A thank-you to my collaborators past, present and future.
I have been ruminating on the question:
“What do you enjoy about collaborative process?”
I can get wrapped up in my interior world, spending long periods of time comfortably alone. Much of the work I create is solo, partly because of my desire to give a hand at everything and partly because I won’t ask an artist to collaborate with me unless I can pay them. This said, one of my greatest loves in life is to enter into a studio with other artists. Collaborative work encourages me – demands of me – that I am present in my relationships. It allows me to imagine, if not embody, alternative perspectives. It is always a negotiation. It requires accountability and generosity. It reminds me to find a balance between rigor and play and to ride the wave of exchanging energies. In many ways I feel that I have found myself through the ensemble work I have engaged in. For years I felt ever the outsider and created a myth around my existence that made me feel very alone. Through collaborating intimately with other artists, being privy to their fears and sorrows and joys, I began to recognize my common humanity. Shortcomings that I thought were mine alone took on a human significance and I began to begin to forgive myself for being human. I also began to touch beauty, to experience both the vulnerability and resiliency of my collaborators, and by extension to understand that I too was beautiful. I feel like this is part of the process of growing up, but, I think, it can only be understood in relationship, in community. In recent years I have been becoming increasingly aware of how limited my experience of the world is. It is awakening in me a desire to seek opportunities away from my creative home of Vancouver. I have a hunger to work with artists from around the globe with various living and art-making practices. Collaborative processes can blow apart notions about what one thinks they know. They can move an artist beyond the habitual by presenting alternative methodologies. Each collaborative experience is different depending on the unique individuals who comprise it and the needs of the creative endeavor. This is one of the joys of embarking on a new collaborative process. One can never fully know what to expect. We must embrace the mystery to unleash the potential. We can prepare, but at the end of the day we must surrender and trust.
I’m thrilled to be part of the cast for Cabalcor at Club PuSh on February 1st. Sun Belt album release and book launch.
Sunday, February 1 @ Club PuSh (Performance Works on Granville Island) @ 8pm
come at 7pm for a free screening of Kiss the Rabbit, the PuSh Festival’s documentary about its 10th anniversary.
Tickets available through the PuSh website:
Sun Belt’s debut collection of surreal, dusty songs and stories gets adapted into a multimedia history of a mythical tar sands company town. Through music, image and readings, Sun Belt: Cabalcor charts the rise and fall of Cabalcor, an imaginary region that, within the span of a century, becomes a desert wasteland. This Club PuSh performance is based on Sun Belt’s experimental book/album released in early 2015 by Anvil Press and Offseason Records. Presented by Theatre Conspiracy.
Sun Belt features Rick Maddocks, Stephen Lyons of Fond OfTigers, Jon Wood,
Paul Rigby, Terri Upton with guests Nita Bowerman, Madeleine Thien, Naz Hozar,
Calvin Wharton and Hal Wake!
Cabalcor in the PuSh Festival Guide
A Curatorial Statement by Club PuSh curator Tim Carlson
Over the holidays I spent 3 days in the Test Kitchen at PTC (Playwrights Theatre Centre, Vancouver). Although I have a regular studio practice, it is rare that I afford myself extended consecutive time in studio where I can load gear in and leave it until I load out, where I can load myself in and stay for 7-10 hours for days in a row. Thanks to Heidi Taylor and PTC for the use of the Test Kitchen studio space over the holiday season.
I made the following videos using a clock projector that I was gifted at a holiday potluck/gift exchange, a rented 5 string electric violin, a rented G3X Zoom effects peddle, a Yamaha PortaSound PC-100 keyboard. The video footage was captured on my cell phone and edited on my ol’ macbook pro.
violin & voice: Nita Bowerman
text: Barbara Adler
created for Brief Encounters Revue 2014 (Tomorrow Collective)
Tonight is the night…
Brief Encounters Review
October 16 & 17
@ Guilt & Co
An eclectic evening of performance collaborations.
See the line up here.
I’m performing with Barbara Adler.
Accordion. Violin. Words will be said and – gasp – sung?…I haven’t really sung a full song on stage since elementary school. So…ahem…we’ll see what happens there…
This might be the craziest performance experiment I’ve run yet. Basically, I don’t play violin, talk into mics or sing, but I’m going to attempt to do all those things tonight with Barbara, who is a pro. And, to complicate matters further, Barbara just got back from two weeks in the Czech Republic, so although the work is mapped, it has never been run in full. We are essentially going to run the piece without a collective rehearsal in front of a live audience. What were we thinking? Surprises will be in store for everyone tonight.
Read a bit more about the process here.
“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” ~Samuel Beckett~
Three weeks ago I picked up an electric violin, for the first time ever, with the intention of performing live with it…something about challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone, to embrace an unknown and to practice non-judgement.
2 days ago I fed an electric violin with some effects peddles and a microphone into a mixing board and into a one channel amplifier.
The results so far…