Arborienteering/Arborientation (2008-23)


Arborienteering adapts the concept of Music(in)Galleries to animate a public park or arboretum with creative music on a summer afternoon. Musicians play ten-minute solos under various trees; five minutes after the first musician begins to play, the second begins his or hers, followed by the third five minutes later, and so on so that the audience is invited to move from tree to tree to hear each player or, indeed, to find mid-way points so that multiple players are audible. In addition to a map and time index, the score for this composition, which doubles as an audience program, includes field-guide information about the trees involved.

Arborienteering (Dufferin Grove) was performed on Saturday 30 August, 2008, in Dufferin Grove Park, Toronto, as part of the Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbeque, by Allison Cameron (curio), Colin Fisher (saxophone), Richard Marsella (pump organ and tooth squeaking), Ronda Rindone (bass clarinet), Holger Schoorl (guitar) & Jeremy Strachan (saxophone).

Arborienteering (Guelph) was co-composed with Karen Ng and performed on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 July, 2021, in the University of Guelph Arboretum under the auspices of the Guelph Jazz Festival. The performers were Rob Clutton (double bass), Isaiah Farahbakhsh (cello), Ben Finley (double bass), Nick Fraser (drums etc.), Rebecca Hennessy (trumpet), Kathryn Ladano (bass clarinet), Jim Lewis (trumpet), Germaine Liu (vibraphone), Naomi McCarroll-Butler (clarinet etc.), Kayla Milmine (soprano saxophone), Paul Newman (tenor saxophone), John Oswald (alto saxophone), Araz Salek (tar), Doug Tielli (trombone) & Mark Zurawinski (percussion & electronics). The Arborienteering (Guelph) book was co-written by Polly Samland and me, with illustrations by Patricia Beader and design by Steph Yates. It was published by Publication Studio Guelph.

Arborientation (Montréal) was presented by Productions SuperMusique and Groupe Le Vivier on 3 June, 2023, in the Arboretum of the Jardin botanique de Montréal. The performers were Jean René (viola), Julie Houle (tuba), Allison Burik (bass clarinet), Rainer Wiens (kalimba), Jean Derome (ocarina), Ida Toninato (baritone saxophone), Joane Hétu (alto saxophone), Amir Amiri (santur), Ben Grossman (hurdy-gurdy), Émilie Girard-Charest (cello), Adrianne Munden-Dixon (violin), Pablo Jiménez (double bass), Émilie Fortin (trumpet), Sam Shalabi (oud), Kim Zombik (voice), and Lori Freedman (clarinet). The Arborientation book was written by me and the horticultural information team at the Jardin botanique, with translations by Yves Charuest and me, illustrations by Patricia Beader, and design by Steph Yates.

Read this in-depth and insightful review of Arborienteering (Guelph) by Stuart Broomer in Point of Departure.

See this video of highlights from Arborientation (Montréal) by Robin Pineda-Gould.

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