Upon being asked whether he believed films should have a beginning, middle, and end, Jean-Luc Godard famously stated, “Yes, but not necessarily in that order.” Why not go further? Beginnings begins this album but is also a statement on the concept of beginnings, thereby possessing an unusual air of perspective for a piece serving as a structural beginning. Études for a Dying Race concludes apocalyptically, but is it really an ending? The text of the last movement frequently mentions “the other side,” and if it were truly marking an ending it would probably be entitled Études for a Dead Race instead. Then again, what sort of études would be useful, or even accessible, to a dead race? Finishing Songs is smack dab in the middle of the track listing.

Nothing ever really begins or ends. As human beings, we insist upon such categorizations in order to better understand the realities we inhabit. However, our understanding has little to do with these realities themselves. The music on this album in no way “progresses” art. It does not begin anything new, nor does it represent the culmination of any sort of major musical trend. It simply belongs to the tradition of music, and maybe contributes to its biggen-ing… beginning? Similarly, all the words in every poem existed before that poem was written, and before those words existed there were others serving the same function. The musicians on this album will always exist as having been there in the studio, recording this music. Even if we hadn’t had any microphones, we would still have always been there. That said, we did have microphones, so for your listening pleasure, we are still there… for you to be with now. Please enjoy the music and thank you for joining us in the ongoing process of finishing Unfinished Business.


McKenzie Warriner, soprano
McKenzie Warriner is a Toronto-based but Saskatchewan-born-and-raised soprano acclaimed for her interpretation of music spanning the baroque to the avant-garde. Winner of the 46th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition in Voice, Warriner has premiered numerous contemporary works across North America and the UK and is quickly establishing herself as a major voice in Canadian contemporary music performance. She holds a firm belief in vocalization as one of the most honest vehicles for communication and enjoys sharing her own small sliver of the human experience with those around her through singing and acting. Recent career highlights have included featuring as a guest soloist with the Saskatoon and Regina Symphony Orchestras, solo and understudy billings with Vancouver Opera as a Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist, and performances at the Aldeburgh Festival as a Britten Pears Young Artist.

Paul Williamson, piano
Paul Williamson has established himself as one of Canada’s most promising young pianists and was included in CBC Music’s 2017 edition of 30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30. He is a prizewinner of several important national competitions including the Bader & Overton Canadian Piano Competition, the Shean Piano Competition, and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations National Piano Competition. A versatile performer with a special enthusiasm for contemporary repertoire, Williamson has had the pleasure of working alongside many living composers. He has participated in the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Orford Academy program, the Scotia Festival of Music, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, Creative Dialogue XIII, and held residency at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute.

Tristan Zaba, composer
Tristan Zaba is a Toronto-based composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and production worker breaking down the barriers between his practices through continuous questing for the most direct methods of communication possible within his work. Considering Zaba’s frequent exploitation of the postmodern toolbox, often leaping from meditative repetition one minute to frenzied textures of layered pop culture quotations the next, this aforementioned clarity throughout his output is notable and highly unique, giving a sense of a sort of minimalist maximalism. He has won honours including a SOCAN Foundation Young Composers Award and numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, held residencies with ensembles including the MacMillan Singers, and seen his music travel across North America and Europe. His work has been described as allowing listeners and players alike to “journey through the depths of the human mind” (Doug Kretchmer, Community News Commons).


Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Matryoshki and a Blue Vase
Tristan Zaba; Paul Williamson
Finishing Songs
Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Swan Dive
Tristan Zaba; Paul Williamson
Études for a Dying Race
Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Tristan Zaba; McKenzie Warriner; Paul Williamson
Tristan Zaba; Tristan Zaba