Echo: Memories of the World highlights these important efforts through a unique fusion of music, video, spoken word, soundscape and other artistic media. With a core team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous creators, this project not only tackles, but engages in the process of establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships between artistic genres, timeframes, spaces, histories and peoples.
A co-presentation of the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria. Sponsored by the Farquhar at UVic and Voices in Circle.
*This performance by the Gryphon Trio does not feature the Victoria Symphony and is not included in subscription purchase discount.
“All peoples contribute to the diversity and richness of civilizations and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind.” (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples constitutes the framework for reconciliation across all levels and all sectors of society. (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Principles of Reconciliation)
When cultural heritage comes under attack, so too do the peoples to whom that heritage belongs. This constitutes a violation of their fundamental human rights.
Artists play a vital role as both the keepers and the sharers of culture, helping pass individual and collectively held memories through time, space and generations. But not all memories have been valued. Across human history, and still occurring today, artists have been silenced; their memories supressed, voices stolen and passage of knowledge through time interrupted.
In collaboration with a global circle of Indigenous and non-Indigenous composers, poets, researchers, theatre artists and filmmakers, the Gryphon Trio and guest artists Marion Newman and Aaron Wells present Echo – Memories of the World. Featuring music by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Valentin Silvestrov, Andrew Balfour, Eliot Britton and Ry Moran with storytelling, digital audio, images, and film, this multimedia concert presents resilient visions of the future from four areas of the world: Canada, Norway, Mali, and Ukraine. Transiting time and memory, this moving experience explores how history is erased, pressed, squeezed, altered, and attacked. At the same time, it celebrates visionary artists resisting suppression and gives voice to works of enduring power.
In a world filled simultaneously with beauty and horror, the need for reparation and reconciliation has never been greater.
Respecting the richness and complexity of our diverse human family empowers healing.
This performance is in honour of this.
Marion Newman – Nege’ga
Mezzo Soprano – www.marionnewman.com
Marion Newman is Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations with English, Irish and Scottish heritage. Born in Bella Coola, Marion grew up in Sooke, BC, immersed in and embraced by her community and culture. She is one of Canada’s most accomplished singers in repertoire ranging from Charpentier to Cusson and operatic roles including Carmen and Rosina in The Barber of Seville. Nominated for a Dora Award for her leading role in the world premiere of Shanawdithit (Nolan/Burry) with Toronto’s Tapestry Opera, Ian Ritchie wrote “she invests her character with towering dignity and courage”.
Marion created the role of Dawn with the Welsh National Opera world premiere of Migrations (Todd), with stories by six writers based on their personal experiences of migrations and working with refugees.
Marion has performed several works written specifically for her, including a Canada-wide tour of Ancestral Voices (Tovey) with the Vancouver Symphony and Nuyamł-ił Kulhulmx – Singing the Earth (Höstman/Robinson) with the Victoria and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras . Upcoming new works include the role of Mimi in Indians on Vacation, an operatic adaptation of the novel by Thomas King (Cusson/Vavrek) with Against the Grain Theatre.
A driving force for truth and reconciliation within the context of classical music, she is helping lead colleagues and audiences through long overdue discussions about the very nature of what it means to call something “Canadian music”.
In her role as host of CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera Marion is bringing her talented and inspiring colleagues to the attention of listeners across Canada and beyond
čačumḥi – Aaron Wells
ʔuukłaas čačumḥi aaron wells ʔuukłaas ƛaḥ – my name is chah-chum-hi, aaron wells is what I am also called. I come from the nuučan̓uł and ts’ymsyen nations of the what is known as the northwest coast of BC as well as English settler heritage. Many thanks to our director Reneltta and the Team of both the English and Indigenous Theatre for bringing all of us together to do this fantastic work. Language has always been something that is really important to me and to have the honour and privilege to work within another culture that is not my own is beyond English words. čumqƛsiš luu’am guudl s’ygoy’n ƛeekoo ƛeekoo.
Previous works include Children Of God (The Cultch/NAC); They Call Me Princess (The Globe Theatre); Pawâkan Macbeth (akpik theatre); The Coyotes, The Nutcracker (Caravan Farm Theatre) and other community language projects.
Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin
Roman Borys, cello, co-creator, producer
Jamie Parker, piano
Celebrating its 30th season, the Gryphon Trio is one of the world’s preeminent piano trios, garnering acclaim and impressing international audiences with its highly refined, dynamic and memorable performances.
With a repertoire that ranges from traditional to contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.
Creative innovators with an appetite for discovery and new directions, the Gryphon Trio has commissioned over 100 new works, and frequently collaborates on projects that push the boundaries of chamber music. The trio tours regularly throughout North America and Europe, and their 22 recordings are an encyclopedia of works for the genre. Honours include three Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year – most recently, that of 2019 – and the prestigious 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council.
Deeply committed to music education and audience development, the Gryphons conduct master classes and workshops at universities and conservatories, and are artists-in-residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Trinity College. Dr. Jamie Parker is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance and Annalee Patipatanakoon is Professor of Violin at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.
Since 2010, the trio’s multi-faceted arts creation program Listen Up! has engaged elementary school students, teachers and parents in 17 Canadian communities and provided them with the experience and knowledge required to participate actively in the arts.
The Trio serve as Directors of the Classical Music Summer Programs at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
co-creator (fall 2022)
Reneltta is an Inuvialuk/Dene/Cree from the Northwest Territories. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line until school age, this nomadic environment gave Reneltta the skills to become the multi-disciplined artist she is now. She is founder of Akpik Theatre, a northern focussed professional Indigenous Theatre company. For nearly two decades, Reneltta has taken part in or initiated the creation of Indigenous-led Theatre across Canada and overseas. Current Director experience includes: Bound & Messiah/Complex (Against the Grain Theatre); The Birds (Studio Theatre); All That Binds Us(Azimuth Theatre); The Breathing Hole (The Stratford Festival), where she received the 2017 Tyrone Guthrie – Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director’s Award, The Unplugging(Gwaandak Theatre). Radio plays: The Unplugging (Common Boots Theatre); Niitahtaastsi (Jupiter Theatre); I Count Myself Among Them (Akpik Theatre); Ndoo Tr’eedyaa Gogwaandak – Forward Together (Gwaandak Theatre.) Co-Director experience: Kuekuatsheu Mak Muak (Anorae Productions) and Aklavik Journals (Stuck in a Snowbank Theatre). Reneltta has extensive directing experience working within Indigenous communities across Canada in self-created work.
For well over a decade, Ry Moran has directly served the cause of truth and reconciliation.
As Director of Statement Gathering and the National Research Centre for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he facilitated the gathering of nearly 7,000 video/audio-recorded statements of former residential school students and millions of pages archival records.
He then served as the founding Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). Ry guided the creation of the NCTR from its inception contributingto major national initiatives such as the creation of the National Student Memorial Register, designation of multiple residential schools as national historical sites, development and launch of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, and a major educational broadcast which reached over three million Canadians. Ry is now Canada’s inaugural Associate University Librarian – Reconciliation at the University of Victoria, a first of its kind in the country.
Remarkably, all this work rests on a foundation of music. It was Ry’s love of music production and recording that were harnessed in the recording of residential school survivors from coast to coast to coast.
A dynamic multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer and producer, Ry’s 2008 debut album, Groundwater, garnered significant recognition including a APTN First Tracks music video production award and multiple nominations including a Canadian Folk Music Award and a Western Canadian Music Award. His original music for two seasons of the children’s television program TigaTalk earned him the award of Best Original Score at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards in 2008.
Despite a pause in public performances during his time with the TRC and NCTR, music remained a constant, not only as a place of emotional healing and release, but of active composition and recording.
Presently, Ry’s original compositions can be heard on his podcast entitled Taapwaywin which is quickly establishing itself with tens of thousands of listeners per episode. Ry is a distinguished alumni of the University of Victoria and was awarded a Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General. He served on the International Federation of Librarians Association on the Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, is a newly appointed board member to the Royal BC Museum, serves on the executive of the Coalition for Canadian Digital Heritage and the National Indigenous Leadership Circle in Research.
Ry is a proud member of the Red River Métis
Alison Mackay’s performance creations have represented Canada on the world stage for decades. In 2009 her “Galileo Project” was honoured by the International Astronomical Union with the naming of the asteroid “Tafelmusik 197856” and in 2011, Australia’s Helpmann award for distinguished artistic achievement. Her ten projects created in international partnerships feature music, narration, and projected images and film and have received over 200 performances across North America, Europe, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand with actors speaking English, French, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, German, and Spanish. Five of these projects have been made into commercial films which have been broadcast around the world. Her musical adventure for children, “The Quest for Arundo Donax” won the 2006 Juno for Children’s Album of the Year. Principal double-bass player with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra for forty years, she appears on over 100 CD’s including nine Juno award winners. She is the recipient of the 2013 Betty Webster Award from Orchestras Canada for her contributions to orchestral life in Canada.
Eliot Britton (b.1983) – integrates electronic, audiovisual and instrumental music through an energetic and colourful personal language. His creative output reflects an eclectic musical experience, from gramophones to videogames, drum machines to orchestras. Rhythmic gadgetry, artistry and the colours of technology permeate his works. By drawing on these sound worlds and others, Britton’s compositions tap newly available resources of the 21st century. As a member of the Manitoba Metis Federation, Britton is passionate about Canadian musical culture, seeking new and engaging aesthetic directions that use technology to enhance expression.
Eliot Britton completed his Undergraduate Studies with Michael Matthews at the University of Manitoba and continued on to a MMus and PhD in music research and composition at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University under the supervision of Prof. Sean Ferguson. Here Britton has worked as a course lecturer, researcher and composer in residence for numerous ensembles. He is the recipient of numerous prizes, and research grants including SSHRC Bombardier graduate scholarships, Hugh Le Caine and Serge Garant awards and most recently a Canadian Foundation for Innovation award and a DORA for best composition and sound design.
Currently Britton is cross appointed between Music Technology & Digital Media and Composition at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. There he is building a media research-creation facility (Centre BPMC) and renovating the historical UofT Electronic Music Studios (EMS). As co-director of Manitoba’s Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival and an independent music producer Britton continues to produce events and music in a variety of contexts. His recently completed projects include “Adizokan” a 50 minute collaboration for Orchestra, dance video and electronics for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Red Sky Performance.
Of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour is an innovative composer/conductor/singer/sound designer with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works, including Take the Indian (a vocal reflection on missing children), Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Bawajigaywin (Vision Quest) and Manitou Sky, an orchestral tone poem. His new Indigenous opera, Mishaboozʼs Realm, was commissioned by LʼAtelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and Highlands Opera Workshop.
Andrew is also the founder and Artistic Director of the vocal group Camerata Nova, now in its 22nd year of offering a concert series in Winnipeg. With Camerata Nova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts”, many with Indigenous subject matter. These innovative offerings explore a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Andrew has become increasingly passionate about music education and outreach, particularly on northern reserves and in inner-city Winnipeg schools where he has worked on behalf of the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and various Winnipeg school divisions.
In 2007 Andrew received the Mayor of Winnipegʼs Making a Mark Award, sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council to recognize the most promising midcareer artist in the City.
Caroline has spent the best part of 35 years in the arts, as stage manager, production and technical manager, education manager, project manager and producer in UK and Canada.
It has taken her into community arts and human circuses in South London; large parades with boats, cars and bicycles made of sticky tape; giant puppets in Portugal; too many events in soggy fields; touring round the Scottish Highlands; running two theatres for young people in Wales; enjoying fireworks and tugs (fortunately at the same time); touring a multimedia theatre/opera production (Constantinople – C Hatzis + Gryphon Trio; What’s Classical? festival weekends; performances with 1000 performers (Apocalypsis – R Murray Schafer); night time illuminated walks in Canadian National Parks (Banff and Rouge) (Illuminations); Multiple choirs on a pond (Maada’ooki Songlines – C Derksen) and community presentations (Odaabanag-Jumblies Theatre).
She has one simple, but passionate, aim – to introduce people to the live arts as creators and participants, as well as spectators.See all events
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