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Performance Arts

Christensen & Cronin Geography of the Heart. An evening of original country blues, poetry and instrumentals that toured the Columbia Basin in 2004. Peter worked with John Cronin, an accomplished lead guitar player, band leader and vocal performing artist to create an evening of innovative and inspiring performance of original songs, Peter’s poetry and John’s inspiring instrumentals.

While living in Banff off and on in the 1980’s, Peter met contemporary music composer Robert Rosen who became Assistant Director of the New Music Program at the Banff Centre. Together they worked on numerous collaborations of words and music. Robert also wrote for Kokoro Dance Co. (Vancouver). Ray Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourguet collaborated and danced in the Canyon Shadows Project performances.

The resulting works continue to be performed worldwide, the most recent being the performance of Hailstorm (poem by Peter arranged for voice and orchestra by Robert Rosen) sung by Michelle Todd at Carnegie Hall in New York, 2017.

  • Zwei Motetten. Music by Robert Rosen.
  • Still in Motion. Music by Robert Rosen. Choreography by Massimo Agostinelli. Toronto: Hart House Theatre, June 1986.
  • Anima-Animus. Music by Robert Rosen. Toronto: Hart House Theatre. (Also performed in Montreal and Vancouver.)
  • Hailstorm. Music by Robert Rosen.
  • Nova Exhibition. Music by Francois Vaillancourt. Calgary, Alberta: Nova Building. (Poems from Rig Talk.)
  • Canyon Shadows: Stones. (Outdoor Opera) Music by Robert Rosen. Collaboration with Kokoro Dance Co. Banff, Alberta. 1990. Live performances at Grotto Canyon, Exshaw, AB; Festival of the Sound, Perry Sound, ON; and at St John’s Harbour for St. John Music Festival.
  • Canyon Shadows: Animals. (Outdoor Opera) Music by Robert Rosen. Collaboration with Kokoro Dance Co. and Murray Sheaffer. Live performance at Tunnel Mountain, Banff Centre, AB. 1993.

Other Literary Contributions

River of Memory – The Everlasting Columbia. Multi-media project curated by William D. Layman for the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Centre, Wenatchee, Washington in association with University of Washington Press and UBC Press. 2006. Project consisted of a coffee table book, visual exhibition and CD recording about the Columbia River, journeying from the river’s mouth to the headwaters near Peter’s mountain home.

The Project exhibition toured museums in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia between 2006 and 2008. Peter’s poem Somewhere in the Heavens is the closing poem and relates to the headwaters of the Columbia River.

Headwaters Mountain Writer’s Conference 1989, 1991. Created, organized and hosted the original and first Mountain Writer’s Conference in Canada. Held at Panorama Mountain Resort in SE BC. Canadian and US mountain writers were invited to present on a topic they felt strongly about. Hazel Jameson, Caroline Woodward, Cheryl Cashman, Winnifred Weir, Myrna Kostash, Andy Russell, Paul St. Pierre, Glen Sorestad, John Whyte, Sid Marty, Keith Wilson (New Mexico), Jim Harris (New Mexico), Tony Clark (Texas), Charles Noble were among the many who presented at these eclectic conferences.

Consulting Writer

As a professional writer and communications consultant Peter worked with organizations to assist them in clearly articulating issues and conflicts.

  • Developed the budget and facilitation for the "Western Canadian Constitutional Conference, The Nakoda Project" held in Alberta in 1992.
  • Worked with B. C.'s Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) to assist the East Kootenay Land Use Planning Table by writing their report to the Commission on land use issues.
  • North Coast work 2005 – 2015 included writing for BC Provincial Protected Areas Strategy and work for the Haida Nation in preparing a Marine Protected Area Plan for Haida Gwaii.

Literary Honours

  • Christensen was one of a few Canadians selected for John Garmon's Ninety Poets of the Nineties: An Anthology of American and Canadian Poetry (Seminole Press, Florida. 1998).
  • The Douglas College Review Event magazine published his essay "Sky Pilot," which was runner-up in Event's 1997 Creative Non-Fiction contest.
  • Pamela Banting's anthology Fresh Tracks: Writing the Western Landscape (Polestar Book Publishers, 1998) featured the essay, "Canyon Shadows: 'Stones': Exploring the Architecture of the Spirit of Place, Being, and Time." This essay reviews the opera, "Canyon Shadows: Stones Humans Animals" produced by composer Robert Rosen and Kokorro Dance. Peter was commissioned to create the libretto for this performance piece that premiered at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, and was subsequently performed at the Festival of the Sound at Perry Sound on Georgian Bay, Ontario, and at Signal Hill in St. John's Newfoundland during the International Sound Festival.

Peter Christensen's works copyright © to the author.


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