IMPROV OPERA EPISODE 1: Coral Calls for Cloud

Presented by the SCA Ensemble-in-Residence
Sunday, January 26, 2020  | 2:00 PM, 2:45 PM & 3:30 PM – three separate showings with limited seating
Room 4945 – SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver

Tickets: Students $7 | SFU Alumni $7 | Seniors $10 | SFU Faculty & Staff $10 | General $15


Note: no latecomers!

Coral Calls for Cloud is the first installment in a dramatic fictitious poem series, written by interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, and MFA candidate, Meagan Woods. The story is based on the fascinating phenomenon where overheated coral reefs emit bio-chemicals which become aerosols, thus triggering cooling cloud formations directly above themselves. In collaboration with Woods, the ensemble is excited to set this story to an array of co-composed structured improvisations and video accompaniment.  

The SCA Ensemble-in-Residence was formed to support and collaborate with the Music Program at SFU. They provide instrumental consultations for student-composers, conduct readings, and perform students' completed works each term. The ensemble also pursues its own line of projects, specializing in improvised music, graphic scoring, and interdisciplinary performance. 

SCA Ensemble-in-Residence

Chris Blaber – percussion
Kourosh Ghamsari-Esfahani – violin
Katerina Gimon – voice
Casper Leerink – piano

Libretto by Meagan Woods
Video by Xinyue Liu


Chris Blaber

Chris Blaber is a percussionist and composer dedicated to presenting collaborative, interdisciplinary, improvised, and contemporary works. In the past two years alone he has premiered over 100 new works in concert. He’s passionate about incorporating multiple elements of performance – including choreography, narration, singing, and acting – into unified, innovative productions. He joined Scrap Arts Music as an ensemble member in September 2017. As a member of Scrap Arts he tours their new production “Children of Metropolis” internationally and throughout BC tours their school show SAM2. Scrap Arts delivers complex webs of rhythms with athletic choreography and high energy performance.

Over Summer 2019 Chris rode his bicycle around BC playing a solo show drum set and stereo electronics called “Changing Planet”. The show was made in collaboration with Ecstatic Waves composers Erica Regehr, Nadia Schibli and Jaya Story. Carrying around 150 pounds of instruments, speakers, food, water, tent, and basic survival equipment he biked over 2000km promoting climate activism and green living all the way.

Locally in Vancouver you can see Chris Drum with the Hitmen Drumline at Canucks home games (his friends tell him he has been on Hockey night in Canada for about 3 seconds!) and as a freelance percussionist in Vancouver with numerous groups including orchestras, musical theatre, chamber music groups, SFU Music Composition program ensemble in residence, and as the principal percussionist of the Postmodern Camerata Society.

Chris is the artistic director and founder of Ecstatic Waves. This collective creates experimental performances that are collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature. They have premiered over 50 new works by local Vancouver artists in 14 shows, self published a book of scores premiered in the concert series, and performed a 10 hour long concert for their book launch party. |

Kourosh Ghamsari-Esfahani

Kourosh Ghamsari-Esfahani is an Iranian-Canadian composer-violinist, currently working on his MFA at Simon Fraser University. He has presented at festivals and artist residencies across North America and internationally, including: The Brush Creek Arts Residency in Wyoming, USA, the Arteles International Creative Residency in Finland, and the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab.

Various labels may describe his work with some accuracy: neo-romantic, contemporary-classical, electro-acoustic, soundscape, chamber, interdisciplinary, and so on. Kourosh strives to inhabit the intersections between performance, composition and improvisation.

Katerina Gimon

Named as one of Canada's ‘hot 30 classical musicians under 30’ by the Canadian Broadcasting Company; composer, improviser, and vocalist Katerina Gimon's uniquely dynamic, poignant, and eclectic compositional style is rapidly gaining her a reputation as one of the most distinctive emerging voices in contemporary Canadian composition. Katerina’s music has been described as “sheer radiance” (Campbell River Mirror), “imbued…with human emotion” (San Diego Story), and capable of taking listeners on a “fascinating journey of textural discovery” (Ludwig Van). Her works have been performed across North America, Europe, and Asia. She is currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Casper Leerink

Casper Leerink is a composer and pianist who is interested in exploring new possibilities for interaction that advancements in technology have to offer. In his compositions, Casper seizes the opportunity to integrate his two interests; technology is used to connect a variety of features within his compositions. With the help of various sensors and custom software, he creates projects where objects, video and sound do not act as separate entities, but are part of an interactive ensemble. Within his music, Casper creates opportunities for technology to connect humans and machines in ways that benefits both.

Meagan Woods

Meagan Woods is an MFA candidate at Simon Fraser University’s School of Contemporary Art. Originally from the states, Meagan graduated with a BFA in dance from Rutgers University, earning the Margery Turner Award for choreography. Her company has presented a wide range of original dance works in venues across the North East. Meagan is the founder of two cross-disciplinary performance series: Dance Within the Arts at the Zimmerli Art Museum and Art in Motion at Alfa Art Gallery. Her company has performed twice for TED talks; video coverage is available at In 2010, Meagan Woods co-founded the largest annual modern dance festival in New Jersey, Your Move, for which she was granted the Dance NJ Jete Award in 2017. Meagan is also a costume designer, and has guest lectured at The New School, Montclair University, and Rutgers University. More at:

Xinyue Liu

Xinyue Liu works primarily with video, photography, text, and fabrics. By incorporating fragmented narratives and outdated visuals, Liu’s practice probes the manifestations of displacement, intimacy, and unfinished stories. She is fascinated by the renegotiations of past and present that unfold when she searches for and handles found objects, lost images and readymade knickknacks. Liu received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Television and Radio Production from Jilin University, China, before moving to Vancouver. She is currently an MFA candidate at the SCA. The culmination of her upbringing and her new-found experiences has led her to a more filmic approach, which unravels through the study of expanded cinema and the politics of nostalgia.

January 26, 2020