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Public Event - Conversation with the Ocean

Roy Barnett Recital Hall, 6361 Memorial Rd

8 May 2014, 19h30-21h30

The evening started with an introduction by Prof. Rena Sharon of the roundtable working on the use of music for therapeutical purposes with whom Spaceship Earth co-organised the public event.

The remarks were followed by a soprano solo "For broken and tired am I"


Next was a thought-provoking talk by David Maggs about arts and sustainability. He castigated attempts to reduce the arts to mere instrumental techniques for often manipulative purposes e.g. for promoting sales. He contrasted this with the need for a genuinely free and creative space that might more readily meet people's deep desire for beauty and making sense of the world in different and often innovative ways.


The evocative music for electrified flute, cello, and piano ‘Voice of the Whale’ by American composer George Crumb  hearkens the mysterious voice of this iconic species, while casting our imagination into what geologists call ‘deep time’. This beautiful piece calling on all senses enthralled the audience.


The break offered opportunities for conversations among the audience and also to provide some written feedback and suggestions to the roundtable participants.



Cornelia Nauen then spoke about the Spaceship Earth roundtable starting with an acknowledgement that the event was taking place on the unceded territories of Canada's First Nations and offering some reflections and thanks.



The surprise appearance of some of the masks of the forest spirits took the audience straight into the story of the Lost Child, which Beau Dick had explained during the learning journey on Wednesday.



The Ear, the Door and others emerged from the corridors on both sides of the hall slipping into some of the rows and approaching the seated audience off-stage. Little by little the spirits converged first in front of the stage and then climbing up onto the stage to perform some of scenes of the story.



Orchestrated by Beau Dick and a master of ceremony, it was a stark reminder of what we can learn from each other and our respective cultures.



And thanks to the hearts opened by the music, the audience was very receptive and willing to engage.




The impromptu performance left a special atmsphere. Just the right one for Naomi Takagi to take the audience further into a mood of listening to the music and inside themselves while viewing paintings by Robi Smith.



She first played a piece just composed by her sister for the roundtable and then several parts of the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach.


Time flew by and after another song it was time for concluding remarks and reflections on the commentary received from the audience during the break.


That role fell to Rashid Sumaila, one of the three principal investigators (together with Cornelia E Nauen and Sarah K. Meltzoff) of the Spaceship Earth roundtable.


Before we knew it, the evening and a very intense day overall came to an end. How much can be packed into a day and finish it with more energy left!