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Where mine meets music

Classical Canadian music will echo through Britannia Mine Museum at free concert

The melodic notes of Canadian music will reverberate through the Britannia Mine Museum during a concert designed to take music out of the concert hall and into new venues.

"Music in the mine - extracting the sounds of classical Canada" is hosting a free classical music concert on Sunday (May 15) at 3 p.m. to promote Canadian classical music in unusual venues. "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral" is a collaborative effort between the Canadian Music Centre, the SOCAN foundation, Astrolabe Musik Theatre and the Britannia Mine Museum.

"This unique approach to music is beingproduced as part of the Canadian Music Centre's 'New Music in New Places' series," said soprano performer Heather Pawsey.

"The initiative is designed to take Canadian classical music out of concert halls and into unusual venues where people might not normally expect to attend a concert, or even to hear live, classical, contemporary, Canadian music performed."

This will be Pawsey's 10th "New Music in New Places" performance and she is thrilled to add the mine museum to her list of venues. She has already performed at a winery, an aquarium, a railway station and a funeral home.

"What I try to do is find a venue that's different, unusual, maybe has never had a concert before, and then look at what that particular place does - its purpose, its function - and then try and find repertoires that speak to the venue," she said.

Pawsey decided to call this concert "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral" partly because only focusing on minerals was bit limiting in terms of classical Canadian repertoire.

"All the music on the program will have something to do with animals, vegetables or minerals," she said.

"'Animal, Vegetable, Mineral' is a common term and it's kind of fun to bring these three components together - we're all animals, vegetables because we eat and minerals because it's a copper mine.

"Not only do you get to enjoy high-calibre musicians in a cool space, but everyone will get to enjoy and celebrate the world premiere of The Sex Lives of Vegetables (Part III) by British Columbia composer Leslie Uyeda for soprano, piano and clarinet and the world premiere of Pizza by Kathryn Cernauskas - for beat-box flute," said Pawsey.

"They will also hear Oracle Stones by Leslie Uyeda for soprano, piano, flute and clarinet and The Aria of the Princess by Canada's most famous composer and living legend R. Murray Schafer. It's a beautiful solo soprano piece."

The concert will also feature dancers from Capilano University's Musical Theatre program.

The concert's unique structure goes beyond the venue and the diverse and unique repertoire.

"This isn't a typical concert in that you come and sit in a chair and we all do music at you," Pawsey said. "The audience travels from place to place within the mine site itself and there will be surprises along the way.

"It's perfect because people can see different aspects of the museum, which is such an incredible place."

During the second half of the concert, the audience will be seated in the mill concentrator, alongside the seven-foot grand piano.

The concert is free but space is limited, so anyone interested in attending must call the reservation line at (604) 896-2233 or send an email to scott@bcmm.ca. Wear proper footwear and dress warmly.