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GS3: Megumi Masaki: Transformation 

As a Japanese Canadian artist, my work is connected deeply to community and how human rights and social justice issues can be communicated through music and multimedia performances to create narratives and tools for change.

2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the forced uprooting, dispossession and internment of almost 22,000 Japanese Canadians who were living in B.C. when Japan entered the Second World War. Thousands of Japanese Canadians were sent to work on sugar beet farms in Manitoba. I grew up in Winnipeg with many of those survivors and am grateful to them for sharing their life stories with me. We wish to thank the Japanese United Church Winnipeg and Japanese Cultural Association of Manitoba for their support, and Roy Miki, editor of Tsukiye Muriel Kitagawa’s book, This Is My Own, for giving us permission to incorporate text into Dōshite? どうしてby Bob Pritchard. This concert remembers the historic wrongs committed against Japanese Canadians and links the past with injustices of today to seek more just societies across all communities and borders.

As a performer, I am curious how sound, image, text and movement can interact to augment the piano and its surrounding space as a visual as well as musical instrument. I am particularly interested in exploring how different mediums can coexist to create new expressive potentials larger than the sum of their parts. This concert presents four original interactive piano + multimedia works created for/with me by composers T. Patrick Carrabré (Winnipeg/Vancouver), Gordon Fitzell (Portage la Prairie/Winnipeg), Keith Hamel (Morden/Vancouver) and Bob Pritchard (Calgary/Vancouver). Each work is a result of decades of explorations into bringing music togeth- er with other mediums to enhance the perception of space and create a dialogue where sound, visuals, text and performance are dependent on one another. Each composer has collaborated with me in uniquely different ways to reimagine the piano and pianist’s artistic expression through new technologies, and transform the listener’s concert into an immersive, theatrical, and cinematic experience.

TRANSFORMATION is a celebration of human resilience, calls to action, and transformational experiences that hopefully motivate dialogue and action in us all.

Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

Megumi Masaki

Guest curator