Unsettled Scores creates and produces musical and theatrical works that explore and reflect difficult Canadian and global histories, while being relevant to contemporary issues and subject matter. Unsettled Scores is also committed to supporting and encouraging early career and emerging Indigenous performing arts professionals.
Unsettled Scores was co-founded in 2006 by Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch (Indigenous Algonquin-Anishnaabe) and Catherine Magowan (Hungarian-Jewish), and together they have created and produced solo, chamber, orchestral and opera pieces, as well as theatrical and multimedia work. They have also presented at conferences and festivals, and conducted workshops on topics such as intercultural collaboration, and decolonizing through music. Unsettled Scores seeks to fuse musical voices, which are rooted within multiple identities including Indigenous (Algonquin-Anishnaabe), Franco, First-Generation Canadian of refugee parents, Jewish, Disability, and Queer. Their work reflects the intersections and parallels between Indigenous and racialized identities and histories that have been marginalized within the performing arts, and find ways to centre those narratives in our work.
In 2020 Unsettled Scores was commissioned by the Lights on Stratford festival to create and perform music to accompany animation by artist Jay Havens for projecting on Stratford’s Market Square, and they were also commissioned by Tarragon Theatre to create music in collaboration with playwright Audrey Dwyer for the premiere of her play, Come Home – The Legend of Daddy Hall. In September 2019 Unsettled Scores premiered RADAR at the Celebration of Nations festival, and in November 2019 they presented a new orchestral piece in honour of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s 40th anniversary. They have had work presented by Nota Bene Baroque Players, the Brott Music Festival, the Royal Conservatory of Music, Aradia Ensemble, the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wilfrid Laurier University Opera Program, and the Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance (London, UK).
Unsettled Scores made it’s European debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2019, and has also participated in festivals such as Celebration of Nations, Free Jane/Toronto Pride, Weesageechak Begins to Dance at Native Earth Performing Arts and Hysteria at Buddies In Bad Times, as well as film festivals including: Inside Out, ImagineNATIVE, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Regina Queer Film Festival, and ImageNation Aboriginal Film Festival.
Unsettled Scores has presented at conferences such as the North American Indigenous Studies Association (New Zealand/ Aotearoa), Performing Turtle Island (University of Regina/First Nations University of Canada), IMPACT, the York University Faculty of Education Graduate Conference, Performing Feminist Culture, and have conducted workshops for young artists on integrating music with other art forms at Crossing Gibraltar (Cahoots Theatre Projects), the University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus) and the Sears Drama Festival.