The city’s groundbreaking arts festival SummerWorks kicks off this today. Known for experimentation, SummerWorks features a large theatrical program as well as a music series with artists such as indie pop group Snowblink. We chatted with Daniela Gesundheit about her music, the festival and the future of artistic expression.
You’re taking part at this month’s SummerWorks festival. What do you have planned?
We have gathered a large group of our musician friends to participate in unexpected ways over the duration of our set. The evening will close out with a slow dance party featuring DJ Poor Pilgrim (Matt Cully). We are in collaboration with lighting designer Trevor Schwellnus for the occasion.
What inspired this particular performance?
A seven-day silent meditation retreat in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a few truly memorable slow dances.
Your music being so lush and atmospheric, do you feel it works well as a complement to other forms of artistic expression?
People have told us that they paint to it, get married to it, put their kids to bed with it.… It’s all fine by me as long as the person pairing it with another art form or life cycle ritual is tasting the soup as they go along and ensuring the seasoning is appropriate.
What’s new with the band, following your latest release last year — new album on the horizon?
We have been playing in a collaboration band called Hydra (with Feist and AroarA) where we all play each other’s songs. In addition to that, we are writing new Snowblink material and plan to record in the fall/winter of this year.
You describe your music as non-denominational, devotional pop. What’s that?
It’s not explicitly religious, and certainly not tied to any specific religion, but it is devotional in nature. I think of devotional music as having the ability to remind us of our deep ends and that that is where we should dive from time to time.
What makes this festival unique?
There’s a lot of risk taking in this festival. Risk in the arts is looked upon favourably by the creative community in Toronto.
SummerWorks runs Aug. 8 to 18