Song of Extinction is the world premiere of a fully immersive visual and sonic exploration of the anthropocene: the rapidly accelerating calamity that homo sapiens have unleashed on the planet and their fellow creatures. Featuring stunning large-scale projections and a tightly enmeshed score for chamber orchestra, chamber choir, live electronics and youth chorus, Song of Extinction will interweave breathtaking moving images with live surround sound for a uniquely massive, multimedia event.
The 50-minute work is a collaboration between composer Rose Bolton and filmmaker Marc de Guerre, from an original text by Order of Canada-appointed poet Don McKay and a live concert experience performed by Music in the Barns, curated by founder and director Carol Gimbel (creator of 1000 Strings).
Rose Bolton is one of Canada’s most inventive and multi-faceted composers. She has an extensive track record writing music for film, having composed seven full length documentary film scores for broadcasters such as CBC, TVO, Logo TV, and Arte in France. As well, her music for electronics and instruments have been part of several innovative multimedia projects. 2013 saw the premiere of a work for the players of Continuum, with 16 speaker electronics. In 2013 she also presented four works for violin, electronics and film at the Music Gallery’s X Avant festival, and collaborated with environmental artist Karen Abel, on a multimedia installation at the Gladstone Hotel’s Grow Op event.
In 2011 she was commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre to create a sound and video installation for Toronto’s 2011 Nuit Blanche, which was produced in collaboration with Marc de Guerre, and close to 1000 people experienced the piece during the all-night event. Her concert music has been performed across Canada by Canada’s leading ensembles, including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Esprit Orchestra, L’ensemble contemporain de Montréal, and the Aradia Ensemble.
Marc de Guerre is a documentary writer/director and artist who lives and works in Toronto. He has been making films since 2000. His most recent films include Life After Digital for TVO and the Documentary Channel, and How We Got Gay for the CBC main network. He is currently in production with a feature length documentary called Beauty and Ruin. The film, for Arte France and Super Channel, follows the story of the bankruptcy of Detroit and the fight over the masterpieces at the Detroit Institute of Art. Marc de Guerre is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, and his art background is a central element in his filmmaking.
Don McKay is the multi-award-winning author of twelve books of poetry, most recently Paradoxides; Strike/Slip, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize; and Camber: Selected Poems, a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. McKay is also known as a poetry editor, and he has taught poetry in universities across the country. He presently lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.