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Scrap Arts Music ensemble finds new inspiration in Victoria





An internationally-renowned B.C. ensemble that turns scrap materials into musical instruments has found new inspiration in a move to Victoria.

The upcoming show from Scrap Arts Music will feature materials salvaged on Vancouver Island after artistic directors Greg Kozak and Justine Murdy moved from Vancouver to Victoria two years ago.

The move was prompted, in part, by an inability to find affordable warehouse space in Vancouver, the pair said.

"We have unique needs in that we need a studio, a rehearsal space," Murdy said.

Scrap Arts Music uses a ​combination of string, wind and percussion instruments built from salvaged materials. During the show, musicians play numerous instruments, some of which are several metres long.

Murdy and Kozak demonstrated what some of the instruments sound like during an interview with guest host David Lennam on CBC Radio's All Points West:

"We loved Vancouver. It was great to us. But it just got...unbelievably, prohibitively, expensive to be there. No more studio space," Kozak said. 

The inspiration for the move to Victoria may have been partly economic, but the change of scenery has brought new inspiration to the latest production from the ensemble.

The upcoming Scrap Arts Music show will feature instruments created from items found on Vancouver Island, such as exhaust manifolds from mills and lamp standards from Victoria's Camosun College.

"As a little kid, I was always collecting stuff," said Kozak. "Instead of collecting things to put in a book...I gathered stuff I could hit and make noises from."

​The Scrap Arts Music ensemble has toured in 14 countries and also played at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The new show under development in Victoria is expected to start touring in 2018.

With files from All Points West

Scrap metal music

Scrap Arts Music uses a ​combination of string, wind and percussion instruments built from salvaged materials in live theatre shows. (Scrap Arts Music )


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