The second annual Whitehorse Nuit Blanche is set to transform the downtown core into an all-night art playground. Inviting the audience to become the artist, this art crawl will bring installations, performances, and other participatory exhibits to life for 12 consecutive hours during the solstice.
With eight commissioned artists, a free breakfast, and numerous indie artists, there will be more than enough to see, do, and eat. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, this three-part article series will profile must-see artists and exhibitions.
This week, we will take a look at the local artists that will be taking over the Waterfront Trolley and Roundhouse for the night.
Two Piano Tornado Connects
Location: The Waterfront Trolley
Artists: Annie Avery and Grant Simpson
What if your daily commute had its own soundtrack? Now imagine it as it would be in the movies — an organic piece that changes in relation to the people around you and the time of day or night. This is the premise of Two Piano Tornado Connects, a spontaneous performance piece by Annie Avery and Grant Simpson.
Throughout the night, the two musicians will collaborate with the world around them as they ride the trolley with an everchanging cast of characters from which they will draw inspiration. Whitehorse Nuit Blanchers have a chance to witness and influence the ongoing musical creation while enjoying a free trolley ride.
For both artists, the trolley has a special significance. For Simpson, there is the personal history of how his great grandfather Fred came to the West. After an impulsive reaction landed Fred in a precarious situation with his father, he escaped on the rails and rode them across the country.
For Avery, there’s something about the history and the movement of the trolley that lends itself perfectly to the piece. “Because we describe Two Piano Tornado as an ever changing, spinning force of nature, being on a moving stage only enhances and intensifies the experience,” she says.
This won’t be Two Piano Tornado’s first time on a train either. Just last November, they played on the “Canadian” from Vancouver to Toronto.
Location: The Roundhouse
Artist: Jordy Walker
Audience members will play the dual role of listener and cocreator in this experimental participatory musical performance.
Fourteen handmade singlestring electric instruments will be scattered in various corners and contours of the Roundhouse, each with its own speaker. As Whitehorse Nuit Blanchers wander through the space, they will have the chance to interact with one another through the projection of sound. Playing independently, they will also be collaborating to create rich chords, harmonies and sonic compositions. Other visitors will be able to walk among the sound stations and hear individual notes or listen to the total effect.
Cluster Resonance will ultimately be a study in communication between the impromptu audience-musicians. “My main intention is to provide an environment where participants can immerse themselves in a specific sound world and focus on the communication that occurs when people create music and sound together,” says Walker.
He’s interested in what will be created as participants listen and respond to each other.
Walker is no stranger to sound art and interactive sound installations. Over the last five years, he has been developing a body of work, including Mass Guitar —a Bring Your Own String Instrument sound installation at last year’s Whitehorse Nuit Blanche.
Whitehorse Nuit Blanche will begin Saturday, June 20 at 7 p.m. and will end on Sunday, June 21 at 7 a.m. Visit WNB on facebook. com/whitehorsenuitblanche