Tristan Zaba


Mostly Harm. less (for 7.1 surround sound guitars)

I was extremely lucky to see the recent online premiere of my piece Mostly Harm. less for 7.1 surround sound guitars at the 2021 21st Century Guitar Conference! Originally to be premiered April 1, 2020 by the University of Toronto Guitar Ensemble, this piece got shut down by COVID almost exactly a year ago. However, it rose from the ashes and was granted new life in virtual (binaural) surround sound! Grab your headphones (the surround effect doesn’t really work on speakers) and tune in. Many thanks to the conference, players, conductor Andrew Noseworthy, and everyone else involved.

Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre

As of 2021 I am now an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre! It’s an absolute honour to be associated with this organization which has had, and continues to have, such an impact on Canadian classical music. This development of course means a number of fantastic things for my work. However, the main one at the moment is that from here on out they will be publishing many of my scores! Feel free to not only take a look at my profile in the Composer Showcase tab of their website, but also their extensive collection of Canadian concert repertoire. It’s a truly fantastic resource. Also, they did a lovely written interview with me recently for their Earmark series! Link below.

Toronto Amadeus Choir Choral Creation Lab (experimental choral music residency)

An extremely exciting ongoing project I’ve been involved with for the past many months. The inaugural iteration of this fantastic program has seen three composers (including myself) and three poets collaborating on a grant total of 12 new works! It’s been such a privilege being involved, and quite a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration in a no-holds-barred sort of environment. I’ve attached a few fruits of these activities below in the form of virtual (socially distanced) recordings by members of the Amadeus choir. These pieces were created as collaborations between myself and poets Jessica Hiemstra, Matthew Gwathmey, and Genova respectively. The recording of But all that’s left... features singers Jane Fingler, Meredith Wanstall, Alison Roy, and Emily Lynch; Taxidermy 101 Meredith Wanstall, Eric MacKeracher, and Nicholas Wanstall; and Respite Mvt 2 Jane Fingler, Allison Winn, Will Reid, and Kristian Lo. Many many thanks to all these singers and everyone at the Amadeus Choir for bringing these works to life. Another larger piece with Genova is also on the way, so you’ll additionally be hearing more about that soon enough!

"Dream Streams" for virtually interative piano trio

As my first time hearing my music performed since the pandemic began, it was such a pleasure working with the Zyra Trio last year to put together a live online performance of my piece Dream Streams! Link below.

If (opera)

A large scale work-in-progress on standby. The final product will be a full length opera to my own libretto taking place on If Day. If Day was a simulated Nazi invasion of the city of Winnipeg, facilitated by the Canadian military and Greater Winnipeg Victory Loan Organization in 1942 to convince people to buy more war bonds. Largely set in the vein of “bottle” scenarios such as 12 Angry Men, my libretto sees a diverse collection of characters stuck in a downtown Winnipeg boarding house. It is meant to be something of a statement on individuals’ handling of traumatic events as well as the importance of questioning one’s surroundings. I have set and fully orchestrated most of scene one of four, this excerpt being about 15 minutes. The opera as a whole will likely be about an hour and a half, for seven singers and chamber orchestra. If you would like to know more about this project please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

2020 album "Just Songs"

My fourth non-classical album and a COVID project released on July 27th, 2020. A lot of these songs/poems are quite personal and the result of pandemic-related reflections. If this sounds like your cup of tea give it a listen! Even if you don’t feel like buying, you can listen to the whole thing on Bandcamp or any major streaming service.