Created and performed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and Vancouver-based choreographer Vanessa Goodman, Graveyards and Gardens explores the evolution of memory through sound and music.
Originally presented during the pandemic as a livestream performance by Goodman, with pre-recorded composition by Shaw, the new iteration will be performed live in Vancouver for the first time, featuring both artists collaborating on stage.
Surrounded by vintage lamps, plants, retro record and cassette players, and 400 feet of orange cables, Graveyards and Gardens begins with a cacophony of sounds. Goodman moves around the circle of technology, interacting with various audio stations as the soundscape builds in intensity. As the layered sound crystallizes into an entrancing electronic score performed and manipulated live by Shaw, Goodman’s responsive movement is awakened.
Described as an “entrancing meditation on the cyclical nature of embodied memory,” the performance is an experiential merging of movement and sound, as layers of Shaw’s soundscapes – from crashing ocean waves to tinny Edison wax recordings and distorted vocals – fold into one another, informing Goodman’s movement.
“We have had the privilege of watching this duo create together since introducing them in 2015. Caroline Shaw was Music on Main’s composer in residence and I felt her aesthetics would resonate deeply with Vanessa Goodman whom I knew through Vancouver’s dance scene,” says David Pay, artistic director of Music on Main. “Their innate connection is so inspiring, melding their two extraordinary artistic voices to create a transcendent experience that speaks to the greater loop of our existence within the natural world.”
A producer, composer, violinist, and vocalist, Shaw is the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, as well as several Grammy Awards. She has composed and produced music for symphonies, theatre, ballet, podcasts, films and television series. Her work as a vocalist or composer has most recently been featured in the television series Fleishman is in Trouble and Yellowjackets and films Bombshell and Beyonce’s Homecoming, among others.
Goodman is the award-winning artistic director of the Vancouver-based contemporary dance company Action at a Distance, whose work focuses on building immersive environments through performance-based practices. The company’s work has been presented across Canada, the US, Europe, the UK, and South America.
Music on Main and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs present Graveyards and Gardens at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 W Hastings St, Vancouver) from April 12-15. Visit musiconmain.ca for tickets and information.