‘DIVE’ – an immersive voice salon-sound installation

DIVE Postcard 12-05

These performances were, by every useful measure, really successful.  Our audiences loved it, and the sonic elements have worked out exceptionally well.  Fides was fantastic, and given the space we were working in, the budget, and the fact that this was a workshop, folks had a really powerful sonic theatrical experience.
We will be fundraising this winter, aiming for a full live performance next fall.
In the meantime, here are a couple of excerpts from the performance:




Fides Krucker, Richard Sanger and I have been working on this for about the last two years. This is a ‘workshop’ of the sonic elements of  a ‘sonic theatre’ performance with text by Canadian playwright/poet Richard Sanger.  Alex Fallis and Heidi Strauss are collaborating with direction, and Simon Rossiter is in for lighting.  We workshopped the text elements last year at CanStage.

This is almost an hour of music with fantastical and outrageous shifts
in genres (folk song, opera, acoustic sound art, found sound, ambient
electroacoustic, and just plain scary shit) with Fides performing

It’s by far the most ambitious and challenging sound project I’ve ever
worked on.

There is very limited seating (it’s in our (Fides and my) home – about twenty people a night) so, if you think you can make it try and book early (note the
dates: they are a Saturday and Sunday, and then a Friday and a

Under a Paper Moon

Feb. 9 – 13, 2010

Nik Beeson & Fides Krucker




presented by hub 14

Under a Paper Moon

is fides krucker and nik beeson are
has previously publicly altercated in a train station (Union Station – Doors Open Festival)
and at some parliament buildings (Queens Park – Word on the Street).

OH will perform vignettes
on loving and lorning
and lunacy and death
OH my

Vignette 1: Loonie Tunes (music by Porter and SchOHenberg)
Vignette 2: Suitecase (music by Cole Porter)
Vignette 3: Suitecide (music by Nik Beeson)
Vignette 4: ‘She wondered where his mind had gone’ (no music whatsoever)

New WordPress blog to replace old Sheddings sytem

I have just started this new WordPress blog for myself, and will be migrating my content from the ‘Sheddings’ Content Management System (run on mamboserver which is becoming extremely unwieldy).

May 02, 2007

May 2, 2007

Over the last month did two talks.

One on ‘Buddhist Practise and Social Engagement’ at the Toronto Shambhala Meditation Centre, another on ‘Addiction as Path’ at the Mississauga Shambhala Meditation Centre.

Really marvelous to have the opportunity of speaking on a couple of subjects that are pretty much in my bones. Many thanks to Paul Persofsky and Debbie McCubbin for the invites!

Would love to have the time to write a couple of articles but just don’t right now.

Moved in with old Catholic Worker friends (including Jim Loney and Dan Hunt, for whom a wrote a song many months ago) about two months ago. Been marvelous to be here, living in an atmosphere which is communal, genuinely caring, relaxed, but also dedicated to Social Justice.

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Oct. 30, 2006

Oct. 30, 2006

I have begun a huge task, which I expect will take, at the current rate, as long as a decade.

I have, at my feet, two large suitcases filled with notebooks of prose and poetry, going back to 1988 or so. It amounts to somewhere around 3000 – 5000 pages. None of it has been published.

So, I’ve started opening the notebooks up, semi-randomly, and copying something into this hopped up blog that I’m calling ‘Sheddings’. Given that I seem to be able to write about a page or two a week it’ll be roughly a decade before I’m through them. That’s assuming, I suppose, that I don’t write anything else, which, actually, isn’t the case. So, make it two decades, assuming / hoping that I’ll persist that long in relatively good health, Inshallah.

I dreamed many years ago that I was driving a Volkswagon Beetle through a vast industrial skyscraper wasteland. The poor little car was stacked so high with baggage that it was almost tipping over. These suitcases are, I think, the majority of that baggage, and I’m toxic with having to haul it all over the place. So, the Sheddings blog is where I’m going to, piece by piece, offload it all: throwing frags of poetry and prose out the window, over the side, to lighten the load. Assuming, also, that folks will, perchance, come across it – roadside refuse, messages in bottles, songlines, blood on the tracks, my urinations marking out my domains – and possibly find something useful and interesting. Perhaps some paper to insulate your chicken shed, your ‘makeshift hut to receive the music…’; maybe a pry bar for the barred windows of your inscape; maybe some company for your windswept leaping through the fields of grace. Any either or, I’d be delighted!

So, keep an eye out on the dates in the entries.
I’m dating them to, very roughly, when I wrote them.
Ove time there will be a very large archive, which will be searchable in many interesting ways.
That, to me, is another of the objectives of this overboard overthrowing upchucking. To get almost two decades of notes into a database from which I can search it, recreate it, manipulate it, bake it, cook it, abuse it and re-use it in many different combinations and concatenations.

A Spherical Labyrinth.

Let’s get lost…

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Oct. 17, 2006

Oct. 17, 2006

Moved both home and office over the last month.

This, combined with significant financial strain, has kept me from pursuing the fascinating issue of discrimination through CAPPE (the Chaplaincy Training Residency) at the University Health Network, where I was barred from proceeding in my residency because I did not have an MA in Theology ( a Christian degree).

There has been some significant interest in the situation. I will be meeting with Andrew Munger, who did a doc for Vision TV on my Residency while I was in it last year. Also, Janice Stein, Director of the Munck Institute of International Studies, to whom I forwarded a copy of the paper I submitted to the UHN, expressed great interest. The issues are rich and complex: the tension between the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms and Religious Freedoms; the differentiation between Religion, and Spirituality; the differences between religious training and psychological training; the differences between an MA in Theology and training in Trauma and Grief Counselling; the needs of the patients and staff on teh floors of the UHN right now.

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July 3: CAPPE at the UHN

July 3: CAPPE at the UHN

Completed a doc on my Chaplaincy experience. Grateful to some good friends and professionals for aiding me in the editing; most of all, for helping me get my own ass out of the way of the view so that the document could be objective and more useful.

The introductory paragraph is below, and summarises the direction of the doc.

“The role of Chaplaincy at the UHN raises some thorny issues with regard to the role of religious care in a contemporary multicultural urban hospital. Two key questions emerge: 1) given that the majority of patients do not enter their faith background on admission, and that the dominant spiritual and emotional paradigm in contemporary urban Canada is psychology, are CAPPE trained Chaplains the optimal choice of care for meeting the spiritual and emotional needs of patients and staff at the UHN?; 2) given that few, if any, religions meet the ethical standards set out by the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, is the UHN ethically compromised by its dependence on (dominantly Christian) religious to manage it’s emotional and spiritual care?”

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May 28 – Migrating from ‘Chaplaincy’ to ‘Spiritual Care’

Spent the latter part of last week completing a 10 – 15 page ‘report’ on my experience in Chaplaincy Training at the UHN and with CAPPE. Entitled “Migrating from ‘Chaplaincy’ to ‘Spiritual Care’ at the UHN: Confusion and Discrimination in UHN ‘Chaplaincy Services'” it outlines my own experience in the training, and observes a number of entrenched discriminatory practises.
I have only been working in the UHN for nine months (a potential career arrested by the need for an MA in Theology) but it seems self-evident that the UHN needs to seriously attend to the patients, families and staff on the Wards, not based on a tradition of Chaplaincy, or on a set of educational standards provided by CAPPE, but on their actual needs as expressed by their spiritual and emotional systems of comprehension. There is no question in my mind that Spiritual Care is both needed and greatly appreciated, but Chaplaincy at the UHN, as it stands, is debilitated by intransigent antiquated religious notions which have no place in a contemporary Canadian urban hospital.

Skills in trauma counseling, in grief counseling, and in psychotherapy, all of which would be exceptionally useful for a Spiritual Care Practitioner, do not require a specific faith background. Openness to Spirituality, in all its diversity, necessity and deep healing capacity, is indeed a requisite. But training in any one specific Religion does not guarantee the Spiritual openness to meet every new patient where they are at; it can, indeed, stand in the way of it.

Would it not make sense to assemble a divers team of Staff, Patients, Practitioners of the Therapeutic Health Sciences, as well as Chaplains, and local ‘Spiritual Innovators’, inviting them to redefine what ‘Spiritual Care Practise’ is, as delineated from ‘Religious Care’, and understanding that the ‘Secular’ Sciences (trauma + grief counseling, psychotherapy) may have much to offer.

Perhaps a new kind of ‘Spiritual Care Practitioner’ can emerge: one clearly delineated from ‘Religious Care’; one with deep respect for and understanding of the multitude of religious traditions and how religion, or any symbolic language, may evoke and contribute to health; but also one with clear and practical training in trauma and grief counseling, as well as individual and group therapeutic counseling.”

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out of the Chaplaincy Residency at UHN

ahhh, the agony…..

i am, at last, at least for the time being, pulling out of the Chaplaincy Residency at UHN.

It’s been a very rough ride bureaucratically, though I’ve loved the work, and feel like I had much to contribute. 80 hour weeks, baby not sleeping through the nights, the added demands of being ‘Buddhist’ where the standards are Christian, lack of basic surety around work… it’s been like climbing a mountain with your kids strapped on your back, and not knowing what’s at the top….

Disappointing though….
I seriously busted my ass like I’ve never done before….
And the work was beginning to flow deep into a great river of comprehension that I’ve been working away at for a couple of decades – hospitalisation and the nature of catastrophic change, transformation, apocalypse, bardo, journey, quest, ego, etc, etc……
It was all there….

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Restless Resignation

My ‘pathway’, intention, has gradually shifted from ‘searching for something’ – God, enlightenment – to ‘being someone’.
God, enlightenment, have ceased to be attainable goals or objectives; they’re red herrings, a wild goose chase.

My intention, if you can call it that, has become an arduous, even precarious, writhing and wrestling towards a way of being. Repeated disappointments and ‘failures’, survived, result in a closer relationship to gravity (the grave), a restless resignation, a more unpretentious self-awareness, which is the fertile ground from which growth ever recurs.

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