When Rivers Meet

When Rivers Meet is a live recording of an improvised performance that took place on November 29, 2014 at the River Run Centre in Guelph, Ontario. It featured the Guelph Symphony Orchestra conducted by Judith Yan; the Guelph Youth Jazz Ensemble directed by Brent Rowan; musicians Jeff Bird, Daniel Fischlin, and Lewis Melville; dancer Georgia Simms; and storyteller Ben Grossman.

Improviser-in-residence, Dong-Won Kim, the world-renowned Korean percussionist and traditional musician who has played for years in Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, served as conceptor and Artistic Director of the project.

The fully bilingual (English/Korean) 2-CD recording was released in October 2015 by Barcode Free Music and features large-scale group improvisations, traditional storytelling, intercultural musical forms, dance interludes, and even audience participation.

Showcasing how diverse elements of a community can come together to make inspiring music using story and movement, When Rivers Meet brought together intergenerational audiences through words, sounds and movement that spoke to young and old alike.

The Improviser-in-Residence Program is a collaborative partnership of Musagetes, the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI), and the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community bringing improvising musicians into meaningful, sustained contact with local residents of all ages and musical persuasions in Guelph and the surrounding areas. Dong-Won Kim held the post of 2014 Improviser‑in‑Residence, a position he has held along with Douglas Ewart, Jane Bunnett, Rich Marsella, Miya Masaoka, Scott Thomson, and Susanna Hood.

When Rivers Meet was the culmination of four months of talking, playing, dancing, singing, observing, and debating about improvisation within the diverse creative communities in Guelph and Kitchener‑Waterloo.

Barcode Free Music is proud to showcase this uniquely collaborative, intercultural exploration of improvisation in a storytelling context led by a master musician.

Click here to download the complete When Rivers Meet booklet, which includes a note from the Director, performer commentary, the full performance program, a short essay by distinguished ethnomusicologist Dr. Joshua Pilzer, images from the performance and recording, and bilingual transcriptions of the traditional stories that were the basis of the performance.

Sponsoring Organizations:

When Rivers Meet brought together a remarkable number of community organizations and would not have been possible without the generous contributions made by the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, Musagetes, The Guelph Symphony Orchestra, Silence, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).