Improviser-in-Residence 2015-16 – Douglas R. Ewart

Douglas R. Ewart, the former chair of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) was the 2015-2016 Improviser-In-Residence in Guelph and Waterloo. Ewart’s residency included instrument building workshops, musical improvisations with local artists, a performance at the 2015 Guelph Jazz Festival & Colloquium and culminated in his orchestrated, massive community improvisation Crepuscule 2016, in Guelph’s Arboretum. The Improviser-in-Residence program is a collaborative partnership between IICSI, the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community, and Musagetes.

Mr. Ewart is a versatile composer, improviser, sculptor and maker of masks and instruments, educator, lecturer, and all around visionary. In projects done in diverse media throughout an award-winning and widely acclaimed 40-year career, he has woven his remarkably broad gifts into a single sensibility that encourages and celebrates the wholeness of individuals in culturally active communities.

Douglas Ewart: Crepuscule (1993-present)


1: of, relating to, or resembling twilight : dim <crepuscular light>
2: occurring or active during twilight <crepuscular insects> <crepuscular activity>Crepuscule 2016 poster

Crepuscule builds connections across boundaries of culture, class, gender, and ethnicity. This long term project began in 1993 in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a commissioned work by the McKnight Foundation, called Wondrous Waters, based on a composition with an enormous group of people performing music, inspired by the sounds, acoustical properties, and possibilities that land and water provided. Mr. Ewart modified the idea from being just an orchestra with a relatively passive audience into an orchestra of community and activities, and an active audience, a microcosm of society where many disciplines could converge.

Crepuscule events usually take place near a body of water, trees, or botanical gardens as a means to draw energy from the setting itself. The circle is imagined as a source of endless nature and power and persons collaborating in Crepuscule events often join hands at some point as a demonstration of that power, unity, and community.

Ewart describes Crepuscule “as a space for all people to perform all kinds of creative art forms and disciplines.”

Crepuscule events include a broad combination of community groups and artists organized as “pods” for the event. Learn more about the Pods of Crepuscule 2016 below.

Read Ewart’s Why Crepuscule?

Douglas R. Ewart performing

Douglas R. Ewart

Crepuscule 2016: Guelph Agenda

Crepuscule Map

Crepuscule 2016 in the Arboretum Map

The Pods of Crepuscule

Luyos MaryCarl

I am a daughter of the ‘post colonial’-state-of-the-PHL diaspora, deepening understanding of my roots including through connection with various Indigenous mentors in the motherland, and composing heart-led experimental gong-centered music using kulintang, sarunay and gandigan a kayo instruments, at times interweaving melodic lines of the Mindanao region of the southern Philippines into my performances.


Last year (2015) marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a vital organization that has embraced a diverse array of musical forms, practices, and individuals, and has promoted original musical compositions and fostered a collaborative, creative environment for musicians. This pod features resident artist Douglas R. Ewart and visiting artists Ann Ward and Khari B. Ann Ward is the current director of the AACM School of Music in Chicago and a renowned composer, pianist, vocalist and percussionist. Performance poet Khari B is the current chair of the AACM, and his work bridges the literary and musical arts. @discopoet #haikus4justice

Scott Thomson (ICASP’s 2012 Improviser-in-Residence) John Oswald & David Prentice

John lives in Toronto and plays alto saxophone. David lives in Flesherton and plays violin. Scott lives in Montreal and plays trombone. These differences will be sorted out through the playing.

Four Spoken Word Poets

Lisa Baird, Fannon Holland, David James Hudson, and Amelia Meister are four spoken word poets and friends from Guelph. Their poems interweave the political and the personal, ranging across themes of memory, family, migrant justice, empire, climate change, and more. They bring with them a combined 43 years of spoken word performance experience, including appearances at numerous national and international events, as well as multiple performances with poetry slam teams at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

NUMUS Improv Ensemble

NUMUS is one of the foremost contemporary music presenter/producers in Canada. Based in Waterloo, The NUMUS Improv Ensemble is a group of shifting membership, featuring both established and emerging talent. The ensemble focuses on freely improvised music and delights in interactive performances with their audience, displaying a wide variety of musical styles and instruments. Its performance at Crepuscule will feature NUMUS Artistic Director, Kathryn Ladano, on bass clarinet, Dave Klassen, winner of the 2016 NUMUS Emerging Improviser contest on percussion, Mike Borkovic, winner of the 2014 NUMUS Emerging Improviser contest on saxophone, Andy Dolgin on trombone, Grace Scheele on harp, and Jessica Nunes on clarinet.

Guelph GoGo Grandmothers and Others

Guelph GoGo Grandmothers and Others raise money to support Grandmothers in Africa, through the Stephen Lewis Foundation, who are parenting their orphaned grandchildren.

Two Cellos

Matt Brubeck is a JUNO award-winning performer/composer specializing in improvisation on the cello. Raised on jazz and classically trained at Yale, Matt is at ease in multiple genres and has taken his cello improvisation skills into diverse musical territories. Isaiah Farahbakhsh is a creative talent on the cello with roots in classical and jazz. Melding global sounds, pop sensibilities and free improvisation into his web of influences, he creates meditative, genre-defying music. Isaiah studied under Matt Brubeck as a teenager and this is their first performance together.

Environmental Percussion

Richard Burrows’ extensive musical career has taken him throughout North America, Europe, Mexico, Australia, and Asia. Having earned two Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto, Richard has honed his craft to create a unique approach in both education and performance. An avid educator, Richard has adjudicated and facilitated masterclasses with a specialization in improvisation. As an active freelance musician within his community and beyond, he has organized and performed in numerous events under the auspices of Open Ears Festival, with famed bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano in “Stealth,” and is a founding member of the renowned TorQ Percussion Quartet.

IMAGEO dance

IMAGEO dance is an enthusiastic group of movers who meet weekly to practice modern dance and improvisation techniques together. The group enjoys growing their capacity for individual expression, collective interaction and moment-to-moment composition, in close connection with music. Facilitated by dancer, Georgia Simms, and percussionist Adam Bowman.

Guelph Youth Dance

Guelph Youth Dance Composition Dances (15 and up)
Youth Choreographers/Dancers: Rowen McBride- Pilon, Brooke Powell, Kiera Watson
Music: Youth by Daughter Under Pulse
Choreographers/Dancers: Esme McBride, Maggie Bolton, Emma Gray Lamont
Music: 40 Winks by Spazzkid Comfort Me
Choreographers/Dancers: Ailsa Haennel, Corinna Shelley, Hannah Teron
Music: Comfort Me by Phildel Return and Release
Music: Ben Harvey, Maryn Work, Lisa

Mino Ode Kwewak N’Gamowak / Good Hearted Women Singers

Mino Ode Kwewak N’gamowak (Good Hearted Women Singers) are an Indigenous drum circle with Settler Allies. We follow the Anishinabe teachings passed on to us by Community Elder Jean Becker. We have been taught to follow the teachings of the Seven Grandfathers in all that we do. These are the values of Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, Truth and Wisdom. These teachings guide us towards living our lives in balanced ways. Out outreach and singing is about connecting with people and building better relations with Settler peoples. Singers attending: Kelly Laurila, Dorinda Kruger Allen, Bonnie Weaver, Hope Engel, Theresa McGregor, Amanda Mandawoub, Meghan Boyter-Mandawoub, Bee Haehnel, Vicky Lucas, Irene Peacock, Wanda Power, Nikola Lang. Bruce Weaver and Howard Power will be supporting our women.

Puppets Elora and their Giant Octopus

Today: No Puppets – No Problem Before your very eyes Puppets Elora will create a cast of puppets and then perform the African tale Awongalema.

About Puppets Elora: We perform folk tales live with puppets, in English and French. We built puppets for parades (octopus) and offer puppet building and manipulation workshops. Founded in 1995 under the Elora Arts Council, we adjust our activities to the interests of our volunteer cast who seek to build community through puppetry.

Cold Mountain Internal Arts

Founded by Steve Higgins in 1990, Cold Mountain Internal Arts offers training in classical Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Gong (Taoist energy meditations) to the communities of Waterloo Region.

Steve Higgins, Lisbeth Haddad and Peter Reist will be demonstrating movements from Tai Chi and Chi Gong. We welcome your participation!

Silence Guelph

Each Monday, for over four years, individuals have gathered at Silence in Guelph for an improvisational practice called Morning Music. Our contribution to the Crepuscule event is based on the extemporaneous sounding that happens as we listen, respond, contrast, or be quiet. As an arts facility, Silence provides a portal for adventurous expression. We bring that essence to Crepuscule.

Voices in The Wilderness

Voices in The Wilderness is a gathering of local singers who enjoy exploring the possibilities of collaborative improvisation. Shannon Kingsbury, Tanis Slimmon Sue Smith, and Carey West are all experienced singers working in the community of Guelph. In this formation they will combine forces to practice a technique established by Rhiannon (We Be 3, Voicestra) which uses vocal patterns to provide support for improvisation and solos. Using deep listening, response to the environment and spontaneous inspiration the four vocalists will investigate the possibilities of making music with nothing but the human body: the original instrument.

More information about each of these singers can be found at,, &

Infinite Body Arts/Makin’ Faces Face Painting

People have been decorating their bodies for millennia to express themselves. Infinite Body Arts is a unique collective of artists that specialize in the fine art of painting people. Allow yourself to become our canvas.

Douglas R. Ewart’s Tops

As part of his instrument-building workshops during the 2015-16 Improviser-in-Residence, Douglas has been making a variety of tops. Join us under the gazebo to unleash your inner child and learn how to operate one of our special homemade tops!

Sorbara-Parsons Do Their Thing

Joe Sorbara is a highly inventive drummer and percussionist with a penchant for coaxing music out of practically anything. Joe’s drumkit is regularly augmented with found and prepared materials which ensure that the sounds at his ready disposal are practically orchestral in scope. He combines these skills with an extraordinary time-feel that makes him one of the most swinging drummers in Canada when the music demands it of him. He is equally at home playing jazz standards, free improvised music, punk rock, and chamber music – but prefers to play them all at the same time. At Crepuscule, Joe Sorbara is joined by his children, Victoria, Nico, and Reine Sorbara-Parsons. Together, these fun-loving, creative musicians will weave themselves and their sounds into the group, playing instruments created during Douglas’ workshops and brought by other pods, moving through the Arboretum and converging with other attendees to build and sound a deeper community.

Guelph Mighty Uke Club

A mostly-self-taught artist, Kim Logue is a poet and writer that hails from a business background. With more recent experience as an award-winning broadcaster, artist manager, papermaker, film maker, emcee, and songwriter, she aspires as a vocalist and musician. She founded the Guelph Mighty Uke club, wherein local players and enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels get together sing and play together to celebrate a fun and friendly instrument, and to promote health, peace, joy and happiness!

KW Habilitation Ensemble

KW Habilitation is a local not-for-profit organization that provides a wide range of individualized services and supports to children and adults with developmental disabilities. A good life is fostered through preschool and early learning supports, respite services, residential services, community participation and employment supports. Our work is guided by our Vision Statement: “A community where everyone belongs and participates” and by our Mission Statement: “Together with our community, KW Habilitation inspires abilities to enrich the lives of children, youth, adults and families“. Members of the KW Habilitation Ensemble are: Steven, Angela, John H, Lloyd, Christena, Alice, Charlie, Naffe, Britt, Kim, Luke, Emma, Brent, Steven, Suzie, Sandi, Richard, Bruno, Kim, John E, Stella, Wilma and Heidi

The Guelph Youth Jazz Ensemble

The Guelph Youth Jazz Ensemble (GYJE) provides young musicians with the opportunity to learn about and explore the world of jazz and improvised music. The GYJE believes music making is one of the keys to the development of youth. Through exploration of the jazz language and improvised music young musicians are allowed the opportunity to create music in a relaxed and safe environment. There is no pressure to fulfill a curriculum and the students are encouraged to create music in their own way. Under the direction of Brent Rowan, original and standard jazz music is written and arranged specifically for the ensemble. Members are given ample opportunities to expand their ability to read music, improvise and understand the jazz language.


Read the Media Release for Crepuscule 2016 Improviser-in-Residence Douglas R. Ewart Features Many Local Artists and Community Participants or Dowload a PDF copy of the press release.