Edmonton Transcultural Orchestra

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short link: http://bit.ly/edtror

Edmonton Transcultural Orchestra, Performing at Edmonton's City Hall, November 10, 2017

ETO overview

Launched in fall 2017, the Edmonton Transcultural Orchestra (ETO) is an initiative of the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology linked also to the humanistic ideals and participatory methods of Music for Global Human Development. Its aim is to bridge the constructed "cultural" divides that appear to separate people from each other, and to exhibit such bridges, all through socialized sound in live musical performance.

"Culture" is too often a construction of special interests - nation states, political parties, religious groups - in search of power or money. Such "cultures" are rendered artificially discrete, according to context (e.g. "Chinese" culture doesn't appear the same from France or Beijing).

In reality "culture" is an attribute of individuals, not groups; we all share in multiple "cultures"; what we share is more than what divides us; even that which divides us is not different sortings into separable, homogeneous groupings but rather into overlapping, heterogeneous, fuzzily-bounded sets. Every "culture" has its "subcultures", everything overlaps, and no boundaries are clear. Culture is not a countable noun - it's a continuous flow and a perspectival landscape; there is only "culture" not "cultures".We consider a "culture" is a continuous, connected semantic web, extending over all humanity - any boundaries are only apparent. We are all connected, and multiply. And we are all unique.

The ETO demonstrates these pan-human linkages musically, in two ways: (1) socially, in the group itself, which is diverse, in backgrounds, languages, ages; crossing boundaries of all sorts - including university students, staff, and faculty as well as the broader Edmonton community, and (2) musically, by highlighting the flow of music through people, via non-stop boundaryless performances, linking diverse regions and societies around the world through continuous sheets of sound. Socially, we aim to represent our community, drawing membership from every corner, in all its diversity, transcending rather than reinforcing boundaries in our performances. Musically, we focus on the idea that music crosses boundaries, just like we do, and erases them in the process - we look for melodies and sounds that have traveled, and invent new ones that will travel in the future.

The ETO is committed to representing and creating connections above and beyond perceptions of individual "cultures", imagined to be separable, countable bubbles ("Chinese culture", "Arab culture", "Norwegian culture"...). Rather, in our view, culture is individual - we're all culturally unique, just as we're genetically unique, and we each view "culture" from a unique perspective... at the same time the phenomenon of culture is pan-human, connecting us all. There is no way to separate any one culture from another... "cultures" are not internally homogeneous, because too much is shared, and all is in motion. We transcend "culture" considered as a countable noun to create a more general cultural flow through sound.

Repertoire map

Map

Upcoming performances

ETO rehearsals and repertoire

International Week 2019

Past performances

Participating

Anyone is welcome as performer or listener or both. Please join us! Music is such a powerful tool for connection and understanding. Contact Michael Frishkopf for more information.