Songs for Glass Island

LASAM’s Experimental Music Unit (Tina PearsonGeorge Tzanetakis, and Paul Walde) worked with Oslo-based artist Camille Norment to produce Songs For Glass Island, a performance project situated in the world of glass – its sounds, textures, and contexts – and referencing Robert Smithson’s unrealized land art work, Island of Broken Glass.

Robert Smithson (1938- 1973) proposed encrusting Miami Islet, a small pumice islet in the Salish Sea off Vancouver Island, in 100 tons of tinted glass. Although the Canadian Government granted permission for the realization of Island of Broken Glass in 1969, public pressure against the project soon mounted, and what would have been Smithson’s first permanent large scale land art work was shelved.

Using glass as the primary sound source, the collaborators performed a set of inter-related works that imagined the possible sounds, stories, textures, and ecologies of Smithson’s fabled island. The juxtaposition of the practices of sound art and experimental music performance, in glass, created a visually stunning and sonically captivating concert length program that premiered at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria April 7-8 2016, followed by a performance April 9 hosted by the Contemporary Art Gallery at Pyatt Hall in Vancouver.