BY KIRSTEN BOLTON
It is often said artists serve as the custodians and storytellers of our shared heritage — their creative expressions transcending time and space to connect us across generations. Yet, throughout history and today, certain memories and voices have been marginalized, silenced and stolen.
Seeking to explore these themes and create an inspiring new narrative for the future is the aim of the ambitious multimedia concert project Echo: Memories of the World, presented by Gryphon Trio and a diverse array of Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaborators.
After an extensive process of research, creative residencies and “work in progress” presentations, Echo makes its world premiere at ArtSpring on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. before touring Canadian cities and abroad.
“I have been following this project with great interest and am thrilled to be able to bring it to Salt Spring for its debut,” said Howard Jang, ArtSpring executive and artistic director. “It is very powerful, and its message about the complexity and dignity of the human experience is something I know will resonate within our community.”
Inviting audiences on this remarkable global journey, the classical piano-cello-violin ensemble Gryphon Trio, mezzo-soprano Marion Newman Nege’ga, and narrator čačumḥi Aaron Wells unite with a team of multi-national composers, poets, researchers, theatre artists and filmmakers to share powerful stories from Canada, Norway, Mali and Ukraine.
It promises to be an emotionally charged experience that delves into the ways history has been erased and manipulated, while simultaneously celebrating visionary artists who have defied suppression and breathed life into enduring works of profound significance. Issues and voices about conflict, the environment, culture and reconciliation are all brought to the fore.
Spoken word from Sámi poet/playwright Rawdna Carita Eira is interwoven with music from Valentin Silvestrov, the internationally renowned composer from Ukraine, alongside Euro-based compositions by Bach, Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Film, pre-recorded voice and audio, live musical, operatic and spoken performance all come together for this unique experience.
This daring “mash-up” project not only tackles, but engages, in the process of establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships between artistic genres, timeframes, spaces, histories and peoples.
“In a world where beauty and horror coexist, the urgency of healing and reconciliation has never been more pronounced,” said Gryphon Trio co-founder Roman Borys, cellist and concept and content creator. “In that spirit, Echo illuminates a potential alternative approach to producing and creating both classical and traditional works in the 21st century in Canada. In that diversity, I think we find the key to healing and unity.”
A post-show talk back will also take place.
Thank you to the Reinette Foundation for sponsoring this performance.
Tickets are on sale for $35, with the new Angel Ticket program opening up seats for only $15 a week before the performance, and youth, as always, at $5. Angel Tickets are available in person or by phone only during open box office hours.