by Tina Pearson and Paul Walde
Part tragic love song for the wilderness, part performative sound art, Music for Natural History is a live performance that gives voice to the taxidermied birds and mammals, human-made trees and painted landscapes that form the exhibitions in the Natural History Gallery of the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. Through careful cataloging, research and transcription, composers and sound artists Tina Pearson and Paul Walde have translated sounds of the flora and fauna seen in the dioramas into two naturalistic sound scores that invite performers and audiences an entry to forgotten ways of listening and sounding.
Music for Natural History had its workshop presentation during Site and Sound, an event curated by Chris O’Connor at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC Saturday April 28, 2012.
Victoria-based artists, musicians and performers were invited to re-imagine each of the displays on the second and third floors of the Museum. In response, Walde and Pearson collaborated to create a living sound score for the two of the dioramas in Natural History Wing (Forest and Seashore). They invited musicians and singers from the community to participate.
Building on the success of the workshop production, LaSaM Music and the Royal BC Museum worked with the composers to produce a full scale version of the work in January 2016.
Performers April 2012:
Grace Salez, Geraldine Bulosan, John G Boehme (voices); Andie Lemus, (voice, violin); Steeve Bjornson (guitar, percussion); Olie Dason (clarinet); George Tzanetakis (clarinet, saxophone); Alfons Fear (trumpet, euphonium); Sasha Opeiko (violin); Dong Kyoon (ocarinas); Julia Zhu (flute, recorder, slide whistle); Paul Walde (guitar, percussion, cymbal); Tina Pearson (flute head, slide whistle, ocarina, voice).