Hold Fast contemporary arts festival is one of the coolest events of St. John's summer! We were so happy to play at their opening night event with Riddle Fence.
Loopstitch features violist Kate Read and sound engineer/artist Michelle LaCour, frequent collaborators since their first artistic foray together during Sound Symposium XIX (July 2018). Having been programmed for the next iteration of the biennial festival (which was postponed due to public health restrictions), the two took the opportunity to expand upon and curate their creative efforts. What initially began as a re-imagining of J.S. Bach's violin sonata no. 3 led to the pair exploring a sonic world comprised of amplified viola; looping, reverb, and delay pedals; synthesizers; and found sounds recorded in nature around the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. They have since created a graphic score together, a piece of embroidery that is constantly growing and expanding as the group adds to their bank of artistic inspiration. Loopstitch use many different elements as starting points to their improvisations, from a look into detailed minutiae, or a favourite chord or sequence, and are often inspired by specific motifs found in their favourite classical works.
In 2021, the two began work on Kate's solo viola album, After (released November 18, 2022 on Leaf Music), with Michelle acting as recording engineer and artistic collaborator on the album's final track, Aftermath. This album features Kate's performance of the J.S. Bach work that inspired Loopstitch's beginnings, and Aftermath serves to bring together baroque and electronic experimentation, the thread that weaves together the works on After. It is the unifying work on the album, the culmination of a year of experimenting and listening together.
Loopstitch's first public performance was a collaboration with generative visual artist Andrew MacKelvie for Sound Arts Initiative's "Night Music Online" in February 2022, followed by their first in-person performance at Night Music's triumphant return to the Ship Pub in September 2022, where Loopstitch performed a live improvised set and facilitated improvisation between audience members, guest artists, and themselves. Loopstitch performed at Sound Symposium XX (July 2022), at the Cape St. Mary's Performance Series (September 2022), the Canadian Music Centre (August 2023), Electric Eclectics (August 2023), and Hold Fast (August 2023). The duo has received return invitations to Sound Symposium and Cape St. Mary's, and are working on an album of original music to be released under their name, which will be supported by performances on and off the island of Newfoundland.
Check out our appearance with generative visual artist Andrew MacKelvie for Night Music Online over on the Sound Symposium Facebook page [CLICK HERE]