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. Silence is and will remain an accessible space.
As an improviser, Silence Board member, and someone who researches and writes about improvisation I’m often asked about why the humble concrete and cinder block former garage in downtown Guelph that is home to so much independent music-making is called “Silence.” People seem struck by the uncanny resonances of the name, not only because so much sound comes out of such a small venue, but also because silence seems to be such a key concept for anyone who cares deeply about why improvised music matters. So there are a bunch of reasons I usually end up giving or trying to articulate, none of them definitive but all circling around why the name seems to resonate so strongly.
Silence was founded in the Fall of 2012 to provide an outlet for the presentation and creation of new, creative and non-idiomatic music in the fields of improvisation, electro-acoustics, post-rock, jazz, chamber music, computer music, noise, ambient, sound art and so on. We began with a modest mandate to present approximately a concert a month, with a view of expanding into workshops, improvisation sessions and beyond. Interest in the project has been growing rapidly: since our first concert, we have presented and co-presented well over 400 concerts, workshops, screenings and special events–at no cost for artists. We have also maintained a weekly community-based improvisation session (Morning Music) that welcomed hundreds of people into the performance venue either as players or as audience. This latter practice has been ongoing unbroken for four years (200+ events) and is heading into its sixth year in September 2017. It has also produced one CD with another in the works.