Posted on November 4, 2020
Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts
Curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson
On view at the Belkin Art Gallery September 8, 2020 to December 6, 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
How can a score be a call and tool for decolonization?
Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts unfolds in a sequence of five parts, with scores take the form of beadwork, videos, objects, graphic notation, historical belongings, and written instructions. During the exhibition, these scores are activated at specific moments by musicians, dancers, performers and members of the public gradually filling the gallery and surrounding public spaces with sound and action.
Watch the videos below to listen to the scores of artworks from Soundings being performed at the Belkin Art Gallery.
Diamond Point and Coastal Wolf Pack
wəɬ m̓i ct q̓pəθət tə ɬniməɬ, 2020
Lamppost banners installed along Main Mall, UBC
Collection of the Artist
Forming two continuous lines on this part of the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people, wəɬ m̓i ct q̓pəθət tə ɬniməɬ by Diamond Point presents two images on banners that repeat in a sequence hung on the lampposts along UBC’s Main Mall from James Hart’s Reconciliation Pole to the plaza just beyond the Belkin. The banner images echo the contours of the landscape to the north of the promontory and refer to the annual Coast Salish Canoe Journeys. Bringing to mind a group of paddlers announcing themselves before coming ashore, awaiting a welcome according to protocol, the paddles are raised in symmetrical precision. Coast Salish design elements on the paddles indicate who the travelers are and where they have come from and are incorporated here in keeping with the teachings of Point’s ancestors. The alternating heights of the paddle shapes drawn upon turbulent waves serve to activate the design, and through repetition, transform a walk through the installation to a rhythmic journey by water.
Point says of the work: “This visual display is an act of communication between two communities, an abstract representation of cultural significance in Salish tradition, and symbolizes a journey of healing.”
On Thursday, September 10, 2020, Coastal Wolf Pack (Tsatsu Stalqyu) interpreted Point’s banners as a musical score with a performance that began at James Hart’s Reconciliation Pole along Main Mall and ended at the Belkin. At the Belkin, Elder Larry Grant greeted the performers, artists and audience with an official Musqueam welcome.
The artist would like to thank Elder Larry Grant for his generosity and time in discussing the work early in its development, and Jill Campbell for her insight and guidance in the process of conceiving the work.
Raven Chacon and Symphonic Wind Ensemble
American Ledger (No. 1), 2018
Collection of the Artist
Around the corner from the Belkin Gallery, Raven Chacon’s score American Ledger (No. 1) hangs on the exterior of the Music Building at 6361 Memorial Road, UBC. The conceptual graphic score is to be performed by “many players with sustaining and percussive instruments, voices, coins, axe and wood, a police whistle and the striking of a match.” Chacon invites any number of musicians with any number of non-musicians to perform the piece; instructions for performers can be found on the exterior of the Music Building as well as below and all are encouraged to perform the score.
For many players with sustaining and percussive instruments, voices, coins, axe and wood, a police whistle, and a match.
For at least 13 minutes.
For any number of musicians with any number of non-musicians.
Each line is a minute or longer.
Line 1 is for both percussive and bendable tones.
Line 2 begins with a warbly long tone crossfading into waves of harmonic or dynamic increases. X = chop wood.
Line 3 is for police whistle(s). Other instruments may join.
Line 4 is for coins to be thrown. Two instruments may accompany.
Line 5 is a line.
Line 6 is a grand decelerando ending with the striking of a match.
Line 7 is for acknowledging groupings of 5’s and 4’s. Chop wood. End with everyone and everything.
On Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 4 pm, UBC School of Music’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs Chacon’s score outside the Music Building, in front of Gerhard Class’s 1968 Tuning Fork sculpture. Led by Robert Taylor, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble is comprised of the wind and percussion students in the School of Music and is dedicated to the performance of the finest wind repertoire, regardless of the period or size of ensemble and is distinguished by its high-level of performance, creative thematic programming and commitment to contemporary music through commissions, premieres and composer residencies.
For more information about Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts at the Belkin Art Gallery, click here.
Photos: Rachel Topham Photography
Video: Aya Garcia
Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts is a traveling exhibition curated by Candice Hopkins and Dylan Robinson, and organized by Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Canada and Independent Curators International (ICI). The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from ICI’s International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees. Additional support has been provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter Program, the Isabel and Alfred Bader Fund of Bader Philanthropies, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Kingston Arts Fund through the Kingston Arts Council, and the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund at Queen’s University.