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Ludwig Van
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THE SCOOP | Soundstreams Is Born Again

By Michael Vincent on August 3, 2021

Libydo, a collaborative dance performance artist featured in Soundstreams' annual Electric Messiah (Photo courtesy of Soundstreams)
Libydo, a collaborative dance performance artist featured in Soundstreams’ annual Electric Messiah (Photo courtesy of Soundstreams)

Stories of rebirth tell us of change, renewal and transformation, particularly after trials and tribulations. They start with a hero who is kept down by a force that keeps them from shining. Then a moment happens — a traumatic experience that leads to an awakening and a new beginning. It’s the stuff of myth.

The return to regular in-person seasons for small arts groups like Soundstreams feels nothing short of a phoenix rising.

“While the pandemic did bring a temporary end to live performance, it provoked us to develop new ways of engaging with audiences through programming on digital platforms that was never intended to be a substitute for live experience,” said Soundstreams’ Lawrence Cherney.

For Toronto’s new music juggernauts, renewal sounds like a mix of five online and in-person world premieres for the 2021-22 season showcasing Canadian and international composers through innovative and multi-genre musical experiences.

  • Garden of Vanished Pleasures, a theatrical, filmed production with new work from composers Cecilia Livingston and Donna McKevitt, drawn from the journal text of queer artist and activist Derek Jarman, devised and directed by Tim Albery.
  • A flagship production featuring Rutherford Falls star and Canadian icon Michael Greyeyes.
  • New work to celebrate our ongoing spotlight on Canadian composer Claude Vivier.
  • Percussion Theatre, curated by Soundstreams New Voices artist and percussionist Noam Bierstone, to explore the world of instrumental theatre with a host of supporting artists.
  • A fully-staged production from esteemed director Tim Albery, exploring the work of filmmaker and queer rights activist Derek Jarman.
  • The return of the always-popular Electric Messiah.
  • New works by Christopher Mayo and Lieke van der Voort.

According to Cherney, the opening concert, The Garden of Vanished Pleasures, is a particularly affecting metaphor for the season, “a reminder that we must come to terms with what we have lost, at the same time as we plant hopeful seeds of rebirth and renewal.”

At a time when the idea of programming Canadian composers seems exotic, Soundstreams are here to remind us just how rich our pools of compositional talent is.

Digital Passes for Soundstreams’ 2021/22 are available here; individual tickets will be available for each production at a later date. Visit Soundstreams.ca for more information.

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Michael Vincent
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