water walking

Performance by Mira Benjamin at Coffee Kabin, Huddersfield, U.K.
Video by Angela Guyton. Sound recorded by David Pocknee.

Water Walking is a 12-minute solo violin piece commissioned by Mira Benjamin with funding provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council. The work is a meditation on the recent walk —from Matane, Quebec to Madeline Island, Wisconsin— taken by Anishinabe activists last summer (2015). During their two month journey, the Anishinabe sought to bring awareness about the importance of caring for and protecting the waters of the Great Lakes. Symbolically, they carried a small bowl of water for the entire distance, without setting it down or suspending it from continual movement. When I heard an interview given by one of the walkers on CBC, I was very moved by this story; and as a composer, began to imagine how the journey of this small bowl of water could be explored sympathetically in musical terms. As such, the journey continues into musical form.

Water Walking was premiered June 20- 25, 2016 as part of Mira’s recital tour in British Columbia. Performances included: Victoria (Open Space), Salt Spring Island (ArtSpring Centre), and Vancouver (David Pay’s studio). The piece had its international premiere in August during the NU:NORD 2016 community-building project and festival in Huddersfield and London, UK.

 

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