08. February 2018 - 20:00 till 23:00
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Inside Us Concert | Western Front | Thursday, 08. February 2018

Composer Juliet Palmer hones into the rhythms of the body using specialized doppler techniques to make an audio map of body's blood flow. Combined with experimental vocals, the diagnostic ultrasound recordings take on an ominous yet sensitive feedback loop. Experience it live in concert on Feb 8th or as a sound installation Feb 1-10 (more info below).

Concert: Feb 8, 8pm
Advance Tickets: $15 General; $10 Students & WF Members

Inside Us invites listeners into the acoustic poetry of the body's interior. Vocal soundscape combines with diagnostic ultrasound recordings, giving voice to the rhythms of the circulatory and respiratory systems. Anchoring the live performance are sung and spoken recollections from the VOICE OVER mind choir focussed on heartbeat and breath. Fragments collected from the edges of life, these intensely personal moments coalesce into a documentary song cycle.

Inside Us evolved during an artistic residency at Toronto's Sunnybrook Research Institute. "Through conversations with scientists and clinicians, I've begun to grasp the complexities and power of biomedical imaging," writes composer Juliet Palmer. "Riding my bicycle to and from the hospital, I became acutely aware of the manifestation of physics and mathematics in the everyday world around me. The accompanying video is a visual diary of parallel processes scavenged from both inner and outer journeys: fluid dynamics, breathing of trees, fluttering of moths, bubbles, drops and flows."

In a unique live "mix," vocalist Laura Swankey joins the VOICE OVER mind choir conducted by DB Boyko in concert on February 8, 2018.

Inside Us is a part of the-possible-impossible-thing-of-sound instllation series that investigates real and imagined sounds beyond the hearing spectrum. It continues from the Fall with a visit from scholar/artist Salomé Voegelin (Feb 10) and the world premiere of Juliet Palmer’s latest work, Inside Us.

Experience INSIDE US as sound installation:
Opening: Feb 1, 7pm FREE
Exhibition: Feb 2-10 (except Sunday Feb 4) FREE

More info about the series:


New Zealand-Canadian composer Juliet Palmer is known as a “post-modernist with a conscience” (The Listener) whose work “crosses so many genres as to be in a category of its own” (Toronto Star). Juliet is the artistic director of Urbanvessel, a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. Recent works: Invicta, with text by Blackfoot Pikani spoken word artist Zaccheus Jackson (Signal Theatre and The National Youth Orchestra); Quarry for soprano Sarah Albu and Continuum (Touching Ground Festival); The Man Who Married Himself with librettist Anna Chatterton and choreographer Hari Krishnan (Toronto Masque Theatre); Vermillion Songs for tenor Simon O’Neill and NZTrio; Sweat, a ******** opera with writer Anna Chatterton (Bicycle Opera tour; and Center for Contemporary Opera, New York); Boots, an interactive boudoir opera (Opera Peepshow); Singing River, a site-specific performance at the Wonscotonach/Don River (Aanmitaagzi, Native Earth, Evergreen and Pan Am Path); and Voice-Box (Harbourfront World Stage premiere and Fresh Ground commission). Voice-Box was acclaimed as “a performance piece that smashes the boundaries between disciplines and leaves them sprawled out on the mat, down for the count” (Musicworks Magazine).

Laura Swankey - Soloist
Originally from Vancouver, BC, Laura Swankey is an eclectic and skilled improvising vocalist based out of Toronto, Canada. She completed a bachelor of jazz performance (voice) at the University of Toronto in 2015. With extensive performance experience nation-wide, she has shared the stage with artists such as Mike Murley, Ralph Alessi, Mark Feldman, Elio Villafranca, Poet Laureate Dennis Lee, and Christine Duncan, and premiered work by Juliet Palmer. Laura studied under Christine Duncan, Jim Lewis, Terry Promane and Allan Gilliland, all veterans of the Canadian and international creative music scene. In addition to leading her own, self-titled small jazz ensemble, Laura is involved in several performing groups of various genres in Toronto. These include the improvising ensemble Really Great Songs with Emily Denison (trumpet), Patrick O’Reilly (guitar) and Mark Ballyk (drums), acapella roots vocal quartet The Wind and the Water, indie-rock band Delusions of Grandeur with music by David Riddel (guitarist), and Christine Duncan’s improvising Element Choir. Laura is a natural improviser, with a passion for writing and can frequently be seen around the city sitting in with various jazz and new music ensembles. She is currently writing for her upcoming album in late 2016, and preparing for a European tour in February 2016 with a Danish-Canadian ensemble.

DB Boyko - Conductor
As curator and director for the New Music Program at the Western Front for 25 years, DB Boyko has devoted much energy to producing the work of other artists and bringing festivals such as VOICE OVER mind to life. A specialist in experimental voice, DB has performed with many Vancouver musicians including recent guest engagements with the legendary NOW Orchestra. She is the co-founder of several improvising ensembles including Hextremities (1980’s), the all women View Ensemble(1990’s) and more currently the Crossing Borders Ensemble. Her influences and studies in Javanese gamelan court music, dance, puppet theatre, and butoh have led her to participate in a wide spectrum of multidisciplined works with Mortal Coil, Snake in the Grass Theatre,Special Delivery Moving Theatre, Serge Bennethan, and Karen Jaimisondance companies. A specialist in traditional vocal repertoire for gamelan orchestra DB has sung and composed new works for Vancouver Gamelan Madu Sari.Her larger compositional works have included song cycle, Amphibious Tales(1992) which toured Canada and US including the Montréal voice festival “La voix se fait entendre.” Her score for the Arts Club Theatre production of Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing was nominated for a Jesse award (1995) which instigated a collaboration with first nations playwright Marie Clements for Urban Tattoo (1998). From 2000-02 she provided musical direction and composed for the millennial production of the SongBird Oratorio — an ecological tribute to Vancouver bird songs.

The VOICE OVER mind Choir came together for the first VOICE OVER mind Festival in May 2010 and is dedicated to the practice of improvisation and spontaneous choral composition. The group has performed for the video production of “Songs for a Better Future” by Romanian visual artist Matei Bejenaru. As well, the choir participated in Western Front’s collaboration with lower mainland schools, Vancouver Public Library and the Vancouver Symphony, performing in “Dzunukwa Beneath the Canopy and Through the Underworld: Stories, Songs and Celebrations”.

Western Front gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation, Canadian Heritage and the City of Vancouver.