Silence is dedicated to presenting sounds and musical practices that are diverse, challenging, sustainable and accessible through concerts, workshops and improvisation sessions. Silence serves as an incubator for practitioners and listeners alike.

Silence is unbiased in regard to genre, culture, class, and tradition; we foster risk-taking, innovation and experimentation in all forms of music and sound, as well as other artistic expressions presented in the space.

Upcoming Music Highlights

The Apprehension Engine in Performance:
A Fundraiser in Support of Silence

Saturday September 16, 7-8:30pm OR 9:30-11pm, $100

Click here for tickets

The Apprehension Engine in Performance with Mark Korven, Matt Brubeck, Gary Diggins, Daniel Fischlin, Lewis Melville, and Joe Sobara

What happens when you combine a Canadian composer (who specializes in horror film soundtracks) with a guitar maker who is respected around the world for his innovative approach to acoustic instruments?

The result of this collaboration is an unprecedented, fear-inducing instrument they call “The Apprehension Engine.” The project began last fall when composer Mark Korven called up his friend Tony Duggan-Smith and asked him to custom design an instrument that could generate dark, ambient sounds.“The mission was to make something that causes people to feel strange and uncomfortable,” Tony says. “With a guitar, I’m trying to make a beautiful instrument with the sweetest, most pleasing sound possible. With the Apprehension Engine, we’re trying to annoy people.”“It’s a matter of personal perspective,” Mark says. “Some people tell us the Apprehension Engine freaks them out, while others tell us the sounds are beautiful and relaxing.”

Mark, who would normally use digital samples for eerie effects, is best known for his unsettling score to Robert Eggers’s 2015 horror film The Witch. Tony is a well established Canadian luthier and one of seven artisans commissioned by the McMichael Gallery for its current Group of Seven Guitar Project.

Originally envisioned as a one-off commission, plans now call for the building of 10 new devices that will be based on the prototype, with refinements. Millions of individuals have tuned into a short film on the Apprehension Engine and now a growing number of musicians, mixed-media artists, and major composers are wanting to own the device.

The two performances will showcase the sonic possibilities of The Apprehension Engine within an ensemble of musicians adept at generating cinematic textures and timbres. In this Canadian premiere, Mark Korven will enter into a sonic dialogue with the Silence Collective and demonstrate his skills as a composer and improvisor through The Apprehension Engine. This evening will be of special appeal to film composers, recording engineers, music students, and concert-goers with an ear for the edgy.

The evening has a dual purpose of raising financial support for Silence, an arts facility in Guelph that provides an accessible and affordable space for adventurous music. Silence is welcoming patrons who can’t attend to sponsor composition and recording arts students who would benefit from this unrepeatable performance.

With each purchase, guests will receive two free tickets for a “Silence Presents” concert of their choice.

The Apprehension Engine Workshop

Apprehension Engine Workshop with Mark Korven and Tony Duggan-Smith, co-creators of  The Apprehension Engine

Saturday September 16, 2-3:30pm, FREE
Click here for tickets

This workshop is free of charge and accessible to the public. Seating is limited and registration is recommended.

When Canadian movie composer Mark Korven wanted to craft dark sounds for horror movie film scores, he realized the acoustic instrument he needed didn’t exist. Consequently, to conjure up breathtaking moments of suspension, Mark teamed up with Tony Duggan-Smith, a renowned guitar designer and builder. Through their conversations and collaborations, Tony Duggan-Smith fashioned a one-of-a-kind instrument dubbed the Apprehension Engine.As a sonic palate, this original instrument incorporates bowed, plucked, and struck devices to generate ambient interludes and effects.

As Mark Korven says, “With an instrument like this, the goal is to produce sounds that are disturbing.”The focus of this afternoon workshop is to showcase The Apprehension Engine live with Mark as composer and Tony as builder. Participants will get to hear, first hand, an unprecedented instrument that expresses evocative sounds that stir up the emotions. Mark will share the application of intense sonic textures in film composition. The session will be interactive with ample opportunity to ask questions.

Current Art Exhibition

Roelf Zantinge 

 Roelph imageRoelf was born in the Netherlands and came to Canada when his family immigrated here in 1955. Being raised in a creative family, Roelf has always had an interest in the arts. He learned to play guitar as a teenager and went on to study art history and drawing at the University of Guelph. After university, he focused on a trade and began his on-the-job training as a carpenter. His love of woodworking and art merged a few decades later when he was inspired by the effect of dyes he used to colour some Cajóns (drum boxes) he was building. Intrigued by the “whimsy” of this medium on wood, he set out to produce larger scale paintings and, drawing on his carpentry background, framed these pieces himself (using native wood species and salvaged woods) with the frames often becoming integrated to the pieces. These would be the first of many to launch his second career as an artist.

When not painting or playing guitar, Roelf enjoys spending time with his two sons, daughter, and granddaughter in Guelph, Ontario.

Join us for the Reception on August 10, 7pm-9pm, with an artist’s talk at 8pm.