Andrea Dancer

Sound Artist Composer Educator


Spoken-Word Soundscape Performances

In a live performance, sounds and narration is spatialized (multichannel 8 speakers).

The poetry is performed live.

from Sounds Like Home

At the Vltava River’s edge


from Silence in the Salish Sea

let me sojourn 



On the page and in the breath.

from Lost in Bohemia

Shutter Stop

Homage to Joseph Sudek (1886-1976)

When they see you walking through the door, they see Sudek’s ghost: the carved face of someone walking in the fields looking for a phantom limb, your body print in the furrow where you fell, landing for the last time on that elbow, beloved elbow itself a beautiful woman, the one who got away, now a delicacy and the way the shadow works its way to her armpit, light streaming through an arch in a viaduct, the shadow makes the light fly up, stand on end, arm hair; and where to next when you can only imagine what comes at the end.

When they see Sudek’s ghost, they are sitting where they carried him, the exact place of his loss ,that other moment of exile, a forgetting since the shutter stop actuality focuses on the thin daylight around a plate of apples and scattered lumps of bread,

light that is the spirit of a phantom limb, a voice in the lane, a bell you almost hear, irretrievably present and lost in the same simple gestures; and what does that make you, when they see through you — seeing you’re really not here or there.

Out the steamed window of the room that is your life, there are only seasons waiting, only one tree waiting for you to see it in bloom, only the plate and an egg on the sill, always a boiled egg for dinner.

When you leave that room, there is only the remembrance of a once native, now exile, searching. When you leave that room, Mr. Sudek, there is the city in all its solitude, still sacred, unpeopled, no horses, wagons, cars or tourist — only a single figure submersed in silky light.


Village Ossuary

Skulls swing, strung

into an overwrought chandelier
in the village ossuary, where light’s drawn
through dead sockets, interned;
crisscrossed femurs built up, arraigned
for heaven’s sake, be cause
they are guilty of this is
what becomes us, aspiring bones all –
bone chairs, bone tables, bone candlesticks, skulls stacked into pyramids that reach
the arched ceilings, a bone-made bed you’ll lie down in, now you’ve made it
in the end, you’ll go there once for the novelty.


from A Verse Map of Vancouver

Erasure at Westcoast Tattoo

(620 Davie Street, Davie at Burrard)

Storefront man in his muscle
shirt, a devil in design,
shows her the eraser and a needle
eight inches long.

She offers up her nose as
rat dog tiptoes past, the hoop
in his one dog-ear jangling

Between here and there,
demons and dragons writhe,
women and tigers pounce,
the phoenix stares over

one shoulder; these walls
jumpin’ like a juice joint.

Her head backs up, her nostril twists, his inked
thumb jambs the eraser, pink
rubber waiting steel, the hot
tip hammered through and out.

Outside, the street drills
the concrete past into
noone nowhere where
the building never ends.

She’s traveling far now behind the cement behind her eyes,
riding light right through the piercing,
its promise.


from Silence in the Salish Sea

In the wake

In silence, the body listens

to itself



In emptiness, space fills

with the self



In the  shack,

I move like a ghost.

A clay cup clatters

onto broken floor boards,

making conversation.


Through the window,

the scene is scenic.


I retread the bank,

step onto grey blue

sand washing out pearly

with black stones and shards.


There are fish bones in the midden.


Between ferryboats.

the backwash washes



Active Pass

remains active.


Ancestors  make their way

to the lookout

to light the lights.


In time,

I scour winter grass

in search of spring.



I cycle through



long dry grasses

strum my spokes;

the land is tuning.


Night fishers



NB midden – an archaeological term for an ancient garbage repository; wake can mean 1. to be awake, conscious 2. a funeral party or 3. the waves that come crashing to shore after a boat passes.

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