Matthew Ariaratnam is a composer, guitarist, and improviser, who likes to work with sound as a sonic material and as a point of connection to create happenings and relational interactions. He manages this through practices of field recording, soundwalking, musicking, and making site-specific performance. He engages with ideas of ontology, epistemology, and multimodal listening. Matthew focuses on how the act of listening is a way of being in the world that provides specific knowledge and sensorial information. This type of listening informs our relationships to others, ourselves, and with spaces at single points of time.
With his work II Pause, Matthew sat in the Woodward’s Courtyard with a listening lemonade stand for 43 hours over the course of 9 days, where he learned about and engaged the community through a multi-layered listening experience. With his most recent work, A Walk for 09.09.17, Matthew combined his love of listening, soundwalking, site-specific musical performance (with choirs, harmonicas, solo violin, and a drum parade), picnics, tea, and beer, in a walk through the geography of the Vancouver’s disappearing communities of Chinatown and Strathcona neighbourhoods. He has also been creating 1-minute pop songs under the moniker, dumbpop, and released the music on ‘rescued cassette tapes.’
Matthew holds an MFA from Simon Fraser University and an Honours BMus in Composition from Wilfrid Laurier University. His work has been presented and supported by CBC, Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Pro Musica, The Vancouver Foundation, PuSH Festival, Richmond Art Gallery, Vines Art Festival, and Co.Crea.Tive. His interdisciplinary collaborative practice with dance and theatre has lead him to show work in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Matthew also holds publications with The Mad Times, based in Toronto, and Egress Mag, based in Ottawa & Fredericton.