When Rivers Meet

When Rivers Meet was an improvised performance that took place on November 29, 2014 at the River Run Centre in Guelph, Ontario, featuring the Guelph Symphony Orchestra conducted by Judith Yan; the Guelph Youth Jazz Ensemble directed by Brent Rowan; musicians Jeff Bird, Daniel Fischlin, and Lewis Melville; dancer Georgia Simms; and storyteller Ben Grossman. IICSI Improviser-in-Residence, Dong-Won Kim, the world-renowned Korean percussionist and long-time member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, served as conceptor and Artistic Director of the project.

When Rivers Meet was the culmination of four months of talking, playing, dancing, singing, observing, and debating about improvisation within the diverse creative communities in Guelph and Kitchener‑ Waterloo. Click here to download the complete When Rivers Meet booklet, which includes a note from the Director, performer commentary, the full performance program, a short essay by distinguished ethnomusicologist Dr. Joshua Pilzer, images from the performance and recording, and bilingual transcriptions of the traditional stories that were the basis of the performance.

Read a reflection written about Dong-Won Kim’s 2014 residency by Jason Caslor (Associate Director of Bands and Orchestras at Arizona State University).

Barcode Free Music has now released a fully bilingual (English/Korean) 2-CD recording that features the event’s large-scale group improvisations, traditional storytelling, intercultural musical forms, dance interludes … even audience participation. Showcasing how diverse elements of a community can come together to make inspiring music using story and movement, When Rivers Meet brought together intergenerational audiences through words, sounds and movement that spoke to young and old alike.

The Improviser-in-Residence Program is a collaborative partnership of Musagetes, IICSI, and the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community, bringing improvising musicians into meaningful, sustained contact with the community. Dong-Won Kim was the 2014 Improviser‑in‑Residence, a position held in different years by Jane Bunnett, Miya Masaoka, Scott Thomson Susanna Hood, Rich Marsella, and this year by Douglas R. Ewart.

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