Introducing Arborienteering

During a period when conventional live music presentation is not feasible, the Guelph Jazz Festival is once again presenting live music in unconventional ways. Arborienteering is a live-music event-piece conceived and composed for the University of Guelph Arboretum. Fifteen musicians will play ten-minute solos, each under specific trees. These solos will begin at five-minute intervals so, with the trees at a distance from one another, the piece will invite the audience to move through the space to experience the music as they wish.

We have scheduled two versions of Arborienteering, each at 1pm, on Sunday 30 May and Sunday 13 June. They will be free to attend, but attendance will be limited to adhere to restrictions for public gatherings. For the moment, we are preserving these original dates in the hopes that public health measures will allow us to present them as planned. However, we are prepared to postpone the project later into the summer if needed. We will be giving an update on 20 May with the verdict. Check back here for the latest information.

Arborienteering is the latest in a series of pieces composed by GJF Artistic and General Director, Scott Thomson –– in this case collaboratively with Assistant AGD Karen Ng –– to animate atypical architectural and outdoor spaces with live music. A key characteristic of this series is that there is almost always more music occurring than what a single listener can hear. Thus, the audience is invited to move through space to create their own experience of the piece. No two experiences of the piece will be alike.

Each version of Arborienteering will comprise 2 hours and 35 minutes of music, to be experienced freely by attendees in whole or in part, featuring music by fifteen wonderful creative musicians: Rebecca Hennessy (trumpet), John Oswald (alto saxophone), Nick Fraser (drums), Naomi McCarroll-Butler (clarinet), Doug Tielli (trombone), Kathryn Ladano (bass clarinet), Araz Salek (tar), Paul Newman (tenor saxophone), Rob Clutton (double bass), Ben Finley (double bass), Kayla Milmine (soprano saxophone), Mark Zurawinski (drums and electronics), Germaine Liu (vibraphone), Isaiah Farahbakhsh (cello), and Jim Lewis (trumpet).

Attendees will each receive a publication, free of charge, that the GJF has made in partnership with our friends and neighbours, Publication Studio Guelph. This book will include not only the map of the locations of the trees and musicians involved and a time index when the musicians will play to help them orient themselves during the event, but also playful ‘field guide’ information so that music fans can learn something about the wonderful tree specimens involved, and vice versa. Thanks both to PS Guelph and to Polly Samland, Arboretum horticulturalist, who have worked diligently on this lovely little publication with us.

When we can confirm the dates for Arborienteering, we will also be including instructions about reserving your attendance. Please look ahead to receiving that information, and be well and safe in the meanwhile.

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