September 21, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

Marie-Josée Chartier

As we have all been too much aware in the past 20 months, the opportunity to work in person has become a true gift and something that is deeply affecting how we can interact; in this context as artists, having the chance to be together for a few days and truly be given the time to investigate the work at hand has been tremendously beneficial.

I had the chance to be in Pontiac and specifically at the farm site where Pontiac Enchanté takes place for 3 days, living in a small appartment built at the back of the barn, right above all the horses! On that same level is the beautiful area of the barn that has been turned into a small concert hall. This is where the two members of the SHHH!! Ensemble is settled to work on their repertoire. I had the time to exchange with Zac and Edana about the following:

  • repertoire choices and order
  • the physical set up of the space taking into account the multitude of percussion instruments that Zak needs for the programme. Looking at the visual architecture of it all, as all these instruments are beautiful and finding a way to have the best set up also for the cameras and the upcoming livestream
  • staging in terms of how to go fluidly from one piece to the next when it requires changing of positions, walking, moving instruments
  • looking at the choreography of Retrouvailles by Aperghis and some physical coaching
  • general physical coaching as well for other moments and all around good posture and breathing
  • what they will wear and when they will speak
  • positioning of cameras and ideas for lighting

And of course the best of it all was getting to know each other as artists. I also got to discover these great young artists and also some wonderful repertoire.

The impact of a residency is always multi-faceted and will always remain one of the best ways to work when possible. Time and space basically allow us to move forward in efficient ways and to be fully invested without the distractions of a normal daily life.

I am grateful to have had the chance to be a recipient of such support.


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