Lukas Pearse: The Team Player
June 10, 2016

Interdisciplinary artist Lukas Pearse in his backyard studio.

By Emily Marshall

“Nobody puts on an opera by themselves.”

This is how Lukas Pearse responds when asked about his many collaborations with other artists. He currently has at least 10 projects now on the go.

Pearse, a bassist, media artist, composer and sound editor, is one of the busiest artists in the city. He’s also an educator, teaching at NSCAD University and the Centre for Art Tapes. He composes soundtracks for film, contributes to recordings, performs gigs with a variety of groups including his jazz band The Prohibition, organizes concerts, participates in international conferences, works on interactive audio and video projection design and holds the position of Artistic Director of Upstream Music Association, organizer of the Open Waters Festival of New and Improvised Music held in January in conjunction with Symphony Nova Scotia, Dalhousie’s Fountain School of Music and other Halifax new music organizations.

On top of all that, he’s raising two young children with a spouse just as busy as him.

“Scheduling can be difficult,” admits Pearse. “I try not to let things overlap with each other, but it happens occasionally.”

In demand

When you walk into his studio—a renovated garage—the spacious room is full. There are screens, instruments and cables everywhere. It’s clear his work isn’t focused on simply one thing. Pearse has numerous artistic interests, which is part of the reason why he finds himself so much in demand; he’s good at a lot of things.

“That’s like asking my what my favourite food is,” he says. “We’re not sustained by eating just one thing."

Also a visual artist, who provides improvised and composed live video projection for music, modern dance, fine art and theatre, Pearse basically grew up at NSCAD, where his father Harold Pearse was a professor of art education. He spent many after-school afternoons roaming the campus, and then attended as a student. He graduated with a BFA in 1994.

He explains his artistic interests evolve with the evolution of technology . For example, in the 1980s trying to use video equipment in performance was a frustrating process. Now  Pearse finds himself re-immersing into video projection design as well as audio due to the convergence of the technology.


Collaboration is something Pearse takes to heart and stresses the importance of to film students. “You can’t be a self-sufficient filmmaker. It’s just not how things are done. It’s possible and you can try, but you’ll make one or two films a lifetime.”

Pearse says he has worked with numerous types of artists and that’s just what it’s like to be in the sound business.

“I try to make it clear to my students that when you’re working with sound and film, it’s really useful to understand when you’re doing one role and when you’re doing another role. Every time you work with people, they bring something to the table that you don’t.”

Now available!Show your school spirit by wearing a NSCAD T-shirt or sweatshirt (designs by Ray Fenwick, BDes 2004). Check out the full range of NSCAD-branded products. Something you're interested in but isn't there? Let us know by emailing:

Alumni Services

TD Insurance Meloche Monnex
As a graduate of NSCAD you have privileged access to the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex program, which provides savings through lower preferred insurance rates. Plus, by choosing TD Insurance you also give back. Our program contributes to NSCAD every year, so while you benefit from savings, you will also be supporting your alma mater.

Click here for more information and find out how much you can save.


Alumni Degree FrameProudly display your degree with pizzazz! Custom-designed frames from Tempo Framing are now available to all alumni. Present your degree alongside the NSCAD colours in a slick matte-black metal frame with NSCAD-branded mat board cut specially for our square degrees. These frames are made in Canada and come pre-assembled. Degree framing is a breeze thanks to the unique frame design.


Alumni Ring
The NSCAD alumni ring celebrates a lifelong connection to your academic and creative achievements. Designed by Karen Konzuk (BFA 97), this stainless steel band incorporates the official NSCAD colour with a side incision of purple powder-coated finish. Inside the band is an engraved Latin inscription of NSCAD's informal school motto.

Benefits and Perks

SEE NSCAD's Alumni Services page for special offers on Art Gallery of Nova Scotia membership, Saltscapes Magazine subscriptions, NSCAD Library borrowing privileges and tuition breaks for Extended Studies adult courses.