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Contemporary Music | Augmented Instruments

Kalun Leung lies on his side holding his trombone on a diagonal upwards to the right. The room is dimly lit so that all appears black except a small area of the ground and the gold trombone.

Garcia, born from a collaboration between mubonist Kalun Leung and choreographer Bettina Szabo, dives into the rich tapestry of human experience. It's a deeply personal journey through immigration, otherness, and social acceptance, resonating with the shared experiences of first-generation immigrants. From childhood curiosity to the nostalgia of old age, Garcia is a sensorial masterpiece that unites movement, sound, and storytelling. Garcia is the culmination of 3 years of innovation and interdisciplinary exploration between Kalun Leung and Travis West, for their mubone research and creation project. The mubone, an augmented trombone, captures the performer's every move, weaving real-time recording, playback, and cutting-edge sound processing into a mesmerizing 3D performance.

Garcia is the middle name of Kalun's childhood nanny who was his primary guardian from birth to age 4. The single digit years of a human life are so formative and foundational, but are often most easily forgotten. When his nanny found him on Facebook in 2020 during a time of intense identity reckoning that was brought on by COVID-19 among other challenges, Kalun saw it as a fascinating opportunity to uncover his past through her memories. What was he like? Was he a brat? This piece is inspired by this process of uncovering memories through others and through self-discovery. Having immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong at age 4 with only one memory from this time, Kalun reconnecting with his nanny was a way for him to reconstruct how he navigated immigration and assimilation as a child. Sounds are recorded, triggered and manipulated via this memory "sound palette" that is represented by the space around the performer, and the trombone is used as a memory logger and jogger, stylized by the performer's movements.

Creative Team


Choreographer-Artistic Director: Bettina Szabo

Music: Kalun Leung

Mubone Designers: Kalun Leung and Travis West

Dramaturgy: Bettina Szabo

Cast: Kalun Leung

Presented at:

Live at CIRMMT, Montreal 2023 

IRCAM Forum, Paris 2022

Chapelle du Bon pasteur, Montreal 2021

Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec logo
Canada Council for the Arts - Conseil des arts du Canada logo
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