a scene from “Immolation,” a song from the Moth Project show – photo credit: Marvin Zana
THE MOTH PROJECT at the Paradise Theatre (1006 Bloor St W. Toronto)
Friday December 2 / 8pm / doors 7pm / tickets $32.50 General Admission
THE MOTH PROJECT at the Great Canadian Theatre Company (1233 Wellington St. W, Ottawa)
Saturday December 3 / 8pm / doors 7pm / tickets $32.50 General Admission
It’s been 14 years since Ottawa-born and Brooklyn-based musician Peter Kiesewalter presented his own music in his hometown when his GRAMMY-nominated group East Village Opera Company last played at Centrepointe Theatre. He has played in Ottawa a few times since then – with Jane Siberry at the Ottawa Jazz Festival and as arranger/conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in an evening featuring Lynn Miles and her songs which he refashioned for the symphonic ensemble.
“Immolation” – YouTube
It’s been 15 years Peter Kiesewalter has performed with his own project in Toronto when his GRAMMY-nominated group East Village Opera Company last played at the Mod Club. He has played in Toronto a few times since then – with longtime collaborator Jane Siberry and with America’s Got Talent child prodigy Jackie Evancho.
“I had three kids I wanted to take part in raising and needed to get off the road,” he says of the years since his rock-meets-opera project was busy making albums for Decca/Universal and touring around the world to great acclaim:
– “highbrow and brilliant” – New York Magazine Approval Matrix (EVOC album review)
– “(they) play with such vigor and inventiveness… you could get used to hearing these things (opera arias) this way” – New York Times (performance review at Lincoln Center)
Fast forward to 2020 when NYC became ground zero for the Covid-19 pandemic. “A year’s worth of touring work vanished,” he continues. “Thank God for the Canada Council.”
He applied for and received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to create a multimedia piece based on Moths. Why Moths? “They’re nocturnal, highly adaptive, and drawn to the flame – all things I can relate to as a freelance musician,” he half-jokes. The idea for the show evolved slowly over the course of many late-night conversations at the family cottage with his younger brother Tobi, an Ontario Parks Interpretive Naturalist. How to get people to, in the words of Robin Wall Kimmerer, “pay attention” – a radical act in these times when climate scientists are going hoarse and need help in relaying the message the Earth has been expressing for much longer? “In that regard, this show feels relevant and personal to me… something I can show my three children with pride.” The show is about and inspired by Moths and explores themes of migration, transformation, life, and death through stunning visuals, macro photography, diverse music, and interpersonal stories about his family’s journey from post-war Germany to Canada.
The Moth Project will begin touring in 2023 but already they have attracted attention in the Naturalist/Interpretation world. They have been invited to perform at and deliver a presentation about Art and Interpretation at the annual NAI Conference (National Association for Interpretation) in Cleveland which brings together 1200 state, provincial, and national park interpreters from across North America. The Moth Project show lives at the intersection of Art and Science, a place that interpreters the world over are looking at to foster a broader love and appreciation for biodiversity and the natural world.
photo credit – Jim des Rivières
more info – www.mothprojectlive.com / IG – mothprojectlive / FB – Mothprojectlive