Music from the New Wilderness

In the 1970s American poet Jerome Rothenberg proposed a framework for realizing contemporary art, citing the “new wilderness” as a source of renewal and innovation in traditional arts, ritual, and experimental practice. In the early 1980s, the Western Front programmed the first Music for the New Wilderness incorporating these fundamental themes. In search of meaning within a changing cultural landscape in 2014, Music from the New Wilderness invited six artists to examine culture, remoteness, and the vanishing wilderness experience through the magic of live music and immersive audio narratives.

Evening Performances February 11-15 @ 8pm
Matinée Performance on February 15 @ 2pm

Post-show talkbacks on February 12 and 13

The Cultch
Tickets $40 / $31 / $18


As the winner of this year’s prestigious Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award for Music in 2014, Western Front New Music will present the interdisciplinary production Music from the New Wilderness at the The Cultch from February 11 – 15, 2014.

Incorporating archival wax cylinder recordings from the Okanagan and recent field recordings from the Broughton Archipelago, Music from the New Wilderness offers new perspectives on culture, remoteness, and the vanishing wilderness experience. An immersive exploration of the B.C. soundscape, the production features new compositions by Adam Basanta, Christian Calon, Alicia Hansen, Jennifer Schine, and Jesse Zubot; a string quartet comprised of Peggy Lee, Jean René, Jesse Zubot and Joshua Zubot; and visuals by Krista Belle Stewart.

Also, to open the production, sound artist and composer Christian Calon will give a free artist talk at Western Front on February 6, 2014 @ 7:30 pm. Click here for more information.

Rehearsals for Music From the New Wilderness take place at Western Front from Feb 3 – 8.  Click here to see a few short video excerpts from Feb 6 rehearsals.

Listen to Jennifer Schine’s Conversations with Billy Proctor, available online here.



Artist Biographies

Adam Basanta (Vancouver/Montréal) is a composer and media artist whose work traverses electroacoustic, acoustic and mixed composition, as well as audiovisual installations, site-specific interventions, interactive laptop performance, and dynamic light design. His concert works, performances, and installations have been presented worldwide and awarded multiple national and international prizes.

Christian Calon (Montréal) is an electroacoustic composer and multi-media sound artist. From his early acousmatic works to his radio-fiction and live improvisation experiments, Calon’s work has been enthusiastically received by audiences and awarded in many international competitions. In the last decade he has expanded his practice to include film-installation projects which propose an art of audiovision.

Composer, pianist and vocalist Alicia Hansen (Vancouver) has toured the world as a professional classical choral singer, and has been commissioned to compose for film, theatre, and solo instrumental works. She has played with groups ranging from indie rock to jazz, latin and fusion. Hansen’s second full-length album is forthcoming, following her critically acclaimed debut, Fractography (2011).

Cellist Peggy Lee (Vancouver) leads/co-leads a number of ensembles including The Peggy Lee Band, Film In Music, Waxing (with Tony Wilson and Jon Bentley) and Beautiful Tool (with Mary Margaret O’Hara). Other performing credits include the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and the new music ensemble Standing Wave. Lee is the 2013 recipient of the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for music.

For the last thirty years, violist, composer and conductor Jean René (Montréal) has travelled from one genre to another, collaborating with chamber music groups, orchestral groups and numerous studio projects involving improvisation and exploration for dance, theatre, film and instrumental music. René is the founder of Blastographe, and his solo album, Fammi, was released in 2010.

Jennifer Schine (Vancouver) is an award-winning sound artist, researcher and communication specialist whose ethnographic and artistic work explores the aural and oral heritage of British Columbia’s coastal communities. She has spent the last few years working with pioneer Billy Proctor and recording the sounds and stories of the Broughton Archipelago. Her research there resulted in the award-winning documentary film, Listening to a Sense of Place (2012).

Krista Belle Stewart (Vancouver) is a visual artist whose photographic work approaches methods of mediation and storytelling to unfold personal and institutional histories. Stewart has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, most recently as part of Fiction/Non-Fiction (2013) at the Esker Foundation. She is a member of the Upper Nicola Band of the Okanagan Nation.

Jesse Zubot (Vancouver) is a Juno award-winning violinist and composer whose praxis spans multiple musical genres. Zubot has composed for orchestra, modern dance, and film, and currently runs the experimental label Drip Audio. In 2010 he won the Multimedia award at the Western Canadian Music Awards for his score for the film Tungijuq (with Tanya Tagaq).

Violinist Joshua Zubot (Montréal) has performed across Canada and Europe with groups including Subtle Lip Can, Quartetski, Ratchet Orchestra and Patrick Watson. Zubot is the co-founder of the weekly improvising series Mardi Spaghetti. With a focus on the avant garde and improvisation, Zubot’s diverse repertoire ranges from klezmer, bluegrass and avant rock, to jazz and classical music.