Photo credit: Caroline Tabah

Choral Interventions
by Harold Sikkema – Artist and Masters candidate at McMaster University

"Choral Interventions" find themselves in confluences amidst photocollage, gesture, mobile apps, projection, and the contemporary (chamber) choir.

What kinds of interventions can be made in choral music performances that help us to reframe our agency as audiences, performers, accompanists, and composers? How might choral multimedia intervention either support the integrity of, or subvert the inevitability of the choral score? How might the deep ground of an historic choral sublime be fruitfully inverted given contemporary (political) geographies?

My setlist of choral experiments includes three areas. First I ask an audience to conduct live singers using a "dismissive" social media swipe gesture to usher in the next measure. Second, I ask the gestures of Ontario's geography to improvise (as photocollage) over the sonograph of the score, which I synchronize with a realtime vocal ensemble. Finally, with live processing techniques (more typical in generative artmaking), I wonder "aloud" how the gestural information in the movements of conductors and singers might attenuate a visual instrument.

About the Performer

Harold Sikkema is a multimedia artist with a focus on photography. He holds a BA in Fine Art and Multimedia from McMaster (2009). He has exhibited his high resolution aluminum composites internationally, exploring a gestural geography of (Canadian) landscape as well as the charged textures of domestic surfaces. As a communications consultant, Harold has worked to support humanitarian networks as well as advocacy groups in the arena of HIV/AIDS response. His web development experience now serves him well in the pursuit of multimedia installation works. Having recently returned to McMaster for graduate work in Multimedia, Harold is enthused about singing with the McMaster Choir. He sings Tenor, but prefers the bass-line of the waterfront to fuel his thinking and making.



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