IN THE BOX
“…in the Box Productions” is a collaborative concert that features Victoria poet Carla Funk, pianist Heather Burns and visual artist Rose Cowles. The show combines music, painting and poetry, and showcases each of these artists, as well as accompanying band members. In a spirit of spontaneity, improvisation and play, Funk, Burns and Cowles merge the rhythms and textures of their artistic genres into an event that is new with every performance.
In 2005, Cowles and Burns brought music and canvas together on stage for the CD release of Burns’ first recording, Child’s Play. Audience reception was overwhelming, and Burns & Cowles had numerous requests to develop the show further. The artists re-united in November 2008 when Burns released her second CD, Road Back Home at The Metro Theatre in Victoria where they played and painted for a sold-out crowd. In December 2008, Heather teamed up with Victoria’s inaugural poet laureate, Carla Funk, in a poetry reading with improvised piano accompaniment. The blending of poetry with music was as well received as the visual art and music combination, and this performance led to Burns’ idea to bring all three artists together on the same stage.
Funk, Cowles and Burns decided to collaborate with to create a place where the audience is both visually and aurally entertained. They have performed around BC with a concert format show featuring two hours of music that ranges from instrumental jazz, Celtic, roots and world stylings. Members of Burns’ band – Joey Smith, Bruce Hurn, Anita Bonkowski, Chris Bertin, Kelby MacNair, Don Leppard, & Chris Newstead – join the women on stage. They have also teamed with the CBC hosting their shows.
Throughout the show, Funk weaves poetry with the music, sometimes bringing words to the silences between songs, and other times reading poems while the musicians improvise. On one side of the stage, Cowles begins with a large blank canvas, and, inspired by the words and music performed throughout the show, fills it with lush colour and images.
Audiences agree that each performance is an engaging mosaic of the visual, musical, and literary arts. Its uniquely collaborative spirit creates a space where the audience feels as much a part of the show as the performers. Entirely entertaining for all, and leaves you feeling sorry the show has ended.
“An aesthetic trifecta” J. Stewart – Victoria
“…an embarrassment of riches, the artists obviously delighting in their work, the variety making it impossible to grow numb to the combination of creativity and excellence.” – P. Teel –Victoria
“Christmas in the Box”….was a unique experience that brought a sense of peace and joy in a season where it can be hard to find such moments. The music was fun and familiar and a relief from canned carols, the stories and poems ignited your imagination until you felt like you were sitting by a crackling fire in a classic Christmas card…and the art was unfolding before your eyes like a present being slowly unwrapped to your utter delight. I can’t wait for next year.
— Jo-Ann Roberts – Host, All Points West CBC Radio One
“Road Back Home” CD Launch – featuring Heather Burns & Rose Cowles