In 1999 I started DIVORCE, a record label for experimental and underground music that would go on to garner international attention for its LP and short format releases by artists My Cat Is An Alien, Jerry Granelli, Noveller/Aidan Baker, Shearing Pinx, You’ll Never Get to Heaven, Gown, and many more. In 2007 I used the label to launch a related festival event—OBEY Convention. Now heading into its tenth year, OBEY Convention has grown into one of Canada’s most popular niche music and arts happenings.
At the end of the ninth season, I handed OBEY Convention over to my longtime partners Andrew Patterson and Kat Shubaly, who, along with the board of directors, continue to build the organization into a pillar of the Halifax arts community. I occasionally offer my guidance to the crew, but I prefer to watch from a distance as the event I love so dearly evolves. My label DIVORCE is also still open for business, but the release schedule has been put on hold for the foreseeable future so that I can concentrate on other work.
In recent years I have shifted much of my focus to filmmaking—primarily screenwriting—in partnership with Seth Smith and our company CUT/OFF/TAIL. I began working with CUT/OFF/TAIL when in 2010 I co-wrote (with Seth) and co-produced (with Seth and his wife and our business partner, Nancy Urich) the micro-budget cult hit Lowlife. That film went on to premiere at Fantasia in 2012 and win the Audience Choice Award at Atlantic Film Festival in the same year. VICE called it “the feel bad hit of the summer.” Following Lowlife, Seth and I wrote the feature-length screenplay SINGER, which placed first in Telefilm’s 2014 Atlantic Film Festival Script Development program. I have since story edited a number of Seth’s shorts, many of which have played festivals around the world, including Cannes and Fantastic Fest. My most recent film project is The Crescent, a Seth Smith psychedelic horror film for which I wrote the screenplay. The Crescent premiered in September of 2017 at TIFF. A few days later, it screened at FIN in Halifax, where I won The Michael Weir Award for Best Atlantic Screenwriting.
For the immediate future I have a number of projects in the works, including multiple film scripts. I also just finished Harp Recordings at Sea, an auto-fictional novella about a 2016 artist residency I completed at White Rabbit, where I spent seven heady days field recording, building a raft, and playing long form pieces on my jaw harps in the tidal flats of the Bay of Fundy. An excerpt from the work was published with my Notice Records chik white release. The book in full will follow next year.
To get in touch, email chikwhite[at]gmail[dot]com.
Check out the chik white page for information on my musical work.