Episode 32: so here I am
Welcome to PRESS PLAY, our recurring web series featuring Continuum performances recorded in high quality in Toronto. Each episode includes intimate and informative conversation on the how and why behind the music with the artists themselves.
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Episode 32: so here I am
December 8, 2022 7pm
so here I am* (2021)
Christina Volpini (CA), composer
Carol Fujino, violin
Paul Widner, cello
Carolyn Blackwell, viola
Matti Pulkki, accordion
Ryan Scott, percussion
Shifra Cooper, Gather Round Singers Director
Ahmed Hegazy, Choir Manager
Jar Lifters: Diego Israel, Monica Olivera, Catherine Moeller, Rakefet Arieli, Deval Soni, Liza Konovalov, Ahmed Hegazy, Abir AbouelSadaat, Melanie Fernandez Alvares, Zohar Segal-Jaeger, Miriam Hawkins, Tijana Spasic
Live Painters: Alex Videla-Moeller, Shlomit Segal, Charlie Doewich, Tamyka Bullen, Amaya Sennett
Sound Box design and building: Adrienne Marcus Raja, Steafan Hannigan, Gary Attwood, Monish Ghosh, Navin Ramator, Catherine Moeller
Associate Artists and Facilitators: Natalie Fasheh, Tijana Spasic, Sharada Eswar, Sam Rowlandson-O’Hara, Animikiikwe Couchie, Catherine Moeller, Rakefet Arieli, Karis Jones-Pard, Tasmeen Syed, Hodan Ibrahim, Risa de Rege, Lisette Cogdell
ASL Interpreters: Latasha Lennox, Emma Dehez, Eboni Ricketts
Gather Round Sings Choir members: Sally Wellen, Bettina Harrison, Shelley La Hay, Summera Khan, Joyce Sweet, Harshi Hemachandra, Bernadette Shuman, Marlene Sheehan Carey, Sandra Kanagasabai, Daphne Morgan, Herold van de Ven, Jon Field, Lorna Brown, Daphne Morgan, Ralitsa Rodriguez, Alma Lilia Yañez Gutierrez, Margaret Bojin, Margaret Oldfield, Claudette Davy, Yan Deng, Khal Baksh, Nahilah Dib, Ann Lapenna, Margie Sumadh, Hrnakshi Joashi, Qun Wu
* world premiere
Co-commissioned by Continuum Contemporary Music and Jumblies Theatre, so here I am was composed as part of Grounds for Goodness, a suite of works exploring why and how people sometimes do good things towards each other. The piece was composed with the Gather Round Singers, Jumblies’ community choir, in mind.
The piece is rooted in striving for connection and bearing witness to others in relation to us. A listening-based approach to the score offers one form of connection and exchange, while the audio playback heard in the piece is derived from the voices of choir members themselves.
At a Zoom rehearsal on January 3, 2021, choir members shared stories and experiences related to the prompt: “Tell us about a time when someone stood up for someone else, or was kind to someone else in a moment of need”. I selected clips from the recorded stories and used software to perform an extreme sound stretch, removing noise to leave the sound heard in the audio playback. During the piece, these stretched voices are heard alongside recordings of the original stories, sometimes in fragments, sometimes in full.
I am grateful to the members of the Gather Round Singers for their generosity in sharing their stories, as well as Ruth Howard, Ryan Scott, and the many artists who contributed to the development of the work. The creation of this work was supported by the Ontario Arts Council. – Christina Volpini