Cluster Opens THR 28 FEB


Cluster 2019 Events • Buy Tickets

Foxconn Frequency (no. 3) — for three visibly Chinese Performers

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Doors/Show: 7:30/8:00pm
Rachel Browne Theatre
211 Bannatyne Ave.

Foxconn Frequency (no. 3) — for three visibly Chinese performers is a work of “algorithmic theatre”. This is an energetic performance that is never the same twice, utilizing real-time game mechanics to challenge three keyboard performers in a series of testings and mini-games sourced from piano training. Hands become a blur, lights flash, and projections intertwine with music to create an edgy multimedia spectacular. The show even features a 3D printer!

PROJECT LEAD Remy Siu CREATORS Hong Kong Exile (Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Milton Lim, Remy Siu), with Vicky Chow, Paul Paroczai, Matt Poon PERFORMERS Natalie Tin Yin Gan, Vicky Chow, Matt Poon TEXT Xu Lizhi (许立志) (1990-2014)

Up Down Strange

Friday, March 1, 2019
Doors/Show: 7:30/8:00pm
290 McDermot Ave.

An evening celebrating the work of one of Canada’s most important media artists: Winnipeg’s own Susan Britton. Cluster will feature the first new installation work by Britton in over 30 years, created in collaboration with her nephew (and Cluster-co-director) Eliot Britton! This evening will also feature the eXperimental Improv Ensemble playing live film soundtracks to highlights of Britton’s work.

In the Flux Gallery, Winnipeg’s Grace Hrabi presents a new sound installation that asks us to reconsider the apparent relationship between relaxation and nature. Erin Gee (CA) uses bio-sensors to create intimate music for just two audience members at a time. Finally, Kristen Wachniak presents a new dance performance that re-interprets the concepts of gesture and looping to explore identity in a dreamscape of sound—composed and performed by the artist herself.

10:00pm: after-show by CASATI


Saturday, March 2, 2019
Doors/Show: 7:00/7:30pm
290 McDermot Ave

co-presented with GroundSwell.

In true Cluster style, this is chamber music as you’ve never heard it before.

New York’s TAK “impresses with the organicity of their sound, their dynamism and virtuosity — and, well, just a dash of IDGAF as they slay the thorniest material like it’s nothing” (Q2 Music).

In this super charged concert you’ll hear works by Erin Gee (USA), Kate Soper, Ashkan Behzadi, David Bird, and William Kuo. You’ll also hear premieres by Cluster co-directors Luke Nickel and Eliot Britton. Instruments will combine with the elastic voice of Charlotte Mundy—as well as electronics, projections, and even roller coasters!—in a free-spirited and joyous exploration of contemporary chamber music.

TAK is: Laura Cocks (flute), Carlos Cordeiro (clarinet), Charlotte Mundy (voice), Marina Kifferstein (violin), and Ellery Trafford (percussion)

Aether*Eclipse: Beast Nest (Oakland, CA) + Mirror Frame (Winnipeg, MB)

Saturday, March 2, 2019, 10:00pm
Co-presented with / at The Output – Video Pool Media Arts Center
218 – 100 Arthur St.
** The Output is wheelchair-accessible from the King St doors

Beast Nest and Mirror Frame both perform solo experimental electronic works that take a decidedly spiritual approach to politics and sound. From conjuring noisy spirits to enacting ritual magic, Beast Nest + Mirror Frame aim in different ways to transform the gendered and racialized experiences of trauma and systemic violence. Directly embracing the decolonization of musical languages Beast Nest channels the echoes of depression and the horror of structural oppression into ethereal compositions that function equally as balm and alarm. Mirror Frame’s textured generative compositions alchemically pull at the fraughtness of technology and the body through sonic explorations of the possibilities of healing.

*Event programmed by Cluster 2019 Guest Curator Andrea Roberts

Machine Unlearning

Sunday, March 3, 2019, 3:00pm
The Output, VideoPool Media Arts Centre
218 – 100 Arthur Street

A dreamy afternoon double bill:

In Davis Plett’s Etudes for Keyboard, Plett uses a simple QWERTY keyboard to spin an elaborate text and sonic fantasy that imagines a utopian office space where power structures are dismantled and everything isn’t “so sad and terrible” (Plett’s own words). Expect poetry, typing exercises, and glitchy beats.

In Erin Gee’s (CA) Machine Unlearning, Gee uses ASMR techniques (the kind that make some people feel tingly when they hear things like whispers, soda cans opening, and hair being brushed) to perform a gently unravelling rendition of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. The text comes as a result of collaboration with media artist Sofian Audrey and the use of a deep recurrent network agent. Each member of the audience will receive a pair of headphones to bring the sound directly to to them.

Toronto composer and sound artist Maksym Chupov-Ryabtsev opens the show with a solo electronic set.

Canadian New Music Network (CNMN) Conversation on Diversity

Saturday, March 2, 2019, 10:00AM—4:00PM
Creative Manitoba
300 – 245 McDermot Ave.

A day of activities, presentations and a discussion about equity and diversity in Canadian new music and beyond with featured guests Erin Gee (CA), Melody McKiver, Jeff Morton, Remy Siu and Vicki Young. More info at

Public Lectures

Friday, Mar. 1, 2019, 5:00-6:00pm
290 McDermot Ave.

Composers Erin Gee (CA) and William Kuo discuss their work in a free artist talk (part of First Fridays).

Lightning Talks

Saturday, Mar. 2, 2019, 7:00pm
290 McDermot Ave.

Guest artists from the 2019 Cluster Festival discuss what inspires them to create in a playful quickfire format.

Free Workshop
Decolonizing Sound: Presence and Liberation

Sunday, Mar. 3, 2019, 5:00-7:00pm
Co-presented with / at The Output – Video Pool
2nd floor – 100 Arthur St.

Sharmi Basu will facilitate a workshop that aims to create intersectional conversations around resistance, music, race, gender, and spirituality. This workshop will work together to discuss what it means to create space for our selves with sound and ways that our art practices intersect with greater political movements and our own personal struggles. Ultimately this workshop will seek to redefine liberation through creativity and presence. We will shed light on ways in which improvisation and playing music can help marginalized people reclaim and create new identities and languages despite the distortion of and violence upon our cultures, work, and genders that have historically oppressed us. Decolonizing sound can mean decolonizing our given languages into ones we create for ourselves. What are the ways sound can be used to challenge capitalism, the police state, heteronormativity, racism, and gendered violence?

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