Singing the Earth

11 pieces about a place

Anna Höstman, Dylan Robinson and Marion Newman came to us two years ago with a project. Hoping that we would help them realize it, they talked about the confluence of forces that led to Singing the Earth – Nuyamł-ił Kulhulmx: Bella Coola, the valley and its community; the coincidence of Anna’s and Marion’s connection to the place; current political and social realities. Their passion was irresistible, and so Continuum presents the premiere of Singing the Earth – Nuyamł-ił Kulhulmx on December 4 and 5 at Wychwood Theatre.

This is the sort of project that makes one feel connected to the functioning of the wider world. New music is a rarefied expression that can sometimes seem unimportant set against social, environmental and economic woes. But the impulse to create cannot be denied, and the solution to issues as various as where new music is going, and where a community is headed, is engagement. In Singing the Earth, this commitment to engagement has created an interdisciplinary project that connects to communities both public and academic through the blogging that helped to produce its text; through Nuxalk language revival programmes; and through SSHRC-funded research.

Singing the Earth draws on four languages – Nuxalk, Norwegian, English and Japanese – to create 11 short pieces together lasting one hour. Scored for mezzo-soprano, clarinet/recorder, saxophone, violin, bass, accordion, piano/organ, and percussion, it is performed amidst an installation of paper banners hung from above, a shifting forest of verticals lit to evoke the mystery of a hushed forest, of nature’s life and death drama, and a community of peoples forming new ways of living while struggling to preserve the old. The project is so rich in connections and perspectives that each witness to the performance will have a different take on its central elements. These different understandings too become part of the web of connections. Join us to engage, to witness and to experience Singing the Earth – Nuyamł-ił Kulhulmx.

Singing the Earth – Nuyamł-ił Kulhulmx
December 4 & 5, 2013
7 pm Cry Rock film screening
8 pm concert
Wychwood Theatre
76 Wychwood Avenue, Studio 176
$30 adults; $20 seniors & arts workers; $10 students
Tickets available online or at the door

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