Community Group

Celandine: An Exercise in Social Dreaming

Polaris performs a new choral work exploring our connection to the environment and others in the Past, the Present, and the Future.

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Celandine is a new choral work, with poetry by Claire Bennet and music by Ryan Henwood, and is to be presented online in video format throughout the entirety of Nocturne.

Celandine, meaning “joys to come” in the language of flowers, explores the transition from a busy life led by superficial desires (the Past), to a sudden absence of these structures in a time of isolation and questioning (the Present). The third section (the Future) represents a call to reconnect with nature, guided by a sense of community and transience. We have been sending polluted noise out into the world for so long, it is now time to pause, listen, and react to the music the environment is trying to relay to us, and imagine a joyful, hopeful future.

Each section includes a soundscape that explores echoes around Halifax generated by the singers’ voices through repeated and improvised sounds. Each singer separately records echoes, and those sounds are then layered together into one recording. Sound engineers usually strive to reduce background noise by stripping recordings of the sonic imprint of its location. We want to capture these “imperfections” to place our recording geographically with the sounds of ocean waves or the blast of the Noon Gun. The final piece explores how we can connect and create art together while distanced. What will echo across the collective sound created by separated artists? What is altered when we send sound out into the world, and how is that reflected back to us?