musica intima was founded in 1992, by a group of friends who wanted to sing together. Gathering together to make music, drink wine, and share artistic values lead to the development of an organisation which has now performed around the country and around the world.
Says founder, Michael Murray, "I wanted to start a new choir in Vancouver. This was in 1992. I thought the chamber version/vocal ensemble model would be the way to go. Easier to get a smaller group of people out to the same rehearsal. I was hoping I could get 7 other singer friends to join me in a little ensemble. I used to provide two large litre bottles of Spanish wine during rehearsals. We would sit around the dining table, two people to each side. We would sing a bunch of repertoire and refresh ourselves with the wine between pieces (or during rests in the music!). It was great fun, everyone in the choral community was a little envious; we had such a great sound. Our first public performance was an Evensong service at Christ Church Cathedral. If I remember correctly we sang Thomas Tomkins."
Michael's new group took off, soon expanding to twelve singers, each of whom had a personal investment in the music, and their own ideas about how to make it. This personal investment was nurtured, and soon the vocal ensemble had grown into Canada's first professional collaborative group!
Over the past twenty seven years, more than sixty singers (nineteen sopranos but only thirteen basses!) have sung in the ensemble; and we've travelled all across Canada - as far north as Dawson City, and as far south as Ottawa! We've journeyed abroad to the United States, Denmark, Ireland, France, and Korea, and along the way, we've stopped in dozens of communities in BC alone. We've released ten studio albums (several on the ATMA label), and been featured on CDs by local composers as well. We've commissioned sixteen pieces - every one from a Canadian composer.
Founded as an eight member ensemble, we went back to our roots in 2012 - if you see us on the road you'll likely see eight people on stage! If you see us at home, you may see eight or twelve people - or anything in between - we've performed as nine, ten, and eleven as well! This flexibility allows us to have the perfect number for any given musical situation, and the variety keeps the ensemble fresh!