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Lou Sheppard

Gina Burgess, Jackson Fairfax-Perry, Clare MacDonald, Derek Charke, Norm Adams


April 15th, 2021: 7:30PM

Saint David's Presbyterian Church, Halifax


When the term “social distancing” entered our vocabulary in late February it seemed like a strange concept. Moving through public space felt uncertain and uncomfortable while navigating a two meter boundary between our bodies and others. Directional marks appeared on the floors of grocery stores- arrows and lines directing traffic flow through the aisles, showing us where to pause, turn, stop and form lines like a complex game of hopscotch.  Now we navigate our streets much more gracefully, shifting aside to let others pass, smiling from a distance while we perform the loops and turns required to hold ourselves in four metres squared. We have learned the choreography of social distancing. 


This is already a familiar choreography for birds. When flying in “murmuration” birds maintain awareness of the seven birds nearest to them, responding to the movements of their neighbours to maintain the synchronous movement of the flock. In a way the pandemic has made us more acutely aware of our own interdependence as a species- recognizing that we must act as a unified body to combat the virus. We move now in flocks, aware of those around us, towards our common goal.


Murmurations: Scores for Social Distancing are a series of dance works based on bird flocking behaviour. The choreography will require seven dancers to perform an interconnected set of movements while never coming within two meters of each other. As a public art work Murmurations will be shown through it’s notation- directional markings that form a choreographic score painted onto pavement. These markings will reference the social distancing directions that we now see in public space. The work will exist as a visual score for our social distancing choreography, and an invitation to follow the directional markings on the pavement to perform the dance.

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Crepuscular Rhythms

Crepuscular Rhythms is a performance score that figures dawn and dusk as queer times of day, times that are boundaries between day and night and that provide protective cover for queer and trans bodies in public space. The score has been performed as a series of walks at dawn and dusk wearing light sensitive t-shirts which are then displayed, and as a graphic score by musicians Robert Fleitz, Carlos Aguilar and Darian Thomas 

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Silent Springs

Spectrograms are sound images-visual recordings of frequency and duration in a sound. To create Silent Spring: Sackville/Siknikt Lou Sheppard has arranged the spectrograms as a graphic score, and then translated this score into a choral arrangement to be sung into the marsh. 

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Requiem for the Polar Regions 

Requiem for the Polar Regions is an aural record of the shifting masses of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans, both the annual melt and reformation of ice, and the long term decline of ice in the Arctic. Using the data provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado this automated program generates a musical score based on the perimeter and concentration of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. The program maps the coordinates of the ice imagery to a musical scale, generating a distinct composition each day. Ice which reaches further from the poles sounds as higher notes, while ice that sits closer to the pole sounds as lower notes. 

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Meet the Artists

Lou Sheppard

Show Credits


For suddenlyLISTEN:

Artistic Director - Norman Adams

Administration, Production support - Jessica Lowe

We thank our funders and supporters, most notably: Arts Nova Scotia, The City of Halifax, The Province of Nova Scotia, The SOCAN Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. 
Also thanks to 1313 Hollis, Susan Hunter and John Siemens, and all of our workshop attendees and concert patrons.

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