Oratorio Music Director, Composer & Performer


A specialist in experimental voice DB Boyko has performed with a variety of artists from the local and international creative music scene such as Paul Plimley, François Houle, Brad Muirhead, Paul Dutton and Evan Parker. She has had several guest engagements with the legendary NOW Orchestra/Orchestra Futura, Talking Pictures and the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra. She is the co-founder of several improvising ensembles including Hextremities (1980's), the all women VIEW Ensemble (1990's) and the Crossing Borders Ensemble (2000). She is part of Idiolalla, a vocal tour-de-force with fellow vocalist Christine Duncan and drummer/spin doctor Jean Martin. She recently completed a Canadian tour with Duncan performing “Stall”, a commissioned work by Victoria composer Christopher Butterfield, examining the lore of public washrooms.

Her influences and studies in Javanese gamelan court music, dance, puppet theatre, and butoh have led her to participate in a wide spectrum of multi-disciplined works with Mortal Coil, Snake in the Grass Theatre, Special Delivery Moving Theatre, Serge Bennethan, and Karen Jaimison dance companies. A specialist in traditional vocal repertoire for gamelan orchestra DB has sung and composed new works for Vancouver Gamelan Madu Sari.

Her larger compositional works have included song cycle, Amphibious Tales (1992) which toured Canada and US including the Montreal voice festival - la Voix se fait entendre. Her score for the Arts Club Theatre production of Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing was nominated for a Jesse award (1995) which instigated a collaboration with first nations playwright Marie Clements for Urban Tattoo (1998). From 2000 - 2002 she provided musical direction and composed for the millennial production of The SongBird Oratorio - an ecological tribute to Vancouver bird songs that promoted community engagement through workshops, conferences, and performances.

Developing links with new communities has featured prominently in her musical pursuits. Working along side fellow collaborator Christine Duncan since 2003, she has contributed to the development of compositional and improvisational strategies for spontaneous choral music. She is a guest member of the Toronto’s The Elements Choir and in May 2010 formed the VOICE OVER mind choir featuring Vancouver vocalists and community members. In 2009-2010 she piloted seniors initiative, Express Your Voice, with the Roundhouse Community Centre, Arts and Health Project.

For over fifteen years DB has devoted much of her energy to producing the work of other artists as Director / Curator for the Music Program of the Vancouver artist-run-centre the Western Front. She presented work from a broad range of local and international musicians and composers representing the vanguard of experimental music from noise to improvised jazz and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Recent projects include the first biennale Voice Over mind Festival May 2010, featuring unusual vocalists such as prize-winning Canadian poet Christian Bök and from John Zorn’s New York roster Shelley Hirsch.

Community developments are high on DB’s curatorial agenda and she has initiated various family and children’s programs including the hands on installations and performances of Sonic Playground (Vancouver International Children’s Festival 2008, Vancouver International Jazz Festival / Roundhouse Community Centre 2010 and 2011, Family Fuse - Vancouver Art Gallery 2010). This season she has conceived community project with VSO composer in residence Scott Good and First Nations musician and story teller William Wasden from Alert Bay. Dzunukwa - Beneath the Canopy & Through the Underworld - Stories, Songs and Celebrations brings together community groups VOICE OVER mind Choir, young musicians and choristers from Vancouver Public Schools with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and visiting American composer Alvin Curran.