Matthew Ariaratnam is a sound artist, composer, guitarist, and improviser, who likes to work with sound as 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 multimodal listening is a way of being in the world that provides specific knowledge and sensorial information, informing our relationships to others, ourselves, our environment, and community spaces.
From January-December 2018, Matthew Ariaratnam, in collaboration with Julie Hammond, held 20 events under the wayfinding // wandering banner, an Artist in Communities residency, at Sunset Community Centre, Ice Rink, and Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre. From pop-ups in the Sunset Community Centre lobby to multi-day workshops and sensory walks, these events were united in their investigation of the world around us and their desire to spark curiosity in active participants of all ages.
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 piece, 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.’
He is currently playing guitar for the band, Harley Small.
Matthew’s work has been presented and supported by CBC, Vancouver New Music, Music on Main, Vancouver Pro Musica, The Vancouver Foundation, PuSH Festival, Richmond Art Gallery, Vines Art Festival, LocalFM, Vancouver Co-op Radio, and Co.Crea.Tive. His interdisciplinary collaborative practice with dance and theatre has lead him to show work in Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Selections of his writing and scores have been published with Ecstatic Waves (Vancouver), The Mad Times (Toronto), CMA Journal (Vancouver), and Egress Mag (Ottawa, Montreal, & Fredericton). He has an MFA from Simon Fraser University and an Honours BMus in Composition from Wilfrid Laurier University.