Ferrier is one of the core writer/performers in the North American performance
literature scene. His work is well-known across Canada, New York and Europe.
Rooted in poetry, his live performances are a haunting blend of acoustic guitar,
choir; whispered voice, and the trancelike music of a band called
Pharmakon. His signature is the quiet, compelling voice at the centre
of every piece.
His first CD/book, Exploding Head Man, received national acclaim. Rooted
in the spellbound winters of his childhood, it took a passionate look at love,
sex and death against a background of the falling snow; representing the best
of three years of collaborations with musicians from Montreal and New York.
Canada's National Post called it "an insistence on the music of
words that acknowledges the unique possibilities of language."
Said the Montreal Gazette: "Even without instrumentation, the
poetry of Exploding Head Man-heady, impassioned, sometimes hallucinogenic
stuff that regularly makes nods to the Beat work he grew up on-has sonic power.
Dreamy words soothe, lusty sentences steam, and with a delivery that's often
more gentle that the imagery it yields (even at its most volatile, Ferrier's
vocalizations, with their warm, cushiony and almost child-like diction, scream
pseudo-innocence) his spoken word is a complex song in and of itself."
What is this Place? features two collaborations with the trance/improv
band PHARMAKON, two solo works, and nine collaborations between Ferrier and
a starstudded list of top Quebec musicians. Recently his work featured on
Australia's Going Down Slow CD and literature anthology, in Canadian
Theatre Review and in the Review of the Americas special issue
on Canadian Literature. Stories of his can be found in Telling Stories
and the anthology You and Your Bright Ideas (both Vehicule Press).
Impure-Reinventing the Word is a book from Conundrum Press that documents
the literary scene of which he is a part, and you can find his poems and music
in the Short Fuse anthology from Rattapallax Press and the Poetry
Nation anthology from Vehicule. He currently collaborates with sax player
Bryan Highbloom, voice artist Kathy Kennedy, singer/ poet Valerie Khayat,
and the musicians of Pharmakon.
also co-founded the poetry/music label Wired
on Words-which won public radio's Standard Broadcasting Award in its first
year. Pieces by Mr. Ferrier can be heard on CBC-Canada's national radio station,
as well as on public radio stations in the USA and Canada. He resides in Montreal,
where he hosts the city's monthly Words
& Music literature series, and remains on the board of the Quebec
Writers' Federation as their past president.
Interview: Ian Ferrier