NYO Replay: Juliet Palmer & Ian Cusson

Pianist Gregory Oh welcomes Canadian composers for orchestra, Juliet Kiri Palmer and Ian Cusson, to discuss The Unsilent Project. Juliet Palmer composed Invicta for The Unsilent Project and NYO Canada.

The Unsilent Project

In 2017 NYO Canada partnered with Signal Theatre, an interdisciplinary and intercultural Canadian theatre company whose work reflects and privileges Indigenous knowledges. Signal Theatre’s international creation methodologies centre around physical rigour and exploration. The Unsilent Project was a separate and discrete component of the 2017 national tour – in itself the most extensive artistic project in our history. The piece had its own distinct creative team, designed to augment and blend seamlessly with the orchestra’s more traditional classical music performances.

In a nearly year-long series of workshops and rehearsals, Signal Theatre artistic director Michael Greyeyes (Plains Cree) co-directed this live performance. Joining him were: playwright, actor, and emerging director Falen Johnson (Mohawk), Korean-Canadian NYO faculty member Gregory Oh; and Canadian composers for orchestra Juliet Palmer and Ian Cusson. Greyeyes brought Indigenous creation protocols and ways of knowing into intersection with the classical music processes of NYO Canada. With the permission of his family, the piece centred around the poetry of the late Piikani Blackfoot spoken-word artist Zaccheus Jackson, who died in 2014 at the age of 36.