Choir members take their pulses as they sing the rhythm

Choreography of Trauma

for flute, clarinet, electric guitar, percussion, violin, cello, choir & video projection [20′].

Commission: Continuum Contemporary Music with funds from the Ontario Arts Council

Premiere: Christine and the Element Choir with the Continuum Ensemble, February 9, 2020 at the Music Gallery, 918 Bathurst, Toronto

Choreography of Trauma embraces the virtuosity and emotional extremes of the Trauma Bay. Listening and observing one Saturday evening in March 2018, I was mesmerized by the complex choreography of the trauma team working to bring patients back from almost certain death. Choreography of Trauma is my musical homage: an intermingling of the hundreds of small gestures, strings of numbers, unexpected sounds and words that save a life.

The verbatim text is excerpted from observation at Sunnybrook’s Trauma Bay, March 10, 2018 and a follow-up interview with Trauma Team Leader Dr. Bourke Tillmann.

Choreography of Trauma was commissioned by Continuum and funded by The Ontario Arts Council. Thanks to Drs. Avery Nathens and Bourke Tillmann for welcoming me into the controlled chaos of Sunnybrook’s Trauma Bay during my Ontario Arts Council residency. An extra shout-out to Bourke for sharing his musical passion as a drummer.