John Gordon Armstrong

Canadian Composer


November Suite

In the summer of 2017, I suggested to Susan McMaster that we switch roles. In four previous collaborations, I had worked with her texts to produce song cycles. My suggestion was that she take a previously written instrumental piece of mine, ImproVisions, and add poetry to it. November Suite is the result. Essentially, ImproVisions is unchanged beneath the poetry, but the improvisation built into the score allows the performer to interact with the reader in real time, making minute alterations to the timings. I am delighted with the result!

According to Susan McMaster:

“Named for the opening poem and its first performance, November Suite follows the cycle of the year and returns to a new beginning. The poems are linked by their references to weather, images, and mood, but each stands on its own, set at the lake, in the city, or in the travel between.”

November Suite was premiered at Gigspace in Ottawa, on Nov. 26, 2017, sponsored by Poets Pathway.

Composed in 1992-94, 2017 for Poet and Guitar
Duration: 25 minutes
Advanced student/Accessible

1.” . . . from silence”

2. “Freeze”

3. “Rain”

4. “Drought”

5. “Ice Storm”