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‘Strings of the Universe’ Celebrates the Connections Between Weaving and Music

The new collaborative work from Debra Sparrow and Jack Campbell will be performed on violin, harp and double bass.

Arts Umbrella 14 Feb 2024The Tyee

Arts Umbrella is proud to present Strings of the Universe, a collaborative work by renowned weaver Debra Sparrow and violinist/composer Jack Campbell, on Feb. 25 at the Jack and Darlene Poole Theatre at Arts Umbrella Granville Island in Vancouver.

Strings of the Universe celebrates the universal connections between the strings of a loom and the strings of instruments. Featuring music composed by Campbell to structurally and artistically reflect the mathematical patterns and spiritual meanings within Sparrow’s blankets, this work illuminates artistic and natural love.

Sparrow, an acclaimed weaver, has been practising the craft for over 30 years. She is deeply involved with the revival of Musqueam weaving. The recipient of the BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art in 2008, Sparrow’s artwork has been collected and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Sparrow believes in the importance of passing on Salish weaving practices and Musqueam history to future generations, which led to her involvement in the co-creation of the Musqueam Museum School with the University of British Columbia.

Campbell is a violinist, composer, guitarist and producer. He has created and collaborated across Vancouver and Europe, commissioning and premiering over 20 works for solo violin. His compositional projects aim to build bridges between music and visual arts, dance and theatre, focusing on the unison between contemporary-classical sound worlds and visual art, dance, and electronic and acoustic soundscapes.

“Working with Debra has been one of the great honours of my life. She has inspired me infinitely with her knowledge and wisdom of life, art, creating and humanity, and taught me many ways about thinking of cultural work and its relation to the world and humanity,” Campbell says.

“My great passion in life is working in a so-called ‘classical music’ sound world to build bridges and break barriers between this land of sonic exploration and other worlds of musical and creative practice, and I thank her for trusting her life-long explorations of the relationship between visual and musical strings and patterns with my young mind.”

Strings of the Universe will be performed by three accomplished musicians: Jasper Wood on violin, Dr. Joy Yeh on harp and Meaghan Williams on double bass. Wood, a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, performs globally and is in demand as a teacher and adjudicator. Dr. Yeh is the professor and chair of the harp division at the Vancouver Academy of Music and adjudicates internationally at music competitions and festivals. Williams, a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, is the principal bass of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.

Strings of the Universe will be performed on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Jack and Darlene Poole Theatre at Arts Umbrella Granville Island. The event will begin with an interview with Sparrow and Campbell, moderated by Arts Umbrella’s President and CEO Paul Larocque, followed by the performance.

Tickets are free and are available through the Arts Umbrella website.  [Tyee]

Read more: Indigenous, Art

This article is part of a Tyee Presents initiative. Tyee Presents is the special sponsored content section within The Tyee where we highlight contests, events and other initiatives that are either put on by us or by our select partners. The Tyee does not and cannot vouch for or endorse products advertised on The Tyee. We choose our partners carefully and consciously, to fit with The Tyee’s reputation as B.C.’s Home for News, Culture and Solutions. Learn more about Tyee Presents here.

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