Canadian Art Song Project is pleased to announce the release of our seventh commercial recording of Canadian art song repertoire for voice and piano. Known to Dreamers: Black Voices in Canadian Art Song / La mélodie canadienne à travers les voix de la communauté noire is a recording project that speaks to the need of ensuring that voice and piano recital repertoire reflects the diverse experiences of Canadian performers and audiences.

Known to Dreamers recording cover art
Cover art for Known to Dreamers recording

This recording project celebrates contributions by Black composers and writers to Canadian art song. The songs programmed include works by composers Maria Thompson Corley and Larry Strachan alongside repertoire by James Rolfe and Robert Fleming that sets texts by celebrated writers André Alexis and Owen Dodson.

Robert Fleming’s beloved song cycle The Confession Stone (Songs of Mary), which sets the poetry of African-American writer Owen Dodson, is performed by soprano Measha Brueggergosman-Lee and pianist Steven Philcox. Baritone Elliot Madore and Philcox present “A Broken Appointment” and “Now Blue October,” two songs by composer Larry Strachan on poems by Thomas Hardy and Robert Nathan, as well as the song cycle Moths composed by James Rolfe on original poetry by André Alexis. The Colour of Joy, by composer/writer Maria Thompson Corley and writers Kanika Ambrose and Christene Browne, is performed by Philcox and soprano Jonelle Sills. These songs, commissioned for this recording, offer a story of resilience through the eyes of a woman of Black West Indian descent. Of the repertoire on the album, only The Confession Stone (Songs of Mary) has been previously recorded commercially.

Steven Philcox speaks about the CASP Known to Dreamers recording.

Track listing for Known to Dreamers:
Black Voices in Canadian Art Song / La mélodie canadienne à travers les voix de la communauté noire

The Confession Stone (The Songs of Mary) 
Robert Fleming composer, Owen Dodson poet 
Measha Brueggergosman-Lee soprano, Steven Philcox piano 

1. O my boy: Jesus my first and only son – 2:21
2. Don’t pay attention to the old men in the temple – 0:54
3. Jesus, did you know that Lazarus is back? – 1:45
4. There’s a supper in Jerusalem tonight and I wish that I was there – 1:53
5. Cold and icy in my bed: laid on the ground of Jerusalem – 3:22
6. Bring me those needles, Martha, I believe I’ll knit Jesus a scarf – 1:58
7. Everything is black, air, water, sun, moon, all light, dirt is black – 5:28
8. O my boy: Jesus my first and only son – 2:32

9. A Broken Appointment – 3:43
Larry Strachan composer, Thomas Hardy poet 
Elliot Madore baritone, Steven Philcox piano 

10. Now Blue October – 4:12
Larry Strachan composer, Robert Nathan poet 
Elliot Madore baritone, Steven Philcox piano 

The Colour of Joy
Maria Thompson Corley composer; Corley, Ambrose, Browne, poets
Jonelle Sills Soprano, Steven Philcox Piano 

11. When the World Was Green – 7:49
12. Transition – 1:44
13. Elias 511 – 5:42
14. Ode to Our Joy – 6:53

James Rolfe composer, André Alexis poet 
Elliot Madore baritone, Steven Philcox piano 

15. Night is a river – 2:21
16. The river of dreams – 0:55
17. Dreams are a cloth – 1:31
18. The cloth is eaten by moths – 2:27
19. Moths give off light – 1:47
20. Light is a river – 3:26

Total time / Durée totale: 63:02

Click here to purchase or stream the recording

Known to Dreamers, funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts, will be released on the Centrediscs label for download and streaming only in February 2024.

CASP gratefully acknowledges the support of this project from:

Canada Council for the Arts logo