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Screening of Dr. Payton MacDonald's film, SONIC DIVIDE

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In collaboration with CIRMMT's RA4, composer / percussionist / filmmaker / ultra-distance mountain biker Dr. Payton MacDonald (William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ) will present his film, SONIC DIVIDE - Making Music on the World's Toughest Bike Route.

What
  • Special Event
When Oct 05, 2017
from 04:30 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Clara Lichtenstein Hall (C-209), Strathcona Music Building, 555 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal
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Sonic Divide

Composer / percussionist / filmmaker / ultra-distance mountain biker Dr. Payton MacDonald (William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ) will present his film, SONIC DIVIDE - Making Music on the World's Toughest Bike Route. One man's odyssey to make music on the world's toughest bicycle route. 30 performances of groundbreaking music over 2,500 miles of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Creative music, ultra-distance mountain biking, and innovative film all come together in the Sonic Divide.

  • 4:30pm - Presentation, discussion, and performance by Dr. Payton MacDonald
  • 7:00pm - Screening of Dr. Payton MacDonald's film, SONIC DIVIDE - Making Music on the World’s Toughest Bike Route

FREE ADMISSION - There will be a break between the presentation and the screening of the film.

Description

View the trailer on YouTube 

The Sonic Divide is a new kind of performance art that explores musical events in specific natural settings, performed under radically different conditions than one normally experiences in the concert hall, documented for later viewing through film and audio recordings.

The Sonic Divide is a unique adventure that combines creative music with ultra-distance mountain biking.  Payton MacDonald rode his mountain bike over 2,500 miles–mostly off-road–while periodically stopping to perform music specifically created for this event. The Great Divide Mountain Biking Route spans the entire United States from the Canadian to the Mexican borders. The route always stays within a few miles of the spine of the continent—the Continental Divide—and traverses the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. As one rides along the Continental Divide one actually crosses over it 30 times between the two borders. MacDonald commissioned 30 composers to write pieces that he performed each time he crossed the Continental Divide. The Divide crossings are on mountaintops, in the desert, in the deep forest, and everywhere in between.

MacDonald carried lightweight video and audio recording devices and recorded each performance.  He combined that footage with various interviews with the composers, other riders, trail angels, a geographer, and Michael McCoy, who mapped the route.

The pieces are scored for solo voice, or solo percussion with found percussion objects, or a combination of the two. MacDonald mostly performed for the birds and the trees in the wilderness, but on a few occasions, performed for people at iconic locations along the Divide (e.g., Toaster House in Pie Town, NM and Absolute Bikes in Salida, CO).  Aside from the purely beautiful musical experiences and the athletic challenge, he views this event as a metaphor of rugged American individualism, a celebration of our potential and our place in this vast cosmos.

"I was born and raised in Idaho, very close to a portion of the route, and I am eager to reconnect with that land. I spent my youth wandering the Rocky Mountains by foot, bike, and skis. My passion for creative music is undoubtedly related to my love of those wild, craggy peaks.  The Sonic Divide was an incredible experience that forever changed me as a person and an artist.” - Payton MacDonald

Payton MacDonald's biography is available in PDF

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