Decolonization Series

We invite you to Canadian New Music Network’s series of knowledge-sharing online events for the creative music and sound community around decolonization. These six conversations address inequalities and oppression in our practice, to support a more generous and inclusive culture that is deeply understood within our communities.

New music is undergoing a fundamental reexamination of its practices, history and community. Until recently, “new music” was understood among its practitioners as a non-commercial art form whose roots were anchored in the Western European tradition —which likewise shaped most music education and production. Within a colonial, and white supremacist model of cultural policy and funding, “new music” was valorized and thereby profited from the same systems which restricted and/or criminalized other traditions of creating and listening.

As a community, we need to divest from the exclusion, suppression and underestimation of difference and establish respectful practices, frameworks and relations. Decolonization and the essential structural upheaval it requires on a personal, community and institutional level present enormous challenges, but guide us towards more equitable, representative, and meaningful sound making. Join us!


January 14 @ 7 pm EST — We can’t play their game, their way
Curator: Remy Siu
Guests: Gabriel Dharmoo, Melody McKiver, Nancy Tam & Leslie Ting


5 composers and musicians with multidisciplinary practices discuss their experiences interfacing with the larger structure of “new music” and its euro-centric priorities. Can anything be achieved without fundamentally re-arranging or removing the processes, materials, and/or methods of distribution that currently define the dominant practices? Can we move forward without confronting the possibility that “new music” and “classical music” in its practice and pedagogy does more harm than good?

Check out the whole Decolonial Imaginings project!


February 11 @ 7 pm EST
Curator: Curtis Lefthand

April 22 @ 7 pm EST
Curator: Gabriel Dharmoo