Understory: Reimagining Musical Collaboration

Category: music 66

Fredericton musician co-founds online improv series bringing together musicians from across Canada.

Understory is a new virtual improvisation series bringing musicians together from across the country to explore new avenues of collaboration and sound. Co-founded and curated by composers Parmela Attariwala (Vancouver), Germaine Liu (Toronto) and Nicole Rampersaud (Fredericton), the series was created to highlight the world of creative improvisation and to help build new collaborative relationships between Canadian musicians. 

For audiences, Understory takes the form of video performances. But for musicians, the process is one of compliment, contrast and pure spontaneity. Built from layed solo performances, each Understory collaboration features three artists performing in a true improvisation while potentially being on either end of the country.

Each new session in the series begins with an artist recording a solo performance in both audio and video. This first layer is then passed along to the next two artists to build upon. Once each performance is captured, all three contributions are edited together and reviewed by the artists. The end results are both fascinating and unclassifiable thanks to the unpredictable dynamism that can only come from improvisation.

The first episode, comprised of two improvisations, was released on July 15 and features performances by SlowPitchSound, Lan Tung, Gabriel DaHarmoo, Nilan Perera, Randy Raine-Reusch and drummer Bianca Palmer who has performed in Fredericton with several groups in recent years including Luka and Beverly Glenn-Copeland. The second episode arrives August 19 with subsequent monthly episodes planned through until January 20.  

Future episodes will include performances by Fredericton-based musicians Emily Kennedy and Joel LeBlanc and Fredericton-born, Halifax-based guitarist Geordie Haley. 


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