PuSh Blog

Curatorial Statement – Turning Point Ensemble

December 17, 2012

I’m Jeremy Berkman, the trombonist and an Artistic Director with Turning Point Ensemble. While I’d like to say I know everything about our upcoming presentation and can share this vast knowledge, the most exciting part of Cinema Musica for me is frankly the exploring part – and even as a performer I am joining the audience in this adventure. Though I’ve performed a number of “film sessions” for stuff you might not realize were recorded in Vancouver, the only other time I performed live to film was actually at a previous PuSh Festival with Stefan Smulovitz’s Passion of Joan of Arc project.

It is very rare to play live to moving image – and endeavour to synchronize the music-making to a fleeting image. Cinema Musica is also my own introduction to Judy Radul, one of Vancouver’s rising visual art stars. She is using a 100-year old composition by Ferrucio Busoni as a live musical partner;  San Francisco’s David and Hi-Jin Hodge, who are working with Turning Point’s François Houle, forging the composition and video simultaneously; and Stan Douglas who already is amongst the city’s most internationally renowned visual artists.

The subtitle of this event – Music and Film, a Live Conversation – does really describe what is special about the evening. It is a unique opportunity to hear six compositions and six video/films that each have their own separate integrity, and yet are conversing together to build something greater than their traditionally accepted roles (can I say “typecast”?). What I am anticipating with great excitement is not only the visual artist/composer partnerships that make up this program – but also the conversation that these pieces inspire amongst our audience – who likely will be comprised of folks like me who might be more familiar with the music, but whose learning curve in visual arts is quite steep – as well as those with a much stronger visual arts back-round for whom the music we play will be less familiar. There’s a great line I keep close – “Depending on how you spend your time, you will either know an awful lot about an awful little, or an awful little about and awful lot – so a lot of humility is always warranted.”

Cinema Musica is, I think, Turning Point’s fourth presentation within a PuSh Festival – and as an organization we are so thrilled to have again been invited to be part of this internationally recognized signature arts festival in Canada. We know that by being part of this festival one of the most important artistic conversations we’ll have is with the special festival audiences that are keen be amongst the few to witness and participate in something dynamic and extraordinary – and as our preparation for this presentation this past year has been just that, I am confident our audiences will take from this event a better appreciation for the spirited artistic negotiations that help us better know our place in this world.


Turning Point Ensemble is a large chamber group with a core of 17 of Vancouver’s most highly skilled instrumentalists. Known for its outstanding musicianship, the ensemble was awarded the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award in Music (2011), the largest production prize for music in Canada. Turning Point has a mandate to increase the understanding and appreciation of music composed during the past hundred years, linking 20th century repertoire to contemporary works through thoughtful programming, innovative presentations and daring multidisciplinary performances.

Cinema Musica

Presented by the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Turning Point Ensemble and SFU Woodward’s
January 20, 2013 2:00PM + 8:00PM
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, 149 West Hastings Street