Tina Pearson is a composer, sound artist, and facilitator. She is first generation Canadian of Nordic and Slavic ancestry raised in Couchiching and Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation territories in Northwestern Ontario and currently resides within the unceded territories of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples (WSÁNEĆ ) on the Pacific Coast. Pearson’s projects play with perception, presence, attention and place, and the relationships between environment, performer and witness. She explores sonic phenomena, telematics, and stretched modes of performance practice and context. Her work has been performed, installed and broadcast internationally, and appears on a number of audio releases.
Recent compositions with biospheric themes include the score Toward a Reciprocal Listening (commissioned for World Listening Day 2020); Root, Blood, Fractal, Breath for the Contact ensemble, Toronto; Root Bone Wood Stone for Centre d’Experimentation Musicale, Saguenay, Québec; Carried On Your Winds (participatory audio installation, Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto, and ohrenhoch, Berlin); Blood in My Wires, Dust on My Breath (multimedia performance, Factory Theatre, Toronto); Dawn In Glass (audio installation, Darts Hill Garden, Surrey, BC); and Tree Sing, for voice(s) and dancer(s), Victoria, BC.
Pearson’s early works in Toronto included concert length pieces for mixed ensemble, Oxygen Tonic – Breath Guided Music (composed with David Mott); Colliding (electroacoutstic performance with choreographer Paula Ravitz and Toronto Independent Dance Enterprise); and the soundwalk piece Measure for a Mayfly. Other dance commissions include the harmonic series based RSVP (piano four hands, for Ravitz) and Saturn, (treble instrument trio, for Grant Strate and Menaka Thakkar).
After moving to Canada’s West coast, Pearson formalized facilitation and biospheric art practices into her work. With musicologist Dylan Robinson, she co-directed LASAM’s concert-length And Beethoven Heard Nothing collaboration; composed, with artist Paul Walde, the performative sonic mimicry installation Music For Natural History; and completed the audiovisual installation commissions Absorb and This Is For You.
Pearson’s interest in listening through communication technologies fuelled a number of telematics projects, notably the often-performed networked composition PwRHm, created for the global media art group Avatar Orchstra Metaverse; mixed reality work In This Far Now, with Liz Solo (Newfoundland Sound Symposium); multi-continent virtual reality work Rotating Brains / Beating Heart composed with Pauline Oliveros and Stelarc (DHRA, UK); and many others.
While in Toronto, Pearson was editor of Musicworks Magazine, introducing its audio component in 1983. She designed and taught a Sound Studies course at OCAD University, and was co-director of the Toronto New Music Cooperative. She is a performer and improvisor (flute, voice, accordion, glass, virtual instruments), presents workshops on listening,improvisation, and telematic collaboration, and is a certified Deep Listening® instructor through Pauline Oliveros. She is a member of the global media collective Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, and co-director of the Victoria experimental music collective LASAM.