SHHH!! Ensemble is the piano/percussion duo of pianist Edana Higham and percussionist Zac Pulak, an Ottawa-based duo dedicated to the creation of new and innovative programs for that combination. Zac and Edana pride themselves on presenting programs that are as accessible as they are groundbreaking by commissioning works by exciting and creative new Canadian voices while collaborating with luminaries such as John Beckwith, Jocelyn Morlock, and Kelly-Marie Murphy. SHHH!! Ensemble has performed from Western Canada to the Atlantic provinces, appearing in venues such as Ottawa’s Shenkman Arts Centre, Calgary’s Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Toronto’s Trinity Church and Edmonton’s Convocation Hall.
In 2017 and 2018, SHHH!! Ensemble developed their unique “avant-accessible” programs through residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Belgium’s Vormingscentrum Destelheide with the additional support of the Canadian Music Centre and the ARTicipate Endowment Fund. The National Arts Centre, the Health Arts Society Ontario (Concerts in Care), OrKidstra, and more have partnered with SHHH!! Ensemble to present these captivating programs for students and community members, which integrate arrangements of classical repertoire, immersive participatory pieces, and a selection of specially commissioned works.
SHHH!! Ensemble’s provocative “Spirits” program premiered at the Canadian Music Centre in January 2020, following a week-long residency there, and has since toured at concert venues and universities across Canada. “Spirits” is a mixed program of J.S. Bach, Andy Akiho, John Gordon Armstrong, Micheline Roi and more which reveal the composers’ reflections on the nature of creativity, meditation, as well as Scotch whisky and the beyond, and was called “truly virtuosic and intense” by Toronto’s Confluence Concerts.
In early 2020, SHHH!! Ensemble was accepted into the prestigious Evolution: Classical residency at the Banff Centre. This led to major 2020 highlights, including a live-streamed National Arts Centre #CanadaPerforms concert, the world premiere of JUNO-winning composer Jocelyn Morlock’s “Spirit Gradient” with the Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival in Newfoundland, a multidisciplinary collaboration with the Ottawa New Music Creators and the Ottawa International Writers Festival, and a CBC Radio 2 live-for-broadcast performance with Toronto’s Music Mondays.
To stay up-to-date with all of SHHH!! Ensemble’s activities follow them at @shhhensemble on social media.