“Timothy Corlis’s Raven and the First Men, written last year, was a clarinet quintet, with which the New Zealand String Quartet joined. His piece takes its name from a sculpture in the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology, echoing a legend that describes how a raven opened a clam shell to find little men hiding inside – the first human beings. There was no need to seek detailed connections between music and legend for the music stood on its own firm and adroit feet, employing the clarinet against pizzicato strings with great rhythmic interest, later an agitated section with tremolo strings; sun-lit, lyrical, human; and then an engaging accumulation of sounds over in John Adams-like ostinati. I thought it was surprisng music from a country with much more severe weather than New Zealand experiences.” (Lyndis Taylor, Middle C Classical Music Reviews, Wellington, New Zealand Feb. 2011)

“Timothy Corlis’ Raven and the First Men honours Bill Reid’s sculpture of the same title (which appears on the back of the Canadian 20 dollar bill). This five-part composition is very fine work – warm and accessible, variously textured in keening, quivering, squalling, droney sonics puncutated by pizzicatos and wonderful glissandos that surge in wave after wave of music to an exciting climax. Standing ovation for this work commissioned by the WMCT. The music is beautifully synched to a film in which the camera pans slowly over the golden-toned textures and furrows carved into the wood of Bill Reid’s sculpture.” (Showtime Magazine, Toronto, Nov. 26, 2010)