Carol Gimbel celebrating her production #1000Strings, a one-time only participatory performance of composer John Oswald's composition Spectre at Young-Dundas Square in Toronto. Photo credit Sean Waisglass

A\J: Can you tell us a bit about you and your art? 

Carol Gimbel: I am a performer, producer and director. My passion is to explore the realm where the traditional and experimental meet. I find that the traditional is vitalized by drawing from and/or being juxtaposed with the experimental. The experimental’s roots are exemplified and thus enhanced next to the traditional. In bringing the two together, both should be preserved only so as to re-frame or utilize the other as a vehicle to enlivening an experience. 


What does spirituality mean to you? 

CG: Being an artist and creating art is a spiritual path – one in which we learn about ourselves, reflect on all levels of life, humanity, and express the “something more,” the “unspeakables”, the depths. 

Does nature play a role in your art? 

CG: My next production, Song of Extinction, reflects deeply on our human impact on the world around us. Nature, the beauty and laws of nature, human nature, the beauty and predicament of the human experience are all reflections deeply rooted in composition – for example the works of Bach or Beethoven. As we move through to current composition and performance we are reflecting our world around us, which also includes incorporating advanced technology, sound art including samples from nature and pop culture.


What role, if any, does hope play in your art? 

CG: Hope is very important. Hope goes hand in hand with faith. First, we must believe in what is speaking through us as an artist. Many times this faith is the only shred we have to continue doing our work


Stephen Bede Scharper, a columnist for the Toronto Star, is an associate professor with the Centre for Environment at the University of Toronto. He is author of Redeeming the Time: A Political Theology of the Environment and co-editor of The Natural City: Re-Envisioning the Built Environment.

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