Music on Main and SFU Woodward™s Cultural Programs Premiere Graveyards and Gardens Live


Music on Main and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs Premiere Vancouver’s First Fully-Staged Presentation of Mesmerizing Performance Installation, Graveyards and Gardens

Co-commissioned by Music on Main, the multidisciplinary exploration of the evolution of memory will feautre co-creators Caroline Shaw and Vanessa Goodman


Music on Main and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs present Graveyards and Gardens, on stage April 12-15, 2023, at 7:30pm at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. Created and performed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and Vancouver-based choreographer Vanessa Goodman, the atmospheric sound-and-dance installation will be performed live in Vancouver for the first time, featuring both artists in collaboration on stage. The work’s lauded livestream world premiere was presented by Music on Main in January 2021.

An entrancing meditation on the cyclical nature of embodied memory, the “spine-tingling” (Stir Vancouver) performance is an experiential merging of movement and sound, as layers of Shaw’s soundscapes – from crashing ocean waves to tinny Edison wax recordings and distorted vocals – fold into one another, informing Goodman’s supple and hypnotic movement.

“We have had the privilege of watching this duo create together since introducing them in 2015. Caroline Shaw was Music on Main’s composer in residence and I felt her aesthetics would resonate deeply with Vanessa Goodman whom I knew through Vancouver’s dance scene,” says David Pay, Artistic Director of Music on Main. “Their innate connection is so inspiring, melding their two extraordinary artistic voices to create a transcendent experience that speaks to the greater loop of our existence within the natural world.”Surrounded by vintage lamps, plants, retro record and cassette players, and 400 feet of orange cables, Graveyards and Gardens begins with a cacophony of sounds. Goodman moves around the circle of technology, interacting with various audio stations, as the soundscape builds in intensity. As the layered sound crystallizes into an entrancing, electronic score performed and manipulated live by Shaw, Goodman’s responsive movement is awakened – “a spellbinding demonstration… in perfect synch with the sounds” (The Georgia Straight).

Originally presented during the pandemic as a livestream performance by Goodman, with pre-recorded composition by Shaw, the pair have since toured the performance live to Calgary, Edmonton, Portland, and Berlin. Lighting design is by James Proudfoot and audio design by Eric Chad and Kate De Lorme.

A collaborative producer, composer, violinist, and vocalist, Shaw is the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, as well as several Grammy Awards. She has composed and/or produced music for symphonies, theatre, ballet, podcasts, films and television series. Her work as a vocalist or composer has most recently been featured in TV series’ Fleishman is in Trouble and Yellowjackets, and films Bombshell and Beyonce’s Homecoming, among others.

Goodman is the Artistic Director of the Vancouver-based contemporary dance company Action at a Distance, whose work focuses on building immersive environments through performance-based practices. The company’s work has been presented across Canada, the US, Europe, the UK, and South America. She is the recipient of The Chrystal Dance Prize and the Schultz Endowment from Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, among other achievements.

Graveyards and Gardens’ Presenting Sponsor is The McGrane – Pearson Endowment Fund, held at the Vancouver Foundation. The work is co-commissioned by Music on Main and EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre).

For tickets and further information, visit:

About Music on Main (
Music on Main has developed an international reputation as one of today’s leading-edge classical and contemporary music programmers. Their goal is to create informal, intimate experiences of great music and great musicians with our audience. Music on Main has produced more than 700 events featuring in excess of 1,800 musicians and 130 world premieres at Heritage Hall on Main Street, the now-closed Cellar Restaurant and Jazz Club in Kitsilano, and venues throughout Metro Vancouver. The music has touched the souls of thousands of listeners, and has helped artists from around the world connect with each other, and with Vancouver audiences.


Music on Main & SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs present
Caroline Shaw & Vanessa Goodman’s
Graveyards and Gardens
April 12-15, 2023 at 7:30pm
Regular: $35
Arts Worker: $18
Student: $18

Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Box Office:


Media release and image provided by Laura Murray, Murray Paterson Marketing Group.

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