Junior Boys’ Jeremy Greenspan and Colin Fisher Soundtrack the Apocalypse at Art Gallery of Hamilton | Exclaim!

Premiering new music via art gallery exhibitions isn’t just for Wu-Tang Clan anymore, with news that Junior Boys vocalist-songwriter Jeremy Greenspan and Toronto multi-instrumentalist Colin Fisher have shared fresh sounds via an activation with the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

The AGH has commissioned a new soundscape from Greenspan and Fisher to accompany William Kurelek’s 1965 painting This Is the Nemesis, which can be heard at the gallery beginning this week (June 27).

Kurelek’s painting, seen above, depicts the fictional nuclear destruction of the city of Hamilton. First exhibited in Toronto in 1966, the painting’s frame is a collage of the television schedule published in that era’s Globe and Mail newspaper.

A release describes the soundscape, which shares a title with the painting, as “an evocative five-part composition that draws inspiration from the painting’s themes of destruction, desolation, and the potential for renewal,” with each part representing “a different stage of a nuclear holocaust.”

“I was deeply moved by Kurelek’s painting and its powerful message,” said Greenspan in a statement. “My goal with this soundscape was to create a sonic experience that complements and enhances the visual impact of the artwork, inviting viewers to reflect on the profound themes it explores.”

Last year, Fisher joined Junior Boys as touring player for a 2023 North American tour celebrating the group’s 20th anniversary. His playing can also be heard on the group’s 2023 album Waiting Game.

Greenspan also produced Fisher’s 2021 album Reflections of the Invisible World, after releasing his 2018 album V Le Pape through his Geej Recordings label.

A member of the Order of Canada, Kurelek’s artwork features prominently on the cover of Van Halen’s fourth album Fair Warning, for which the band used several close-ups of his 1953 painting The Maze.

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