Listening in the library

Project in development
Toronto Public Library, autumn 2017

Related projects: noises, Quiet Concerts

Listening In The Library was a youth experimental music workshop led by Toronto Public Library artist-in-residence Christopher Willes at Scarborough Civic Centre Branch.

The Toronto Public Library holds a unique vinyl LP collection of Canadian experimental music recordings from the 1970's. This project sought to temporarily move that collection out of the downtown (reference library), and explore how a new generation might learn about, reflect on, refute, reorganize, change and transmute the collection.

Through a weekly workshop five youth artists from Scarborough (an outer borough of Toronto) came together to listen to and discuss the collection, engaging a practice of listening to inscribe new embodied archives. The workshop concluded with the group performing a live remix of the collection– diffusing and layering the recordings throughout the library. Audience members were invited to create a "mix" via the simple act of walking throughout the building and listening.

Performers: Jason Li, Taggart Quinn, Maria Patricia Abuel, Gian Caracciolo, and Nanthini Namasti.

Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council. Special thank yous to Beau Levitt from the Toronto Public Library, and to Simon Farrington, Patric McGroarty, Phil Melanson, Tobaron Waxman, and Mitch Akiyama.

Photography by Kendra Epik