In a fixed location, writers type out observations of the world unfolding around them. In that same moment, a town choir receives these observations via a large screen and sings them out to the public. Drawing on patterns of relaying information that mirror Twitter or Facebook, Town Choir treats everyday considerations as the news. Intimate and minute details are transmitted through the ether, and then filtered through the live body in an epic choral declaration.
Town Choir is the musical iteration of Theatre Replacement’s Town Criers project, a continuing series of site-oriented performances that are built through partnerships with an artist or company and a festival or venue in any given location. Town Choir premiered at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver in 2017, and has toured to the Dublin Fringe Festival (September 2017) and Mayfest in Bristol, England (May 2018).
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
January 22, 2017: Woodward’s Atrium
January 29, 2017: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
February 5, 2017: Vancouver Public Library Central Branch Atrium
Town Choir was performed by the Vancouver Youth Choir, conducted and composed by Robbie Blake, and featured writing by notable Canadian singer/songwriters Kim Barlow (Canning, Nova Scotia), Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Montréal), Christine Fellows (Winnipeg) and Raghu Lokanathan (Prince George). Directed by Theatre Replacement Artistic Directors Maiko Yamamoto & James Long with Multimedia Design by Remy Siu and Technical Direction by Carey Dodge.
Presented with support from Westbank, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Vancouver Public Library, Canada Council for the Arts, City of Vancouver, BC Arts Council and the Province of British Columbia. Robbie Blake’s participation in the development and presentation of Town Choir was supported by Tonnta (Ireland).
Dublin Fringe Festival
September 16, 2017 at 12 noon
September 17, 2017 at 12 noon and 3pm
Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre
Performed by Tonnta with The SuperTones, conducted and composed by Robbie Blake with writing from acclaimed YA Authors, Dave Rudden and Deirdre Sullivan (Dublin). Directed by Maiko Yamamoto with Multimedia Design by Remy Siu and Produced by Corbin Murdoch.
May 19 & 20, 2pm
The Galleries Shopping Centre
May 26 & 27, 2pm
Featuring writers Helen Sheppard, River Harris, Rose Perry and Grace Parker-McKoy. Performed by Take Thou That Singers. Artistic Direction by James Long and Maiko Yamamoto, Conducted and Composed by Robbie Blake with Media Design and Operation by Remy Siu. Produced by Corbin Murdoch.
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Photos by Emily Cooper and Simon Lazewski
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