Founded in 2021 by Vancouver-based composer/musician Stephen Lyons (Fond of Tigers, Limbs of the Stars) and Toronto-based writer/director José Teodoro, Applied Silence merges music and narrative in dynamic ways. Their interdisciplinary projects include sound design for costume designer/director Snezana Pesic’s Suture (Best Experimental Film, 2022 Toronto Independent Film Festival), and the short film Binary Star, featuring cinematography from international filmmakers like Burak Çevik, Laura Barrón, and legendary documentarian Peter Mettler. This November, they’ll present Binary Star with a live score and Spanish-speaking actors at the Cali International Film Festival (FICCALI) in Colombia.
Applied Silence’s debut album Screen Door shifts between wonderment, dissonance, and suspense, with music by Lyons, Shanto Acharia (Limbs of the Stars), and Paul Rigby (Neko Case), alongside vocals from theatre performers Tasha Faye Evans, Marina Moreira, and Steven Hill (Leaky Heaven).
Screen Door chronicles two idiosyncratic ghost stories. In one, a woman receives a postcard originally delivered to her now-deceased father 36 years ago. In the other, a man falls asleep at the movies and wakes to discover he’s been transformed in some manner beyond his reckoning. Fusing the uncanny and the ordinary, Screen Door is a far-ranging, immersive tandem narrative in which memory, myth, magic, and loss coalesce.
Post-rock + narrative
# of Albums:
Screen Door is the debut
Favourite musician growing up:
Prince, RUN DMC, Kenny Rogers
Guilty pleasure song:
We listen without guilt, without prejudice.
Live show ritual:
Running the gamut from squirreliness to owliness, to pig-headed determination, doggedly so.
Favourite local musicians:
Shanto Acharia, Peggy Lee
EP or LP?
Early bird or night owl?
Road or studio?
Road to and from studio
Any shows or albums coming up?
Where can we follow you?
Rapid Fire Local Questions:
What is your favourite local restaurant?
Le Pho on east Hastings and Kamloops. Family-run, down to earth, and affordable. I don’t have any dietary restrictions, but I’ve seen them remember different people’s allergies and sensitivities in a way that borders on the supernatural.
Also, Congee Noodle House, on Broadway at Main. A roomy classic with a sprawling menu. I haven’t been back since their reopening, but it was always a post-show favourite.
What is your favourite street in your city and why?
Kingsway, which cuts a strange diagonal desire line from New West to Vancouver, is dotted with businesses that have traditionally ranged from the idiosyncratic to the improbable, to the illicit. Over the years, I’ve done sporadic walks of the length of the street—a Kingsway Camino—marvelling at and revelling in the odd and out-of-time spots that persisted there, in spite of what was happening on all the streets that ran in ho-hum parallel to each other, east/west or north/south. Unfortunately, the ol’ diagonal is being strenuously redeveloped, and a lot of weird little gems are being replaced by indistinct tallest-and-best-use cubic zirconia projects. Despite all of this, there are still some great mom and pop holdouts, and some places that seem like they might be run via haunting from the moms and pops of the great beyond, so Kingsway is still my favourite.
What is your favourite music venue in your city?
Though it wasn’t strictly speaking a live show, we did a spatial sound remix listening event at Lobe Studio for our album release, and that was quite a lovely experience.
What is your favourite music store in your city?
For recorded music, Red Cat Records is run by kind, talented artists who have been part of the music community for years. Gear-wise, I currently have an 80s drum machine on consignment at Exile, so head on over there!