Inspired by the practice, music and prose of Pauline Oliveros and other awareness practices, SOUND MIND workshops approach themes of deep listening, philosophy of sound/silence and the body as an instrument. During the workshops, participants experience Oliveros-inspired improvisation exercises, soundwalks and sound meditations facilitated by guest artists. Our first two workshops took place on the last two Saturdays in March and April and were facilitated by guest artists Viviane Houle and DB Boyko (learn more about the artists below). The whole-hearted participation and feedback we received were wonderful indications that we need to provide more in the future. Stay tuned for more workshops in the early Fall 2019 and early Spring 2020!
About the Artists
One of Canada’s most adventuresome vocalists and a champion of experimental music from noise to improvised jazz to multi-disciplinary collaborations. Dedicated to choral improvisation, since 2010 she established the Express Your Voice and VOICEOVER mind Choirs and has performed with a cast of Canadian and international artists and musicians. With Christine Duncan and Andreas Kahre, she recently conceived, Hubbub, a futuristic foray into her favorite things (voice, Theremin, glass harmonica and electric cello). Boyko has directed Western Front’s New Music for 24 years; curating concerts, residencies, and community programs and is currently an Arts Programmer at the Roundhouse Community Centre for Arts and Recreation.
Possessing a rare combination of skill and artistry, singer, improvisor and composer Viviane Houle is one of Canada's most gifted and respected vocalists and improvisers. She is widely recognized for her beautifully fluid and dynamic voice, a remarkable palette of extended vocal techniques, a sensitive lyricism and a fearless spirit. Houle has been a featured performer in internationally celebrated festivals such as FIMAV, San Francisco's Soundwave Festival and The Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and has performed with Vancouver Opera and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Houle has performed and collaborated with many of the brightest figures in contemporary and improvised music, including Anthony Braxton (USA), Louis Andriessen (NL), Didier Petit and Sylvain Kassan (ER), Sissel Vera Petersen (DK), Paul Plimley, Peggy Lee and Torsten Muller. Houle has taught voice and led her SoundOut vocal improvisation ensemble for 15 years. Her teaching is influenced by her work with mentors Pauline Oliveros, Phil Minton and Richard Armstrong.
A big part of activating a community space is activating the instruments within. In a city where space is a contentious issue, many musicians - even pianists - don't have access to pianos. Aberthau houses three beautiful pianos that are used by community members, musicians and dance companies on the regular. Project Connect seeks to connect people to pianos while connecting the community to music. With this project, we invite the public to witness an open rehearsal style performance, a unique behind-the-scenes look at how pianists build their repertoire!
February 18, 10:30am-12pm | Hank Bull
Blues, Jazz Standards & Free Improvisation
March 13, 10:30am-11:30am | Emily Best
Original Songs, Classic Rock & Pop
April 9, 12:30-1:30pm | Nancy Leticia
Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Debussy & Scriabin
May 8, 11am-12pm | Róisín Adams
Monk, Ellington, Debussy, Brubeck & more
Hank Bull was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1949 and now lives in Vancouver. A multimedia artist as well as an arts administrator he has been an important member of the legendary Western Front Society since 1973. He is also the founder and executive director of Centre A (Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art) since 1999. He became invovled in radio and television in 1975 and, in collaboration with Patrick Ready, produced a weekly show of original radio art which ran for eight years. He has been an active organizer of international artista projects using electronic networks and continues various pursuits as a 'TOTALmedia' artist. His works have been collected by National Gallery of Canada, Netherlands Media Art Institude and many private collectors.
Emily Best - As a songwriter and professional pianist/vocalist, she is drawn to percussive, orchestral New Orleans-style piano, the intricate rhythmic stylings of contemporary-folk harpist Joanna Newsom, and the rich orchestration of contemporary Montréal-based songwriter Patrick Watson. Her music incorporates complex harmonic movement alongside lilting melodies reminiscent of old folk/country, sojourning into heavier elements of rock and jazz. Her compositions span a broad range of genres that blend indie-pop, soul, traditional folk, some elements of jazz and progressive rock while exploring the human condition. In recent years, she has been experimenting with found-sounds and extended technique in her composing.
Nancy Leticia - At the age of 11, very much by accident, Nancy discovered the piano. Taken by it, she spent weeks begging her mom for lessons. She's been passionate about it ever since. Her love and interest for it continues to grow and currently she is fascinated by the juxtaposition of raw, in the moment vulnerable expression, paralleled with the unchanging, "written in stone" nature of classical art music. Nancy will be playing music by Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Brahms and Debussy to name a few.
Róisín Adams is a composer, pianist and educator based in Vancouver, Canada, whose work has been praised for its evocative, entrancing and ethereal qualities. She founded the improvisatory instrumental jazz quartet Hildegard’s Ghost in 2013, and performs with contemporary acoustic trio Adams/Hopkins/Romain, and drummer Kevin Romain’s project Enemy Pigeon. As a solo pianist, she likes to explore many worlds of composers like Debussy, Beethoven, Bach, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, and Oscar Peterson as well as through pure improvisation.
Music off the Page is comprised of sound artists and educators Róisín Adams and Emily Best. As professional musicians and instructors in the community, their goal is to inspire collaborations between musicians (from beginner to professional), engage with the community through music and discourse, as well as offer accessible music programming that explores sound and music for participants of all ages. Thematic areas of interest are: philosophy of sound, improvisation, composition, music education, breaking down barriers to musical development, debunking piano pedagogy and extreme musical self-expression. Their work in the Fieldhouse studio project aims to further develop their artistic and educational practices, cultivate music appreciation and inspire musical collaborations within the community, in hopes of promoting accessibility and interest in music and connecting Vancouver’s vibrant musical community to the community at large.
Music off the Page started a multi-year residency at Aberthau House in West Point Grey Community Centre in 2019. Located at 4937 West 2nd, Aberthau is a site for multi-disciplinary creative engagements with the community.