. You can check out their wonderful performance on Youtube. The duo will be recording this piece on an upcoming album - I'll share details when they become available.

My 2019 Barlow prize commission, metamold, will receive its world premiere from Crash Ensemble as part of New Music Dublin 2021. Details forthcoming!

I'm also pleased to announce the premiere of my new work Jubilant Phantoms for accordion and virtual just intonation accordion, written for Joseph Petrič and commissioned by NUMUS. The premiere will take place digitally on May 14, 8pm. You can buy tickets and find out more here.

July 27, 2020

Due to COVID-19, all live performances my of music have been postponed for the forseeable future - something that I hope remains the case until is safe for us to gather together again.

However, I am happy to share that the wonderful Duo Concertante have elegantly transitioned their planned tour of "Ecology of Being," which includes my new work "shedding, as if sloughed" for violin, piano, and electronics, into an online offering as part of the 2020 Tuckamore Festival.

The premiere of this new work will broadcast digitially on August 10 during Ecology of Being at 6:00pmEST (please note the Newfoundland time zone on the event.) Tickets are on a sliding scale, and should be purchased ahead of time. As a former staff member (2011) and double alumna of their Young Composer program (2012, 2013) I can wholeheartedly say that Tuckamore is an amazing instituiton for music making in Newfoundland and Labrador - you should support them if you can!

There will also be a free encore performance of "What Was Needed Most" (2018), a work for Duo Concertante and the incredible writer/actor Robert Chafe for which I contributed the piece "Salvation". You can find more information here.

Stay well, folks.

February 5, 2020

So delighted to finally share that I will begin a new relationship with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in their 2020-2021 concert season as one of three NextGen composers. I will be writing a new five minute work for their November 12 concert DVOŘÁK’S NEW WORLD, which will then have two repeat performances on November 14 and 15. You can read a little bit more about the season and the NextGen program here. So excited to work with my "home" orchestra!

February 4, 2020

Some upcoming performances for the month of February, including the premiere of "Skinscape II" for oboe and electronics:

February 12 in Montreal, QC: A performance of my wind quintet "the Formula" followed by a public workshop of material for my upcoming work for ECM for bassoon and clarinet soloists with ensemble, "rust thumb": info here.

February 15 in NYC: The premiere of "Skinscape II" written for Thomas Morris, performed at NYU's Pulsing & Shaking Quintilia Ensemble concert.

February 22 in Calgary, AB: Timepoint Ensemble will perform "Skinscape" for flute and electronics during their concert Clipping.

February 28 in Calgary, AB: Land’s End will perform my piano trio “Salvation (or what was needed most)” as part of Sanctuary, a concert co-curated by Jocelyn Morlock.

January 30, 2020

Grateful to share from Berlin that "Everything is...Distorted" has been nominated for a JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year! Thanks go to Continuum for their wonderful recording of the work, and to Paul Talbott for making it sound so darn good. This is the second piece from "impurity chains" to be nominated in this category. While I won't be able to attend the awards ceremony back in Canada in March, I'm looking forward to a late night tuning in on the livestream!

December 16, 2019

Tonight in Vancouver's Pyatt Hall, Redshift will premiere my work "plunge" for flute, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and piano. I'm sorry to miss it but I'm excited to hear about the concert, which is spatialized in complete darkness.

After a busy fall with performances in Vancouver, Victoria, Marseille, and St. John's, I'm happy to share some upcoming performances in my homebase of Toronto. First up is the world premiere of Bestiary I & II for solo soprano & harp, chamber orchestra, and live electronics which is loosely inspired by the music of Joanna Newsom. This performance is part of the 21C Festival, and will take place on the GGS New Music Ensemble's January 19 concert For Michael Colgrass.

Second up is a second performance of "Foreverdark," my cello concerto with live electronics for Amahl Arulanadam. He will be reprising the his role as soloist, this time with the University of Toronto's Contemporary Music Ensemble during their January 21 concert Speak, Be Silent. It's very rare to have a repeat performance of a big work like this in the same city in under a year, so I'm really excited for this!

On January 23, I fly to Berlin where I will be composing, studying, and concert-going until late April (although I will briefly be in Montreal in February for a workshop with ECM+ for their Generation 2020 project.)

November 15, 2019

My work for sextet and electronics "Everything is...Distorted" received two additional performances this past fall, both in British Columbia. It hadn't been performed since its 2017 premiere, so I'm delighted by its new life on the west coast. The first performance was on Otober 27 in Victoria by Aventa, and you can read a kind review of the show here. The second was by Standing Wave during their "Wave Warp" show; Standing Wave are an ensemble who I'm very excited to have a couple of upcoming commissions for.

October 24, 2019

I'm grateful that the Canada Council for the Arts has awarded me a Professional Development grant in order to move to Berlin for three months in January 2020 to study with Clara Iannotta, a fantastic and inspiring composer and teacher who I met at the impuls Academy in Graz in early 2019. So looking forward!

October 22, 2019

I'm happy to report that I had an incredible experience working with Maestro Otto Tausk and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on my piece "Is it Now?", which helped open their 101st season on September 20 & 21, 2019. You can read a kind review here.

Since then, I had the pleasure of attending the ONSOUND Electronic Music Festival as an invited guest. I gave a composition seminar on electroacoustic composition with my good friend and colleague Andrew Noseworthy, delivered a pre-concert chat with my former teacher and mentor Andrew Staniland, and had the pleasure of Andrew N. performing my work "impurity chains" and flutist Gillian Sheppard performing "Skinscape" during the Aiding and Abetting concert at MUN Music School, where I'm an alumna of their B.Mus. Theory/Composition and B.Mus.Ed programs. It was a very special evening!

I'm excited to share the details for the premiere performance of my upcoming work for Ensemble Telemaque, "season of teeth," presented during the group's October Lab (actually happening in November!) The piece will be performed during CRAZY MUSICS ON STAGE VOL.2, on Sunday November 17 2019 at 15:30 in PIC-Télémaque, Marseilles, sharing the bill with another world premiere by James O'Callaghan and Rita Ueda. Looking forward!

August 7, 2019

So much has happened in the past few months! Upon graduation, I was awarded the William and Phyllis Waters Graduating Award, a $25,000 top honour of the Faculty of Music which you can read more about here. Part of the funds will allow me to continue private study on an ongoing basis with teachers from around the country and the world.

I'm also incredibly honoured to share that I've received the 2019 Barlow Prize, a commissioning prize that facilitates writing a new work for sextet and electronics for Eighth Blackbird, Crash Ensemble, and the New York New Music Ensemble. So thankful and excited to get to meet these groups and work with them musically!

Lastly, I'm super stoked to be included in Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+)'s Generation2020 alongside fellow Canadian composers Gabriel Dufour-Laperrière, Stefan Maier, and Matthew Ricketts. I'll be writing a concerto grosso-style work featuring clarinet and bassoon with large ensemble - something heavy! Very excited.

April 4, 2019

First of all, the JUNOs were amazing - congratulations to Ana Sokolović on her well-deserved win!

I'm happy to report that I've successfully defended my D.M.A. thesis at the University of Toronto, so I'll be convoking at the June 2019 convocation ceremony with my Doctorate of Musical Arts.

For upcoming performances, I'm super stoked that this thesis work is being premiered by Esprit Orchestra on April 5 as part of their New Wave Reprise concert. There's an interesting pre-show talk with John Rea and then with the composers at 7pm, so I encourage you to come check that out as well at Trinity St. Paul Centre in Toronto!

I have a super busy compositional schedule ahead, including new works in the 2019-2020 concert season for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Telemaque, and Redshift. Looking forward to working with these amazing groups (and finding some double barlines along the way!)

January 30, 2019

I'm ecstatic, shocked, and grateful to announce that I've been nominated for a 2019 JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year for the piece "Granitic"! You can check out all the nominees here.

January 27, 2019

My 2018 dectet piece "Granitic" was one of several works selected from the hundreds of pieces submitted to the Score Follower Fall 2018 call-for-scores and is now featured on their wonderful channel! You can now listen and read the score simultaneously here.

Flutist Janet Arms performed "Skinscape" at the Florida Flute Convention on January 26 along with other works associated with the Flute New Music Consortium.

On February 9 and 10 in Vancouver, B.C., Erato Ensemble will be presenting my 2014 art song "Requiem for a Penny," arranged for Pierrot Ensemble by Michael James Park, at their concert Present.

From February 10-22, I will be attending the impuls Academy in Graz, Austria. Looking forward to hearing some amazing music and performances!

November 5, 2018

Upcoming performances:
On November 10, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra will perform Remnant Shoreline at their Explorations concert, My Name is Amanda Todd.

As one of 7 electroacoustic works chosen from over 300 submissions, skinscape will be performed on November 27 at the Grains of Sound Music Festival in San Francisco, CA.

On December 5, Ensemble Paramirabo will give the formal premiere of With dawn in our lungs in Montreal as part of their concert Something Old, Something New.

On December 16, The Rensselaer Orchestra joined by Wavefield will give the US premiere of Remnant Shoreline at EMPAC (Troy, NY) on their concert BY SOME CHANCE...ALL ON THIS EARTH.

September 10, 2018

impurity chains has been officially released on Centrediscs, and is available for purchase! You can purchase the physical CD here, or stream on Spotify here. The album received a great review by Scott Gray with Exclaim, which you can read here. I'm so excited to share this album with the world, and am eternally grateful to all the performers, recordists, and artists involved. Shoutout to the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council for making this project possible.

August 1, 2018

Other important upcoming performances:
On August 9, 2018, 5:00-6:15 PM EST, Ashley Shank (flute) will be performing Skinscape for flute and electronics at the National Flute Association Convention, which this year takes place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, FL. You can find a schedule of events here.

The McGill Wind Orchestra, under Prof. Alain Cazes, will be performing amok on their November 2, 2018 concert at McGill University. Very much looking forward to this one!

July 28, 2018

Tomorrow, I head to the Waterloo Region Contemporary Music Sessions as a composition mentor! I'm very excited to hear the compositional work by emerging composers from around Canada and the world that are convening in Waterloo for this workshop, and I'm sure I'll learn a bunch! The ensemble-in-residence, Ensemble Paramirabo, commissioned me to write a new work for their 2018-19 season, and its first version will be premiered during the festival during this concert. Check it out along with the other concerts and events if you're in the Waterloo area!

This summer has been a busy one! Charm of Finches gave the wonderful premiere of First came the temple... in Toronto on June 17, with commissioning support from the Ontario Arts Council. I also completed a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts for the Ensemble Evolution program from June 17 - July 8, which was funded through a Professional Development grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. I'm still blown away by the talent and enthusiasm from the composers and performers I met there! I had the privilege of taking lessons and masterclasses with some composers I very much respect, including Anna Thorvaldsdottir, George Lewis, and Sabrina Schroeder. I was also very lucky to have a number of performances of my works throughout the residency, including microlattice, Junk, First came the temple..., swallow/breathe, and the world premiere of Mountain Miniature 1: I watch you beheading, written for and performed by the wonderful Joey Guidry (basoon) and Adanya Dunn (soprano).

I'm very pleased to announce that I'm working with Esprit Orchestra again for their 2018-19 season, this time for a new cello concertante (soloist: Amahl Arulanandam) with funding from the Ontario Arts Council. This new work, for chamber orchestra and live processed solo cello with electronics by Dan Tapper, is a part of Esprit's April 5th 2019 concert, New Wave Reprise. This program looks fantastic, and I heartily encourage anyone in the Toronto area to check it out come April 2019!

I was extremely honoured to receive the 2018 Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music, which was awarded to both myself and Rebekah Cummings. The awarded piece, microlattice, will be performed during the January 2019 New Music Festival at the University of Toronto.

One last piece of news before I head away to Waterloo and then my wedding in Newfoundland (!!) - the release of my album impurity chains will take place on September 8, 2018 at the Canadian Music Centre (20 St. Joseph St., Toronto, ON) at 7:30pm. Featuring performances of Granitic and impurity chains, and there will be copies of the album for purchase! Hope to see you there.

January 27, 2018

Happy New Year! Things have ramped up early this year, with the first performance of 2018 on January 4th in Huddersfield, UK; Colin Frank performed ochre dust (from Adam's sole), an experimental piece for vocalizing ugly stick player that I wrote back in 2014 for Evan Bowen. You can find a really neat video of Colin performing the piece here. My gratitude goes to him for really revitalizing the work and playing it in Waterloo, Salem, NY, and now Huddersfield!

I'm pleased to announce that Ross Karre of the International Contemporary Ensemble has selected my solo percussion work The Lonely Man Strikes with Absolute Rage for his first "score opening" session of 2018, to be live-streamed from ICE's session space in NYC on the evening of January 29th. These "percussion solo explorations" are selected through

There are some upcoming Toronto performances that I'm very excited about - both world premieres! First off, the amazing b'ys at Torq are giving the premiere of silver on skin, a piece I wrote for Spectrum Percussion back in 2015. You can find information about their concert "Notes From Home" here.
The second world premiere coincides with an event very near and dear to my heart, Spark to Stone, Caution Tape Sound Collective's second concert of our third season. In addition the 6 amazing works by Canadian women composers who are based across the continent, we're presenting Granitic, my first work for large chamber ensemble that was facilitated by the Canadian Music Centre's Toronto Emerging Composer Award. This seven minute work for flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, viola, cello, electric guitar, electric bass, synthesizer, and drumkit represents a few new stylistic choices for me, including just intonation inflections, some bare sparsity, and (of course!) this type of instrumentation. I'm very excited for this piece, so make sure to check out this concert at the Arrayspace on March 24, 2018!

Another piece of exciting news is my inclusion in NOW Toronto's Toronto musicians to watch in 2018: composer edition, a list of composers who I very much respect and are super rad. It's really an honour to share the list with them! The piece mentioned, Reflections on a Black Star, is a new work for sax duo and electronics for superstars Stereoscope, which I'll be getting to work on in February.

Last but certainly not least, I'll be continuing to work on my recording project for my Centrediscs CD impurity chains, which has now been fully funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. Being the project manager on my own album has been an intense but ultimately rewarding task, and I very much look forward to heading back to Revolution Studios in March and April to work with groups including Continuum, Caution Tape, and composer/guitarist and overall lovely human being Andrew Noseworthy. Stay tuned for album release info, as well as a launch party!

October 29, 2017

Brief update - Caution Tape Sound Collective had a wonderful first concert of our third season, including the premiere of How to... and a host of other new works for tenor and/or percussion, some with electronics, some with movement, some with theatrics! I'm super appreciative of the amazing soloists Jonathan MacArthur and Evan Bowen for their inspired performances, both individually and as a duo just drenched with chemistry.

Next up is a VERY exciting premiere for me - my very first professional performance of an orchestral work! This is, sadly, a rarity for most composers. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to have composed a new work for a chamber orchestra subset of Esprit orchestra; the new piece, Remnant Shoreline, will be premiered on November 23, 7:30PM at Jeanne Lamon Hall at Trinity St. Paul's Centre in Toronto, ON. More details here. The premiere is also the culmination of a project I've been working on all fall, serving as a mentor to a fabulous group of high school-aged theory students as they wrote their first ever compositions for a subset of Esprit. I'm so proud of their work, and very pleased with this ongoing relationship with Esprit Orchestra (stay tuned for another piece commissioned by Esprit for February 2019!)

I'm also super pleased to announce the premiere of a new work with Newfoundland roots. My short piece for piano trio Salvation is being performed on December 2, 2017 in Cape Broyle, Newfoundland and Labrador as part of What Was Needed Most, a longform piece for piano trio and actor with narrative text by Robert Chafe. Three different composers have contributed short pieces to this work, which will be toured extensively around Newfoundland during December 2017. More details here.

June 5, 2017

May was a fantastic month! It started with a one week residency at the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini in Trieste, Italy, which culminated in a beautiful and sensitive performance of swallow/breathe by graduate students at the conservatory, the European premiere!

I was also very honoured to work with Chris Paul Harman and Unsuk Chin during the Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop. My new work slept unwell for SATB vocal quartet and electronics was premiered with wonderful musicianship by Sara Schabas, Shauna Yarnell, Sean Clark, David Roth, and vocal coach Christopher Dawes.

I have some exciting performances coming up, starting with Blythwood Winds' remount of The Formula at their Voices of Canadian Women concert on June 10 at Heliconian Hall in Toronto. Next up is the premiere of three new short art songs set to text by young Regent Park poets, and performed by students at the Regent Park School of Music. These songs, alongside new works by Linda Catlin Smith, James Rolfe, and Ian Cusson, will be part of the newest edition of the Regent Park Songbook. They will be performed on July 28 in the evening, more details TBD.

This summer I will be writing pieces for Jonathon MacArthur (tenor) and Evan Bowen (percussion) for Caution Tape Sound Collective; a new work for solo flute and electronics for the Flute New Music Consortium (USA); a piano trio with actor for the amazing St. John's-based Duo Concertante (this project is funded by a Canada Council 150 Grant); and a new work for 13 musicians for members of Esprit Orchestra. There are also a couple of exciting projects lined up for the fall, so if you don't hear from me for a while... you'll know why! Back to composing!

March 31, 2017

Well it's been almost a week since the PIVOT mentoring project ended, and what a fantastic 6 months it was! It was a delight to meet with the other composers selected, hear the unique and diverse compositional voices from across this country, and work with the phenomenal Continuum. The recording is now available on my Works page.

I'm currently busy in the throes of various deadlines, including some very exciting work for a not-yet-announced workshop opportunity, as well as a new piece for the flute quintet Charm of Finches. This is especially exciting because it marks my first commissioning grant from the Ontario Arts Council.

It looks like it's a very active year ahead compositionally - I'm so excited to be working with these groups and have my work supported by these wonderful organizations!

February 8, 2017

Some wonderful and exciting news became public recently; I'm delighted and humbled to share that I've been named the receipient of the 2017 Toronto Emerging Composer Award. I'm very excited to work on my project for large chamber ensemble with electric guitar and electronics, which will be premiered in the spring of 2018 with Caution Tape Sound Collective. I've been wanting to write this piece for a very long time, and am so happy to finally have the opportunity!

I have a few concerts coming up; the first is the premiere of Barycentre with the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra, which will take place on February 18, 3:30pm at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor, ON.

On March 11, the Madawaska Quartet will be giving a sneak peak at the first half of my string quartet Swallow/Breathe at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Festival. On the same night in Bonita, California, Eric Moore and Tasha Smith Godinez will premiere my piece You: Afterwards, No for speaking cellist and harpist. I'm super stoked for both events and can't wait to hear!

Lastly, the premiere of Everything is... distorted for sextet and electronics will take place on March 25 at The Music Gallery as part of Continuum's PIVOT. I've learned so much working on this piece with Martin Bedard, and I'm very much looking forward to the week of workshopping before its premiere!

January 13, 2017

Happy New Year! I've rung in the new year with a couple of pieces of good news; firstly, I received my first professional commissioning grant through the Toronto Arts Council; the creation grant has allowed me to work on an extremely challenging new string quartet entitled Swallow/Breathe, which utilizes the Newfoundland folk song She's Like the Swallow.

Secondly, for pillars, gone has been chosen as the second place prize winner of the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra's Young Composers Competition, which is open to all Canadian composers aged 32 and under. It's a bittersweet victory, as this piece has been recorded and awarded but still not premiered live at a concert venue!

I am also so happy to have been chosen as one of three University of Toronto graduate composers going on an exchange to the Conservatorio G. Tartini in Trieste, Italy. Myself and composers August Murphy-King and Steven Webb will travel to Trieste during the first week of May, where we will each have a piece performed. Swallow/Breathe will recevive its European debut here.

Lastly, I will have a masterclass with one of my absolute favourite composers, Salvatore Sciarrino during his residency at the University of Toronto for the New Music Festival in late January/early February. I am beyond excited to receive feedback from this incredible artist!

November 30, 2016

What a super busy semester at the University of Toronto! Finally catching my breath, and looking forward to a couple of upcoming performances.

First off, I was selected as one of the winners of Verdant Vibes' call-for-scores, which received over 400 entries. My piece for mixed sextet bud will be performed at their concert Winter Warmer on Sunday, December 4 2016 at 7:00pm at 999 Main St, Ste 711A, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Next up is a new arrangement of my piece wires at rest (tend to tangle), originally for harp and cello, to be premiered in its new form by cellist Paul Pulford and pianist Cheryl Duvall at the Canadian Music Centre Ontario on January 12 and 13 at 8pm, as well as at the K-W Chamber Music Society on January 11, 2017. This concert also features a performance of Linda Catlin Smith's masterpiece Ballad, as well as works by the fabulous Nick Storring and Michael Vincent Waller.

In other exciting news, Caution Tape Sound Collective has been invited to take part in the Emergents series, which is a curated series at the Music Gallery in Toronto, ON. We will be presenting several of the commissions we've done in the past year, including a remounting of my microtonal electric guitar drone piece impurity chains. We're super stoked to have had our performer, the amazing Andrew Noseworthy, receive a Canada Council travel grant to assist him in attending the concert and kicking some serious guitar ass. This concert is February 4 @ 8pm at the Music Gallery, Toronto, ON.

That's all for now, but more performances are coming up next spring with some fabulous groups both here in Toronto and abroad - stay tuned!

August 20, 2016

It's been a fantastic summer with lots of work done and lots of good news to celebrate!

First of all, I was over the moon to have been included on a list done by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) of 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30! There are some stellar musicians included and I'm honoured to share the list with them.

I was also selected to particpate in PIVOT, a mentoring opportunity organized by the Canadian League of Composers, the Canadian Music Centre, and Continuum Contemporary Music. I'm very excited to work with a mentor composer working in the electroacoustic realm, who will help me write a new piece for Continuum - which, honestly, has been a dream of mine. Artistic director Ryan Scott has been incredibly supportive of emerging composers, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to work with these players and have the opportunity to focus on this piece throughout the next six months.

I'm also happy to say that there are a couple upcoming performances of a new work for amplified solo soprano saxophone and electronics that I wrote for Chelsea Shanoff - a preview (and technical run!) at the Canadian Music Centre on September 9 (coinciding with a welcome reception for new University of Toronto graduate students), and on October 22 @ 8pm during Singles Vol. 2, the first concert of the season for Caution Tape Sound Collective, which will happen at Array Space. Very excited to hear this thing!

Lastly, there are a few American performances of older works, including a performance of Requiem for a Penny by contralto Samantha Stiner at her "Hot off The Press" contemporary music recital, which takes place at the University of Wyoming, September 1st @ 7pm.

June 1, 2016

Feeling creatively refreshed after finishing up Array's Young Composer Workshop! The recording and video for my piece 2 Inverse Motions will be up soon.

I'm gearing up to head to June in Buffalo for a week full of inspiring concerts and masterclasses, with a full schedule available here. I'm still in awe, but the Arditti Quartet will be playing my string quartet Murmuring Bones on June 8 at a concert starting at 10:00am.

While I'm making my way back to Toronto, the wonderful Blythwood Winds will perform my new quintet The Formula at their show "Hogtown Roundup: Toronto Graffiti". Check it out!

May 12, 2016

wires at rest (tend to tangle) will be performed again by Eric Moore and Tasha Smith Godinez at Sparks Gallery in San Diego, CA, on May 29. So nice for this piece to be enjoying the sun on the west coast!

a relic of adolescent heat will also be played on the American west coast; its premiere performance after winning the newly composed category of the 2015 Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition will be by Amy Likar in Orinda, CA. The performance is on September 17 at a house concert venue that will be a benefit for the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra.

March 2, 2016

Murmuring Bones will be performed again by Cuatro Puntos, a chamber ensemble that has championed the work in the New England area. They are presenting the piece at a concert called "Lift Her Voice" on March 10, which is part of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford. It's wonderful to be featured alongside so many talented women creators, including fellow Canadian composer Tawnie Olson.

February 21, 2016

My short, melodramatic piece for solo voice Olive Oil is being programmed on the Thursday, February 25 concert of a very small consortium, a performance group based at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay that focuses on the performance of miniatures. The piece was programmed after a competetive call-for-scores process.

February 17, 2016

I'm delighted to have received a new commission from Eric Moore and Tasha Smith Godinez through CelloLoft's call-for-scores. The premiere is tentatively scheduled for the 2017 World Harp Congress in Hong Kong (and in San Diego if not!) Eric and Tasha are also giving my piece wires at rest (tend to tangle) a second performance at the very cool Lou Harrison's House in Joshua Tree, California, on Sunday February 21.

I have a number of premieres coming up this spring, notably with the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble under the fabulous Dr. Gillian MacKay on Saturday, March 19, 2016, where they will be performing my extremely challenging piece amok (as a syndrome), inspired by the music of Fausto Romitelli.

Later that month, my collective Caution Tape Sound Collective will premiere my piece L'appel du vide for cello, accordion, piano, and electronics at the Array Space on Thursday March 24. Very excited to make music with these swell folks!

October 22, 2015

I'm very pleased to announce that a relic of adolescent heat has been selected as the winner of the "Newly Composed" category in the 2015 Flute New Music Consortium Composition Competition! Other winners and finalists are listed here. The premiere is tentatively scheduled for the 2016 National Flute Convention in San Diego pending a succesful proposal process. I can't wait to hear it!

October 11, 2015

Super stoked to have been named Composer-in-Residence with the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble! I'm very excited to work with these players, who sounded great on their first concert and are generally one on a part. The premiere, TBD, will be at the end of this academic year or in the Fall term of 2016. Let's flex those large ensemble muscles!!

September 10, 2015

It looks like I have a busy composing season ahead! I'm so happy to be collaborating with a number of fabulous Toronto-based ensembles in the 2015-2016 season. First up, Spectrum percussion quartet will be premiering my piece "Four Miniatures for Percussion Quartet and Soprano" on October 20, 7:00pm at Walter Hall at the University of Toronto. This piece was also selected for Sandbox Percussion's latest call-for-scores and will be performed by them in NYC either this season or next.

"impurity chains" for solo electric guitar and talkbox will be premiered at "Singles", Caution Tape Sound Collective's inaugural concert, performed by the amazing Trevor Babb on October 29 8:00pm at the Array Space, 155 Walnut Ave in Toronto.

My piece for percussion and light-sensitive mini synthesizer "phase:lum" will be performed by Evan Bowen as part of Toronto Laptop Orchestra's premiere concert "Hello World," which is also at the Array space, at 8:00pm on November 19.

In the spring, I will have another premiere with Caution Tape Sound Collective on our March 24 concert, my first piece as a full-fledged member of the Toy Piano Composers, and a new wind quintet for Blythwood Winds. Stay tuned for more details and updates!

August 13, 2015

I'm immensely honoured to have had my string quartet “Murmuring Bones” selected as one of six works in Canada’s official submission to the international jury of the ISCM 2016 World Music Days. By the end of October, I should know if the international jury has chosen it for performance in South Korea. Fingers crossed!

July 6, 2015

Upcoming concerts!
I'm excited to be part of some upcoming endeavours, one as a participating composer and one as a co-artistic director. First up is The Sidenote Concert, where I've written a piece for clarinet, violin, cello, drum kit, and electric bass called "We Occur in Biological Settings!" inspired by a combination of Fibonacci numbers, weird rock music, and Dutch minimalism. Check it out on July 31 with some cold Toronto craft beers at Junction Brewery, 8:00pm!

I'm also excited to announce that myself and August Murphy King have formed Caution Tape Sound Collective, a composer's collective with an emphasis on explorative music that pushes the artistic practice of everyone involved. Our first concert is October 29 at Arrayspace, but I'll post more details closer to the event. Stay tuned!

May 2, 2015

The winner's ceremony was tonight, so I can finally officially announce that I am a winner of a 2015 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award for my composition for mixed sextet, bud. The prize includes $1000 and a month-long exhibition at the provincial art gallery in St. John's. I hope to write a sequel movement to this piece later this year, so stay tuned!

April 6, 2015

I am so happy, excited, and grateful to announce that after being selected as one of three finalists, my new composition for harp and cello, "wires at rest (tend to tangle)" was chosen as the first prize winner of the Costello Composition Competition presented by the Lyra Society. The prize includes $1000 USD and a premiere in Philadelphia, tentatively scheduled for May 15 at the Curtis Institute of Music's Dean's recital. The judges were composers David Ludwig and Jan Krzywicki, and Principal Harp of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Elizabeth Hainen.

I am also delighted to have my Boston, MA premiere next Friday, April 17, at the Church of the Advent. Cuatro Puntos have given my string quartet, Murmuring Bones, a lot of performances in the New England area since the piece placed second in their composition competition last year, and I'm very grateful! Check it out if you're in the area.

March 30, 2015

An update on my summer composition ventures - despite getting accepted to both New Music on the Point and fresh inc., I had to turn both offers down due to the Costello competition deadline (April 1) and my Masters thesis defence (April 9) giving me limited time to prepare solid pieces for their deadlines of May 1st. I'm still hopeful that I will be accepted to one last festival that I've applied to - fingers crossed!
Regardless, I have some exciting projects coming up, including a guitar solo for Trevor Babb, a marimba solo for Ryan Scott, companion pieces to Olive Oil for Hannah Tarder-Stoll, and a pet project for two percussionists and harpsichord.

Some upcoming performances - Gavin Fraser will be premiering the baritone version of my encore piece for solo voice, Olive Oil, at his 3rd year performance recital on April 2 at the Suncor Energy Hall at Memorial University in St. John's, NL. The Pelorus Ensemble will also be doing another performance of my piece for drum kit feature, Relative Bearings, at April's iteration of Night Music, a monthly concert series for the "basement avant garde" presented at the Ship. Check it out on April 16 in St. John's!

A correction to a previous post - the premiere of fill your hands with work and lovers is being postponed to January 2016 (prepared piano issues!)

February 18, 2015

I'm so pleased to announce that I've been selected as a finalist for the Lyra Society's Costello Competition! No matter the outcome between the three finalists, all finalists will have a new work for chamber ensemble featuring harp premiered in the Philadelphia area (with the winner's work premiered at the Curtis Institute - with $1000 to boot!) More details about the premiere (and the piece!) to come.

January 22, 2015

I'm very excited to have a premiere date for my commission from trombonist Stephen Ivany! He'll be performing Fill your hands with work and lovers for trombone, trumpet, and prepared piano on April 15 at Florida State University as part of his first doctoral recital. I can't wait to hear it!

I'm also in the unique position (for the first time ever!) of having three performances in separate places on one night - on February 6, The Box Office will be performed in both Cincinnati, Ohio and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, in St. John's, Newfoundland, my piece Relative Bearings, for drum kit featuring guitar and synthesizer, will be receiving its premiere from the Pelorus Ensemble as part of the Newfound Music Festival's Pint Sized Encores. Such a busy night - wish I could see at least one of them!

January 12, 2015

It looks like The Box Office will be getting some additional exposure in January and February - the short opera was selected for the North American New Opera Workshop and will have two free, unstaged performances in Cincinnati, Ohio. More information on dates and locations here.

January 3, 2015

Happy New Year! Looking forward to some performances in January and February - in Toronto, the wonderful Toy Piano Composers will be programming my piece for baritone sax and percussion on their January 24 concert, "Grit". The piece, "Junk," was originally written for members of the St. John's-based Pelorus Ensemble. You can hear it using the media player on the bottom of the site - enjoy the premiere recording and check it out live in January if you're nearby! The Box Office is also getting its third mounting and fourth performance in February. More details later!

December 19, 2014

Welcome to the website for Bekah Simms, Canadian composer. Expect more updates soon and please take a listen.

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