Exactly two years ago today the Prime Minister of Canada announced a national lockdown, requiring everyone to close offices, studios, performance spaces, and workplaces and shelter in place at home in response to an international pandemic. It was a time of fear and massive uncertainty. Organizations were reeling, uncertain how to function. People were panic-buying, stockpiling goods. And performing artists and independent creators were faced with an immediate loss of all income and no certainty of when it would resume.

On that day, I spoke with Jordan Nobles, our Librarian and de facto Composer-In-Residence, and we were searching for an effective way to respond, given a limited budget, capacity, and resources. When I contemplated the isolation everyone was facing, my thoughts immediately went back to my days as a violin student at UVic, playing Bach Unaccompanied in dark classrooms late into the night, revelling in that transportive, soaring, and meditative music. Jordan talked about how deeply concerned he was for the musicians who bring composer’s music to life and wanted to find a way to provide at least some income for them. Out of that conversation and on that very same day, the Unaccompanied Project was born.

A partnership between Redshift Music Society and the Canadian Music Centre in BC helped stretch available dollars. And a simple concept allowed for endless creativity. Jordan would ask musicians to choose one solo Canadian work of approximately ten minutes duration that they felt compelled to record, and work with them in the Murray Adaskin Salon to create a music video of the piece using his iPhone, very basic lighting, and new mics we purchased for the purpose. We budgeted to record 50 performances. And he has worked tirelessly ever since, filming and editing one music video every two weeks. It is a remarkable artistic achievement and the quality of videos is extraordinary.

So it’s with immense pride and sense of accomplishment that we launch the 50th and final music video of the Unaccompanied series today, two years to the day after we began — Russell Wallace, singing and drumming his composition ‘Song for Transformation and Revolution.’

I still find it remarkable that, out of the fear and dread of those first days of the pandemic and all that has followed since has come the profound beauty of this body of work. We are deeply grateful to the extraordinary musicians who created such deeply meaningful performances. And to the composers whose music helped us explore so many diverse worlds and helped us get through it all. And extremely grateful to Redshift Music Society for doubling the impact of this project, and to Jordan Nobles, who poured his heart and soul into every video.

Diane Ragsdale, a visionary arts and thought leader, urges us to continually seek the beauty that heals injury. It is our hope we have helped further that journey at least a little through a time of seemingly infinite trial.


1. Mark Takeshi McGregor, flute, performing Four Directions by Jennifer Butler
2. Mark Haney, contrabass, performing Stone by Veronica Krausas
3. Dory Hayley, soprano, performing Postcard Pieces by Christopher Reiche
4. Colin MacDonald, saxophone, performing Fifth Hour at the Dance Party by John Oliver
5. Katelin Coleman, bassoon, performing Vocalise No.2 by Murray Adaskin
6. Aaron Graham, marimba, performing Comb and a Glass by Lucas Oickle
7. Parmela Attariwala, violin, performing Requiem by Otto Joachim
8. Adrian Verdejo, electric guitar, performing Meditations 1 by Michael Trew
9. Katie Rife, vibraphone, performing Nostalgia by Vincent Ho
10. Molly MacKinnon, violin, performing Caprice No. 7 (Le départ d’un train) by Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté
11. Laine Longton, cello, performing Grief by Raymond Luedeke
12. Liam Hockley, clarinet, performing Grace Period by Jerey Ryan
13. Kristen Cooke, oboe, performing Still by Dorothy Chang
14. Holly Bryan, french horn, performing Idiom for French horn by Elizabeth Raum
15. Michael Park, speaking pianist, performing The Loneliest Piano by Paul McIntyre
16. Paolo Bortolussi, flute, performing Velour by Jocelyn Morlock
17. AvanYu, piano, performing Glass Houses No.2 by Ann Southam
18. Noel McRobbie, piano, performing Rhapsody for Rachmanino by Michael Conway Baker
19. Valerie Whitney, french horn, performing Prayers of St. Augustine by Erika Raum
20. Isidora Nojkovic, violoncello, performing Song by Taylor Brook
21. Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, piano, performing Music for Piano by Alexina Louie
22. Jeremy Berkman, trombone, performing Trombone Walking from Owen Underhill
23. Anna Pietrzak, classical guitar, performing Sicilienne by Harry Freedman
24. Julia Nolan, alto saxophone, performing Luminous Blue from Jerey Ryan
25. Müge Büyükçelen, violin, performing Stand Still by Michael Oesterle
26. Dai Lin Hsieh, zheng, performing Breath/Balance by Dorothy Chang
27. Barbara Ebbeson, voice, performing The Gentlest Chord by Barbara Monk Feldman
28. Rebecca Wenham, cello, performing Ricercar by Linda Catlin Smith
29. Leslie Dala, piano, performing by Trois Morceaux en Forme de Satie by Jordan Nobles
30. Julia Chien, percussion, performing Five Diversions for Xylophone by Arsenio Giron
31. Joy Yeh, harp, performing Six Etudes by Rodney Sharman
32. Saina Khaledi, santour, performing Prosperity by Saina Khaledi
33. Geronimo Mendoza, oboe, performing Deux Monodies by Suzanne Hébert-Tremblay
34. Dorothea Hayley, soprano, performing As Ordinary as Stars by Jennifer Butler
35. Paul Hung, flute, performing Wild Cat by Stephen Chatman
36. Solie Stratkauskas, baroque flute, performing The Necklace of Clear Understanding by Rudolf Komorous
37. Michelle Goddard, clarinet, performing Field Music by Emily Doolittle
38. Katelin Coleman, bassoon, performing Solo by John Beckwith
39. AK Coope, clarinet, performing Leaning by Brian Harman
40. Sarah Kwok, viola, performing Pièce Brève by Isabelle Panneton
41. Jeremy Vint, trumpet, performing Aubade by R. Murray Schafer
42. Genevieve MacKay, viola, performing The Memory of Waves by Rose Bolton
43. Heather Beaty, baroque flute, performing Fern by Anna Höstman
44. Rebecca Whitling, violin, performing Thirst and Quenching by Kati Agócs
45. Miranda Wong, piano, performing Three Ländler from Con Intimissimo Sentimento by Marc-André Hamelin
46. Will George, tenor, performing Whitman’s Commandments by Leila Lustig
47. Vern Griths, glockenspiel, performing Oneliner by Edward Top
48. Mark Takeshi McGregor, bass flute, performing Wandering Somewhere by Maria Eduarda Mendes Martins
49. Heather Pawsey, soprano voice, performing Scintillator by Alex Eddington
50. Russell Wallace, voice and drum, performing Song for Transformation and Revolution by Russell Wallace