Postcommodity and Alex Waterman

in memoriam...


Banff Preview Performance:  July 12, 2017 at 2pm
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Telus Studio, Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Building         
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive

Edmonton Official Performance:  July 18, 2017 at 7 pm
Francis Winspear Centre for Music
4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW

in memoriam... Vinyl Launch Party: September 11, 2018 at 7 pm
The Black Dog Freehouse
10425 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB
Event information can be found here


in memoriam… adds a new score and production by Postcommodity and Alex Waterman to a suite of four early scores by the American composer Robert Ashley. The fifth score honours the lives of Mary Cecil, Victoria Callihoo (née Belcourt), and Eleanor (Helene) Thomas Garneau, three Indigenous women from territory at the turn of the Century as it became the province of Alberta. This significant addition continues Ashley’s project investigating the connections between musical forms and constructs of historicization, opening a conversation regarding whom and how we memorialize individuals and inscribe their legacies.

Robert Ashley (1930-2014) composed four graphic scores in 1963 that form a tetralogy of musical epitaphs for (in)famous figures from American history: John Smith, Kit Carson, Crazy Horse, and Esteban Gomez. The in memoriams… were Ashley’s re-interpretation of classical European musical forms: the symphony, the concerto, the opera, and the quartet. As Ashley remarked on several occasions, these forms developed in parallel in Europe and America, but whereas in Europe they manifested as musical forms, in America they were expressed as social forms. The in memoriams were foundational works for Ashley's grander project of composing a “history of American consciousness”. Ashley would later expand upon this history by producing a prolific series of operas for television and stage from the late 1970s until his death in 2014. His operas, unlike the in memoriams, would immortalize people from his personal life rather than well-known historical figures.

The fifith in memoriam… production will be performed by the transdisciplinary Indigenous artist collective Postcommodity, composer Alex Waterman, and Indigenous musicians from across the province of Alberta. In addition to the original four scores, Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective has worked together with Postcommodity and Alex Waterman to present the stories of these three notable Indigenous women from Alberta. Mary Cecil, Victoria Callihoo (née Belcourt), Eleanor (Helene) Thomas Garneau are memorialized in a new, collectively composed fifth in memoriam… score that will sing the stories of these extraordinary women and present them to a wider audience. All five in memoriams will feature new hand-made musical instruments, performed by regional Indigenous musicians, and these extraordinary international artists. 


The in memoriam... catalogue features a foreword from Ociciwan and Alex Waterman; introduction from Amy Malbeuf, Jessie Short, and Becca Taylor; and an essay by Candice Hopkins. The publication also features the new in memoriam... Mary Cecil, Victoria Callihoo (née Belcourt), and Eleanor (Helene) Thomas Garneauscore along with Robert Ashley's previous in memoriam... scores. 

The catalogues were designed by Will Holder of uh books and are now on sale. Catalogues can be purchased at the following distributors: 


Building off of last summer’s production of American composer Robert Ashley’s original in memoriam… operatic scores, Ociciwan is excited to announce the launch of a three volume vinyl set that features recordings of the original in memoriams…  as well as newly created score honouring the lives of three Indigenous women from the land now called Alberta composed by Postcommodity and Alex Waterman.

The vinyl box set was designed by English typographer Will Holder who also designed the in memoriam… catalogue published by Ociciwan that was released in July 2017. Holder, along with his students at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Netherlands, screen-printed the box covers over the course of several weeks in the Spring of 2018.

On September 11, 2018, Ociciwan will be holding a launch party for the vinyl box set where we will celebrate all the hard work of many artists and cultural workers that went into completing our biggest project to date. The launch party will take place at the Black Dog Freehouse (10425 82 Avenue, Edmonton, AB) and will feature performances by Raven Chacon (Postcommodity), Alex Waterman, and special guests to be announced. The launch party is 18+ , free to attend, and open to all. 

The in memoriam… vinyl box set, along with the in memoriam… publication, will be available for purchase at the launch party. Information where you can purchase the box set will be released after the launch date.


For any questions about the catalogues or vinyl, please email


About the Artists

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere. Postcommodity are the recipients of grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2010), Creative Capital (2012), Art Matters (2013), Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (2014), and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (2017). The collective has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including: Contour the 5th Biennial of the Moving Image in Mechelen, BE; Nuit Blanche, Toronto, CA; 18th Biennale of Sydney in Sydney, AUS; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Scottsdale, AZ; 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York, NY; Art in General, New York, NY; documenta14, Athens, GR and Kassel, DE; and their historic land art installation Repellent Fence at the U.S./Mexico border near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON.

Alex Waterman is a composer, performer, and scholar based in New York. He holds a Masters in Composition and Performance from the Institute for Sonology and a PhD in musicology from NewYork University. He studied cello with Andor Toth, Catherina Meints, George Neikrug, and Frances Marie Uitti. His installation works have been exhibited at the ICA London, Stonescape, Vilma Gold, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, and the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht. His book on Robert Ashley, written and edited by Waterman and Will Holder, was released by New Documents in September 2014. He has produced two other books with Will Holder: Agape and Between Thought and Sound. Waterman was an artist in the 2014 Whitney Biennial where he built a television studio, and installation space inside the museum in order to produce 3 operas by Robert Ashley. He has taught at Bard College (MFA program), NYU, Bloomfield College, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. His writings appear in Dot Dot Dot, Artforum, Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, and The Third Rail.

The following musicians from across Alberta, along with youth and community participants, will be performed and recorded the in memoriam… scores together with Postcommodity and Alex Waterman: Malaya Bishop, seth cardinal, Curtis Lefthand, Jaynine Lena McCrae, nêhiyawak (Kris Harper, Matthew Cardinal and Marek Tyler), Jared Tailfeathers.


This project was produced with the support of the Edmonton Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Francis Winspear Centre for Music.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.

Ce projet est l’un des 200 projets exceptionnels soutenus par le programme Nouveau chapitre du Conseil des arts du Canada. Avec cet investissement 35 M$, le Conseil des arts appuie la création et le partage des arts au cœur de nos vies et dans l’ensemble du Canada.