Acoustic Orienteering (2007-09)

Acoustic Orienteering has been performed three times: In Toronto, Saturday, 11 August, 2007, as part of the Alleyjaunt Arts Festival; in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saturday 12, July, 2008, as part of the Sound Symposium; and in Guelph, Ontario, Friday, 11 September, 2009, as part of the Guelph Jazz Festival.

Acoustic Orienteering (Trinity Bellwoods)

This piece was commissioned by the Alleyjaunt Festival, Toronto, and features six musicians playing as they move separately according to discrete map-routes and a time index. The routes are designed to intersect, at which point the players are invited to play together for a few minutes before continuing their trajectories separately. The route-parts — in this case, through the West-end alleyways where various artists were showing their work in garages during the Festival — constitute the fixed aspect of each player’s part (the ‘composition’), while the musical content is left up to the skilled creative musicians for whom the piece is composed. This basic premise informs not only the other versions of Acoustic Orienteering, but also aspects of virtually all of my cartographic pieces.

Acoustic Orienteering (Trinity Bellwoods) was performed by Parmela Attariwala (violin), Jim Bailey (curio), Kyle Brenders (saxophone), Glen Hall (saxophone), Michael Keith (guitar), and Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet).

Acoustic Orienteering (Georgestown)

This version features twelve musicians and, for the performance, all of the players were either based in St. John’s or there to perform at the Sound Symposium. The piece is set in the streets of Georgestown, a residential neighbourhood close to downtown St. John’s known for its dense concentration of artists.

Acoustic Orienteering (Georgestown) was performed by Curtis Andrews (kalimba), Kim Barlow (banjo), Chris Driedzic (stuff), Christine Duncan (voice & curio), Mack Furlong (percussion), Tanja Hemm (electronics), Brian Nesselroad (percussion), Juliet Palmer (clarinet), Debashis Sinha (electronics), Craig Squires (saxophone), Marianne Trudel (accordion), and Jordy Walker (electronics).

Acoustic Orienteering (Guelph)

This version for fifteen musicians was presented in the streets of downtown Guelph during a Friday afternoon rush-hour. Two versions of the score were prepared: Copies of a pamphlet with all of the route-parts were distributed on-site, while a more elaborate ‘art piece’ score was included in the ‘Hearing-Visions-Sonores’ exhibit of graphic scores by Canadian composers, alongside works by Malcolm Goldstein, Jean Derome, and others, at the University of Guelph. This version of the score (designed in collaboration with Michelangelo Iaffaldano) involves a light-box atop a wooden plinth, with the player’s route-parts and the base map printed on transparencies so that a viewer can cross reference players’ parts, consider where and when convergences take place, and contemplate the piece’s overall trajectory.

Acoustic Orienteering (Guelph) was performed by Nick Buligan (trumpet), Allison Cameron (curio), Jean Derome (saxophone), Christine Duncan (voice and toy megaphone), Paul Dutton (oralizations), Elwood Epps (trumpet), Tania Gill (melodica), Joane Hétu (saxophone), Michael Keith (guitar and voice), Jean Martin (trumophone), Karen Ng (saxophone), Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet), Evan Shaw (saxophone), Casey Sokol (accordion), and Doug Tielli (trombone).

Guelph filmmaker, Nicholas Loess, made this video documentary about Acoustic Orienteering (Guelph).

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