Fusing electro-acoustic jazz-tinged compositions with free-form improvisation, Hildegard’s Ghost was founded by Róisín Adams to explore sound and narrative structure, pushing ear, imagination and instrumentation to its limits. The group currently features Elisa Thorn (harp / electronics), Lyle Hopkins (double bass) and Skye Brooks (drums). Past collaborators have included Justin Devries (drums), Mili Hong (drums) and Wynston Minkler (bass).
In 2014, Hildegard’s Ghost produced its first full-length album Stories. In December 2015, Hildegard’s Ghost teamed with kamancheh player Sina Ettehad and tabla master Amarjeet Singh in a concert that melded worldly and otherworldly approaches to improvisation. In 2016, Hildegard’s Ghost music video “some things are timeless” was screened at the first annual Vancouver International Puppet Festival and featured in two short films.
Hildegard’s Ghost has also performed at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Silk Purse Jazz Waves Series, Kay Meek Theatre, Simon Fraser University’s LAUNCH! Festival, Western Front, HIVE Emporium, and West Point Grey’s Aberthau Mansion.
“I felt like there was an invisible film unfolding before my eyes”
-John Paton, VanDocument
Photo By Kia Rae
Pianist and Composor
Róisín Adams is a composer, pianist and educator based in Vancouver, Canada, whose work has been praised for its evocative, entrancing and ethereal qualities. She founded the improvisatory instrumental jazz quartet Hildegard’s Ghost in 2013, and performs regularly with contemporary acoustic trio Adams/Hopkins/Romain, and drummer Kevin Romain’s project Enemy Pigeon.
Adams has studied with Lisa Cay Miller, Sharon Minemoto, Alan Matheson and François Houle. Her compositions have been performed by Ellwood Epps, Vicky Mettler, Elisa Thorn, Michael James Park, Rachel Iwaasa, Catherine Laub and NOW Society Orchestra. Her work has been featured at the Silk Purse Jazz Waves Series, Queer Arts Festival, Sonic Boom Festival, Western Front, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Kay Meek Theatre, and TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
Since graduating from the UBC School of Music in 2011, Elisa Thorn has become a sought after addition to the Canadian creative music scene, known for her use of extended techniques, electronic effects, and unconventional uses of harp. Most recently, she was selected for the Trading Places Exchange for a residency and performances in Montreal with guitarist Tony Wilson in June 2016. In 2014 she was awarded an Early Career Development Grant for a year-long mentorship with Dr. Lisa Cay Miller from the BC Arts Council to study composition. Interested in the intersection between composed and improvised music, she is involved with many projects including Gentle Party, who is releasing an album under the Phonometrograph label in 2017.
Her music has been featured in the Vancouver Jazz Festival, Suoni Il Per Popolo Festival (Montreal), Detroit Free Arts Festival, Dances for a Small Stage, Coetani Festival for Experimental Flamenco (Greece), BC Buds Festival, and the Sonic Boom Festival. She attended the 2015 International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music at the Banff Centre, and a residency at Spread Art in Detroit in spring 2016. Additionally, in 2015 she and artistic partner Dayna Szyndrowski were awarded a 3-year long Field House Artist residency called Written on the Body with the Vancouver Park Board, together developing a community engaged arts practice that explores the relationship between music and dance. She is currently working with sound and media artist Scott Morgan, studying music and technology with the assistance of the BC Arts Council.
Lyle Hopkins (b. 1989) is a double bassist, composer, and educator based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is interested in contemporary improvised music. His work explores audience participation and the relation between autonomy and structure.
He has performed at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, Seattle Jazz Experience, Reno Jazz Festival, Oregon Jazz Festival, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival. His work has been featured at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Western Front (Vancouver), WoodStockhausen (Victoria), and Sonic Boom Music Festival (Vancouver). As an educator, he has presented at the Oregon Music Education Association conference.
Lyle holds a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon, and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Capilano University. He has studied with double bassists Tyler Abbott, André Lachance, Jodi Proznick, and Darren Radtke.