Allison Girvan, right, with singers from her Corazón Vocal Ensemble. Photo: Adrian Wagner

Ripple Effect: a Kootenay outdoor-indoor sonic experience

Allison Girvan will direct 72 singers in natural settings and in the Yasodhara Ashram temple

Audiences at Ripple Effect on June 16 will slowly walk through the grounds and the beach of the Yasodhara Ashram near Kootenay Bay, stopping for short outdoor concert experiences along the way.

They will experience a series of sonic installations involving 72 singers, a wind chime tree made of rocks, silk, and elegant porcelain discs on which the singers will write or draw a representation of a way they have been affected by or have affected someone.

Then, singing voices in the distance will cue the audience to walk further to the next installations, about which director Allison Girvan doesn’t want to tell us too much.

“Some of this concert begs not to be described and simply needs to be experienced in person,” she says.

The theme is ripple effect: how we affect each other, how we affect the environment and how the environment shapes us, how prior generations leave their mark on the current one and how this one will, in turn, influence the next.

The singers, stationed in natural settings throughout the Ashram grounds, will be past and present members of her Corazón Vocal Ensemble along with 20 visiting students from Western University in its Community Through Choral Art program.

The path will lead to a concluding performance in the extraordinary acoustics of the Temple of Light, during which the audience will hear music from Sweden, Ireland, Africa, and Iceland. Special guest Essi Wuorela of the internationally acclaimed Finnish group Rajaton will join the singers.

The path and the performances will be repeated four times during the afternoon for different audiences. Each audience will arrive by ferry in time for the performance to which they have pre-purchased tickets through the Capitol Theatre either in person at the box office, by phone (250-352-6363) or online (capitoltheatre.bc.ca).

This event will happen rain or shine so audiences are asked to remember that a portion of the performance will take place outside, so bring weather-appropriate clothing, including an umbrella in case of rain, sunscreen, and comfortable walking shoes.

Audience members with mobility limitations are asked to contact Allison at alligirvan@gmail.com to arrange for assistance utilizing an onsite golf cart.

If, on the day, audience members arrive to find that the ferry cannot hold as many cars as are there, they may park their car and embark as a foot passenger. Shuttle drivers on the other side will transport them to the Ashram and back to the ferry at the end of the performance.

Or they may catch an earlier ferry to the East Shore and make their way leisurely to the Ashram in time for the performance.

The performance is approximately an hour long and the concert/ferry schedule is as follows:

2:10 p.m. (catch the 1:10 p.m. ferry and 3:40 p.m. ferry back)

3:50 p.m. (catch the 2:50 p.m. ferry and 5:20 p.m. ferry back)

5:30 p.m. (catch the 4:30 p.m. ferry and 7:00 p.m. ferry back)

7:10 p.m. (catch the 6:10 ferry and 8:40 return)

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The interior of the Temple of Light, with Kootenay Lake in the background. Photo submitted

Part of the Ripple Effect will take place in the extraordinary acoustics of the Temple of Light at the Yasodhara Ashram in Kootenay Bay. Photo submitted

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