Home Cart Listen Calendar Contact

New Adventures in Sound Art

New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) is a non-profit organization, formerly based in Toronto but now in South River ON, that presents performances and installations spanning the entire spectrum of electroacoustic and experimental sound art. NAISA operates the NAISA North Media Arts Centre, located in the centre of the village of South River at 106 Ottawa Ave., a short distance from Algonquin Park, at the building formerly known as Renée’s Café and Bean There Café.

The NAISA North Media Arts Centre includes a large exhibition/performance space, a small café, and an artist residency space suitable for media art production/creation. The café offers fresh baked goodies by local baker Lois McLaren, homemade soup by Nadene Thériault-Copeland and serves Muskoka coffee by Muskoka Roastery Coffee Company.

NAISA’s annual events include: the Deep Wireless festival of Radio & Transmission Art, the Sound Travels Festival of Sound Art, the SOUNDplay festival and Springscapes.

The objectives of NAISA are to foster awareness and understanding locally, as well as nationally and internationally, in the cultural vitality of experimental sound art in its myriad forms of expression. This objective is achieved through the exploration of new sound technologies in conjunction with the creation of cultural events and artifacts.

Upcoming Events

WATER Shadows
By Julia White
September 26 to December 13, 2021, Thursday to Monday, 10am – 4pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
Pay by Donation

WATER Shadows is an installation of sound sculptures by Julia White that celebrates water, featuring field recordings of watery soundscapes. As one moves through the ‘water temple’ complex of steel sculptures wrapped in discarded bicycle inner tubes, the unique sound ecology of each water-recording site is experienced as one continuous flow.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to participate in WATER Shadows by recording a personal celebration of water that will be shared online as audio in the Web Water Portal: http://www.juliawhite.ca/water-shadows-south-river

SOUNDplay Festival
September 26, 2021 to December 20, 2021

NAISA’s 20th anniversary edition of its SOUNDplay festival continues to serve artists and audiences alike with an experimental platform for encouraging new avenues of exploration between sound and new media.

"NAISA’s programming theme "Digital in Nature" is explored and expanded upon by the artists in this year’s SOUNDplay Festival with works that explore relations between human and non-human worlds, perceived and invented reality, as well as human-made and organic phenomena. Like last year, all of the works presented in this year’s SOUNDplay Festival include an online element in one form or another, allowing for audiences to attend from wherever they happen to be." – Darren Copeland, Artistic Director, New Adventures in Sound Art
I Eat the Stars
By Laurel MacDonald & Phil Strong
November 6, 2021, 7:00 pm
Admission fee is optional. Select student for free admission.
General $10, Students FREE, Online Location Issued after Advance Registration

This performance launches a two year program of new works by Canadian media and sound artists developed in celebration of NAISA’s 20th anniversary. In this YouTube livestream performance of I Eat the Stars (hosted with audience discussion on Whereby) Laurel MacDonald continues her exploration with video-music with settings of poems from Rebecca Elson’s collection A Responsibility to Awe. The performance will also include a screening of Laurel MacDonald and Phil Strong’s Videovoce performance from 2012 which is part of the NAISA 20th Anniversary video collection on YouTube

For her new concert production I Eat the Stars, Laurel has set several poems from A Responsibility to Awe, a book of poetry by Montreal-born astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson (1960–1999). MacDonald says: “Rebecca Elson had an extraordinary power of intellectual and creative imagination in each of the dipolar realms of science and poetry. She recognized the intrinsic link between these realms - that each is essential to and inseparable from the other, as together they define and celebrate the entirety of the human psyche. With I Eat the Stars I am very honoured to be working with this exquisite poetry, endeavouring to express its complex and joyful ideas through my music and visuals.”

I Eat the Stars is the first solo concert production from Laurel MacDonald in over eight years, and will have its full-length premier as part of the 20th Anniversary edition of the NAISA SOUNDplay Festival.

Rebecca Elson’s poems have been used by kind permission of Carcanet Press, Manchester, UK.
SoundPlay Screening
By Véro Marengère and Tansy Xiao
November 20, 2021, 7:00 pm
Admission fee is optional. Select 'Student' for free admission.
General $10, Students FREE, Online Location Issued after Advance Registration

This screening of new media artworks by Tansy Xiao and Véro Marengère explores relationships between humans and nature. Tansy Xiao’s "Bone and Air" is inspired by juxtaposing sounds of bone conduction (within the human body) and air conduction (receiving sounds via the ears). The video also invites audience members to participate. "Roserade" by Véro Marengère is a videomusic work that is sometimes frenetic and sometimes contemplative, it proposes a world that deforms without ever completely destroying or building itself.

I. Roserade by Véro Marengère
Inspired by new materialism, ecosophy and Haraway’s Chthulucene, the videomusic work "Roserade" evokes a relationship between a desk, a rosebush and a female human. Sometimes frenetic and sometimes contemplative, it proposes a world that deforms without ever completely destroying or building itself. In this entropy the human and nonhuman explore the feeling of being interdependent, in a reality shaped by digital and ecological transformations.

II. Bone and Air by Tansy Xiao
Bone and Air is an audience participatory visual and sound piece that explores the relationship between natural sounds and the human body. The piece was inspired by the idea of the juxtaposition of bone conduction (within the human body) and air conduction (receiving sounds via the ears). The audience members are invited to make certain sounds through the piece according to the graphic score as an ensemble to create a spontaneous heterophony that is unique each time.