A Brief History of Scrap Arts Music, the company
Musician/composer Gregory Kozak and architecture-trained Justine Murdy began their collaboration under the name “Scrap Arts Music” in 1998.
Their multi-disciplinary approach is a synthesis of Gregory’s musical training in Afro-Cuban jazz, piano composition, world percussion, contemporary classical music, North Indian raga, modern dance, and West African drum and dance; and Justine’s architectural work in and fascination with vernacular design and material culture studies. The result? Imagine “Dr. Seuss meets Frank Zappa, Evelyn Glennie, Flash Gordon and Igor Stravinsky”… and the world’s most intriguing musical project was born!
The artistic objective of Gregory and Justine’s collaboration is to create an orchestra of invented instruments created from materials collected in and around their home base of Vancouver Canada, and to use these in original performance-based works.
Gregory and Justine wanted to reflect their own time and place while demonstrating that contemporary ‘throw-aways’ could be up-cycled to make culturally valuable artifacts, in their case sculptural musical instruments.
Since the 1990s, in addition to the beautiful condo towers lining the downtown core, Vancouver’s massive building boom has generated mountains of high-quality construction salvage. Building and marine activities generate lots of high-quality cast offs-that frequently are just taken to landfills or to sites where energy is expended to recycle. Justine and Gregory decided to interrupt this movement by upcycling choice scrap —including shaped metal ‘seconds’, Douglas Fir wood offcuts, and PVC tubing.
Over three years of research and development (1998-2001) they created 145+ large-scale, mobile, sculptural instruments designed to be tune-able and suitable for repeat performances around the world. Many of the larger instruments are mobile. Gregory and Justine developed an “action-choreography” style of movement and sculptural instruments reflective of Vancouver and the energy of percussion.
Five of Canada’s most uniquely talented, multi-instrumentalist musicians with eclectic and athletic backgrounds give shape and expression to the original music Gregory composed for the Scrap Arts Music instrument set.
In the spirit of “art music” they give consideration to the visual dimension of musical performance. Gregory and Justine take SCRAP, transform it through the ARTS of sculpture and choreography, and create original MUSIC performances for global audiences. Since 2001, they have taken their interdisciplinary project around the world, performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and offered numerous workshops, educational performances, and concerts featuring original choreographed sculptural music made from the materials around them.
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