Curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective

in memoriam... adds a new score and production by Postcommodity and Alex Waterman to a suite of four early scores by the American composer Robert Ashley. The fifth score honours the lives of Mary Cecil, Victoria Callihoo (nee Belcourt), and Eleanor (Helene) Thomas Garneau, three Indigenous women from territory at the turn of the Century as it became the province of Alberta. This significant addition continues Ashley’s project investigating the connections between musical forms and constructs of historicization, opening a conversation regarding whom and how we memorialize individuals and inscribe their legacies.

Robert Ashley (1930-2014) composed four graphic scores in 1963 that form a tetralogy of musical epitaphs for (in)famous figures from American history: John Smith, Kit Carson, Crazy Horse, and Esteban Gomez. The in memoriams were Ashley’s re-interpretation of classical European musical forms: the symphony, the concerto, the opera, and the quartet. As Ashley remarked on several occasions, these forms developed in parallel in Europe and America, but whereas in Europe they manifested as musical forms, in America they were expressed as social forms. The in memoriams were foundational works for Ashley's grander project of composing a “history of American consciousness”. Ashley would later expand upon this history by producing a prolific series of operas for television and stage from the late 1970s until his death in 2014.

His operas, unlike the in memoriams, would immortalize people from his personal life rather than well-known historical figures.
The fifith in memoriam... production will be performed by the transdisciplinary Indigenous artist collective Postcommodity, composer Alex Waterman, and a number Indigenous musicians from across the province of Alberta. All five in memoriams will feature new hand-made musical instruments, performed by regional Indigenous musicians, and these extraordinary international artists.

The following musicians from across Alberta, along with youth and community participants, will be performing the in memoriam... scores together with Postcommodity and Alex Waterman: Malaya Bishop, Jaynine Lena McCrae, seth cardinal, Jared Tailfeathers, nêhiyawak (Marek Tyler, Kris Harper, Matthew Cardinal), Curtis Lefthand.



Ticket Information

General Admission

$20.00  Choir Loft
$20.00  Orchestra 

Tickets subject to applicable service charges.




Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere. Postcommodity are the recipients of grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2010), Creative Capital (2012), Art Matters (2013), Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (2014), and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (2017). The collective has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including: Contour the 5th Biennial of the Moving Image in Mechelen, BE; Nuit Blanche, Toronto, CA; 18th Biennale of Sydney in Sydney, AUS; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Scottsdale, AZ; 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; Art in General, New York, NY; documenta14, Athens, GR and Kassel, DE; and their historic land art installation Repellent Fence at the U.S./Mexico border near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON.

Alex Waterman is a composer, performer, and scholar based in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a Masters in Composition and Performance from the Institute for Sonology and a PhD in musicology from NewYork University. He studied cello with Andor Toth, Catherina Meints, George Neikrug, and Frances Marie Uitti. His installation works have been exhibited at the ICA London, Stonescape, Vilma Gold, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, and the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht. His book on Robert Ashley, written and edited by Waterman and Will Holder, was released by New Documents in September 2014. He has produced two other books with Will Holder: Agape and Between Thought and Sound. Waterman was an artist in the 2014 Whitney Biennial where he built a television studio, and installation space inside the museum in order to produce 3 operas by Robert Ashley. He has taught at Bard College (MFA program), NYU, Bloomfield College, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. His writings appear in Dot Dot Dot, Artforum, Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, and The Third Rail.

Guest Producers: Ociciwan Contemporary Arts Collective In Plains Cree, ociciwan [o-sit-sti-wan] is translated to the current comes from there. Ociciwan , or the current , relates to the region of Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) as gathering point that brings us all together, inspiring us to move forward while at the same time engaging us to respect the past and our moments in the present. In this regard, Ociciwan seeks to connect to a rich and thriving community of Indigenous artists, curators, designers, arts administrators and art supporters while encouraging others (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) to join the conversation in a safe and respectful manner that magnifies diversified expressions of Indigenous contemporary art in Alberta. We look to advocate through collaboration, curation and research and to support the community through dialogue about Indigenous arts locally and globally as a way to raise awareness of Indigenous issues.


This project was produced with the support of the Edmonton Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Francis Winspear Centre for Music. This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada. Ce projet est l’un des 200 projets exceptionnels soutenus par le programme Nouveau chapitre du Conseil des arts du Canada. Avec cet investissement 35 M$, le Conseil des arts appuie la création et le partage des arts au coeur de nos vies et dans l’ensemble du Canada.