Understory Release

New music was released online last week in the final episode of Understory‘s first season. Understory is a cross-Canada long-distance improvisation project curated by Nicole Rampersaud, Parmela Attariwala and Germaine Liu. I wrote about the project for Musicworks Magazine last summer, and then took my own turn to participate in the process in the fall. I was matched with two people I didn’t know before, Bea Labikova of Toronto/St. John’s, and Brandon Auger of Halifax, for this long-distance creative process. We got to know each other pretty well through all the audio and video files, emails and group texts, sent across three time zones.

Each of Understory’s seven online shows featured two trios of sound artists who collaborated on new music by layering shared recordings of improvised or composed material in rotation. Each collaborator then also shared video footage to contribute to edited together. Both Bea and Brandon do video work as well as sound, so they took the footage and made it into something beautiful to compliment the audio works.

Bea Labikova / Brandon Auger / Jennifer Thiessen
1:48 Becoming Ocean : Bea (sax), Jen (voice), Brandon (tape manipulation)
8:10 oakum : Brandon (tape manipulation), Bea (marimba), Jen (viola)
12:58 Reverie : Jen (field recording collage), Brandon (tape manipulation), Bea (fujara)

The second half of the video features the final trio of the Understory season, comprised of Jing Xia / Leslie Ting / Nicole Rampersaud, some of whom are close friends I was so happy to share a show with during this time when that so rarely happens!