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Upcoming Performances

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.


Laurel MacDonald & Phil Strong Singer, composer and video artist Laurel MacDonald and sound designer and composer Phil Strong have been combining talents since the 1990s. Their collaborations have included five CDs and many film and dance projects, most recently including music for Fujiwara Dance Inventions, Kaeja d’Dance and for the film documentary You Are Here. Ben Raynor wrote about the duo in NOW Magazine: “lilting, otherworldly vocal experiments and lush, complex arrangements... like the work of some avant-garde dream team”.
SOUNDplay Screening (Ticket Purchase)
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.

Program:
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.



Véro Marengère is an emerging audiovisual artist and researcher based in Montreal. She creates artworks that evoke ecosophy and digital intimacy. Inspired by everyday objects, technological cultures, the digital divide phenomenon and human voice, her work takes a critical yet sensitive and playful approach to video and music making.
Tansy Xiao is an independent curator, artist, writer and the founder of Raincoat Society: a non-profit platform that centers the voice of artists with uncategorizable backgrounds. Facilitated with digital sound and visual tools, Xiao creates theatrical installations with non-linear narratives that often extend beyond the fourth wall. Her collaborating organizations include SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NARS Foundation, Radiator Gallery, Residency Unlimited, Fou Gallery, Chazan Family Gallery, Areté Gallery, Brooklyn Art Library, Visible Poetry Project, among many others. Xiao has also been widely published on the multicultural and cross-disciplinary practice of art.
Pierre Radisson: Fjord and Gulf
By Ben Donoghue
December 6, 2021
Admission fee is optional. Select student for free admission.
General $, Students $, Online location issued after Advance Registration.

Pierre Radisson: Fjord and Gulf (2017) is a film by Ben Donoghue that presents the daily activity and environment of its eponymous Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker. Shot during the Pierre Radisson's work on the Saguenay Fjord and Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec during February 2016, the film provides a window into a portion of the invisible labour underpinning the Canadian economy. The film brings the deep winter landscapes of coastal Quebec into dialogue with intensive industrial activity of ore shipments from the mines of the Saguenay - Lac Saint-Jean. Shot in Super 16mm with a two-person crew of director/cinematographer Ben Donoghue and location sound recordist Noé Rodriguez the film embraces context, giving duration and breath to the images and sounds of the journey. Through a slow observational form the film brings the viewer onto the ship and into the journey instead of describing one.

This presentation premieres a new adaptation for online presentation including a new stereo remix of the original 5.1 soundtrack and new colour grade. The adaptation of the cinema version to online presentation has been supported by the Ontario Arts Council through the Exhibition Assistance program.


Ben Donoghue is a euro-settler background filmmaker and cultural worker living in Toronto. Working with Super 8 and 16mm film and field recordings his practice explores subcultures and resistance, macro-economic forces in landscape, and the edges of knowing. Past projects have included films of various durations for cinema, galleries, artist books, zines, and radio. Upcoming projects include features, a number of shorts, and research projects that engage with: landscape, folklore, underground music scenes, astronomy, anarchist communes, and reenactment.