Fiver presents Audible Songs From Rockwood at St. Matthew's United Church
St Matthew's United Church
729 St Clair Avenue West
EVENT EDIT: St. Andrew-By The Lake is no longer the venue for this show due to the flooding of the Toronto Island. Instead the event will be held at the Parlour at St. Matthew's Church, at St. Clair W. and Rushton Rd. Enter via Rushton Rd entrance. If using a wheelchair, someone will help you through the accessible entrance.
Come usher in Fiver's Audible Songs From Rockwood into the world, with a live performance of the tunes on the record by Simone Schmidt, accompanied by The Lonesome Ace String Band (Chris Coole, Max Heineman, John Showman) and Kristine Schmitt.
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Fiver's latest album Audible Songs From Rockwood is a series of eleven fictional field recordings, gathered from case files of patients at the Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane between 1854-1881. Over the course of 2 years, Schmidt pored over the asylum's primary documents - patient files, architectural diagrams, superintendents' diaries - spinning her findings into historical fiction and, from there, into song. The voices on the record are crafty, witty, evasive, despondent, and lucid. Audible Songs of Rockwood shapes its subject matter as expertly as any old bluesman would, with wit, baseless optimism, sadness, and even joy. Using a strictly acoustic sonic pallet and working with some heavies in the Old Time folk tradition (John Showman, Max Heineman, Chris Coole, Kristine Schmidt) and odd ball instrumentalists (Cris Derksen, Alia O’brien of Blood Ceremony) the performances carry forward potent gateways to explore the tragedy and optimism that gives traditional roots music its soul, while also reminding the world of people, left to the margins of History, out of sight and mind.
The album is accompanied by a book written by fictional ethnomusicologist, Simone Carver, written in the style of the liner notes of Smithsonian Folkways compilations. It includes lyrics and supplemental information about the historical context of the inmates and their songs along with original artwork by Darby Milbraith, Geneva Hailey, Markus Lake, Jennifer Castle, Jeff Bierk and Julianna Neufeld. The package carries questions about the archive as an apparatus of colonial power, definitions of sanity and criminality, and the early settler-colonial agenda foundational to those modes of thought still operating in today’s carceral system.
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