National Music Centre announces first round of 2020 Artist in Residence participants

January 27, 2020

Electroacoustic drone musician Sarah Davachi is among the next wave of artists who will use the National Music Centre’s collection in the creation of new works. Photo supplied by artist. 

The National Music Centre (NMC) is pleased to announce the next four acts that will participate in its Artist in Residence (AiR) program for 2020, electro-pop artist Rich Aucoin, electroacoustic drone musician Sarah Davachi, honky-tonk country act Tom Phillips and the D.T.s, and beat producer Pomo. 

“Once again, we were overwhelmed with the number and quality of submissions for the Artist in Residence program,” said Adam Fox, NMC’s Director of Programs. “We’re continually amazed by the music that is being produced in this country and are eager to see and hear how this year’s cohort make use of our collection and our unique spaces. With that in mind, we will be offering public presentations that suit each artist and project, from behind-the-scenes sessions in our recording studios, to daytime workshops in our acoustically-spacious performance hall, to concerts in an intimate live music venue like the King Eddy.”

Since releasing his first EP in 2007, Halifax-bred performer Rich Aucoin has made it his life’s work to transform our fear into fun, anxiety into ecstasy, panic into pleasure. A mad DayGlo-pop scientist in the tradition of Brian Wilson, Wayne Coyne, and Dan Snaith, Aucoin is the sort of synapse-bursting showman who has no time for half measures, utilizing all the resources and connections at his disposal to ensure his every gesture is a Major Event. Aucoin will offer a performance and demonstration in Studio Bell’s recording studios on March 7 at 1:00 pm. Admission will be by RSVP only. “I’ve visited Studio Bell—and Cantos before that—and feel so lucky to have this opportunity to use these unique instruments and make something that hasn’t been attempted before in the quantity and quality of this rare collection,” said Rich Aucoin.

As a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, Sarah Davachi‘s work illuminates the delicate psychoacoustics of intimate aural spaces, utilizing extended durations and simple harmonic structures that emphasize subtle variations in overtone complexity, temperament and intonation, and natural resonances. The Calgary-born, Los Angeles-based artist will share her creative process, and offer a behind-the-scenes presentation in NMC’s recording studios on July 18 at 1:00 pm. Admission will be by RSVP only. “I believe this to be one of the most unique collections of musical instruments in the world, instruments that I regard as old friends,” said Sarah Davachi. “I can’t wait to explore these relationships more intimately through my residency—these instruments have a lot to say.” 

Tom Phillips & The D.T.s are a sixpiece band from Calgary led by esteemed songwriter Tom Phillips. With tunes that span honkytonk country to contemporary roots/folk and guitar-based rocktheir creative lineage lies somewhere between George Jones, Jackson Browne, David Wiffen, and The Afghan Whigs. The D.T.s (Difficult Transitions) are comprised of four seasoned veterans (The CoDependants, Art Bergman, The 6L6s, The Men of Constant Sorrow), along with two relative newcomers who bring incredible musicianship and “hair standing up on the back of your neck” harmonies to the mix. Tom Phillips and the D.T.s will offer a free show at the King Eddy on February 28 at 8:00 pm. “All of our musical careers have been based in Calgary since day one,” said Tom Phillips. “The D.T.s are a band that, I think, could only have formed in this city. To have the opportunity to come to the National Music Centre’s Artist in Residence program with my bandmates and friends to make use of this incredible musical resource is a onceinalifetime thinga dream come trueOur band, together, in a magicalnational music treasureboundless creative potentialAmazing! 

Pomo is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Vancouver who makes electronic beats influenced by hip hop, house, and ‘70s and ‘80s funk music. He grew up in Port Moody, BC and cultivated his tastes and sound through the Vancouver electronic music scene before moving for a time to Montreal and joining the likes of Kaytranada, Ta-Ku, and Stwo on the HW&W roster. He has also produced tracks for the late Mac Miller and Anderson .Paak. His debut EP, The Other Day, garnered him a JUNO Award for Electronic Album of the Year. Pomo will offer a deep-dive into his music, discussing production techniques, philosophies and workflow in NMC’s recording studios on April 25 at 1:00 pm. Admission will be by RSVP only. 

The National Music Centre’s Artist in Residence (AiR) program at Studio Bell is designed to feed and nurture artistic creativity by providing musicians with the use of NMC’s renowned collection of musical instruments and recording equipment, which spans 450 years of technical innovation. 

NMC has welcomed many exceptional artists to play, experiment, and record with its collection, several of whom have gone on to receive awards and accolades for works created at Studio Bell. Past AiR alums include 2019 JUNO Award-winner and 2018 Polaris Music Prize winner Jeremy Dutcher, along with past Polaris long and shortlisted artists A Tribe Called Red, Basia BulatTanika Charles, and Timber Timbre. JUNO-nominated jazz artist Quinsin Nachoff, FRONTPERSON (the project of Kathryn Calder of The New Pornographers and Mark Andrew Hamilton of Woodpigeon), psych-rock trio nêhiyawakguitar slinger Luke Doucet, and many others have also participated in the program. 

Stay tuned for more details on all RVSP-only events here. Another round of selected participants to the Artist in Residence program will be announced in the fall, along with a new call for 2021 submissions. 

The National Music Centre’s Artist in Residence program is generously supported by Bell Media.

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