Plumes Ensemble

Everett Hopfner

Quatuor Bozzini

Freya Björg Olafson


Sc Mira



Cluster bursts into its eighth edition with a program of fresh sound and performance. Located in venues around Winnipeg’s downtown, Cluster 2017 delivers deeply personal  A E S T H E T I C experiences.    

Highlights of Cluster 2017 include an excerpt from Freya Björg Olafson’s newest multimedia dance work CPA (Consistent Partial Attention), a solo piano show by Everett Hopfner in which each piece is a personal testament by a living composer (Air Loom), Montreal’s Plumes Ensemble dissecting and tessellating Grimes’ entire Visions album (Many Visions), and Quasar saxophone quartet blowing the roof off in a melée of saxophone, noise, video and light (HELLO!).

This year, Cluster takes you inside our memories : pre and post-internet, digital and analogue, partial and reconstructed, individual and collective… we promise it will be unforgettable.

Cluster co-directors Eliot Britton,
Heidi Ouellette, and Luke Nickel

(This year’s Cluster design features a specially-commissioned digital artwork by Matthew Schoen)


Single Events $15 / $10 Student 
Festival Pass $50 / $40 Student

McNally Robinson Booksellers
Grant Park Mall, 204-475-0483


Consistent Partial Attention

Friday, March 10, 2017
Doors/Show: 7:30/8:00pm
Rachel Browne Theatre
211 Bannatyne Ave.

Two powerful examinations of contemporary culture:

In Training is the Opposite, a singer performs a virtuosic boxing routine on stage, accompanied by a string quartet (Quatuor Bozzini). This short opera by Irish composer Jennifer Walshe features mezzo-soprano Laura Bowler, who was trained and choreographed specially for the role by Cathy “The Bitch” Brown, the former number three World Boxing Champion.   

CPA (Consistent Partial Attention) is Freya Björg Olafson’s newest ensemble dance piece. It is a paradoxical meditation on what it means to be present in our contemporary screen-obsessed existence, featuring performers guided by found footage videos of dancers dancing in their homes.

Air Loom

Sunday, March 12, 2017
Doors/Show: 7:30/8:00pm
Winnipeg Art Gallery
300 Memorial Blvd.

A piano, alone.

Everett Hopfner plays pieces that are personal testaments by living composers. These new works by Manitoban composers Heidi Ouellette, Luke Nickel, Diana McIntosh and Kristen Wachniak explore the acoustic manifestation of memories: physical items handed down generations, smoky jazz from a favourite novel, a wild climb...

Finally, Hopfner plays Hallstudie by Jörg Widmann, during which the piano becomes an extension of the player’s body. Every angle of the piano is considered, every surface struck, every string plucked, hammered, brushed and beaten... this is a tour-de-force.

Many Visions

Friday, March 17, 2017
Pre-concert Lighting Talks 7:00pm / Show 8:00pm
West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Ave

Montreal’s Plumes Ensemble returns to Winnipeg to re-imagine the music of Canadian electronic heavyweight Grimes.

In this cross-Canada tour, 13 of Canada’s most exciting composers each respond to one song from Grimes’ iconic third release Visions (2012). The result is a glitchy post-classical cabaret that will take you beyond the edges of familiarity into a dazzling musical unknown.

Featuring composers: Jennifer Bachynsky*, Eliot Britton*, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Veronica Charnley, Fjóla Evans, Marielle Groven, Emilie LeBel, Nicole Lizée*, Giorgio Magnanensi, Stephanie Moore, Monica Pearce, Tawnie Olson, and Carmen Vanderveken.

Opener: Pipe & Hat’s Sc Mira*



Saturday, March 18, 2017
Doors/Show: 7:30/8:00pm
Rachel Browne Theatre,  211 Bannatyne Ave.
co-presented by GroundSwell

Hello / This is Quasar Saxophone Quartet / Quasar will play many saxophones very loudly / There will be noise (!) / There will be flashing lights (warning!) / There will be manymany things on video screens / and there will be no (!) relenting (!!)

Featuring: Quasar Saxophone Quartet playing Alexander Schubert and David Adamcyk and premieres by Z-Machine (Carmen Vanderveken, Matthew Schoen, and Nathalie Vanderveken), Jennifer Walshe, Patrick Hart, Myriam Bleau, Eliot Britton*, Gordon Hyland, Shaun Bellamy, Calum Jensen*, and Kristen Wachniak*.

We welcome you to stay after the show for a special post-concert talkback with the artists involved.


Quasar Lab

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
12:30pm - Eva Clare Hall, U of M, 65 Dafoe Rd.

Quasar Saxophone Quartet presents sketches of new works by some of Manitoba’s most talented emerging voices. Free admission.

Lightning Talks

Friday, March 17, 2017
7:00pm - West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Ave.

Guest artists from the 2017 Cluster Festival discuss what inspires them to create, including David Adamcyk, Shaun Bellamy, Carmen Vanderveken and Veronica Charnley.

Public Lectures

Friday, March 17, 2017
2:30pm - Desautels Faculty of Music, U of M, 136 Dafoe Rd

Lectures by composers Carmen Vanderveken and
David Adamcyk in collaboration with the U of M Desautels Faculty of Music. Free admission.