8 Tuesday May 26 2015 By MEAGAN WOHLBERG The NWTs future musicians and compos- ers are swarming the territorys capital this week for the nale of the Listen Up music project where youth will perform a unique choral piece composed of their own poetry and melodies collected over the past year. Around 70 youth will take to the stage of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre in Yel- lowknife on Saturday to deliver a one-time performance painstakingly crafted from poems and music the students themselves created during workshops at their schools last winter with musical accompaniment by Torontos famed Gryphon Trio. The 25-minute piece arranged over three monthsbyVancouver-basedcomposerJeffrey Ryan is made up of six movements convey- ing words and melodies students conjured up to describe the four elements. The music was sent out to all the teach- ers in March for the kids to begin practic- ing but this week marks the rst time the students from Inuvik Norman Wells Fort Simpson Fort Smith Hay River and Yel- lowknife will all be in the same place at the same time. Ryan said the focus for the next few days will be on bonding and rehears- ing as a unied choir with the conductors and musicians. I think all the kids have risen to the chal- lenge and theres excitement building Ryan said. Its so exciting because it involved so many communities and so many students. Im looking forward to seeing so many won- derful students all in the same place. The piece incorporates poetry and mel- odies from each of the six communities though only 26 of the 97 compositions col- lected over the weeks that Ryan and Yel- lowknife-based composer Carmen Barden Fledgling composers ock to Yellowknife for last Listen Up toured through the NWT last fall could be used due to time restraints. That said even the work that couldnt lit- erally be translated into the choral piece has had an inspiring effect on the total product Ryan said and poems and artwork associ- ated with the project will be presented and displayed throughout as part of the multi- media performance. I had to leave a lot of great material on the table a lot of wonderful poetry Ryan said. But it was an inspiration to have that contact with all the participants and re- member what each community was like and I wanted to honour their intention as emerging composers. The piece begins and closes with move- ments encompassing all four elements while the central four movements take the audi- ence through poetic explorations of earth water wind and re. Some of it will involve singing some clapping some walking in rhythm with poetry a bit of chanting and other spoken word aspects. Though many of the youth will have never sung in a choir before Ryan said the com- position is designed to ensure each voice is held up by the others. I wanted it to be a fun but achievable challenge with a reward at the end Ryan said. Its mostly all in unison so there will be support for each other in the choir...Its all about bringing the communities together to support one another. Documentary to capture nal opus The NWT nale will be a once in a life- time performance of the Listen Up project which typically works with a single school in a single community at a time but one set of lmmakers is hoping to capture all the magic behind the scenes and from the audi- ences perspective as the project culminates on stage this Saturday. PJ Marcellino and Hermon Farahi will be in the NWT this week to nish lming for their documentary Way Up North which has documented the Listen Up project in the territory since workshops started in the schools last year. The lm proles many of the students ed- ucators and musicians involved in the proj- ect throughout the months of work hoping to catch the sparks of inspiration as youth are moved to see themselves as forces of creativity and talent. The lm crew will be heading to Yellow- knife with the class from Inuvik for the nal performance and then heading back up to Inuvik to document the kids reections on the experience. ThecameraswillalsoturntoseveralNorth- ern indigenous musicians like Leela Gilday and Susan Aglukark to draw comparisons to their own paths to success. We want to create a parallel with what their process was and the students what their process could possibly be Marcellino said. The dramatic narrative is what we could expect from these kids the moment when things click. Im extremely excited to have those things intersect on screen. Marcellino plans to have a community screening in Yellowknife during the Yellow- knife International Film Festival in October. The nale of Listen Up will take place on May 30 at 730 p.m. at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre NACC in Yellowknife. Tickets are available online at naccnt.ca or at the NACC box ofce. ARTS CULTURE MUSIC By MEAGAN WOHLBERG TheforemostfestivalofwordsintheNorth- westTerritoriesiscelebratingadecadesworth of accomplishments this week with the 10th anniversary of NorthWords May 28-31. Theannualgatheringofreadersandwriters in Yellowknife is focusing slightly inward this year with its theme of Lets Celebrate staying true to its mission of facilitating the creation of a Northern and Aboriginal literary culture. What we decided were celebrating is the achievements of NorthWords over the past 10 years what weve done how weve managed to encourage local Northern and Aboriginal writing here and also look to the Northern writers of the future said NorthWords ex- ecutive director Ruth Bowen. The NWTs young future writers will be participating in the festival this year unlike ever before. Winners of the recent North- Words-sponsored SPARK writing contest for high school students throughout the ter- ritory will be made the special guests of a luncheon with keynote speaker Tlicho au- thor Richard Van Camp on May 31. AswellNorthWordswillbeteamingupwith theListenUpmusicalprojecthappeninginYel- lowknifeatthesametimewhereyouthpartici- patinginthechoralperformanceSaturdaynight willbetreatedtowritingworkshopswithsome of the guest authors including Yukon poet Jo- annaLilleynovelistJamieBastedoofYellowknife and Mtis author Jacqueline Guest of Alberta. NorthWords celebrates 10 years of NWT writing I realized some months ago that the Listen Upnalewasgoingtoyoucouldsayclashwith theNorthWordsfestivalandIsaidnothisisnt aclashthisisaperfectcaseforjoiningtogether Bowen said. So Im really excited by that. Thisyearsfestivalalsoincludesalengthylist of participating Northern writers from a wide breadthofgenresfromspokenwordpoetryto creativenon-ctionctionforyoungadultsand journalism to name a few. Those authors will beparticipatinginanumberofpanelssharing perspectivesonNorthernwritingwhatitmeans tobeaNorthernwriterandhowtowriteabout the North when youre from the south. Being that its the 10th anniversary we wanted to invite as wide a range as we could of Northern writers and its a reection of the fact that there are just more of them now Bowen said noting the expanding literary culture in the territory. For this years NorthWords prize we had twice as many books to consider as we had in previous years and thats just books that werepublishedbyNorthernwritersshesaid. A large portion of the visiting guest authors arealsoAboriginalorfromtheNorthincluding VanCampGuestwell-knownOjibwaycolum- nist and author Drew Hayden Taylor and First NationswriterandeducatorGarryGottfriedson. Other guests include award-winning East CoastnovelistsAlexanderMacLeodandKath- leenWinterwhowillsitonanumberofpanelson plotandcharacterwritingtheneedforeditors and the role of awards and festivals for writers. MacLeod and Gottfriedson will also be leading writing workshops with some of the inmates in Yellowknifes correctional facili- ties during their time in the North. Apartfromtheregulargalapaneldiscussions andworkshopstwofanfavouritestheBlush eroticaandFlashthree-minutesoffameopen micnightswillmakearepeatperformanceat the festival. By far the most popular evenings of the festival Bowen said they are attracting more and more participants each year. At Flash last year it was the rst time that we had more readers than we had time for she said. Its an opportunity for people who have probably never read their work publicly before to practice if you like or try it out in front of a sympathetic audience. Everybody wants someone to do well - theyre not there to be hostile or overly critical. For a schedule of events visit httpnorth- wordsnwt.ca ARTS CULTURE LITERATURE PhotoPJMarcellinoPhotoFranHurcomb Young musicians in Fort Smith ham it up with their teachers and composers during the rst stage of Listen Up last fall. Tlicho author Richard van Camp a regular at NorthWords will headline the festival this year.