Goose Food


Goose Food - for ensemble and recorded narrator (narrated by Robert Bringhurst)

Text: "In his father's village, someone was just about to go out hunting birds" as published in Nine Visits to the Mythworld (Douglas & McIntyre), by Ghandl of the Qayahl Llaanas

Translated from Haida by Robert Bringhurst

"Suppose you entertain for a moment the idea that stories are the genuine inhabitants of the world, and that humans are not really in charge here, that we are not at the top of the food chain, and our function is to nourish and maintain them in the same way that a dog's function I suppose is to guard our flocks and wake us when there's a burglar and bring us the newspaper and slippers.  Suppose stories are the actual dominate life form here, the climax species, and we are necessary to that species, the genus narrativus.  We're necessary to that in the same way that these alders are necessary to the life of the red cedar and the hemlocks that succeed them -- even more necessary, because the stories depend on us to reproduce them.  We are as essential to the stories as the hummingbirds or the bumblebees to the flowers.  We carry the pollen from place to place, we nourish the creatures, and if we stop telling the stories, the forest will shrivel up and die.  We won't find our way, not only because we don't have the maps that the stories are for us, but because there won't be a world for us to live in anymore because the stories are the real king of the mountain here. They're weightless -- When you go out and measure the biomass of the Northwest coast, the stories don't show up there. They don't cause the pan to tilt, but they're like those eagles up there.  They're on top of the heap."  

Robert Bringhurst in "A Literary Altas of Canada", Ideas, CBC, 2005

Continuum performed the World Premiere of Goose Food on April 20, 2008.

Cassandra Miller CA

Cassandra Miller combines a love of warmth with a love for the absurd, and she explores the complexity of emotion that can result from simplicity. She is engaged with the notions of virtuosity and excess, and by the strangeness of concert traditions, baroque through modern. She searches for new notation systems that stimulate personal interpretation and connection between performers.

Cassandra holds a M. Mus. degree from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague (the Netherlands), and a B. Mus. from the University of Victoria. Her compositions have been performed by the Janacek Philharmonic (Czech Republic), both the Victoria and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, and numerous chamber ensembles in Europe and Canada. New works have been commissioned by Ensemble Kore (Montreal), Zinc & Copper Works (Berlin), Continuum Contemporary Music (Toronto), RedShift Music Society (Vancouver), Vancouver New Music, and Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal (the Generation project).

She currently lives in Montreal, where she is the artistic and general director of Innovations en concert, an organization which presents concert series, focusing on underground/fringe elements of Montreal contemporary music/sound art, encouraging a new canon of creative music in Quebec.

For more information about Cassandra Miller, click here.

Cassandra Miller