On Monday, November 27th at 7:30pm at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Eckhardt Hall, Winnipeg’s GroundSwell be presenting their second live concert of this 2023-24 season. Called “Untethered” this concert will take the listener on a journey of sound and space. It will explore the premise that music means different things to different people and should be experienced differently because of this.

The concert will be guest curated by Winnipeg composers Rebeka Schroeder and Kiara Nathaniel and will feature the amazing Shhh!! ensemble from Ottawa. There will also be music for percussion quartet featuring Winnipeg percussionists Camron Denby, Caroline Bucher and Andrew Nazer with Zac Pulak from the Shhh!! Ensemble rounding out the group.

There will be compositions on the program by the two curators Rebeka Schroeder and Kiara Nathaniel as well as music by Jocelyn Morlock, Harry Stafylakis, Monica Pearce, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Elliot Cole.

The title of the concert “Untethered” comes from the idea of having audience members not be tethered to their seats. As curator Rebeka Schroeder explains, “When we were designing the concert we picked our theme before we picked our pieces. We knew that we wanted the audience to be able to move around throughout the concert. We settled on untethered because the audience is not set in their place…they are allowed to move around and experience each piece differently if they wish.”

The title also refers to some of the themes that are dealt with in the concert. Whether it is being untethered from real life and moving in the subconscious by way of dreaming, such as Kiara Nathaniel’s piece “False Awakening” or Monica Pearce’s piece “rem.”

Or perhaps it is being untethered like a ship is at sea; floating lost in a quagmire of questions about the future and what the future holds as is the case with Rebeka Schroeder’s piece “Fe’loare” meaning lost in Low German.

There are also works on the program that move away from the human psyche and deal with questions of untethered randomness, both on a macro and micro level.  

Harry Stafylakis is the Composer-in-Residence with the Winnipeg Symphony orchestra. His piece “Light Symbolic” deals with the quiet violence of celestial motion as well as the raw energy and force that is created from the death of a star and the eventual creation of other planets.

On a more micro level Jocelyn Morlock’s piece “Spirit Gradient” is inspired by the simplicity of a bubble inside a carpenter’s level. This idea of the bubble existing in two states… calm and placid when the level is perfectly plumb and chaotic and wanting to break free when the level is angled.

For the members of the Shhh!! Ensemble, percussionist Zac Pulak and pianist Edana Higham the opportunity to perform these works is exciting. “It’s been a really great experience so far. We’ve enjoyed putting it together,” states Zac Pulak.

GroundSwell’s presentation of “Untethered” takes place on Monday, November 27th at 7:30pm at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Eckhardt Hall. Tickets are pay-what-you-can-how-you-can so why not leave the humdrumness of everyday life and become “Untethered” with GroundSwell…