Ann Southam began collaborating with pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico in 1981. Petrowska Quilico has recorded Southam's 3 CD set "Rivers" for Centrediscs as part of their Canadian Composer Series. This highly acclaimed CD was followed by a 2 CD set "Pond Life" also for Centrediscs which Petrowska Quilico recorded. Earilier Christina Petrowska Quilico recorded and included Southam's music on CDs "Northern Sirens", "Mystic Streams", "Ings", "Virtuoso Piano Music of Our Own Time".
Each CD has received extraordinary praise. Later she began collaborating with Eve Egoyan, who premiered Qualities of Consonance (1998), Figures (2001), and In Retrospect (2004). Southam's return to acoustic composition also came about in part through an interest in the physicality of performing. Four in Hand (1981), written for pianists Jane Blackstone and Ruth Kazden, is a single-movement work for piano four hands that uses free 12-tone harmony and motifs, which lead to a closing D major chord. The composition essentially has the performer "blasting about the keyboard" (Musicworks, Summer 1998).
It also demonstrates Southam's predilection for reconciling the 12-tone system with traditional practices. Re-Tuning (1985), however, is more indicative of the direction Southam's music took in years to come. Made up of 25 modular sections that are repeated and spun rapidly one into another over an electronic drone, this piece was heavily influenced by Southam's collaboration with Rivka Golani. Southam found recent success with Simple Lines of Enquiry, for solo piano, which was rapturously reviewed by the North American press. Read more on Last.fm.
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