Tina Pearson is a Canadian composer, sound artist, media artist and facilitator. Her projects are nuanced sonic investigations of perception, presence and place, and connections that are minimized or forgotten. Her work references biospheres, ancestries, spectral structures and long spans of time; usually incorporates attention states; and often occurs in contexts beyond concert or gallery, including outdoors, and within/through online platforms. As a performer (flute, voice, glass, accordion, objects, electronics), Pearson’s sound worlds reveal unusual textures and phenomena. Pearson’s work has been commissioned for concerts, installations, choreography, and video in centres through North America and Europe. Pearson was editor of Canada’s Musicworks, and taught Sound Studies at OCAD University in Toronto. She is director of LASAM Music, member of the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, and a certified Deep Listening® practitioner through Pauline Oliveros. Pearson is of Nordic and Slavic descent, and is grateful to live and work within the territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples.
Tina Pearson is a Canadian composer, sound artist, and facilitator. She has worked with artists in dance, visual arts, and new media in projects that play with identity, perception, presence and place, and the relationships between environment, performer and witness. Pearson’s work explores sonic phenomena, bio-mimicry, spectral forms and telematics, usually incorporates stretched modes of performance attention and practice and is often presented in contexts beyond concert culture.
Pearson’s sensibilities were formed through her wilderness upbringing in Northwestern Ontario, and the juxtapositions between there and Toronto, where she studied and focused on creating and improvising in the new music and dance worlds. Her early work explored experiences of performers and audience, such as the concert length pieces for mixed ensemble, Oxygen Tonic – Breath Guided Music (composed with David Mott); Colliding (an electroacoustic music-dance project created with choreographer Paula Ravitz and Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise); and the outdoor soundwalk piece Measure for a Mayfly. Other dance commissions include the harmonic series based RSVP (piano four hands, for dance by Ravitz) and the raga-inspired Saturn, (treble instrument trio, for Grant Strate and Menaka Thakkar). While in Toronto, Pearson composed and performed as a member of the Toronto New Music Co-operative. She was editor of Canada’s Musicworks Magazine, introducing its audio component in 1983. She also designed and taught a Sound Studies course at OCAD University.
After moving to Canada’s West coast, Pearson formalized facilitation and biospheric art practices into her work. With musicologist Dylan Robinson, she facilitated the concert-length composition And Beethoven Heard Nothing; composed, with Paul Walde, the performative sonic mimicry installation Music For Natural History; and completed the commissions Absorb (multiple channel audio and video installation); This Is For You (audio installation with listener scores); Carried On Your Winds (breath-focused multi-channel participatory installation); and Blood In My Wires, Dust In My Breath (for solo voice with video and electronics). Recent concert-length facilitated compositions with biospheric themes include Root, Blood, Fractal, Breath for the Contact ensemble in Toronto, and Root Bone Wood Stone for the Centre d’Experimentation Musicale in Saguenay, Québec.
Pearson’s interest in listening through communication technologies led to the creation of telematic compositions, notably the often-performed networked composition PwRHm, created for the Avatar Orchstra Metaverse; the mixed reality work In This Far Now, with Liz Solo; the multi-continent virtual reality work Rotating Brains / Beating Heart composed with Pauline Oliveros and Australian artist Stelarc; and the Skype investigation for hands, breath and voice, Hands Over Sky.
Pearson’s recent compositions with biospheric, site specific and ancestral themes, include Hunt (3) Chanterelles for mixed ensemble; Voicing the Widow Jane Mine for a group of solo voices; Migration of Their Materials, for toy piano and tabla; Tree Sing, for voice(s) and dancer(s) within a treed environment; Dawn In Glass, made from bird song analysis through the sound of processed glass vessels for outdoor installation; Toward a Reciprocal Listening (commissioned for World Listening Day 2020); and LAND SEA SKY, composed for outdoor performance and listening.
Pearson’s music appears on a number of audio releases. Her work has been presented internationally, including at the Network Music Festival (Birmingham UK), ohrenhoch Gallery and Klangwerkstatt Berlin Festival für Neue Musik (Berlin, Germany), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Vektor Game and Art Convergence (Toronto); Newfoundland Sound Symposium; Vancouver International New Music Festival; Festival ECRÃ (Rio, Brazil), Firenze MultiMedia Festival (Italy); Sonic Arts Research Center (Belfast, Ireland); New Adventures in Sound Art Sound Play Festival; Factory Theatre; Intersection (Toronto); Women and Identity Festival (New York), NIME – New Interfaces for Musical Expression (Oslo), Cluster Festival (Winnipeg); Electric Eclectics (Meaford Ontario); Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; among many others, and at conferences such as Brown University’s Art + Environment Symposium (Providence, USA); Digital Resources for the Humanities and Arts (Brunel, UK); Canadian New Music Network Forum (Vancouver); International Society for Improvising Musicians (Denver); and the Deep Listening Art and Science Conference (Troy, New York); Open Space; MediaNet (Victoria, Canada), among many others.
Pearson is an active performer and improvisor (flute, voice, accordion, glass instruments, amplified objects, virtual instruments) and producer. She presents workshops on listening, soundwalking, improvisation, biospheric art practice, and telematic collaboration, and is a certified Deep Listening® practitioner through the late composer Pauline Oliveros. She is a member of the global collective Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, and the Victoria-based Experimental Music Unit and LASAM Music.
Pearson is a first generation Canadian of Nordic and Slavic ancestry who was raised on the lands of the Couchiching and Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nations in Northwestern Ontario. She lives within the unceded territories of the Lkwungen-speaking and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples on the Pacific Coast of Canada.