Diana McIntosh

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469 Kingston Cresent
Winnipeg, MB
R2M 0V1
Tel: 204-233-4163
Fax: 204-237-3773
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Program Notes

Click Listen!in the right column below for a sound byte.

A Mir Prelude and Fugue (6 mins.) for solo piano - Russia’s historic Mir Space Station was launched in 1986 and was in orbit until 2001.  Reference to Mir in my Prelude and Fugue is nebulous and might only be obvious to the exceptionally perceptive!  I thought about the Mir, and imagined a Prelude and Fugue being heard in outer space, instead of in a concert hall.  I think Glenn Gould would have approved!  My title, A Mir Prelude and Fugue, is also a bit of a play on the word “Mir” - M-I-R.  My piece is a mere - or a small - Prelude and Fugue.  I didn’t intend to “describe” the Mir in space.  But the beginning of the prelude suggests lift-off, and, at the end of the 3-part fugue, it seems to go into orbit, and disappear.  The Fugue, in fact, fades out in the higher piano notes, but the pianist keeps moving his fingers over the keys.  So, the audience will “see” the craft disappear into space - or think it’s a remarkably quiet piano!  (The piece was written in a mir 5 weeks - but who cares?)   Commissioned by the CBC in celebration of Glenn Gould's 75th anniversary.

A rose is a rose ... Inspired by the writings of Gertrude Stein, McIntosh has reflected in  her music Stein's love of repetition and playful use of rhythms.  The individual manner in which Stein uses words is as unique to her as is the smell of a rose.

A Different Point of View (7 mins.) ( for tape or CD, with slide projections of various parts of a piano's anatomy.)

Aiby-Aicy-Aidyai (5 mins.) ( for toy piano and extended vocal techniques) has child-like fun with the “rondo” form, often known as the AB  AC  ADA  form.  

All In Good Time (9 mins.) (For piano with tape/CD) is a playful, upbeat piece for piano, electronic tape and mouth percussion.  Jazz-influenced, the piece represents a dialogue between the tape and the pianist, the pianist being the provocateur.  This work is one of three theatrically-oriented music works by McIntosh on a video titled  Serious Fun With McIntosh, shot in ten different locations in Winnipeg, and available from The Winnipeg Film Group. 
All Too Consuming (9 mins.) is a theatrical piece for spoken text, tape and "percussion", in which the diner "plays" the place setting at the table in a fine restaurant.  Using the satiric poem It says I can eat all  I want, by B.C. poet Peter Christensen, the piece exposes the delights of a glorious sensuous meal.
...and 8:30 in Newfoundland (12 mins.) (for spoken voice, small perc. & digital delay) exploits the rhythm and sounds of the words “national broadcast” through extended vocal techniques, percussion and digital delay, and plays on the oddity that in Newfoundland time and radio broadcasts are always a half-hour “out of sync” with the rest of Canada.

Approaching Kilimanjaro (13:30)(for percussion, piano and string quartet) came out of my fascinating adventure of slowly approaching Mount Kilimanjaro in a landrover, during my African concert tour in 2002.  The piece, of two connected movements, expresses the mystery, the exotic animals, the sounds and silence, the awe and excitement of  approaching the mountain.  Clouds covered the upper part, but, as they dissipated,  the magnificent, sparkling white summit was revealed.  Bits of an authentic East African folk tune drift in and out of the music, as if coming from a distance.

Approaching Kilimanjaro also exists in 2 other versions -
        for percussion, piano, flute, violin, viola
and cello; and
        for percussion, piano and string orchestra.
Kilimanjaro is a snow covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and it is said to be the highest mountain in Africa.  Its western summit is called the Masai “Ngàje Ngài”, the House of God.  Close to the western summit there is a dried and frozen carcass of a leopard.  No one has ever explaind what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.    From The Snows of Kilimanjaro  by Ernest Hemingway

Arm of Dionysus, The (18 mins.) (for violin and tape) portrays the magical power of the Greek god Dionysus, during a mysterious and dramatic voyage.  On a ship bound for Naxos, Dionysus discovers he has been kidnapped by pirates.  He invokes his power, and green vines twist up from the sea.  The mast, oars and sails are entwined in ivy, and the ship is immobilized.  The shrill, eerie sounds of a flue are heard.  Finding the evil crew still determined to sell him as a slave, Dionysus covers the deck with wild beasts.  He becomes a lion, and seizes the pirates' leader.  Terrified, the crew throw themselves into the sea and are transformed into dolphins.  The ship begins to move again with Dionysus, the Olympian god of the vine victorious on the deck.
Hear it!
Aunt Kate (17 mins.), for piano and spoken text, with my original music and brief quotes from Bach, Beethoven and Chopin, was written as a result of my musical colleagues encouraging me to create a piece about this colourful character, my aunt, who was such a strong influence on me, though I was unaware of that at the time.  She lived in Banff, Alberta most of her life, where I spent several summers with her in my pre-teens.  For a woman brought up in Ontario in the Victorian period, she was amazingly independent and free-spirited.  I loved her, though of course at the time I didn’t recognize her uniqueness. I dedicate this piece to Kate. 

Beryl Markham - Flying West with the Night: (50 minutes) (for spoken text, piano and tape/CD) is a theatrical musical work using text from the autobiography West with the Night, by Beryl Markham, a pioneer British flier who learned to fly in Kenya and became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from East to West, in 1936.  McIntosh’s original music, for piano and electronic tape, is based on an authentic East African folk song and African drumming rhythms.  She assumes the character of Markham, and the piano becomes a metaphor both as an object and as a sound source for the emotional inner journey of the protagonist.

For me, Blow Them Away has two levels of meaning.  In the vernacular, the obvious idea of building to a climax and “blowing away” the audience; and also, on a deeper level, I wanted to communicate the idea of a gradual “transformation” of one’s spirit - a lifting up of mood from melancholy to a sense of exuberance and freedom- and “blow away” the blues.  The piece evolves from two main motifs which gradually change their identity. I dedicate this piece to flutist Monica Bailey, who expresses a wonderful love of life.  Commissioned by The Sweet Silver Flute Choir through a grant from the Brannen-Cooper Fund
Braille for the Wind's Hand (15 mins.) (for soprano, mezzo, baritone and tape/CD)  was written to a poem by the New Brunswick writer Liliane Welch.  In the poem, a woman is gazing at a photograph of Manstorna Peak, in the Italian Dolomites and remembering a perilous and exhilarating climb.  In the music, the soprano and the baritone are the climbers and the mezzo-soprano is the soprano's inner voice.

Climb to Camp One (8 mins.) (for the interior of the piano) describes a perilous mountain climb, from the composer’s personal experience.
Courting the Muse (20 mins.) (for 2 pianos with text spoken by pianists) a theatrical work using text of the New York writer Diane Ackerman about writers' finding their muse.

Dance for Daedalus (14 mins.) (for alto saxophone and piano) portrays the Greek myth about Daedalus and his son Icarus, who had feathers waxed to their arms and flew towards the sun. The music reflects one’s aspiration to soar high above the earth.  Icarus flies too close to the sun, singes his wings, melting the wax, and plunges into the sea.  As well as some unusual pedal effects on the piano, the music calls for some interesting sounds on the sax - blowing through the mouthpiece “into” the piano, playing multiphonics, flutter tonguing and intoning a pitch with the voice while playing, etc.  The music slowly builds up in intensity and excitement, after which, it fades evocatively into the distance.

Doubletalk (6.5 mins.) (extended vocal techniques and tape/CD) is a playful exchange between the performer and two loudspeakers. Gradually enticing the “beings” in the loudspeakers through a made-up language, builds in to an exuberant dialogue. The piece gives new meaning to the word “communication”.  All the sounds on tape were made by McIntosh and recorded separately on thechannels of a 4-track tape recorder.

Dream Rite (15 mins.) (for tape, created for a dance)  Commissioned by the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers.

Dual Control (5:19) (for 4 hands, one piano) is a playful romp - like two friends running together.  In the middle interlude they stop, have a quiet philosophical conversation, then resume their joyous run.

Elephant Walk (10 mins.)  In Africa, poems and music are a form of story-telling.  McIntosh discovered some traditional African poetry about animals and has created Elephant Walk to communicate in her own way, the sound and rhythm of the poems.

Eliptosonics (13 mins.) (spoken voice, piano, tape/CD and slides) is a send-up on “avant-garde” program notes about an incredibly complex piano piece. This version includes the projection of humourous slides of Vivian Sturdee.

Eliptosonics (8 mins.) (spoken voice, piano, tape/CD) as above, but without slide projections.

Extensions (15 mins.) (for piano and tape/CD) consists of 3 sections or musical gestures, in which sounds produced by the keyboard are "extended" to related sounds inside the piano, which are in turn "extended" to tape recorded sounds.  The tape sounds consist only of sounds produced on the piano strings and sound board and treated in various ways on one tape recorder.

Four or Five for Four or Five (12 mins.) (for recorder, oboe, bassoon,harpsichord, percussion)  isa group of five pieces all based on the same theme, and each movement reflecting a different style of 20th century writing - neo-baroque, neo-impressionistic, a-tonal, minimalist and aleatoric.

From A Dark Journey (13 mins.) is a piece for solo piano (keyboard and interior), that develops two contrasting elements, or characters, as they move through a shadowed journey.  Facing ominous and frightening “walls” they emerge, through faith and tenacity, into freedom and peace. The moods in this work change from the opening carefree atmosphere to anguish, dread and horror.  While not meant to be specifically programmatic, the piece reflects the 23-year ordeal experienced by my personal friends who fought the wrongful conviction and imprisonment, of an innocent boy, for murder.  The piece ends with a sense of bitter-sweet triumph.

From Wapta Ice (6 ½  mins.), which combines music for piano and electronic sound with spoken text of a poem, "The Source" by Banff poet Monica Meneghetti, describes her snowshoe trek up to the source of the Bow River in the Canadian Rockies.  It begins at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge at Bow Lake, and leads up to the immense Wapta Icefield, to which McIntosh herself has climbed several times.

Four On The Floor (20 mins.) featuring the unusual combination of 4 pianos, with trumpet, french horn, trombone and 2 percussionists, is based on the composer’s take on the unique personalities of colours.  The three primary colours - red, blue and yellow - are stated thematically by pairs of piano and brass.  The main body of the work involves the mixing of these into secondary colour themes, and their re-mixing in various combinations.  The visual aspect is enhanced by the composer’s integral, but optional, lighting design. (Commissioned by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra)
Glorified Chicken Mousse (5 mins.) ( for piano, spoken text and tape/CD)  Maude Pilly, Diana’s alter ego and Manitoba’s answer to Sarah Binks, cooks up a recipe from The Joy of Cooking at the piano in her farm kitchen in Dandelion, Manitoba.

Go Between (14 mins.) (for 3 pianists and tape/CD) (the electronic sound being panned around like a “go-between")  This evocative and provocative piece reflects the haunting atmosphere of L. P. Hartley’s novel The Go Between - the story of an illicit and tragic love affair in Victorian England, in which an innocent young boy becomes the go-between, delivering messages between the lovers.  The piece can be performed by 3 pianists with tape/CD, or by one pianist with a tape/CD - that includes the other 2 parts mixed with the electronic sound.
Gradatim Ad Summum (10 mins.) (duo piano) The idea for Gradatim Ad Summum (summit by steps) was inspired by the composer's love of climbing in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Four main sections, each one culminating in a "plateau", comprise the structure of the piano duo.  As in the ascent of a mountain, when each new view is added to the lower one, so in the music the theme of the first section is combined with the new theme of the second, the theme of the third with the first two themes, and so on - the "views" broadening into one view for the final climb to the "summit".

Gulliver (15 mins.) (for  recorder and piano)  is a descriptive work inspired by Gulliver's Travels, and based on a theme which is used to express Gulliver as a tiny person, and Gulliver as a huge person.

Imprints (12 mins.) (for mezzo-soprano, oboe and piano)  is an evocative work inspired by a poem, The Other's Drumming, by New Brunswick writer Liliane Welch, about a mountain climb in the Italian Dolomites.

In A Sense (20 mins.) (for thumb piano, small perc. and spoken text) (one performer) (text from A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman)  explores the sounds and sensuality of language to evoke the mysterious, sense-luscious world around us.

In the beginning, mountains expresses the depth of feelings the mountains evoke in me, and the inspiration I derive from them.  I also wanted to express the innate longing we have to reach a higher sense of freedom and life, as suggested in Jon Whyte’s poetry.  As a mountain hiker and climber myself, born in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the writings of that Banff, Alberta poet always resonate in me.  In the flat prairie farming province of Manitoba, where I now live, I feel a constant pull back to those majestic and mysterious mountains. Jon Whyte, also a hiker/climber,  had a similar passion for them, but he also had a vast historical knowledge of the Rockies, and a fascination with their ancient origins.  Commissioned by the University of North Dakota Choir.

Just Add Water  (12 1/2 mins) (for solo percussion)  As an avid mountain hiker, and sometimes a climber, I’ve often found my muse in the remote, high areas of the Canadian Rockies.  And I’ve noticed how water - a waterfall, a rushing stream, a small trickle - can enhance the whole scene.  Especially when I’m alone, it’s sound and luminosity transports me into the magic world of the “mountain spirits”.  As with much of my music, Just Add Water was inspired by my love of being in these awesome mountains.  The piece, for solo percussion, expresses the idea of walking along a dry stream bed (represented by mostly earthy, non-pitch percussion), when a little trickle of water appears almost imperceptibly (represented by the ‘liquid’ melodic quality of the vibraphone).  The trickle becomes a stream, a quiet pool, turbulent white water, finally disappearing into the forest, as my trail veers away.  Commissioned by Ben Reimer through the Manitoba Arts Council.

Kiviuq - An Inuit Legend (20 mins.) (for 11 instruments and Narrator) tells the authentic Inuit legend of a young hero who falls in love with a goose.  When the cold Arctic winter descends, his goose-wife and 2 goslings leave him and fly south.  Kiviuq encounters many strange adventures in his long search for them.  (Commissioned by The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Les Souliers de Montmartre (7 3/4 mins) for piano, percussion, tape and video projection began to take shape in my mind while sitting outside a café in Montmartre.  I was fascinated by the colourful variety of shoes that "walked" past us - from classy stiletto heals to floppy sandals.  I noticed that my husband was taking a lot of photos, and when I asked what he was snapping, he said, "The shoes of Montmartre".  "What a terrific title for a piece of music!", I said, and immediately began formulating it in my mind, and Les Souliers de Montmartre resulted.  The music and the video are not intended to be synchronized in any way.  They each reflect independent, shifting rhythms.  In Montmartre I found two music boxes that play, "I Love Paris" and "Can Can", when the little cranks are turned.  The metallic sounds of these tunes drift in and out of the piece, as if coming from a distance.

Luminaries (15 mins.) (for piano and flute)  The aurora borealis, which is highly visible in Canada in winter, prompted Mcintosh to write this piece inspired by 3 diferent manifestations of light.  The 3 movements are called "Dawn", "Corona" and "Northern Lights".  It is a lyrical, evocative piece.  (Commissioned by Patricia Spencer)

Made to Scale (5 mins.) (for spoken text and percussion)  As a mountain climber and a musician, McIntosh delivers some edifying advice, as she mixes up climbing and music terminology in this rap-like theatre piece.

Margins of Reality (12 mins.) (for string orchestra) reflects the changing elements of the unconscious, or the dream world.  The moods, as in dreams, fluctuate frequently and there is an over-all surreal quality.

McIntosh The Stein Way (55 minutes) (for spoken text, extended vocal techniques, piano, digital delay, tape/CD, hand percussion and movement) A glimpse into the mind and writings of Gertrude Stein as seen, felt and enjoyed by composer/performance artist Diana McIntosh, in her witty, colourful one-woman music theatre work.  This is a highly original  theatrical musical work using texts drawn exclusively from Stein’s writings, exploring some of the diverse themes from her writings. The music reflects the rhythmic contours and patterns of Stein’s words and phrases. 

Moments  Ago (20 mins.) (for violin and piano)  was initially inspired by the poem, “Nuclear Winter”, by American writer Diane Ackerman.  While the music is not intended to be a musical representation of the poem, it is intended to express, as the poem does, the horror of the destruction, and the futility of war.  The speed at which our world changes is reflected in the words “moments ago” in Ackerman’s poem,.  The music represents a quest for peace.  Because baroque music, particularly that of J. S. Bach, has always represented for the composer a strong spiritual element of order, beauty and peace, she quotes some sections from Bach’s Siciliano (Sonata #4) for violin and harpsichord.  At first the theme appears in aggressive, agitated fragments, with altered melody and rhythmic structure.  These brief quotes become more and more lyrical and serene, and thus  more recognizable.

Mountain Gods, The  (15 mins.) (piano, tape/CD, spoken text and extended vocal techniques,) (a poem by Canadian Liliane Welch), is about the mystery, trepidation and awe of  bivouacking on a mountain ledge.  Musing on Welch’s poem "The Mountain Gods",  McIntosh - herself a mountain climber - evokes  the mystery of a night on a mountain enroute to the  summit, awaiting the mountain gods' whims.

Murkings (25 mins.) (for piano, percussion, voice, digital processing, tape/CD) (one performer) is an evocative music theatre piece about "every person's" relationship with our environment.  McIntosh created the piece using the text of The Eighth Sea, by Toronto author/sound poet Paul Dutton.  It deals with the incredibly  short time in which the Great lakes have been polluted - and the horror that it is continuing today.  Manufacturers pumped more than 309 million kilograms of toxic chemicals into the Great Lakes in 1990.

Music for Wire and Wood (8 mins.) is a playful and rhythmic exchange between widely contrasted sounds from the strings and wood of the piano, temple blocks, and a bamboo wind chime.  Use of a variety of beaters alters the wood sounds.

Nanuk (13 mins.) ( for piano and viola) expresses the vast, lonely Arctic region of snow and ice.  The music could be heard as a day in the life of a polar bear.  It begins in eerie silence that suggests soundless footprints in the snow

9 Foot Clearance (17 mins.) (for piano and full orchestra)  The title, 9 Foot Clearance,  alludes to the 9-foot concert grand piano, to indicators on highway under-passes and to the nine connected sections of the piece.  The work explores nine distinct characteristics that I feel epitomize what a piano can do especially well, and nine contrasting human emotions.  The work may be performed in 2 versions - theatrical and non-theatrical, and the options are indicated in the score.
(The workwas commissioned by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for its New Music Festival in January, 1996, and McIntosh was the guest piano soloist for the premiere)

Opening Windows (9 mins) (for spoken text, extended vocal techniques, piano and small percussion) is a "mood" piece based on a brief non-sensical excerpt from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. I played with the idea of looking at the text through different interpretations, or “windows”, and ended up with twelve.  Stein often used repetitive words and phrases for their sound and rhythm only,  and this is reflected in my piece.

Patterns and Digressions (12 mins.) (for flute, clarinet, oboe, fr. horn, bassoon) is written in the minimalist style where a musical phrase is repeated many times.  The piece reflects the idea of  a journey that five people are taking and periodically one or two of the individuals go off  in their own conversation, and then come back and join the group.

Playback (17 mins.) (for piano, violin and cello) evolved from working with the various functions of a tape recorder.  McIntosh played with the idea of translating these functions to acoustic instruments.  Four connected sections comprise the work: "Play" states the material in a rhythmic exchange between the instruments; "Rewind" repeats the same material backwards but at a faster speed, different meters and higher pitch; "Manipulation and Processing" includes panning, speed change, reverb, cutting and splicing, and loops; and the final section, "Fast Forward" accelerates material from "Play".

Points of View (5 mins.) (for solo piano) represents a climb up a mysterious mountain on a misty day.

"Porini, Porini, Porini!" is one of the pieces to come out of my African concert tour and adventure in 2002.  While I was in southern Kenya, on a safari near the Amboseli National Park, I was fascinated by the rhythmic way in which our guide frequently called to Porini Camp on his radio-phone, from our Landrover.  I used the rhythm and contours of his words as the main theme of my bassoon piece.

Process Piece (7 mins.) (for spoken voice, tape/CD and food processor) McIntosh takes a look at the process by putting the process through the process and in the process she puts the process on the line.

Processions (6 mins.) (for piano and 2 digital processors) (one performer) is about the continuing horrific pollution of the Great Lakes, taken from the composer’s larger work “Murkings”, which is concerned with the continuing pollution of the Great lakes, and their inevitable destruction if it is not stopped.

Psalm 46 (4 mins.) (for choir and organ - SATB) (or choir and piano - SATB)  This anthem, commissioned by The Royal Canadian College of Organists for their festival in Winnipeg in July, 2004, uses the King James version of  Psalm 46.  When they commissioned me to write an anthem on a Psalm, the first challenge was to decide which Psalm to use.  I read all 150 of them with an ear to their musicality as well as their inspiration, and made a short list of 7.  I then wrote a few bars of music that I could “hear” in each of them.  From these I chose the one that I thought offered me the best opportunity to develop, in an expressive contemporary musical idiom, the ageless, uplifting message of the Psalmist.

Rôles Renversés (6 mins.) (for piano and soprano) (text by composer) is a theatre piece where the roles of the prima donna soloist and the piano accompanist are reversed.

Sampling the Communication Parameters in the Ambience of  Structural Phrasing and Dynamics in Contemporary Music (13 mins.) (for piano and spoken text) (text by composer) is a tongue-in-cheek highly original theatrical piece.  It is a mini-“academic” lecture on the importance of communication in music, spoken entirely in gibberish with musical and non-musical examples, revealing that the language of gesture is more universal than the language of pitch.

Shadowed Voices (12 mins.) (for piano, spoken text, percussion and digital processor) (text by composer) is an evocative piece that looks back to simple, primitive communication and juxtaposes it with the "jargon' in our technologically exploding age.

She Had Some Horses (12 mins.) (for spoken text, cello and percussion and tape) was written in response to the Native American writer Joy Harjo’s metaphoric poetry from her book of the same title.  The poems in this collection chart a path of healing, woman healing, woman unafraid to stand before all the ills about us in this world and see them, learn their ways, illuminate them so they might lose their hold over us and be cast off.  Harjo’s poems represent a personal journey, an awakening into light, a confrontation with fear.  The meaning of horses in her poems shifts continuously.  They identify all aspects of herself and the people in her life.  She claims them and accepts them as living parts of herself - horses of love, of hate, those we escape on, those that race through your head, your heart, those you own, those who own you.

Slipping the Bonds - From Birds to Bondar (55 mins.) (for spoken text, piano, small percussion and tape/CD) (one performer) this theatrical work is a voyage of discovery through the fascinating history of flight to Roberta Bondar’s historic orbiting of Earth.  Breaking free of the boundaries of earth has been man’s dream for centuries. The text includes Bondar’s recorded voice from a conversation with McIntosh about her 8-day orbital flight aboard Discovery, in 1992.  She describes what it felt like blasting into orbit and being weightless, what the earth looked like from orbit, and how this changed her. McIntosh conjures up  the first bizarre attempts at flight: monks jumping off abbey walls; men with man-made feathered wings flapping off cliffs; dare-devils floating in balloons; the first erratic flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, N.C.; daring bush pilots; and into awesome space flight.

Solitary Climb (50 mins.) (one performer) Combining spoken text, piano, tape/CD, video-projected visuals (optional), and wearing full mountain climbing gear, the drama, fear, and fun of climbing a mountain is evoked in this autobiographical work that relates technical mountain climbing to writing and performing new music - all of which McIntosh does - paralleling the risks, challenges, dangers and exhilaration.  McIntosh says, “I climb mountains in real life (roped with a guide), and I also write and perform contemporary music (un-roped, no guide.) Works included are From Wapta Ice, Using the Equipment, Climb to Camp One, and Summit Ridge.

Sonograph (13 mins.) (for recorder, oboe and bassoon) was sparked by a black and white graphic design by Toronto composer Ann Southam.  McIntosh wrote the piece with the contrasting personalities of the 3 musicians in mind.  The "serious" oboe and bassoon are prodded, at first unsuccessfully, by the enthusiastic recorder.  Led on and on they become completely abandoned, the recorder becoming almost incoherent with delight.

Sound Assemblings (14 mins.) (for piano and tape/CD) was written as a response to Sounds Assembling, a large abstract painting of circular shapes and slashing lines, by Canadian artist Bertram Brooker.

Summit Ridge (13 mins) (piano and tape) is a colourful, exciting piece that expresses the intensity, persistence and thrill of climbing to a mountain summit, with the constantly changing terrain and moods encountered.
Temperaments (13 mins.) (for flute, clarinet, percussion and piano) is a work of  6 connected sections about "moods"   Based on a short thematic motif and a series of chords, the moods range from dark and mysterious to joyous and exuberant.  The clarinet writing includes sections for bass clarinet and the flute part for alto flute and piccolo

Through Ancient Caverns (7 mins.) (for piano duo) reflects that state of thought which moves freely through half-remembered images in memory.  Both the keyboard and the interior of the piano are utilized to create the contrasting recollections.

That Damned Elusive Muse of Mine (14 mins.) This theatrical work, for percussion, piano, electronic sound and spoken text, was inspired by witty prose taken from the writings of New York writer Diane Ackerman.  Provocative text reveals the bizarre ways in which some writers find their muses.  Based on brief motifs, the music is basically improvised.

The Rehearsal’s the Thing (55 mins) is a chamber opera for 4 speaking/playing musicians rehearsing a new quartet for performance.  Four very :human” players reveal their personal hang-ups and their need to find their real personas through their alter-egos, their muses - contemporary, playful iconoclastic muses.  Will they free the musicians?

Through the Valley: Milgaard (25 mins.) (for full orchestra with pianist/narrator, and also for reduced orchestra with pianist/narrator) is dedicated to Joyce Milgaard and family, who suffered untold misery and horror during the twenty-three years that her son, David, was wrongly imprisoned in Canada.   It was premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra with McIntosh as guest pianist/narrator, in its New Music Festival in January, 2001.  McIntosh structured the text for her work from talks she had with Joyce, and from Joyce’s book, A Mother’s Story. (Commissioned by the WSO)

This work also exists in a solo version, (for piano, tape/CD and narrator)  The orchestra score is heard in a synthesized version on the tape/CD.
Time And Again (20 mins.) (for piano, flute and clarinet) is a theatrical piece in which the 3 musicians discuss the work as if they were in rehearsal.  There is also a non-theatrical version (14 mins.)  Of the theatrical version McIntosh says, “All musicians rehearse differently, but I’ve noticed that often musicians in big cities who’ve been playing together for a long time, and know each other well, can become very impatient and caustic with each other.  It doesn’t seem to be taken too personally, and it’s a temporary thing.  But, this phenomenon has fascinated me on several occasions.  So I decided to carry this idea a step further in writing Time and Again.  The music is really an animated dialogue between three instruments.  It is written in 6 connected sections, each one representing a different mood.  The work is based on a thematic and rhythmic motif, which keeps reappearing in different forms.” (Commissioned by the New York New Music Ensemble)   There is also a non-theatrical version (14 mins.)

To A New Year (16 mins.) (for extended vocal techniques, small percussion., digital delay & tape) was commisioned by the Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers.

Tongues of Angels (14 mins.) (for piano, soprano and small percussion,has the singer and pianist sharing the percussion work.)  The text is from I Corinthians, Chapter 13, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal ...

Two New Minutes (5 mins.) (for piano) combines sounds heard on the farm with sounds heard on CBC's national avant-garde music program Two New Hours.

Uhuru Kamili (14 mins.) ( for piano and percussion) means “complete freedom”, in Swahili.  The piece was inspired by a balloon safari McIntosh took over the Masai Mara, in Kenya, in October, 2002.  The balloon was called “Uhuru” (freedom), and the basket below it held 12 passengers and the pilot.  Diana says of the flight, “The vast number and variety of the birds and animals we looked down on, their beauty and freedom, as we silently floated over the plain, was awesome.  The only sounds were the loud hiss of the flame that was turned on sporadically to keep the balloon aloft, and the excitement of the passengers.”  The music is partly based on an East African folk tune. (2 performers)  
User Friendly (5 mins.) ( for soprano-recorder and double base ) is a light-hearted conversation between  the two instruments.

Wenkchemna (25 mins.) (for flute, english horn, violin, cello and 2 narrators) uses poetry of Canadian poet Jon Whyte, of Banff.  The poetry describes scrambling and climbing in the Wenkchemna Pass in Canada’s Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rockies.  McIntosh has traversed this rugged alpine route from Moraine Lake to Opabin glacier in Yoho National Park.  In the Stoney Indian language, Wenkchemna means "10" -  the last mountain in the pass.  Whyte frequently has his text placed on the page in unusual configurations, often with two different texts side by side. McIntosh reflects this in her piece by sometimes having the narrators overlap their texts.  She uses the sound and rhythm of the words and phrases as integral parts of the whole sound texture.(Commissioned by The Banff Centre)

Worlds Apart (10 mins.) (for solo piano) is a journey in time and space through contrasting worlds of serenity and turbulance.