Seattle ambient music performer Cindy Reichel at the controls. She is among the artists performing in Banfield Park as part of the Wonderment festival, happening Aug. 3-4. Courtesy Garden City Electronic Music Society.

World of electronic musical wonders await at long weekend festival

Wonderment ambient/downtempo music festival slips into bridge plaza, Banfield Park Aug. 3-4

Looking for a calm and relaxing way to enjoy the B.C. long weekend?

The Garden City Electronic Music Society, organizers of Wonderment, the free festival of ambient and downtempo music, are holding a place for you. With day programming set for Aug. 3 on the West Bridge Plaza (next to the Johnson Street Bridge) and Aug. 4 in Banfield Park, and 19-plus shows elsewhere both evenings, this fourth annual musical celebration shifts from a summer parks series to a single-weekend event.

Characterized by minimal environmental and aesthetic impact – the multiple speakers are concealed in foliage – Wonderment has been staged in various Victoria parks and more recently in the Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch courtyard.

According to the society’s festival curator David Bodrug, “the initial concept was that upon entering a Wonderment park environment, as one approached the performance area, the ambient atmospherics would merge with the natural environmental sounds of the park, evoking a pleasant surreality for park users.”

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The afternoon shows run from 1 to 6 p.m. both days and feature a range of artists from Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Seattle and Toronto.

Saturday’s Downtempo Edition in the plaza features a wide range of music influenced by jazz, afrobeat and dub reggae. Artists include Vancouver’s Pete Grove (Woodwork Recordings), Jules Chaz (part of the extended Cobblestone Jazz family), and a new collaboration between OKPK’s Dan Godlovitch and percussionist Colin Malloy. Also performing are Victoria artists Psychic Pollution, Cascadia Sound and JVZ.

On Sunday in the park Toronto-based electronic music veteran Matt Thibideau (a.k.a. Altitude), makes his debut B.C. performance, supported by Segue (Silent Season, Vancouver), Seattle’s Cindy Reichel, Ucluelet’s The SoLow, and Formidable Licorice’s JP Meldrum.

Wonderment’s nighttime, dance-oriented shows see Thibideau performing a live dub-techno set from 10 p.m. to late Aug. 3 at Studio Robazzo (2001 Douglas St.), supported by Frivolous. Also that night Vibrate plays a show at The Copper Owl (1900 Douglas St.), while Sunday Standard hits the stage Aug. 4 at Lucky Bar (517 Yates St.).

For more information, visit gcems.ca and click on the Wonderment icon.



editor@mondaymag.com

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