THE FORESHORE: MELT | John Oliver and Carol Sawyer

Posted on Jun 14, 2017 in Events, Performance

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Musical investigations into water-related themes, a work in progress

Thursday, June 22, 2017, 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.

222 E Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC Canada

Since the summer of 2016 John and Carol have been working on a series of musical investigations into water-related themes, including polar ice melt, acid rain, and most recently, the foreshore of False Creek. Sawyer draws on a wide range of text sources, including wikipedia entries, interviews, and romantic verse to create improvised melodies interspersed with quotes from art songs and popular music, in conjunction with Oliver’s real-time improvised soundscapes and electric guitar. Melt is an informal presentation of their work-in-progress.

Attendance is free. Presented in association with Sawyer’s artist residency at The Foreshore May-June 2017.


Carol Sawyer is a singer and visual artist working primarily with photography, installation, video, and improvised music. Since the early 1990’s her visual art work has been concerned with the connections between photography, fiction, memory, and history. She performs regularly with her improvising ensemble ion Zoo (with whom she has released two CDs) and in other ad hoc improvising ensembles. Her work is represented by Republic Gallery, Vancouver.

John Oliver’s “wonderfully, creative music” (Fanfare) displays “a delicate yet often complex sense of beauty” (Musicworks). Winner of the Classical Composition of the Year Award at the 2013 Western Canadian Music Awards for his orchestral composition Forging Utopia, he is known for breadth of creative output, from orchestral and chamber music, to intercultural works, electroacoustic music, and opera. Two solo releases in 2012 celebrate the breadth of Oliver’s music: Time is Dust, a DVD-audio disc of Oliver’s immersive electroacoustic music, and the CD Forging Utopia: Orchestral Music by John Oliver.



The Foreshore is a collaborative pursuit and shared space between Access Gallery and Other Sights. The Foreshore is inspired by the deep influence of the waterways on our cities and societies on the West Coast. As a place of unclear jurisdiction, and thus of contestation, friction, and constant movement, those who dwell in this zone must continually adapt to a changing environment. As a site it conjures histories specific to this region: narratives of trade and exchange, habitation and nourishment, resistance and violent erasure. Considering the potential of this zone as both concept and site, the project asks the following: How do we generate conditions of emergence? How can we take up space differently? How do we support unruly practices and futures?

Over the last 7 months, the storefront adjacent to Access’ gallery space at 222 East Georgia has hosted bi-weekly open discussion sessions informed by invited artists, writers, curators, and activists. Adding to this exciting program, we have launched an artist-in-residence series to provide space and time to artists interested in addressing questions of the foreshore.


Established as an non-profit artist-run centre in 1991, Access Gallery is platform for emergent and experimental art practices. We enable critical conversations and risk taking through new configurations of audience, artists, and community. For more information visit

Access Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and BC Gaming, the City of Vancouver, the Hamber Foundation, the Burrard Arts Foundation, the Contemporary Art Gallery, NSB Reederei, and our committed donors, members and volunteers.

Other Sights gratefully acknowledges the support of the British Columbia Arts Council, The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 15.

Image Credit: Vancouver Public Library Special Collection Historical Photographs. VPL Accession Number: 81074 Date: October 15, 1949 Photographer / Studio: Artray.