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Sound Crossings

Sound Crossingswith Ellen Waterman in connection with the Crossing Borders project
June 7, 2003

Market Hall Theatre
Music and performance by Michael Farley, Melvina Hazard, Louis McWilliams, Jessel Murray, Ellen Waterman

Sound Crossings
A cross-cultural concert with artists from Canada, U.S., Trinidad & Tobago performing their own compositions, plus works by Nathaniel Dett, Elliot Weisgarber, and Clifton J. Noble.

Saturday, June 7, 2003 8:00 pm
Market Hall Theatre
336 George St. N.
Tickets: Pay-what-you-can between $5 and $10.
To reserve call (705) 745-1788 or email

This group of artists have come together through the Crossing Borders Project —a tri-university collaboration that examined ways in which globalization and the diasporic movements of people challenge traditional conceptions of national and ethnic identity. SOUND CROSSINGS is the culmination of a year of collaboration by the artists that included an intensive workshop in Trinidad, and a recording session in the US.

The artists include: flutist Ellen Waterman who specializes in experimental music; Louis McWilliams, a traditional Caribbean drummer/dancer; radical young sound poet Melvina Hazard, whose compelling texts on race, gender and culture have appeared in a major poetry anthology by women of colour; R & B saxophonist/composer Michael Farley; and Jessel Murray, a classical pianist with an expertise in conducting steel bands. Together they've developed a program of musical and multi-media works that expresses their cross-cultural experiences.

Each piece on this varied program has travelled widely and crossed many borders:

- In the Bottoms is a suite for piano by the early 20th century composer Nathanial Dett — an African-Canadian who spent most of his career in the United States. Here it is played by Jessel Murray, one of the best-known pianists in Trinidad and Tobago

- the influence of calypso threads its way throughout the concert in an ensemble work by Michael Farley and in the Calypsuite, a set of pieces for flute and piano by Clifton J. Noble, both specially composed for this concert

- Shenandoah, by Elliot Weisgarber, is based on the well-known American folksong, but resounds with the delicate flavour of Japanese shakuhachi (flute). The late Weisgarber, an American-Canadian who spent 30 years teaching at the University of British Columbia, lived part time in Japan. His evocative work for flute and piano is dedicated to the victims of 9/11

- Brown's Hymn for 8-channel recording and improvised saxophone muses on the appropriation by white musicians of black popular music. Composer and performer, Michael Farley is a full-time academic but has a secret life as a dynamic R & B performer

- Ellen Waterman's Sound Crossings is a soundscape composition drawn from recordings of festivals and community gatherings in Trinidad, Canada and the United States. It provides the sonic backdrop for multiple voicings of sound poetry, flute and dance

- finally, Melvina Hazard's topical Yankee Talk ponders on the global impact of war

SOUND CROSSINGS and The Lines of Migration exhibit at Artspace are part of the conference: Talking Across Borders: Theorizing and Enacting Diasporas taking place at Trent University June 5 - 8.

Saturday, June 7, 2003 8:00 pm
Market Hall Theatre
336 George St. N.

Tickets: Pay-what-you-can between $5 and $10.
To reserve call (705) 745-1788 or email
Proceeds to be shared with Global Youth Connect

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Artistic Producer: Bill Kimball 
Administrator: Eva Fisher
Performance Curator: Victoria Mohr- Blakenely
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