At Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, I co-produce video content with my colleague Dylan Toombs. We create pieces about artistic practice across disciplines including visual art, music, theatre, opera and literary arts. Below are a few examples from each of the series we developed.
Banff Centre Presents
Showcasing performances, commissions and works developed and presented at Banff Centre
Thea Rossen is a percussionist and composer from Australia. She was at Banff Centre in 2017 for the Concert in the 21st Century residency, which explores new ways to present live music. While here, she workshopped the performance, "Music for our Changing Climate." One portion of the hour-long performance is called Sounds of the Reef, which sonifies data about the rising ocean temperatures surrounding the Great Barrier Reef, and the resultant damage done. Rossen and Yapp use unusual materials such as dripping ice cores, and bleached coral to create sounds authentic to the project's theme. Rossen hopes to start a conversation about science using music and art.
Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry was at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as faculty for the thematic residency, The Art of Stillness in 2016. While here, he workshopped pieces from his project Music for Heart and Breath, where musicians wear stethoscopes and play to the rhythm of their own heartbeats. We spoke with him about the process of creating the fragile, intimate music, and what it means to relinquish control as a musician.
Niall McNeil is an actor and writer whose life includes Down Syndrome. Along with Neworld Theatre and its Artistic Director, Marcus Youssef, Niall wrote King Arthur's Night, a take on the Camelot epic. The play includes a cast of both professional actors and three community actors whose lives also include Down Syndrome. It's a theatrical work that celebrates diversity, explores creativity, and represents the face of Canada as it is today.
Exploring the stories behind the artists who come to Banff Centre
Queer Songbook Orchestra is Toronto-based 12-piece ensemble of queer and allied musicians. They take a look at popular songs and reveal the backstories and personal narratives of queer artists.
Mitcholos Touchie, or A Mind With Wings, is a Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ/ Nuučaan̓uɫ artist from a small village on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. He was here for the Spoken Word residency in 2017. While here, he performed one of his pieces for us that explores the nature of the word "Indian." His work is political, expressive, and beautiful to behold. Learn more about A Mind With Wings and his writing process.
Phillip Dwight Morgan is a poet, writer, and activist from Scarborough, Ontario. He makes work that addresses the Black Canadian experience. While in residency he performed his poem, Fraction of the Whol, and told us why he uses writing as a tool to speak truth to power.
"In Memoriam…" by Postcommodity and Alex Waterman, with curation and support from Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, is an Indigenous addition and response to Robert Ashley’s original suite of graphic scores by the same name. Composer Robert Ashley created four graphic scores memorializing famous men of American history — John Smith, Kit Carson, Crazy Horse, and Esteban Gomez. With deep research and curation from Alberta’s Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, three notable Indigenous women of what is now known as Alberta were selected as inspiration for a fifth graphic score: Mary Cecil, Victoria Callihoo (nee Belcourt), and Eleanor (Helene) Thomas Garneau. While their stories might otherwise have remained untold, Postcommodity and Alex Waterman created a composition inspired by their lives, creating conversation about who we memorialize, and how. The finished piece was performed in Edmonton in July 2017 at the Winspear Centre by Postcommodity, Waterman, and Indigenous musicians from across Alberta, including Malaya Bishop, seth cardinal, Curtis Lefthand, Jaynine Lena McCrae, nêhiyawak (Kris Harper, Matthew Cardinal and Marek Tyler), Jared Tailfeathers.
Open Studio is a video series that takes you inside the studios and creative spaces of Banff Centre's artists.
Alberta-based artist Tia Halliday was at Banff Centre in 2017 for the Visual Arts program Body as Site, a thematic residency exploring the body as a site of investigation in contemporary art. She uses unique materials and choreography to create "performed paintings." She was chosen for the 2017 Alberta Biennial, co-presented by Banff Centre's Walter Phillips Gallery and the Art Gallery of Alberta.
Anoush Moazzeni is a performer-composer, and researcher-creator based in Quebec City. She is a classically trained pianist with a diploma in mathematics who combines art and technology to extend her musical possibilities. She brought her musical robots to Banff Centre for the Banff Musician in Residence program in 2017, and let us take a look inside her studio.
Tyshawn Sorey is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist. He is faculty for several music programs including the summer Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.
Adam Rosenblatt is a Baltimore-based percussionist who was at Banff Centre for the music residency Concert in the 21st Century, where artists explore new ways to present live music. He uses electronics, motion sensors, projections and light to recreate and perform unique compositions. He let us inside his performance space to see the process.
ᓇᒨᔭ ᓂᑎᑌᐧᐃᐧᓇ ᓂᑕᔮᐣ is an installation displayed on the archway outside the Walter Phillips Gallery by Cree artist Joi T. Arcand. The piece is a visual reminder of the Nêhiyawêwin or Plains Cree (Y dialect) language, and translates into "I don't have my words." Have a peek at this LED light installation that can be viewed on campus until August 2018.