Sound Migrations at Western Front

Music-video improvisation performance, Vancouver, Oct 24-25 2020

Meredith Bates: direction, experimental violin

Lief Hall: voice, effects, octophonic modulation

Josema Zamorano: video performance

Meredith Bates invited Lief Hall and Josema Zamorano to co-create an improvisational music-video performance as the final part of her artist residency at Western Front. The collaboration converged, looking for a dialogue between aural, visual, and spatial experiences, reflecting on migrations and the living transformations that are part of it: sound becoming body movement, voice becoming ocean waves, music becoming awareness of space, wind becoming texture, the forest becoming cellular copulation, colour becoming mood, perception becoming the environment itself.

The video-performance part was created in dialgoue with the moment by using a digital camera as instrument to "play" two photomontages that depict abstracted landscapes.The imagery, read via body movements and gestural modulations over the lens, was processed in camera to produce moving colour fields, and was live-fed to dual projections covering the east and west walls of the Grand Luxe Hall.

The audio was performed live on an octophonic surround sound system and consisted of live acoustic and processed violin by Meredith Bates, and processed voice and octophonic manipulation by Lief Hall. The concert happened 7 times for a live audience of 8 people at each iteration. No performance was identical. The audience moved through lighted spots on the floor to perceive a diversity of aural-visual perspectives.

The HiFi Sound Migrations audio track (from one of the actual performances) is available at:

With thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the SOCAN Foundation, and The Western Front.