Dylan Robinson is a Stó:lō scholar who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University, located on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. His research focuses upon the sensory politics of Indigenous activism and the arts, and questions how Indigenous rights and Settler colonialism are embodied and spatialized in public space. His current research documents the history of contemporary Indigenous public art (including sound art and social arts practices) across North America. This project involves working with Indigenous artists and scholars to collaboratively imagine new models for public engagement, to create new public works that acknowledge Indigenous histories of place, and to envision future sovereignties.
In addition to his research on Indigenous art, Dylan is an artist whose practice bridges music performance, dialogic art, and installation. He completed an arts practice-based doctoral degree at the University of Sussex in 2009, where he imposed unlikely intimate partnerships between modernist music compositions, one-on-one dialogue, and protocols of hosting. This work sought to examine the efficacy of social arts practices toward the development of ‘public musicology’. As part of the intermission inter-arts collective founded in 2003 with Anna Höstman and David Cecchetto, Dylan has presented work at sites as diverse as the Sheremetev Palace Theatre (St. Petersburg, Russia) and outdoor Mexican courtyards (Profética Cultural Centre, Puebla). Most recently, Dylan took part in the three-year collaborative project nuyamł-ił kulhulmx (singing the earth). This music installation was the result of a fieldwork-creation process with composer Anna Höstman (a descendent of the first Norwegian settlers in Bella Coola) and ethnomusicologist Patrick Nickleson in Nuxalk territory now known as the Bella Coola Valley, and was premiered by Continuum New Music Ensemble in Toronto in December 2013.
For more information, please visit Dylan’s faculty webpage at Queen’s University.
As an artist working in sound and composition, Anna has had her works performed in Canada, China, the United States, England, Mexico, Italy and Russia. Her music seeks out sensory and tactile encounters with the world while also extending into story, memory, history, and landscape. Furthermore, her interest in the experimental use of language and text often results in the creative exploration of processes where source materials can be broken down into fragments and put into new relationships with each other. These processes are guided by cycles of variation drawn from the natural world, as well as a poetic sense of musical form and play. Also interested in interdisciplinary expression, Anna has worked for a decade with Dylan Robinson and the Intermission Collective on oddly-shaped experimental pieces that are usually very long. She is a member of the Blue Moss ensemble with composers Emilie Lebel and Mitch Renaud.
From 2005-8, Anna was a composer-in-residence of the Victoria Symphony during which time her opera What Time is it Now?, based on a libretto by P.K. Page, was premiered by the Symphony and recorded and broadcast by CBC radio. Anna received a Joseph Bombardier scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to pursue a DMA in composition from the University of Toronto. Her research, under the supervision of Ryan McLelland, focused on the chamber works of experimental Toronto composer, Martin Arnold. She received composition lessons from Gary Kulesha who supervised her creative work Drømde mik en drøm i nat… (I dreamt me a dream last night of silk). Written for string orchestra, this piece was based on hardanger fiddle music from Norway. Anna was also a student of Christopher Butterfield, John Celona & Gordon Mumma while working towards her Masters degree at the University of Victoria.
In 2014, Anna received the K.M. Hunter award for classical music from the Ontario Arts Council and the K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation. In 2015, she received a Chalmers Professional Development Grant from the Ontario Arts Council.
Patrick Nickleson is a PhD candidate in musicology at the University of Toronto. His research has been supported by OGS and SSHRC-CGS, and focuses on American experimental music, the politics of authorship, and the political-aesthetic thought of the philosopher Jacques Rancière. From 2012-2015 he was research assistant to Dylan Robinson on the SSHRC-funded project, nuyamł-ił kulhulmx (singing the earth).