A Canadian Premiere and Silence Fundraiser: The Apprehension Engine in Performance
Saturday September 16, 7-8:30pm OR 9:30-11pm, $100
Silence, 46 Essex Street, Guelph
The Apprehension Engine in Performance with Mark Korven, Matt Brubeck, Gary Diggins, Daniel Fischlin, Lewis Melville, and Joe Sobara
What happens when you combine a Canadian composer (who specializes in horror film soundtracks) with a guitar maker who is respected around the world for his innovative approach to acoustic instruments? The end result of this collaboration is an unprecedented, fear-inducing instrument they call “The Apprehension Engine.” The project began last fall when composer Mark Korven called up his friend Tony Duggan-Smith and asked him to custom design an instrument that could generate dark, ambient sounds.
“The mission was to make something that causes people to feel strange and uncomfortable,” Tony says. “With a guitar, I’m trying to make a beautiful instrument with the sweetest, most pleasing sound possible. With the Apprehension Engine, we’re trying to annoy people.”
“It’s a matter of personal perspective,” Mark says. “Some people tell us the Apprehension Engine freaks them out, while others tell us the sounds are beautiful and relaxing.”
Mark, who would normally use digital samples for eerie effects, is best known for his unsettling score to Robert Eggers’s 2015 horror film The Witch. Tony is a well established Canadian luthier and one of seven artisans commissioned by the McMichael Gallery for its current Group of Seven Guitar Project.
Originally envisioned as a one-off commission, plans now call for the building of 10 new devices that will be based on the prototype, with refinements. Millions of individuals have tuned into a short film on the Apprehension Engine and now a growing number of musicians, mixed-media artists, and major composers are wanting to own the device.
The two performances will showcase the sonic possibilities of The Apprehension Engine within an ensemble of musicians adept at generating cinematic textures and timbres. In this Canadian premiere, Mark Korven will enter into a sonic dialogue with the Silence Collective and demonstrate his skills as a composer and improvisor through The Apprehension Engine. This evening will be of special appeal to film composers, recording engineers, music students, and concert-goers with an ear for the edgy.
The evening has a dual purpose of raising financial support for Silence, an arts facility in Guelph that provides an accessible and affordable space for adventurous music. Silence is welcoming patrons who can’t attend to sponsor composition and recording arts students who would benefit from this unrepeatable performance.
With each purchase, guests will receive two free tickets for a “Silence Presents” concert of their choice.