Down to the creek from the bridge
“Down to the creek from the bridge” was recorded in Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish Territory, during a live performance at the Imperial, a multi-purpose venue that in 2014 replaced a popular Chinese-Language house built in 1974 and known as the Golden Harvest—a cinematic hub for the immigrant population of Chinatown. The theatre was a destination for watching Hong Kong-produced kung-fu movies.
dashes’ improvised set, presented here as recorded audio, reimagines the sonic histories of the site where it is being performed and points to the changes in the city’s fabric due to the relentless process of gentrification of Chinatown and displacement of its residents.
Sound samples from One-Armed Boxer, directed by Jimmy Wang Yu, Hong Kong, 1971
Spoken text taken from a handbook for Chinese workers published in Victoria B.C., Canada, 1892
– – / dashes is a sound collaboration between John Brennan and Elisa Ferrari.
dashes’ live performances pay homage to the incidental and ephemeral microtonal exchanges that occur through layering sustained dissonant frequencies, live samples, subtle movements and vocalization of text borrowed from dictionaries, language, and sound manuals. In their improvised sets, – – combines sounds of amplified objects, feedback manipulation and modified percussion with field recordings and voice.
Elisa Ferrari works with archival fragments of text, image, and videography to consider the act and implications of retrieval, in projects that manifest through installation, performance, artist books, sound walks and photography.
John Brennan is a sound artist, drummer, and curator. Since 2008, he has toured extensively through Europe, Japan, and North America with different ensembles and solo projects. Over the past six years, his work on performance and improvisation has expanded to include sound installations and sound sculptures that consider the relationships between the sonic memory of musical instruments, the agency of objects, performance, and improvisation.
Elisa Ferrari and John Brennan live in Vancouver on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.