Gardens: Scores in Bloom

Olivia Valenza's MFA Project
Installation | September 9 – 25, 2021 | Main Floor, B1, B2 Lobbies
Performance | Friday, September 10 & Saturday, September 18 | 7:00 PM + Sunday, September 12 | 3:00 PM | Just added: Wednesday, September 22 | 7:00 PM | B2 Lobby

Note: Following BC health guidelines, proof of first COVID-19 vaccine dose will be required for entry to any performance on or after Sep 13.


Gardens: Scores in Bloom draws upon improvisation, field recording, poetry, collaboration, and structure borne sound to foreground the manifold possibilities a score may hold, not just for sounding, but for listening, and being; to bourgeon change in our communities. Enamored by the form of the garden, or gardening as a sonic practice, Scores in Bloom welcomes you to a place and experience that encourages renewed attention to the way we listen and to acknowledge many ways of listening. Sonic and visual pieces collected in the installation and in 3 continuously evolving performances on clarinets and electronics seek to activate new vibrational and sonic sensibilities to ask how we can listen more to each other and the world around us with empathy, patience, and attention.

Gardens features new work developed in long-distance collaboration with two other artists; composer, Jessi Harvey, and composer/performer Margo Harms. Exploring place, score-making, and the humble potato (!) with Jessi, is the premier of Tater Dreams, for contrabass clarinet and electronics. Thinking of the drum as a shared body, a new improvisatory performance developed with Margo is fueled by many discussions on memory, nostalgia, and ways of being.

Jessi, or George, Harvey is a Montana-born freelance composer and teacher; gardener and reader; thinker and jovial nihilist. Works are based in the natural world, integrating humor, social curiosity and environmental causes; described as “full of surprises and consistently attention holding” and “diving into the absurd corners of the human condition”. Works have been performed throughout the United States and Canada and been commissioned by Opera Elect, the Art Song Collaborative Project, Karin Stevens Dance, LA duo Strange Interlude among others. You can find Jessi at

Margo Harms is a Los Angeles based composer and performer who is currently exploring the intersections between grief, gender, and sex through a combination of text and sound. They firmly believe that sound and visual aesthetics are equally significant within performance, and because of this, performance art is rapidly becoming a major component of their work. Margo’s focus is on navigating literal stories and personal life events via sound practice, obscuring them to the point that they begin to bridge the gap between individual and “universal” experiences. Follow Margo Harms on Instagram at @phenomenologopolis.


A special thanks to Sabrina Schroeder, Eldritch Priest, Nicole Lamb, Lief Liu, Gillian Hanemayer, Stefan Smulovitz, Paula Viitanen Aldazosa, and Peter Dickinson, without whom this work wouldn't have been possible.

I am eternally grateful for the strengths, care, love, and support of my fellow cohort members, to Faune Ybarra, Charlie Cooper, Mansi Patel, Giselle Liu, Aakansha Ghosh, to my family and friends all near and (too) far away, and to the community that I have found in this city.

Presented by the SFU School for the Contemporary Arts in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Degree of Master of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University.

This work has been created in part and will be presented on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

September 25, 2021