A Sonic Tapestry: U of G Researchers Curate Guelph Musicians’ Reactions to COVID-19

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Giving musicians a way to reflect on the pandemic and to showcase their work is the goal of a new video curated by University of Guelph researchers.

Dr. Alyssa Woods and Dr. Kimberly Francis, professors in the School of Fine Art and Music (SOFAM), have curated the 52-minute video A Sonic Tapestry whose 11 new compositions provide a musical commentary on the impact of COVID-19 on the music industry. It is accompanied by a virtual roundtable discussion where artists had the opportunity to reflect on the deeply personal and professional disruption caused by the pandemic.

“This project collects, connects and archives musical responses to the pandemic within the Guelph community,” said Woods. “Our Sonic Tapestry brings together short works by musicians, including University of Guelph faculty, students, alumni and local artists.”

Featured artists include, Bonnie Trash, Adam Bowman, Alpha Kayondo, Luyos MC, Andrew McPherson, Joseph Murray, NEFE, Joni NehRita, Marion Samuel Stevens, Mohammadreza Yazdanpanah and Voidii. Also  involved were SOFAM professor Dr. Marta McCarthy, undergraduate research assistant Hayley Berry and video editor Dustin Seabrook.

Francis said the project aimed to creatively connect each artist’s unique perception of the pandemic and to strengthen ties between U of G and musicians in the community.

“Our hope was to highlight the widely varied experiences – whether physical, emotional or creative – of Guelph artists, while allowing their music to draw us together to reflect, grieve and support one another through the pandemic and beyond,” she said.

“The social and cultural context in which the works were produced connect the unique experiences of Guelph artists with the broader landscape of responses to the pandemic.”

A Sonic Tapestry is free and will be available for public viewing on the Guelph Sonic Tapestry website until September, 2021. The project will be archived in the U of G library to give future artists insight into how COVID-19 affected the music industry and to allow current artists to reflect on their lives during the pandemic.

Woods described the video as an artistic snapshot that supports creative expression and amplifies the voices of a diverse group of Guelph-based artists ultimately connecting the community through music.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a redefinition of how we work, play, create and interact socially. This project provided a much-needed opportunity for musicians to come together virtually in the creation of new music,” she said.

This project was funded by U of G’s Creating in a Time of Coronavirus Fund with additional contributions from the College of Arts and SOFAM.

Contact:

Dr. Alyssa Woods
awoods08@uoguelph.ca

Dr. Kimberly Francis
kfranc02@uoguelph.ca