john gzowski music and sound
  • © 2021 John Gzowski Contact Me 0

john gzowski



I created music for Laurence Lemieux's beautiful piece on Vimy Ridge, JUSQU’À VIMY.
It was a great process that included a trip to Vimy for the 100th anniversary, staying in town with grateful locals and many trips to memorials and cemeteries.

As NOW Magazine said:
Among the work’s masterful elements are Jeremy Mimnagh’s poetic wall projections and John Gzowski’s layered score, in which found sound is balanced against delicate singing and explosive orchestrations, adding weight to this elegant, unarguably heartfelt, dance."

In Time

Set music to a lovely solo piece by Hanna Kiel, on the excellent Anisa Tejpar. Jacob Niedzwiecki added some cool video.

Meter - Autorickshaw

A piece I wrote for Autorickshaw is now available on their new cd. They are a great band, check it out.
Horn Ok Please


If one word summed up the Dracula experience it would be 'epic'. Had a great time working on a wordy and thoughtful script by Liz Lochead, based on the book. Director Eda Holmes did a beautiful job and kept me busy. Wrote a song, some 'Bulgarianish' vocal music, lots and lots of music and the book for wireless mics for the run. I spent quite a bit of time in rehearsal with an electric guitar, making up music as the show was blocked, then took that home and orchestrated it for a low string quartet as well. Ended up recording 40 cues in one session with the string quartet, with a stack of charts about an inch thick.
Here's the big song, Tom O'Bedlam from the show, with me singing.

and another bit from the show here with
Brenna MacCrimmon on vox, Anna Redekop on viola, Sarah Fraser Raff on violin, Amber Ghent on cello, Fil Stasiak on bass and me on guitar.

Wilde Tales

Kate Hennig's great adaptation of Oscar Wilde's children tales was a fun lunchtime show for the Shaw Festival. With director Christine Brubaker we put together a 55 minute show with a couple of hundred cues, a few songs and room for interaction with a group of kid audience members who went through a pre show workshop. We kept the music light and bubbly sounding, though the individual stories all were quite dark for a kids show, though it really was for adults just as much as kids. Here's the Nightingale song, as sung by the lovely actor Emily Lukasik.

Dancing at Lughnasa

The Shaw Festival production was a lovely piece and let me dig into some Celtic music. Finding a subtle way to help tell the story through the use of the malfunctioning prop radio on stage was quite fun. Director Krista Jackson did a lovely job on this one.

The Orange Dot

Sean Dixon's new work was a total pleasure to work on, a mysterious two hander directed by Vikki Anderson for DVxT Theatre. Spent time in rehearsal building the sound and music with the actors as we went through the play.

Vimy Ridge

The first phase of a new piece for Laurence Lemieux on Vimy Ridge involved writing a 10 minute piece that was to be performed on Vimy Ridge for the 100th anniversary and the opening of a new trench museum on the ridge. Originally we had hoped to get a Canadian Cadet band to play the music live, but scheduling made it impossible. But the first phase was created and written for military brass band.
The second phase is a full length version that will open in November 2017.
The trip to Vimy, where we were billeted with a farmer in Givenchy, was a beautiful event, marked by friendly people, many trips to cemeteries and monuments and a chance to watch the 100th celebration.

A Cure for Death by Lightning

Darryl Cloran's adaptation of the novel of the same name is a lovely piece. Working out in Kamloops it was lovely to spend the days in rehearsal building and writing the sound and music for the show as it was created. I got a chance to use my new Artiphon Instrument 1 to create the 'sound' of the coyote spirit that is featured in the book. Using its fretless and aftertouch abilities let me create a sound that could be played in rehearsal to follow the actors. The music was based around archtop guitar and violin, to be period but not to sound like its an old story.

Peace River Country

A new play at the Tarragon Theatre, another chance to help develop and support an interesting new work, this one based loosely on the story of Rev Weibo Ludwig. I love working in the extra space at the Tarragon, its a good sounding small room where you can use surround sound effectively, as every seat can hear every speaker in the room. This show of course looked at the bombings Ludwig was accused of, which gave me the chance to put bass sound exciters under the risers. Every explosion you could feel in the seats, which was very fun.