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Jessica Wagner and Mike McCormick
Soprano Jessica Wagner and composer/ sound artist Mike McCormick perform a Canada Council commissioned new work focusing on the artists’ experiences with mental health crises. This event is free, with donations gratefully accepted. Seating is limited, so reservations are recommended.
Please note – this performance is not suitable for all ages. Please read content warning below.
Soprano Jessica Wagner and artist/programmer Mike McCormick are a performing duo dedicated to creating and presenting new works that broach complex themes within the context of contemporary music performance. Drawing on their diverse experience within a variety of music genres and their personal friendship that has lasted over a decade, their collaboration allows them to use the vocabulary of contemporary music to explore taboo or challenging subject matter in a way that challenges and expands the definition of “virtuosic” performance.
Content Warning – This performance explores mental health issues experienced by the artists, and includes depictions of suicidal ideation and a depressive episode which may be triggering for some. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion addressing the thematic material of the piece; this discussion may provide solace for some while being triggering for others.
In a moment of hysteria and extreme desperation while living in Oslo, Norway, Mike McCormick approached a river running through the city and considered drowning himself in it. Before doing so, he began recording a voice memo with his phone so as to capture his thoughts in that moment and leave behind a message. Thankfully, Mike survived this experience and this recording stands as a document of his extreme emotional state. In under: went, excerpts from this recording form one half of a dialogue with soprano Jessica Wagner in an attempt to explore the candid reality of depression, a condition that touches everyone (directly or indirectly) but is still difficult for many to discuss.