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Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound: 2005, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Untitled Document

We are pleased to announce the 2005 edition of the:

Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound
April 26-May 1, 2005, Kitchener, Ontario |

full pass:
$150/$90 before March 1st
($200/$130 after March 1st)


Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound
April 26-May 1, 2005


The focus of all events is the act of listening. Featuring a mix of local, national and international artists, concerts have featured ensembles from traditional ensembles such as string quartet, orchestra, choir to turntable art, musique actuelle, outdoor electroacoustic events, multi-media, dance and the Ensemble Karel bicycle orchestra from Montreal. A late night series concentrates on cutting edge work from the world of live electracoustics (which have included two outdoor shows with fireworks) and improvised music.


Concerts are presented indoors and out, in traditional concert halls and churches as well as alternative spaces, including several buildings which had been abandoned for many years and brought to life for the festival.


Richard Windeyer's 'A Soniferous Garden' saw the audience led through a dance/theatre/music performance throughout Victoria Park, an ambient music-theatre piece involving performers from the surrounding community. This unique outdoor event allowed visitors to the park to walk through a subtle and surprising blend of live music, sounds, and imagery loosely drawn from the park's 102-year history.


Other guest composers and performers have included Pauline Oliveros, Murray Schafer, Uri Caine, Martin Tétrault, Henry Kaiser, Michael Snow, John Oswald, Tim Brady and Hildegard Westerkamp, as well as local ensembles such as the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, NUMUS Concerts, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, Dancetheatre David Earle and the Penderecki String Quartet.

photo by Ron Hewson

Sound installations are an integral part of the festival. The 'innerEar' festival-within-a-festival presents a variety of work in collaboration with the K-W Art Gallery, the KOR gallery and students from Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo. In 1999 the Sonic Playroom, an installation in which sound-generating sculptures and installations can be explored by visitors of all ages was presented over a five day period to over 1000 people - families, school children, people dropping in off the street . (The space was so popular that in the end some of the pieces had been 'played' to their death!)

Public workshops, symposia and sound walks as well as in-the-school educational events are also an important part of Open Ears, whose community outreach involves a huge community effort with literally hundreds of volunteers and professionals involved, from students of local public schools and universities to professional orchestra musicians, city councillors and local business people. A large proportion of the audience were given their first exposure to new music, and the thousands that attended in the concert halls, in the parks, and on the streets responded enthusiastically.

In 2001, the Canadian League of Composers held their 50th anniversary celebration as part of the festival.


Selected comments from the audience:

"I truly appreciated the diverse and very interesting programming as well as the opportunity to hear works by Canadian composers who are not performed frequently but who deserve to be. The excitement in the well-attended concerts, symposium panels and late-night events was palpable. It was also a marvel of efficiency and organization. We need more "alternative" visions of artistic direction such as these in a country where there are many relevant views of what is new in music besides the dominant mainstreams of Toronto and Montréal. That you were able to present such a different line-up of interesting Canadian works so close to metropolitan Toronto attests to this diversity. It casts an optimistic light on the ability of other "smaller market" regions to cultivate unique programs that highlight the present strength and an increasingly rich past of Canadian works. Thank you again for an enlightening week."

"I thoroughly enjoyed the interviews with composers, the music and the 'different' locations. I liked the informality that seemed to make the music very accessible. The diversity of events and musical experiences helps bridge the generation gap - I was able to entice my niece and two nephews out with the promise of dance, drums and scratch artists!"

"I know I'm not the only one who was impressed by the inclusiveness of the festival and the real sense of community you've facilitated. It's especially rare to see so many young people at contemporary concerts - bravo!!"




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