John Gordon Armstrong

Canadian Composer



Incantations was commissioned by The Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects for Guitar 1981 and premiered in June 1981 at the MacMillan Theatre, University of Toronto by Alan Torok and Douglas Perry. It is an attractive, accessible piece of varying difficulty showing the distinct influences of Olivier Messaien and George Crumb. It has been played a number of times by different performers including myself, William Beauvais, Julian Knight, Rivka Golani, and, most recently, the Verdejo Duo. It requires the violist to be comfortable in the extreme high register at the end of the final movement.

Composed in 1980 for guitar and viola
Five Movements
Duration: 17 minutes
Published: Canadian Music Centre (Toronto)

(performance by Katherine Rife, viola and John Armstrong, guitar)

1. “Where Silent”


2. “To the Parched Earth”


3. “Night Music”


4. “The Orange Moon”


5. “Dawn – Where Echoes”