Tag Archives: gardiner residency

Holdable Music

My piece. Come by today 6-8pm for our community celebration! #art #communityarts #gardinerCAS #circles

A photo posted by May Chook (@maychookmusic) on

5 days of creative exploration, and no I didn’t find out exactly what is holdable music. I think, it is going to be an evolving definition.

When I truly believe in my mind, my imperfections, my everything, my art and music are holdable.

There are a few common themes that we discovered while engaging with the community: harmony with nature, unity, and memorable moments with loved ones. We would love a better world, and we can express it through creating something. That goes with music too.

The residency did inspire me to write a song. I have the sound in my head, but it is not ready to be presented yet.

As a musician, music is holdable when I truly believe and make things happen.

The Sound of Weaving

Displaying the weaving process. #artresindency #art #thesoundofweaving #hoops #circles

A photo posted by May Chook (@maychookmusic) on

Day 3. Today we started weaving the communal big hoop, and I tried to develop and solidify my ideas for holdable music.

I like that I get to be creative in this space and express myself. I just had the idea as pictured above, to display the “extras” while weaving the hoop. Does placing them on a plinth make them an art piece? What really amazed me was that a lady came in and participated in the weaving, and she went to take some pieces from the “display”. It totally blurred the lines between process and results.

What is holdable music? While creating a physical art piece and thinking of a story, the holdable art process and the artwork makes my story more memorable. The objects associated with the story became more prominent and holdable. It is like…the story matters more now because I created an art piece out of this.

Now I am a little overwhelmed. So many ideas, how to pack into sounds and songs? How many singing pieces can I create?

Maybe I should ask…how is holdable music?


Everything has a sound

Today Pamela and I continued our journey of hoop weaving and idea harvest for the sound poems. It was a busy day with quite a number of visitors and children. I spoke with almost everyone when they were weaving, and listened to their stories and ideas. Everyone is an artist in this residency, everyone is encouraged to be creative.

We have some very poetic hoops…”A Heart Song”, “Peaceful Good”, weaving about unity, centrality, history, legacy, etc. It is such

Everything has a sound, I would love to dig deeper and present my findings this Friday at the celebration.

What does your story sound like?



Ensemble of Circles

First day of residency. Come join us to weave and sing until this Friday! #art #vocalimprov #singing #hoops #circles

A photo posted by May Chook (@maychookmusic) on

First day of residency at the Gardiner Museum. Pamela and I started setting up since 8am, and I kept asking myself, what do circles mean to me?

At this residency / creative exploration / experiment / anything that you can be inspired by, we are weaving hoops and creating sound poems.

From the perspective of vocal improvisation, singing in a circle is close to my heart, body and mind. It just….feels so complete. Being in a circle, I can see and hear everyone. I feel involved, safe, and powerful with the togetherness of people. I am a part of the circle, a part of the community, a part of people’s stories.

I love to bring people together through singing. We all have a voice to do something, including make something beautiful, and that is up to yourself to define what it is.

I think sounds are round. A beautiful sound is an ensemble of circles.

Experience circles, they signify completeness to me.

I will try updating my writing during this residency, and you are welcome to join me physically at the Gardiner Museum from 1-4pm, or online anytime. We also have a celebration on Friday 6-8pm, because life is worth celebrating :)

**”Circles” is a cross-disciplinary project by May Chook and Pamela Schuller at the Gardiner Museum’s Community Arts Space. More info on the Gardiner Museum’s website.