Interview with Erin Donovan
1. What is your Afterglow 2018 project called? Could you describe it? What is its inspiration?
Our 2018 Afterglow project is called Filament. It is a series of experimental improvisations for dancer (Jacinte Armstrong), electric guitar (Geordie Halley) and percussion (Erin Donovan). I like the word Filament as a starting off point for improvisation because it conjures up both the natural world (animals, plants, fungi) and the man-made world (electricity, light-bulbs, currents). Combining human movement with acoustic and electric sounds as well as some experiments with light is going to make for an interesting show! This is the first phase of a larger scale project that I’m working on - so we can say this project will be born in Bridgewater!
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, and your creativity.
I live in Mahone Bay and I’m the artistic director of Hear Here Productions. My organization has been making experimental performance art for 20 years in Toronto, Alberta and now (after years away) Nova Scotia - but I have yet to create something for the South Shore. Hear Here’s Burnwater show has been to East Dover, Shelburne, Halifax and this summer will be at the Ship’s Company Theatre in Parrsboro- but I have yet to build something in my own backyard, so I’m super excited about Afterglow!
3. How do you feel Afterglow makes an impact on Bridgewater?
I grew up in St. John’s Newfoundland which has a very strong experimental art scene; their Sound Symposium every other year was extremely influential to me as an artist. It wasn’t strange when I was growing up to watch someone push a piano off of Signal Hill, or to spend your Saturday afternoon at the Art Gallery throwing ping-pong balls at gongs - so festivals that push boundaries are really key to who I am as an artist. Creating situations to animate our public spaces not only brings those spaces to life and creates a sense of fun in the community, but it also makes our communities stronger. Public art is a very immediate way to bring us all together to celebrate who we are. Afterglow is a wonderful way to celebrate our arts and culture scene and make it accessible to everyone.
4. Why have you chosen to take part in this year's festival?
I’ve been wanting to participate in Afterglow for a long time now so I’m really happy it’s coming together this year.
5. What are you looking forward to most in this year's festival?
Really, I’m looking forward to taking it all in! Though I know from experience that I may not get to see or hear much if I’m performing - one of the hardest things about participating in a festival! I’m very much looking forward to connecting with my local South Shore community in a creative way.
About the Artists:
Erin Donovan/ Hear Here Productions: Percussionist, pianist and composer Erin Donovan presents multi-media events for alternative spaces with her organization, Hear Here Productions (hearhereproductions.ca). Her most recent work entitled Burnwater: Alchemy is an interactive sound environment with live performance and is a collaboration with Mocean Dance. This show opened in Shelburne, NS in 2016 and had a run at Alderney Landing in 2017 and at the Ship’s Company Theatre in 2018. As a freelance percussionist, Erin has performed regularly with Symphony Nova Scotia, Calgary Philharmonic, the Canadian Opera Company, Continuum New Music, The Banff Centre, Gamelan Toronto, Evergreen Club Gamelan, the Glass Orchestra, Array Music and her newly formed percussion trio Saltwater Percussion. Erin lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.
Geordie Haley: Guitarist, Composer, Improviser and Educator has been a featured Artist with new music presenters Suddenly Listen, Upstream Music, Vocalypse, and Open Arts. Geordie is a frequent contributor to the Halifax Jazz Festival, the Harvest Blues and Jazz Festival, and the Open Waters Festival. He has collaborated with dancers Shannon Cooney, Susanne Chui, Rhonda Baker, Sara Coffin and Jacinthe Armstrong. Geordie has played in the pit bands for Neptune Theatre, Theatre New Brunswick and Canadian Stage. As an accompanist Geordie has worked with Chrsitine Duncan, Tena Palmer, Tanya Tagaq, Loiuse Pitre and Measha Brueggergosman. Geordie heads the Guitar program at the NSCC Waterfront Music Arts Department and has been teaching at the Maritime Conservatory since 2009.
Jacinte Armstrong is a Halifax-based dance artist who has worked with many collaborators locally and across Canada. She trained at Halifax Dance before studying at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. Primarily an independent artist, Jacinte performs regularly with Mocean dance and SiNS (Sometimes in Nova Scotia) Dance, and was the Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio from2014-2018. Her choreography ranges from intimate and imagistic to large-scale collaboration with architects, filmmakers, and musicians. Jacinte is currently pursuing her MFA at NSCAD University.
FILAMENT and is a series of experimental improvisations for dancer (Jacinte Armstrong, Halifax, http://jacintearmstrong.com/), electric guitar (Geordie Halley, Halifax) and percussion (Erin Donovan, Mahone Bay hearhereproductions.ca). The word Filament is a starting off point for structured improvisations— it conjures both the natural world (animals, plants, fungi) and the man-made world (electricity, light-bulbs, currents). Combining human movement with acoustic and electric sounds as well as some experiments with light is going to make for an interesting show. Hear Here has been making experimental performance art for 20 years in Toronto, Alberta and now after years away. Hear Here’s Burnwater show has been to East Dover, Shelburne, Halifax and this summer will be at the Ship’s Company Theatre in Parrsboro.
Interview and blog compiled by Jordan Beck Crouse
Afterglow Art Festival
Tidbits of information about this years festival! Make sure to check back for interviews by local artists taking part!