The Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound presented its first festival in 1998, dedicated to new and creative music, rare and eclectic sounds and the art of listening. Having decided to align with CAFKA in presenting the regular biennial festival, Open Ears will be moving to later in the spring. Between the Ears is the first intensive collaboration of Open Ears and CAFKA.

Random Walks: Celebrating the Music and Legacy of Iannis Xenakis is a pre-festival music event that takes place in Waterloo on Saturday, May 25. The event is a joint production of the the Fields Institute, the Perimeter Institute and the Institute for Quantum Computing and part a two-day festival of contemporary string quartet, percussion, and electroacoustic music, together with lectures and discussion on the impact of Xenakis's work. On Saturday evening the Jack Quartet will perform at the Perimeter Institute.

Between the Ears kicks off on May 31 in the Kitchener Civic Square, beginning at 5 PM with a large-scale interpretation of James Tenney's Having Never Written a Note for Percussion, giving way to 50 pounds of rice travelling through a pendulum-mounted 25 litre funnel in Erik Griswold's Spill and the same composer's Strings Attached, where drumstick gestures are visualized with 75 meters of rope.  Scott Carter will perform Disonar on a drywall drumset and concrete guitars, Christof Migone's Hit Parade. During and after the performances, King Street between Ontario and Young Streets will house the King Street Art Market at Night, running until midnight, featuring local food, artisans and vendors.

Between the Ears continues on June 1, from 3-6 PM with in the Walper Hotel with Within These Walls. Our guests will experience a unique sampling of over fifty micro-performances, including a rare chance to view György Ligeti's Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes. Included in the experience is CAFKA @ The Walper Hotel, a program of contemporary art installations, running from May 3 to August 11, that engage the unique spaces of the historic Walper Hotel, utilizing sculptural intervention, photography, animation, sound installation and mixed media.

The festival closes on June 1 at 8 pm with Between the Ears @ The Registry, presenting a mix of founding and current members of CCMC, celebrating the Media City vinyl re-release of CCMC Vol 3 with original artwork by Michael Snow, followed by Martin Messier and Nicolas Bernier's La chambre des machines.  The 10 PM closing party at the Walper Hotel Barrister's Lounge will feature the Freedmen, a trio on ukelele, suitcase and streetsweeper-bristle bass.

The Between the Ears Festival is a co-production of the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound with CAFKA - Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area, with the support of the City of Kitchener and the Walper Hotel. The Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound relies on a combination of public and private support to present its programming. Open Ears' participation in Between the Ears is made possible with the support of Kitchener-Waterloo Community Fund - Musagetes Fund, City of Kitchener, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Region of Waterloo Arts Fund, Creative Enterprise Initiative, Walper Hotel and Counterpoint Music. Some of our artists appear with the assistance of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

For more information please contact Gregory Oh ([email protected]) or Cheryl Ewing ([email protected]) or call at 519.579.8564 or 1.888.363.3591.  For more information, visit, and