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NVA Q&A: Nick Schofield

This Saturday, June 17th we’re teaming up with Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival for a daytime ambient show at our Centre. This will be the first performance of its kind at our space, a welcome change musically from our more bumping Day Play series. The ten acts will be using our empty (but soon-to-be filled) pool as their stage— we caught up with Nick Schofield, co-curator of the show, about his idea behind Intermission.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you met Mariah— how did you two come up with the idea for Intermissions ?

Sure, I am a radio host on CKUT and musician / producer. Mariah is also a musician on the hustle. Both of us volunteer with Suoni per il Popolo, and last year we independently wanted to organize a show for the festival, so they suggested we partner up – I think that’s how it all started. This year, the event adds emphasis to the ‘Intermission’ element, because even that often overlooked recess will be imbued with artistic merit, courtesy of Jen Reimer & Max Stein. Art is everywhere, there’s no escape!

This is your second year of doing the event during Suoni fest— what are you hoping to achieve with the series ?

The series is really is just a chance for collaborating, a mingling of ideas – like a hazy ven diagram of admirable, inspiring artistic creators and curators. There is no goal, or aim, aside from bringing people together, and maybe expanding minds. At the core is a lot of respect for what everyone is working on, including Never Apart, the Suoni family, all the amazing artists, as well as Amanda Durepos and Kiva Stimac, who created poster art. All these people are working from the heart. There is a beautiful amount of overlap between these circles, but Mariah and I are also interested in the potential of trying something new.

Is there a curatorial aim that helps you set yourself apart from other similar shows ?

One thing Mariah and I talk about for our events is honing a sense of flow. There is an emphasis on the arc, how the show unfolds. It grows in a pretty exploratory way. Another thing is, how do you encourage appreciation, even reverence, for the artists presenting their work while also keeping the scenario chill and conducive? That’s our sweet spot. When we did an event at Constellation records last year, it was this perfect amalgamation of friends, support, sunshine, doggos, sweet sounds… all of it felt really right. I have the same feeling for the show this year.

Can you tell us why you chose this year’s lineup in particular ?

An eclectic mishmash mentality brought this lineup together! Mariah and I started planning months ago, we kept watering the idea of how this second show will take shape. Deep down, we are genuinely excited for these artists and want to see them do their thing in a cool setting. I can gush effusively about everyone performing, so to spare a lot of mush, just come experience them first-hand. In short, I will say: Mich Cota’s set last year rivalled Steve Reich’s ‘Music For 18 Musicians’, what Desert Bloom shares is perfectly shy and languid, Sarah Feldman is a name to remember, Saccharine is freakishly on point and we are blessed to have YlangYlang descend upon us from hammer town. There is more to say, but I will stop there. 

We’re using our empty pool as the performance space for the artists. What does the unconventional use of a space bring to this kind of performance for both performer and audience ? Are there any acoustic implications to keep in mind ?

Switching concert paradigms is essential, I have seen people (both artists and attendees) become complacent in unchanging performance environments. I believe in responding to your surroundings and this event puts that in practice. Everyone involved is gonna have to react accordingly, and most likely all the weird ideas at play will add up to something special, something you can’t know ’til it happens.

Any ideas for upcoming shows in the future ? Any dream spaces you’d want to use in the city ? Dream acts you’d want to perform for the series ?

Too early to say ‘what’s next’ right now, our eyes are focused on this Saturday, but safe to say this collaboration with Suoni per il Popolo will be ongoing. Mariah and I still want to host an event in a massive swimming pool, which has been done a few times by different folks, but maybe that will happen one day. As for curation, our interests are pretty in synch with the emerging artists presenting work that bends your brain a bit, so we are just riding that tip and keeping many tabs open.

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