Change has been good for composer T. Patrick Carrabré. While he still finds inspiration in the traditions of western music, his ears have led him to forge connections across a broad range of musical boundaries and explore new models for contemporary music. For well over a decade he worked closely with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, including six seasons as composer-in-residence and co-curator of the orchestra’s wildly successful New Music Festival. Also active in the media, Carrabré served two-seasons as the weekend host of CBC Radio 2’s contemporary music show The Signal.
Carrabré’s best known compositions include Inuit Games, for throat singers (katajjak) and orchestra, which was a recommended work at the International Rostrum of Composers (2003), Sonata No. 1, The Penitent, for violin and piano, and From the Dark Reaches, which were nominated for JUNO awards (in the category of Best Classical Composition), and A Hammer For Your Thoughts… which won a Western Canadian Music Award (Best Classical Composition). Commissioners have included pianists Janina Fialkowska, Megumi Masaki and Alexander Tselyakov, The Winnipeg Singers, the Gryphon Trio, the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society, cellists Caroline Stinson and Shauna Rolston, as well as the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition.
In 2005, Carrabré’s collaborative work Creation Stories was premiered to great acclaim at the Centara Corporation New Music Festival. Uniting music and musicians from many cultures and styles, it weaves together alternate accounts of how our world came into being, celebrating both our common memories and our differences.
In 2009 he worked with indie singer-songwriter Kyrie Kristmanson to blend her voice and words with genre bending music written for the Afiara String Quartet (The Domna Elegies). He then embarked on a series of works combining fixed electronic sounds and live instruments, again crossing stylistic boundaries. Crazy continues this direction. It’s a post-modern song cycle for electronics, piano and a vocalist who also plays harmonica, glockenspiel and bass guitar. The text explores the edges of musical creativity, from the Renaissance to modern times.
Carrabré’s early compositional studies were with Dr. Robert Turner at the University of Manitoba and with Jules Léger Prize winning composer Peter Paul Koprowski at the University of Western Ontario. He later went on to work closely with Pulitzer Prize winner George Perle, completing a Ph.D. at the City University of New York. Besides his teaching at Brandon University, Carrabré has served terms as Dean of Music and Vice-President (Academic and Research).