EarWitness

To view excerpts from EarWitness, please visit VIDEO on this site.

“a memorable and mind-blowing concert.” — TIMES QUOTIDIAN, LOS ANGELES

A “remarkable performance” by Eve Egoyan, and an “exceptional collaboration between Eve Egoyan, John Oswald, Nicole Lizée, Michael Snow and David Rokeby” — IMAGES FESTIVAL JURY AWARDS CITATIONS (BEST MEDIA ARTWORK AWARD
2016)

EarWitness is an umbrella name for projects conceived by Eve Egoyan that explore a hybrid art form, where sound and visual elements become equal creative partners. Eve commissions and programmes works that bridge both arts practices in unique ways, creating new, refreshing and remarkable experiences for her audiences. During her performances of these works Eve invites the public to share in an ever deepening experience of both image and sound and the multilayered relationships between them.

Past projects:

Surface Tension: In 2009, Kitchener’s Open Ears Festival commissioned Surface Tension for disklavier and image in which Eve partnered with Canadian media artist David Rokeby. Surface Tension has toured internationally (Belfast and Paris) since its conception, most recently in Toronto at Koerner Hall during the inauguration of the 21C festival.

“Eve Egoyan and David Rokeby’s multimedia work Surface Tension [featured in Musicworks 105  “Visions of Sound” and on that issue’s CD] was a memorable highlight. Egoyan performed on a six-foot disklavier piano that was hooked up via MIDI to Rokeby’s computer, which ran original software, projecting a large dynamic image above the pianist. The work was structured in five improvisatory movements defined by distinct video interactions. The MIDI data coming from the disklavier, including pitch, dynamics, note length, and sustain pedal, affected the image in interesting and novel ways, seamlessly extending Egoyan’s luscious improvising into the world of images. Surface Tension was an effective demonstration of the creative potential of interactive media. Image, initially influenced by music, in turn influenced music. It was a full-circle musical-visual experience that managed to avoid the main danger with this type of project: the never far off thought that you might be watching a screen saver.” – Andrew Staniland, MusicWorks, Winter 2010

Graphic Scores Concert: In 2011, Eve curated a programme of works by Canadian visual and sound artists (Chiyoko Szlavnics, James Tenney, John Oswald, Gordon Monahan, and Malcolm Goldstein) presented at the Music Gallery, Toronto, which pushed the idea of the musical score to its limits. The success of these two adventurous and inventive programmes inspired Eve to establish EarWitness.

Canada has an unusually rich community of artists who work in both image and sound. Inspired by this community, Eve established EarWitness as a parallel stream to her solo piano practice of contemporary composed music.

EarWitness 2016 Tour:

For EarWitness’ first full concert and touring programme, Eve partnered with renowned Canadian artists Nicole Lizée, Michael Snow, John Oswald and David Rokeby. For this concert, Eve performed on a grand Yamaha disklavier (an acoustic piano with a digital interface that catalogues all touch-based information). In a new work developed with David Rokeby, unique, abstract visual worlds respond directly to Eve’s performance. In Nicole Lizée’s work, the images are drawn from the films of David Lynch. John Oswald’s work is text based, a musical homage to Michael Snow’s great silent film So Is This. Michael Snow’s composition is choreographed so that the range of body movements of the pianist herself provides a dynamic visual expression. Eve gratefully acknowledges funding from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council.

Ann Southam’s Simple Lines of Enquiry alongside David Rokeby’s Machine for Taking Time (duration one hour): This presentation is the meeting of two independent works of art; the music and video are not explicitly synchronized, but move through time in compatible ways that enliven each other. Both works involve a process of unfolding – a camera pans across a city and across time; the music explores of the emotional possibilities of a twelve- interval row. Each embraces extreme detail and timeless expansiveness. The held sonorities of the piano link seamlessly to the subtle pan/shift of images through time. They are both gently emotional contemplations of transience; places of remembering and letting go.

Touring destinations in 2016 include the Musée des beaux arts de Montréal at Bourgie Hall in collaboration with McGill University (Montréal), Other Minds Festival of New Music (San Francisco), Roy and Edna Disney/ CalArts Theatre (Los Angeles), University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Irvine, and Stanford University. the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal in collaboration with McGill University (Salle Bourgie), the Images Festival (Aga Khan Museum, Toronto) and Classical: NEXT (De Doelen,
Rotterdam). These tours have received Canada Council International Touring funding.

Subsequent development of other works and touring of this programme internationally are part of this project’s eventual goals.

links to pre-existing work:

Ann Southam’s Simple Lines of Enquiry and David Rokeby’s Machine for Taking Time: https:// vimeo.com/83820037

Surface Tension for disklavier and real-time images: http:// vimeo.com/20532599

Current projects:

Palimpia (2016), by John Oswald
disklavier*

David Lynch Études (2016), by Nicole Lizée
solo piano and images drawn from the Wlms of David Lynch

E V ∃ , for Eve Egoyan (2014), by Michael Snow
solo piano

Homonymy (1998, revised 2016), by John Oswald ­
disklavier* and text based imagery

Surface Tension (2009– ), by Eve Egoyan and David Rokeby
disklavier* with interactive visuals

Simple Lines of Enquiry (2004) by Ann Southam and
Machine for Taking Time (2001–4) by David Rokeby
solo piano and the moving image

*an acoustic piano with computer interface