Sound Migrations

In September 2019, violinist and composer Meredith Bates began a six month residency to compose new work in Western Front’s performance space, the Grand Luxe Hall. Originally conceived as a duo with the Seattle-based pianist Wayne Horvitz, the piece has taken on new dimensions since the closure of the Canada-US border in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this reimagining of the piece, entitled Sound Migrations, Bates combines improvisations on her violin with projected images and manipulated surround sound, produced in collaboration with Vancouver-based photographer Josema Zamorano and vocalist and composer Lief Hall. Zamorano uses a digital camera as a visual microphone, spontaneously distorting and creating feedback between printed photographs and projections, which are processed in situ as colour field projections. Hall manipulates pre-recorded samples of Bates’s violin, panning them throughout the room and using Western Front’s sound system as an instrument, while creating her own sounds with voice synthesizers and field recordings from natural settings. The live violin, voice and manipulated samples become immersive and difficult to distinguish. The sound of flying birds and images of nature serve to question the relationship of humans to borders: how are the imaginary lines which define nations permeable to the natural world and its creatures, but impassable to families, friends and collaborators? Because of the improvised nature of the piece, each iteration of Sound Migrations will be different.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, a maximum of 8 audience members can attend each performance. Children are welcome at both Sunday showings. Masks and reservations are mandatory. Each reservation counts as one person, i.e., a couple or a parent and child will require separate reservations. Tickets will not be available at the door and reservations are non-transferable. We ask that you arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled time, to assist us with managing safe access to the performance space.

The duration of each performance is 20-25 minutes. Attendees will stand in fixed spots throughout the Grand Luxe Hall, and will move to other fixed spots at different times during the performance.

Tickets: $15

Saturday, October 24
4:00 PM
5:30 PM
7:30 PM
9:00 PM

Sunday, October 25
12:00 Noon
1:30 PM
3:00 PM

Western Front acknowledges the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Government of Canada, British Columbia Arts Council, Province of British Columbia, City of Vancouver and SOCAN Foundation.