Tara Rajah was six when her family emigrated from east Malaysia.
She remembers having to adapt to her new life and finding ways to call Canada home.
Her story of migration to another land became the inspiration for a new musical performance project that explores our relationship with nature and nesting.
Titled Environmental Vibrations, the piece with dancer Kira Radosevic will premiere on Oct. 2 at the opening for the second phase of the Port Coquitlam Community Centre as part of BC Culture Days, of which Rajah is an ambassador.
Rajah’s composition weaves around the Malaysian folk tune Jinkli Nona.
“It’s about migration and having to learn about the land, and adjust to the conditions,” the Vancouver cellist told the Tri-City News of her 10-minute piece. “It’s about the journey and finding a place to settle.”
Rajah, who has her bachelor’s of music degree from UVic and is currently a BEd undergrad at UBC, said although the piece is improvised, she’s been rehearsing with Radosevic since the summer to fine tune the performance that was created for 12th annual BC Culture Days that takes place Sept. 24 to Oct. 24.
But Environmental Vibrations isn’t just about music and movement.
The family-friendly project also includes a visual arts component that looks at departures and arrivals from a global perspective. Called Send a Postcard Home!, the workshop invites participants to make a watercolour postcard — designed by Cherry Lu and Robin Lough — and send it to the place where they consider their true home to be.
The postcards can be mailed back to the participants or to a friend or family member.
Environmental Vibrations is part of a larger performance work called Moving, Resting, Nesting by Foolish Operations. And both will be presented at the opening of the new Port Coquitlam Community Centre (2150 Wilson Ave.) between 1 and 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 2; Environmental Vibrations runs from 3 to 3:15 p.m. and the postcard workshop starts at 4 p.m. with pre-registration.
Still, it’s not the only BC Culture Days event happening in the Tri-Cities. Here’s a list of what’s going on in each community (check culturedays.ca/en/bc for updates on registered events):
- Sept. 26: Give It a Try Day at Place Maillardville Community Centre
- Sept. 26: Upcycled Pop-Up Portraits with Dawn Livera at Place des Arts
- Oct. 23: Movie Day at Coquitlam Public Library
- Sept. 25, Oct. 5 and Oct 23: Sew-in Mix and Mingle at Leigh Square
- Oct. 2: Gimme Shelter Blanket Fort Experience at Port Coquitlam Community Centre
- Oct. 4: Rhymes of Times at PoCo Heritage
- Oct. 14: Exhibition opening reception at Leigh Square
- Oct. 16: Get Hooked by Rug Hooking at Leigh Square
- Oct. 18: Heritage Writers’ Group at PoCo Heritage
- PoCo Heritage art walk (online)
- Sept. 24: FamiLEAF exhibition opening at Port Moody Recreation Complex
- Sept. 24: Art 4 Life artist talk via PoMoArts (online)
- Sept. 29: The Dream of Flight artist talk via PoMoArts (online)
- Oct. 7: Water Speaks artist talk via PoMoArts (online)