More than just an assemblage of different art forms, l’Arsenal à Musique is a vehicle for production and orchestration where musical creation is always at the crossroads. From the classical to the experimental, this is the merging of possibilities where artistic productions are revitalized through the coming together of disciplines and talents.
The Bird clan
A coproduction with the "Orchestre Symphonique de Québec" and the "Societé du 400me de la Ville de Québec"
Based on the theme of encounter, the same theme as Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations, The Bird Clan evokes the first meeting between the First Nations and the European explorers, four centuries ago.
For this project, Arsenal à musique and the "Orchestre Symphonique de Québec" have chosen to work with Harold Rhéaume, the artistic director of the company Fils d’Adrien danse, who has created a choreography for this story based on an original text by Christine Sioui Wawanoloath and with music by Denis Dion.
A multimedia concept by Jacques Collin (who works with Robert Lepage) lends a touch of modernity and a distinct poetic air to the production.
A decisive encounter
This Wabanaki legend tells the story about how the people of the land of the rising sun first met the strangers who came from the sea on a big boat.
Upon their arrival, the sailors are well received by the Bird Clan. Tidesso and Sasaso, two young and intrepid members of the clan, leave their friends and family to lead the new arrivals in their quest for gold and diamonds. But when the captain kills a bird with his gun, the young people, horrified, take flight and return home.
The sailors are then subjected to a terrible storm, conjured up by Michabo, the creator of the world.
The strangers will come back, but life will never be the same. In time, the First Nations and the Europeans will learn to live together. And the Bird Clan will continue to sing and dance...
Length: 50 minutes
Languages : English, French, Italian
Ages: General audience, from 8 years old
Lorena Corradi, Reggi Ettore & Johanne Laurendeau - artistic directors
Christine Sioui Wawanoloath - text
Harold Rhéaume, le fils d’Adrien danse - choreography
Marie-Josée Bastien - consultant stage direction
Denis Dion - composer
Jacques Collin - image design
Serge Gingras - lighting design
Sébastien Dionne - costume design and confection
Christine Sioui Wawanoloath is Wendat (Huron) on her father’s side and Abenaki on her mother’s side. After studying photography, art and history, she worked as a printer’s press photographer, graphic artist and journalist for Aboriginal publications in Ottawa, Frobisher Bay and Val d’Or. _ In 1985, she became programs director for the Val d’Or Native Friendship Centre. As co-ordinator for the non-violence dossier with Quebec Native Women, from 1992 to 2002, she designed and developed awareness-raising and knowledge-sharing projects targeting members of Aboriginal communities.
She is also a painter and a sculptor. She is author, among others, of La légende des oiseaux qui ne savaient plus voler (Quebec Native Women, 1995), Toloti (First Peoples’ Festival, 2003), Natanis (Le Loup de Gouttière, 2005) Popokua (Cornac, 2008) and three plays, two of which have been staged. She wrote the tale of The Bird Clan.
Denis Dion is freelance composer that currently lives in Trois-Rivières. He graduated from Laval University earning a Master in composition in 1983. Thereafter he went on «Hans J. Salter music scholarship» to Thornton Scholl of Music in Los Angeles to complete a D.M.A. in composition (1984-87).
He thaught at Laval University and Conservatoire de musique de Québec from 1993 to 1999. Till 2000 the composer devotes his time to write music for different music ensembles along for motion picture and television. His work have been award Opus-Prize «composition of the year – 2001» for «à la mère» written for string orchetra and live electronics. By the year that followed he became composer in residence at Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra (seasons 2002-04) under Gilles Bellemare artistic director.
In 2005 he received both Opus-prize as «composition of the year» for ««De mains osées toiles» along with «composer of the year». In 2005 and 2006 he did published two recordings under MIREs’label featuring pianist Denise Trudel on which music goes crossbound with Robert Schumann’s op. 15 Kinderszenen and op. 82 Waldszenen who became «Scènes d’enfance» (along with John Rea’ Las meninas) and «Scènes de forêst» (along with Gilles Bellemare «Scène de l’autre forêt»).
Denis Dion is associate composer of Canadian Music Centre and his music is available through Dobermann-Yppan Publisher.
The Bird’s Clan
3 Flutes (3rd as picc)
1 Bb Clarinet
1 Bass Clarinet
2 Oboes (snd as English Horn)
4 Horns in F
2 Bb Trumpets
1 Bass Trombone
Piano and Strings.
Perc 1 : Bass drum; Metal Chimes; 2 Wood Blocs; Tubular Bell; Glockenspiel
Perc II : Wood Chimes; Glass Chimes; 5 Gongs; 5 Drums; Tamtam (lage); Maracas; 2 Brake drums.
© DENIS DION SOCAN 2007