Welcome to Improbable Music, the online home of Toronto-based singer, musician and video artist Laurel MacDonald. Haunting the periphery of the Canadian music and media art scene for over two decades, MacDonald explores unexpected intersections between visuals and music.
NEWS
Phil Strong and I have been nominated for a 2019 Canadian Screen Award for our work on the score for You Are Here. The documentary has received five nominations in all!

2019 Best Documentary Program
2019 Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research
2019 Best Picture Editing, Documentary
2019 Best Sound, Non-Fiction
2019 Best Original Music, Non-Fiction
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Mary Jane Lamond and I are super excited to be embarking on the first development phase for a new Patchwork stage production entitled en•chant. We’ll be working in Nova Scotia and in Toronto with a small team of very special collaborators, including choreographer Holly Small as outside eye and Phil Strong as sound designer, and doing our first work-in-progress presentation at Array Space in Toronto on June 7, 2019.
I was co-composer with Phil Strong for You Are Here, a new feature-length documentary by Moze Mossanen. You Are Here is an intimate profile of several community leaders from Gander, Newfoundland, who hosted thousands of stranded air passengers when 38 airliners were forced to land at their local airport during the closing of US airspace on September 11, 2001 (the story that inspired the Broadway hit Come From Away). The documentary first aired on HBO Canada on September 11, 2018.
Eric Cadesky, Phil Strong and I were nominated for a 2018 Dora Award for our score for the Kaeja d’Dance production Solo Dance Xchange SDX. Here we are taking our bows on closing night at the Crowsnest Theatre in February 2018:
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RECENTLY

Member of live musical ensemble for Solo Dance Xchange SDX, a Kaeja d’Dance production featuring 22 dance soloists, at Streetcar Crowsnest Theatre in Toronto in February 2018.

Co-creator, co-musical director, video designer and performer for She Sings as She Flies, a Patchwork production and tour, part of Nova Scotia’s 150 Forward sesquicentennial celebrations, in Nova Scotia in October and November 2017.

Co-musical director and featured vocalist in Moving Parts, a dance + voice production by Denise Fujiwara of Fujiwara Dance Inventions, in Toronto in November 2017.

Weaving the World, a concert project featuring vocal ensembles Darbazi and Schola Magdalena, at The Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Toronto in March 2017.

Patchwork, a new voice+visuals performance project with my longtime collaborators Mary Jane Lamond and Phil Strong, had its world premier at Sound Symposium XVIII in St. John’s Newfoundland in July 2016.
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Laurel MacDonald & Mary Jane Lamond in Patchwork
Sound Symposium XVIII • Photo by Greg Locke

Motion graphics designer for Random Acts of Legacy, a feature-length documentary by Ali Kazimi, world premier screening at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, May 2016.

Video designer for SiNS Dance’s production of Waiting for Bardo(t), Halifax Nova Scotia, April 2016.

Video operator for Fujiwara Dance Inventions' production of Eunoia, Canadian tour, October 2015.

XXIX multi-channel screening as part of composer and media artist John Oswald's retrospective show at angelica festival international di musica, Bologna, May 2015.

Vocalist for The Messenger, a feature-length documentary by Su Rynard, world premier screening at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, April 2016.

Member of the vocal ensemble along with Marie-Josée Chartier, Katherine Duncanson, Anne Fauteux, Fides Krucker, Brenna MacCrimmon and Suba Sankaran for A Mourning Chorus, a performance project created by artist Sara Angelucci as part of her 2014 residency at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Site-specific performances at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Watch a documentary video of A Mourning Chorus at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, September 2014.