Larry Lake

Larry Ellsworth Lake, composer, trumpeter, broadcaster, producer (born 2 Jul 1943 in Greenville, Pennsylvania; died 17 September 2013 in Toronto, ON). Larry Lake was perhaps best known as the long-time host of CBC Radio Two’s flagship new music program, Two New Hours (1978–2007). A founding member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, he also performed widely as a soloist and was an accomplished composer. He was a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. He received awards from the Canadian Music Council (1982, 1984, 1987) and three Juno Award nominations, as well as the Friends of Canadian Music Award in 2002.

Larry Ellsworth Lake, composer, trumpeter, broadcaster, producer (born 2 Jul 1943 in Greenville, Pennsylvania; died 17 September 2013 in Toronto, ON). Larry Lake was perhaps best known as the long-time host of CBC Radio Two’s flagship new music program, Two New Hours (1978–2007). A founding member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, he also performed widely as a soloist and was an accomplished composer. He was a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. He received awards from the Canadian Music Council (1982, 1984, 1987) and three Juno Award nominations, as well as the Friends of Canadian Music Award in 2002.


Education

Raised in Florida and Georgia, Larry Lake moved to Toronto to study electronic music at the University of Toronto (1970–72) with Gustav Ciamaga. He undertook earlier studies at Southern Illinois University (1968) with Hubert S. Howe Jr, Will Gay Bottje, Robert Moog and Lejaren Hiller. In Miami, he studied trumpet with Harry Glantz (1964).

Broadcasting Career

Lake was a music producer for CBC Radio (1972–75) and became a new music consultant in 1977. He became most well-known as the longtime host and music consultant for CBC Radio Two’s flagship new music program, Two New Hours (1978–2007). Lake has also worked on other CBC programs such as MusicScope, Themes and Variations, Music Alive, and Symphony Hall. Lake also worked as a freelance writer, broadcaster, and record producer. He received awards from the Canadian Music Council (1982, 1984, 1987) and the Major Armstrong Foundation (USA). As a producer, he was for three Juno Awards.

Musician

In 1971, he was a founding member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble; he also became the artistic director in 1985. He performed with the ensemble in Europe and Asia. Lake also appeared as a soloist with L'Association pour la création et la recherche électroacoustique du Québec, Arraymusic, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Espace Musique, Music Inter Alia, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Ottawa Symphony, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver New Music, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Compositions

Larry Lake’s works have been commissioned by many leading soloists and ensembles in Canada and the US. They have also been performed at major festivals around the world (e.g., ISCM, Fylkingen, International Rostrum of Composers) and broadcast in dozens of countries. His commissions include Psalm for Lawrence Cherney; Ulalume for the Canadian Electronic Ensemble; The Columbine for Gayle Young; Three Bagatelles for the Evergreen Club Gamelan Ensemble; Filar il Tuono for Contemporary Music Projects; Partita for Paul Benza; and Homage and Sonata No. 2 for the CBC.

Lake’s interest in electroacoustic composition was fostered by his studies at Southern Illinois University and at the University of Toronto (1970–72) with Gustav Ciamaga, whose influence persists in Lake’s music. Lake’s early compositions were produced entirely by electronic means, but after 1975 his major concern was the integration of acoustic instruments with electronic ones, especially in live performance. Communicating with a wide audience was important to Lake and his music was described as “unabashedly romantic” by CBC broadcaster Ian Alexander, a sentiment not refuted by the composer.

Organizational Involvement

Lake served as chair of the Canadian Music Centre’s Ontario Region Council and executive member of the Canadian Music Centre’s national board. He was a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. In 2002, he received the Friends of Canadian Music Award.

Selected Works

Music Theatre and Multi Media

  • Choros. 1971. Tape, colour organ, strobe lights
  • 'Tis Pity, opera. 1980. Live-elec. Ms
  • Chamber
  • No More Blues. 1976. Trb, 2 synthesizer, tape. Ms
  • Slowly I Turn. 1982. Va, percussion, 2 synthesizer, vibraphone, elec. Ms
  • Sticherarion. 1984. Acc, tape, digital delay lines. Ms
  • Psalm. 1985. Ob, tape. Ms. Centrediscs CMC-CD-3288
  • Three Bagatelles. 1986. Gamelan, synthesizer. Ms. Arjuna AR-001 (Evergreen Club)
  • Five Pieces for Eight Synthesizers. 1987
  • Israfel. 1987. Fl, 8 synths. Trappist CD-9003/4-ACM 37 (Cram fl)
  • Ulalume. 1987. Rec, synthesizer. Ms
  • Filar il Tuono. 1988. 14 instr. Ms
  • Helices. 1988. Bsn, synthesizer. Ms
  • Partita. 1989. Cl, synthesizer. Ms

Electroacoustic

  • Eight Studies for Electronic Tape. 1971. Tape
  • Homage. 1979. Tape.
  • Sonata No. 2. 1981. Tape.
  • Also two works for voice: The Columbine (1980) text by Jones Very for soprano, columbine, tape; and The Devil in the Desert (1980) a setting of five poems by Steven Crane for soprano, vocoder, 4 synthesizer, and delay line

For collaborative works, see Canadian Electronic Ensemble


Further Reading

  • Piros, Joanna. "Missionary composition," Radio Guide, July 1996

    MacMillan, Rick. "Show sparks worldwide interest in Canadian music," Words & Music, February 1997