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Mark Prier – Walking Performance

August 10, 2014 - August 24, 2014


From August 10 to 24, Ontario artist, Mark Prier will walk River Landing Paths with an organ grinder weaving throughout Market Walk, Cultural District, Meewasin Trail and Riverfront cranking a busker organ, a device often used by street musicians, typically immigrants.  These devices were quite common as recent as first half of the 20th century.

The organ plays music and spits birdseed out onto the path below to feed the birds.  The birdseed mix was carefully selected to be ecologically friendly and composed of non-invasive seeds.  The music pouring forth from this organ is a rendition of Carl Zeller’s opera “Der Vogelhandler” (the bird seller), a song about people from different cultures learning to live together.  “Der Vogelhandler” is an historically common organ grinder song.

This performance refers to River Landing’s unique history as a resting place for both wildlife and humans, spanning many centuries and cultures, from aboriginal to immigrant.  Adding the ability to broadcast seeds to the busker organ additionally refers to both the instrument’s original use as a high-tech device for teaching canaries to sing, and points to Saskatchewan’s agricultural importance.

This dynamic performance will interact with the summer bird populations along and near the river, and will meander past Saskatoon tourists and residents alike at the street level.  Taking the approach of Guerrilla Theatre or street spectacle, the performance will not only bring art to the public, it will engage and interact with them.  This project is part of the innovative 2014 Placemaker Program.

Visit Mark Prier online to more information.

mark prier


August 10, 2014
August 24, 2014
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Downtown Saskatoon