Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this concert has been cancelled
There are currently five Voices in Motion choirs in Victoria. In this concert, we’ve invited ViM members from our three community choirs to join together in song for the first time since the choir’s inception.Directed by Erica Phare-Bergh and accompanied by Julian Greenwood on piano, Voices in Motion is pleased to welcome special guests, West My Friend.Described as everything from indie to chamber-folk, West My Friend has an acoustic blend of instruments and three-part harmonies that challenges the conventions of popular music. The band features pure and thrillingly elastic vocals with catchy arrangements of guitar, mandolin, and accordion that draw from jazz, classical, folk, and pop influences. Inspired by artists such as Owen Pallett, Joanna Newsom, Bright Eyes, The Decemberists, and the Punch Brothers, and forged from a sonically adventurous acoustic music scene on Canada’s west coast, West My Friend is proving to be a key part of a new generation of grassroots folk music.The wealth of musical experience and classical training in the group creates an interesting backdrop for their songwriting, allowing for levels of detail, intricacy, and counterpoint balanced with moments of simplicity. Their diversity in taste and influences and a keen interest in both traditional sounds and innovation leads to constant exploration of new sounds that places them as a distinctive voice in the landscape between Canadian folk and indie-pop. West My Friend’s commitment to creating original indie-roots music, and their dedication to giving their audiences a meaningful and memorable experience, is sure to catch hold of listeners as they regularly tour through Canada, the United States, Europe, and beyond.All proceeds from this concert will go toward sustaining the Voices in Motion movement and to spreading the news that singing is one of the healthiest and joy-filled activities in which everyone can be involved.Voices in Motion is a multigenerational choir for adults with memory loss, their caregivers, friend and students.Almost three years ago, a research project began at UVic to study the impact of choral music on those with dementia and their caregivers. Adding in high school students and friends to our choirs was an important component in our research and mandate to destigmatize the disease. The results of singing together are staggering. You can read about these findings on our website, www.voicesinmotionchoirs.org
Erica Phare-Bergh obtained her M. Mus. in Choral Conducting from McGill University. A
native of Montreal, Phare-Bergh formerly conducted the Vanier College Choirs, FACE
Young Singers, and the McGill Conservatory Choirs. In Calgary, Alberta, she directed
the William Aberhart High School Choirs, Westwinds Green Choir, Kairos Young
Singers, the Savridi Singers and taught Music with the Calgary Board of Education. She
is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician and presenter and was the guest conductor for
the 10th Anniversary of the CBC-McGill Youth Gala. In 2008, she spearheaded the
Montreal première of Oratorio Terezin, a large-scale work involving 270 performers at
Place-des-Art. She guest conducted the Cowichan Consort Choir and Orchestra and Malaspina Choir in their 2018 performance of Handel’s Messiah. She has published
numerous arrangements with Cypress Choral Music, many of them in French (La Série
enchantée). She’s the Artistic Director of Voices in Motion™ – multigenerational
research choirs for those with dementia, their care givers, friends and students. There
are currently five of these choirs in the Greater Victoria Area. She was recently
appointed as Music Director at Church of Our Lord in Victoria. In September 2020, she
will become the new Artistic Director of the Newcombe Singers in Oak Bay. Erica is also
delighted to be working with the amazing singers of the Vancouver Island Chamber
Choir, a new appointment for her.
Julian had a full career in teaching mathematics and practising law, from all of which he is happily retired. He now spends much of his rediscovered time playing the piano for various choirs, accompanying singers or instrumentalists, and playing church organ on Sundays. He is delighted to be involved in Voices in Motion, which gives great pleasure to everyone involved.
West My Friend
In the modern musical landscape, it’s rare to hear something as put-together as three piece
Cascadian folk outfit West My Friend – something so layered, deeply symphonic,
baroque, and mysterious in its own winking way while still courting an edge of disaster.
Simple is safe, but complex is fiery, intricate, and ultimately more rewarding.
Steeped in the visual styles of western Canada, West My Friend are veterans of the
Victoria music scene. After 10 years as a band, they recently released their fourth album,
In Constellation. On this, their latest effort, West My Friend continues to refine the art of
creating achingly poignant folk music, only this time, they’re backed by a full symphony
orchestra, heavily layered while remaining lighthearted. Intricate yet accessible.
Melancholic yet optimistic.
Mingling grassroots guitar, mandolin, accordion, orchestral instruments, and
interweaving harmonies, In Constellation (produced by Joby Baker, co-produced and
arranged by Adrian Dolan) features longtime members Eden Oliver, Alex Rempel, and Jeff
Poynter conceiving a new box, then thinking outside of it. Punctuated by musings on
anxiety and belonging, song structures vary and dynamics change from moment to
moment, painting powerful lyrical portraits over backgrounds of violins and trumpets
that swell, collapse, and tumble between bold harmonies. With over 650 performances
and several tours under their collective belt, West My Friend is bringing forth a new
sound you’ve never known you’ve wanted and new meaning to the things you’ve never
known you needed.