Open Waters Festival 2014

Presented in association with Dalhousie University
Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 8:00pm to Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 12:00am
$25 Adults $20 Seniors $15 Students
Festival Passes

15 extraordinary events 

***Please note that all events previously scheduled at the Khyber Arts Centre are not at the...

Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre

From the inspired free folk of Mother of Girl to the haunting chants of Sanctuary and beyond, Upstream Music's OPEN WATERS FESTIVAL of new and improvised music features some of the most exciting composer / performer ensembles in Atlantic Canada today. Paul Cram, Artistic Director

The Open Waters Festival presents passionate, elegant, addictive, intense, celestial, playful, and interactive music.  From soothing vocals to horn freak outs, this festival presents performances which are always original and equally unexpected.  With musicians from all over the maritimes and Quebec playing exotic instruments from the willowflute, to wind-up radios, to transformed objects this is a not to be missed weekend of wonderful new and improvised music.

The lineup:

Thursday, January 16th

Alternating Currents

8:00 PM at the Dunn


SCANLINES builds upon Geordie Haley's prepared guitar cosmology heard on his album Sculptures (2008), but translates the setting from compositional to improvisational. Prepared guitar improvisations are melded with Adam Linson's live electronics and interactive programming, combining real-time and previously-recorded samples of Haley's sounds during the performance.

Geordie Haley, prepared guitars, Adam Linson, live electronics and interactive programming

9:00 PM at the Dunn

subText : 3x5  

The subText ensemble is five of Atlantic Canada’s foremost improvising composer-performers. The group blends the elegance of contemporary chamber music with the freedom of open improvisation. In this set, four members of subText present a performance created in real-time from simple instructions on 3x5 cards.

Christoph Both - cello, Derek Charke - flutes, Steven Naylor - piano, willowflute, electronics,
Jeff Reilly - bass clarinet

10:00 PM at the Dunn

Crofts/Adams/Pearse Trio

The Crofts/Adams/Pearse Trio is one of Nova Scotia’s most prolific creative music ensembles. They have played all over Eastern Canada and have released 2 CDs. C/A/P Trio can play acoustically, in collaboration with other performers, with electronics, live processing and multimedia. Tonight you will hear the most electronic iteration of the trio.  Tim Crofts is a pianist, pedagogue and concert presenter, Norm Adams is a cellist and Artistic Director of suddenlyLISTEN, Lukas Pearse is a bassist and media artist.

10:45 PM Room 401 at the Dalhousie Arts Centre

Opening Night Reception

Join Atlantic Canadian musicians and international presenters for refreshments and great conversation.


Friday January 17th

Mixed Currents

8:00 PM at the Dunn


“Completely addictive……. this is perfect chill-out music whose subtle atmospherics and unashamed quest for beauty make it far more compelling than such a description normally implies” – The Indepedent on Sunday,

UK Sanctuary is a musical trio based in Halifax, NS Canada. They have established a unique form of contemporary music that is rich, intense and lyrical. Much of their music is based on Gregorian chant but that is merely a point of departure –they transcend these ancient materials using improvisation, contemporary music atonality and extended techniques, to create a new form of contemplative plainsong for the 21st century.

Jeff Reilly - bass clarinet, Christoph Both - cello, Peter Togni - organ

9:00 PM at the Dunn

Mother of Girl

Mother of Girl is a Halifax born opera folk pop jazz creation of bel canto singing, trombone duets, and a multitude of keyboards and electro found instruments. Premiering at Open Waters 2013, they have since toured to the Guelph Jazz Festival, played JazzEast's Out Like A Lion, Halifax's Nocturne, White Rabbit: open air art project and created a "chambered nautilus" installation piece for the Creative Nova Scotia Awards. This year, you will experience Mother of Girl+ as members of Upstream Orchestra join them for a hybrid of melodic, improvisational and in-the-moment sound experimentation. For videos and touring details: 

Ann Denny - voice, piano, marimba, John Snow - box drum, keyboard, trombone, vocals, Ryan Veltmeyer, keyboard, trombone, vocals, new instruments, effects pedals, Paul Cram – tenor sax/clarinet, Geordie Haley – guitar, Lukas Pearse – bass

10:00 PM at the Dunn

Lazarus Project

Halifax guitarist/composer Patrick Healy established The Lazarus Project to create an aggressive form of fusion - sci-fi inspiration with cutting edge guitar atmospheres. As a trio formed with Brett Waye on bass and Charles Urich on drums, the group performs original compositions with an improvised celestial flare.

11:00 PM at the Dunn

Les Mécaniques De Nuit

A Viola meets a Violin, they have many conversations. Sometimes they reach agreement, sometimes they are at war. Featuring, poetry, and spoken word over instrumental improvisation.

James Southcott - Violin , Howard Beye - Viola

Saturday, January 18th

Atlantic New Music Network MeetingFacilitated by Tim Brady (Montreal)

11AM -1PM Dal Arts Centre MacAloney Room 406

Tim will talk about what the Canadian New Music Network has done to make a better home for new music in Canada.

Moving Currents

2:00 PM at the Dunn

Rites of Passage

CP Allen High School Stage Band: A stage filled with music students and bandmaster Nathan Beeler from CP Allen High School in Bedford playing compositions. arrangements of Stravinsky and free improvisations conducted by Paul Cram and Jeff Reilly. Electric!

Dalhousie New Music Workshop: New compositions, improvisations and conduction by Dal Music students Alex Arnold, Jackson Fairfax-Perry and Craig Lang.

Alex Arnold - laptop, Benjamin Marmen – cello, Brittany Can - voice, Rosanna Burrill - violin, Clare MacDonald – percussion, Alex Arnold - bass, Jackson Fairfax-Perry - saxophone,  Warda Limaye - viola, Clare MacDonald - percussion, Benjamin Marmen – cello and faculty  Jerome Blais - piano, Paul Cram - sax, and Jeff Reilly - bass clarinet

4:30 PM at the MacAloney Room 406

Halifax Sax:  ***CANCELLED***

8:00 PM at the Dunn

PANOS plays Panos Giannoulis’ music on guitar//bass//drums//sax//trombone//voices.  PANOS combines a background in pop/rock and improvised/jazz/experimental music to make some exciting new sounds that alternate between soothing soft vocals and atonal horn freak-outs.

Panos Giannoulis - Guitar/Vocals, Andrew MacKelvie - Saxophone/Vocals, Patrick Edmonds - Bass/Vocals, Andrew Jackson –Trombone, Doug Scurfield -  Drums

9:00 PM at the Dunn


Le GGRIL is a large improvisers ensemble coming out of a little Eastern Quebec town strange combination of instruments produces a unique sonic palette consisting of electric guitars, percussion, and strings.

Managed by Tour de bras (Rimouski), Le GGRIL is a major player in the development of new improvised music outside urban centres. The ensemble is interested in scores that ask players to make choices: games, rules, signs, and graphics are tools that composers can use to bring new material to Le GGRIL. Le GGRIL has been active since 2007. In addition to working on its own material, it has worked with major artists such as Jean Derome, Evan Parker, Joëlle Léandre, and Danielle P. Roger.

“All these young musicians had big ‘listening’ ears, knew how to work in a large ensemble, knew to wait and most important knew how to keep the music open and light. All this was done with a lot of fun,concentration and dedication“ Ab Baars, Instant Composer Pool

Olivier D’Amours - electric guitar, Robert Bastien - electric guitar, Rémy Bélanger de Beauport - cello, Anna-Lisa Cone - upright bass, Tom Jacques - percussion, Antoine Létourneau-Berger - percussion, radios, clarinet, Éric Normand - electric bass, Alexandre Robichaud - trumpet, Catherine Savard Massicotte - violin, Robin Servant - accordion, Raphaël Arsenault, violin, Marc-Antoine Mcakin-Guy - baritone guitar

10:00 PM at the Dunn


North/Sud is the exciting collaboration of Rimouski and Halifax. The group emerged out of a live recording session at Halifax’s Sonic Temple Studios in 2012 and continues to explore the relationship between these incredible musicians.

Paul Cram – saxophone/clarinet, Eric Normand – electric bass, Remy Belanger de Beauport - cello, Oliviers D'Amours – electric guitar, Arthur Bull - guitar, Lukas Pearse - bass

11:00 PM at the Dunn

Khyberian Knights

Upstream’s free improvising party band draws on compositions, spoken word, dance and multi-media in various measures. The Festival’s closing night performance features Arthur Bull - guitar, Doug Cameron - drums, Paul Cram – saxophone/clarinet, Geordie Haley - guitar, Adam Linson - Bass, Christian Murray - vocals, Lukas Pearse – multi-media, Danny Martin - trombone and Rick Waychesko – trumpet.

Upstream downtown receptions every night at The Khyber!

Tickets available at the Dal Arts Centre Box Office:  494 - 3820 or go to:

Adults: $25 Festival Pass: $50 (all shows at the Dunn and the Khyber)
Seniors: $20 Festival Pass $40 (all shows at the Dunn and the Khyber)
Students $15 Festival Pass $35 (all shows at the Dunn and the Khyber)  

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