Ten Thousand Things

Nov 23, 2023



Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


7:30 p.m.


Ten Thousand Things was a reading by Hamish Ballantyne, S F Ho, and Tiziana La Melia, organized by artists-in-residence Julian Hou, Prince Nifty, Eddy Wang, and Fan Wu. Expanding into the hybrid territory of drone/poetry and quadraphonic sound, the reading was named for The Ten Thousand Things (萬物), a concept in Daoist cosmology that signifies a vastness that metaphorizes into an uncountable infinity. Throughout the evening, the audience was encouraged to move around the Grand Luxe Hall. Cushions were set up on the floor near the centre of the room to allow for a heightened experience of the spatialized audio.

Ballantyne opened the event with a twenty-minute set featuring work drawn from his chapbook Blue Knight (2022). Then, Ho performed selections of a poem that explored linguistic and abstract forms of negation. Reading on the floor of the Luxe, Ho was backed by the Wounded Healer houseband that featured Hou (electronics), Nifty (electronics), Wang (keyboard), and Wu (vocals/percussion) alongside Amy Gottung (flute), Kasper Feyrer (shruti box/percussion), and Marco Muñoz (guitar).

To close the evening, La Melia performed a selection of poems including “Juicy” and “Cup of Tears & Walking Towards Soma Tropika” (2022) with musical accompaniment. In addition to their instruments, the ensemble’s improvised score activated objects including a corn cob, watermelon-printed fairy wings, loose change, silky textiles, jewellery, and dried chili peppers as sound-making devices.
Fan Wu speaks into a microphone from behind a lectern in the Grand Luxe Hall. He is basked in orange overhead light, and wears glasses and a denim shirt. Four black meditation pillows are on the floor in front of him, and various instruments, cables, and microphones can be seen in the background.
Hamish Ballantyne reads at lectern. Speaking into a microphone, he gazes down at his book positioned next to a can of beer and a glass of water. He is illuminated by an overhead orange light, and wears a baseball cap and long sleeved shirt. Various instruments, cables, and microphones are arranged behind him.
S F Ho kneels on the floor of the Grand Luxe Hall, reading from loose papers and books arranged in front of them. The band is arranged behind them, with Eddy Wang playing synthesizer, Fan Wu seated next to a microphone, Prince Nifty at an electronics station, Julian Hou at a table with a laptop, and Amy Gottung seated with a flute. Meditation pillows, percussive instruments, microphones, and cables are scattered on the floor of the performance space. Audience members can be seen seated from behind.
Seen in profile, S F Ho kneels on the floor of the Grand Luxe Hall. They hold loose papers in their left hand and are reading into a microphone held in their right hand. Other papers and books, as well as a small candle and meditation pillows, are arranged on the floor around them. They are bathed in warm orange light, and wear a plaid shirt, a black jacket, and black pants with frog closures down the leg.
S F Ho crouches on the floor of the Grand Luxe Hall while reading into a microphone from a book balanced on a meditation pillow. They are bathed in an orange glow.
Kasper Feyrer crouches on the floor of the Grand Luxe Hall while adjusting a dial on an amp. Percussive instruments, effects pedals, microphones, bubble wrap, and other sound-making objects are arranged in front of them. In the background, Eddy Wang sits at a table and plays synthesizer.
Seated at a table, Eddy Wang dangles interlocking rings into three wine glasses filled with different amounts of water. A microphone points directly into the wine glasses to amplify the sound he’s creating. A synthesizer and transmitter are also positioned on the table. Eddy wears a collared shirt and is bathed in orange light.
Julian Hou dangles a set of watermelon fairy wings inside the frame of a piano where a microphone is pointed. He wears glasses and a long sleeve shirt pushed up at the elbows. The room is washed in an orange glow.
Fan Wu holds an ear of dried corn in his right hand, and holds the back of his left hand against the head of a microphone. Blurred in the foreground of the image, Prince Nifty plays a keyboard. The whole scene is illuminated in a warm orange glow.
Tiziana La Melia holds a microphone in her right hand as she reads from material propped on a music stand. She wears a sheer patterned shirt over a white ribbed tank top. She’s illuminated by an orange light.
Seated, Tiziana La Melia holds a microphone in her right hand as she reads from material propped on a music stand. The room is basked in an orange glow.
Marco Muñoz sits on the edge of the Grand Luxe Hall while playing guitar. He is dressed in all black, and a Fender guitar strap crosses his shoulder.
A set of bongos, a mallet and drumsticks, a sheet of bubble wrap, effects pedals, and two drawings are positioned on the floor of the Grand Luxe Hall.
Loose change and small objects are placed on the surface of a tom drum. Meditation cushions and loose papers are scattered on the floor in the background.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.