Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Starling Cloud Choir Performs at 3 pm Today!!!

Today is the big day!  The Rain Gatherers installation by Second Site opens at 2 pm TODAY at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Where is the garden? If you take the Main Street bus, head west on Keefer, walk through the public garden behind the white walls and go into the square. The entrance to the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a tucked into a lane in the west side of the square. Look on the website for a map if you need it.

After you enter the garden, please check out the installations and talk the the artists.

The choir meets at 2:30 pm in the Hall of One hundred Rivers to warm up and review. We perform at 3 pm, starting in the hall and moving out into the garden to finish. Then we move back into the Hall of 100 Rivers to hear the choir remix by DJ Don Chow. The opening goes until 4 pm. See you there!

I'm working on my intro and this is what I have so far:

It has been so much fun working with the schools: Vancouver Waldorf school, Mount Pleasant Elementary and Laura Secord Elementary. I want to thank all the students and teachers who helped shape this piece and and I want to thank all the the folks who came out for the workshops this past week.

Some of you may know that for the past few years, my art practise has been inspired by bees. I admit I have become a bee nerd and am happy to talk to other bee nerds and make art about bees. So it seems natural that in the cold and rainy winter months, when the bees are hidden away that I should turn my affection to the birds. And naturally, I find myself turning into a kind of bird nerd. 

In the cold and rainy months, I find myself turning to singing as a way to warm the body, mind and soul and in singing with a group, we increase and multiply that feeling of well-being and warmth that gets us through the winter months. There is a starling choir right outside my front door. They often congregate in the trees and practice their repertoire rain or shine. They are the inspiration for this piece.

This is our choir of starlings. We are The Starling Cloud Choir.

Audience, if you feel inspired to join in--you may respectfully join us in the spirit of the piece, BUT hecklers will be fed to the snake in the pond.

There are some traffic signals I will teach you to help you join in. These were devised in collaboration with elementary school students who helped create this piece.

1) convergence (we sound the same):hands together, divergence: hands apart (we sound different from one another)
2) soft (hands low), loud (hands high)--and go for it (swirling high hands)
3) call response: I sing (hands on my shoulders), you repeat (I move my hands to your direction)
4) wait/time out (I made a "t" shape with my hands

The structure of the piece follows a day in the life of a flock of starlings. Each section of the piece begins with a poem that I will chant. The piece stops and starts, so hold your applause until the end when the last owl has gone to bed.

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