Projects & Collaborations

Hildegard’s Ghost

Adams’s compositions are an elegant, ethereal sound world that is at once surreal and familiar.

Using extended technique and subtle electronics to push the acoustic foundation of piano, harp, drums, and double bass to new and unexpected places, Hildegard’s Ghost collects and reshapes curious sounds at a moment’s notice.

The band takes a cinematic approach to group improvisation, toying with narrative structure and bending the imagination—and the limits of their instruments—while never losing connection with the song’s beating heart.


Music:  Our latest album – Stories

Photo Credit: John Mutter

Adams channels Hildegard’s ethereal approach to music, while adding a unique flavour to her compositions…

– Maria Spitale-Leisk, North Shore News

Beatings are in the Body

Borrowing the project’s title from a work by Canadian poet Meaghan McAneeley, Montréal’s Erika Angell (Thus Owls) voice/electronics, Róisín Adams wurlitzer/piano, and acclaimed cellist Peggy Lee explore how memories, pain, and a spectrum of emotions are stored in and continue to be carried by our physical bodies.

Improvising Trio with Lyle Hopkins and Kevin Romain

A new acoustic improvising trio from pianist Róisín Adams, double bassist Lyle Hopkins and drummer Kevin Romain. Grooves bubble up from droning pools, splinter, fracture, hobble along through gently shifting landscapes. Complex, muted textures take centre stage viscerally in the absence of amplified sound. A trio of breathtaking intuition and momentum.

For Ann

At a residency in Fall 2017 at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Adams began a new project (and her first electroacoustic work) to honour the life of pioneering electronic music composer Ann Southam. Wo[v]en / Wo[m]en premiered at the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives at the Banff Centre as a part of the Women in Music celebration in February 2018.

In April 2018, Wo[v]en / Wo[m]en was expanded upon and presented as Remnants, an interdisciplinary piece performed by Adams and contemporary dance artist Renée Sigouin. Adams is currently working on a collection of ten electroacoustic/acoustic piano pieces through a feminist lens, inspired by Southam.

Music off the Page

Music off the Page is a community-based arts collective founded by Róisín Adams and Emily Best. In January, 2019 they began a multi-year residency at West Point Grey Community Centre (also known as Aberthau House), awarded by the City of Vancouver as part of the Field House program.

Located at 4397 West 2nd, the field house is a site for multi-disciplinary creative engagements with the park, neighbours, and the city at large. As practicing musicians, Adams and Best hope to inspire collaborations between musicians (from beginner to professional), stimulate the community with contemporary music and discourse and offer accessible music and sound programming for participants of all ages. Thematic areas of interest are the philosophy of sound, improvisation, composition, music education, debunking piano pedagogy, and extreme musical self-expression. Their work in the field house studio project will build on their artistic practices with the ultimate goal of encouraging interest in music and connecting Vancouver’s vibrant musical community to the community at large.

Keep updated on the latest events by following us here – Music off the Page Blog

Mirror Compositions

Mirror Compositions pushes beyond convention to extract astonishing sounds from the acoustic fringes of the piano. Interacting live with a sonically rich library of short prepared piano improvisation units she recorded during a residency at Banff Centre for Creativity and Arts, Adams explores alternative harmonic fields in a conversation between herself and the vast possibilities of extended technique.
An ever-shifting investigation into sound and space, Adams’ compelling electroacoustic environments invite listeners to experience the familiar instrument in an entirely new way.


Graphic Score for Mixed Improvising Ensembles

In•Determinacy explores notions of fate, autonomy and fortune through chance operations determined by the members of the improvising ensemble. Inspired by tarotology—the practice of using tarot cards to gain insight by posing a question to the cards—the ensemble musically interprets questions and their tarot answers using graphic notation.

Other Collaborations

Engaging in collaborative, innovative activities in the musical community is at the heart of Róisín Adams’ artistic practice. She regularly collaborates with visual artists, poets, puppeteers, filmmakers and dancers. 

As an improviser, Róisín has performed with Ron Samworth, Clyde Reed, Sina Ettehad, Erika Angel, and Lyle Hopkins. 

In 2016, her composition Chimera (written in collaboration with poet Jude Neale) had its world debut performed by pianist Rachel Iwaasa and mezzosoprano Catherine Laub at the Queer Arts Festival’s Art Song Lab.

As a curator Róisín, created and facilitated Here and NOW, an experimental music series that presented cutting edge Vancouver improvisers of diverse disciplines and instrumentation. Running from 2014-2016, each performance featured a member of one of the NOW Society ensembles with emerging artists from the community and from local postsecondary institutions such as UBC, CAPU, SFU, VCC and more.