When we hear of the premiere performance of a new work of Canadian classical music we might think of large and formal concert halls in cities like Montreal or Vancouver. But on Saturday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m., the Prairie Wind & Silver Sage artist residency program in Val Marie brings a new look to this concept, when the Shaw Street Collective classical music quartet, based in Toronto, gives the world premiere performance, at the Val Marie School, of a piece to be written by the group during its September PWSS artist residency, with contributions from the students of Val Marie school and artwork by local photographers. The Collective will also perform pieces from their repertoire of original compositions, improvisations and classics. Admission to the concert is free; donations towards the work of Prairie Wind &Silver Sage will be appreciated. All ages are welcome.
The Shaw Street Collective is Mikolaj Debowski on trombone and vocals, Alyssa Ramsay on cello, Anthony Savidge on percussion and vocals, and Emma Rowlandson-O’Hara on trumpet and vocals. Individually its members teach as well as perform and have won multiple awards. The Collective is a flexible classical music ensemble who record and perform everything from classics to experimental and new pieces. Their music is diverse, exploratory, and always filled with passion and excitement. The Collective’s unique combination of trombone, trumpet, cello, voice, and percussion provides a fresh sound that invigorates both their experimental music and the classics of the western world.
The Shaw Street Collective is spending two weeks in Val Marie and the Grasslands from September 13 to 27 as part of the 2015 Prairie Wind & Silver Sage artist residency program, co-sponsored with Grasslands National Park and funded by the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture/Saskatchewan Lotteries. The Collective’s residency is a two week project aimed at encouraging a rich experience of the particular nature of the Prairies. The project begins with the hypothesis that it is possible to go beyond simply saying, “That is beautiful,” to asking, “What does the fact of beauty have to do with my everyday life?” It culminates in this concert, in which the Collective will perform music based on images and sounds of the park collected from visitors and residents. The goal of the concert is to show how music can transform what is “just there” into something that we truly see and want to understand.
During their residency the Shaw Street Collective is seen and heard in and around Val Marie as its members offer sound walks, natural improv, concerts, and sound and image clinics for schools.