Big Rock Candy Mountain | POPOPOPOPOP | The Drinkable Publication! *FOR IN STORE PICKUP ONLY!*
A new sound-based soda, co-designed by Grade 6 students during the 2020/21 school year at John A.
McDougall Elementary School in Edmonton, will be available on your local store shelves as of
Monday, July 26.
The soda, called POPOPOPOPOP, is a “drinkable publication” that is not only delicious, but also
dedicated to exploring the many connections between soda and sound including bubbles as scores
and carbonation as percussion.
According to one student, “I liked that we didn’t really focus on just the simple things, we went
deeper and created a soda that’s unique and different from others. And I learnt that unique sounds
can fit together very well, or they can destroy each other!”
Along with visiting artists and musicians, POPOPOPOPOP was researched, developed and facilitated
by artist duo Big Rock Candy Mountain with Grade 6 students at John A. McDougall Elementary. Due
to COVID-19, all workshops took place online and through correspondence. Explorations between
sound and soda included:
• Practice listening for small and quiet noises.
• Using bodies as instruments: recording sounds such as gulping and burping.
• Creating links between shape, colour, texture and sound through visual scores.
• Communicating nonverbally through musical conversations, ostinato rhythms and
• Listening to bubbles with the help of a hydrophone.
• Recording and processing sound through an online sound-editing program.
• Thinking critically about soda advertisements and their appeal to the senses, including
QR codes on the POPOPOPOPOP bottle link to accompanying sound and graphic files:
• POPCAST, an account of the process, in the voices of the students, mixed alongside
some of their own audio compositions,
• SIP SOUND, an interpretation of soda sounds by students and musicians Biboye
Onanuga and Gareth Gilliland,
• MMBOOBLES, a track by musical improviser Charmaine Lee who performed for the class
over Zoom, and
• BUBBLE SCORE, drawings by the students animated by Chhaya Naran and scored by
Big Rock Candy Mountain is an artist-run flavour incubator and taste-making think-tank initiated by
artists Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed, along with a variety of guest artists and elementary school
students. Big Rock Candy Mountain produces edible editions, workshops, and installations with a
focus on sensory experience and cooperative cultural production. In each project, the school
becomes a candy factory, where artists and children work together to critically riff on the industries
that address young people.
POPOPOPOPOP was commissioned by the Mitchell Art Gallery and the Edmonton Arts Council and is
produced by Boocha Beverages Inc. This project was supported by Ms. Chong, Mrs. Andrews, and
Mrs. Zmurchik, teachers at John A. McDougall Elementary School. Participating students were
Adnan, Arnaud, Khaila, Fardosa, Boubacar, Nora, Paul, Lasiya, Ritvik, Ngoc, Sophia, Jonah, Marki,
Maryan, Vincent, Angelica, Ben, Ireland, Myka, Fakiya and Ruftael.
Carolyn Jervis at the Mitchell Gallery, along with Robert Harpin and Danny Ross from the Edmonton
Arts Council, helped to support this project. Gina Pasaran was the Edmonton-based artist-on-the-
ground. Guest artists and musicians were Andrea Shipka, Brady Marks, Biboye Onanuga & Gareth
Gilliland, Carla Lenfesty, Charmaine Lee and Mustafa Rafiq. Chhaya Naran completed the animation
for BUBBLE SCORE and Jeff Kulak provided design assistance.
POPOPOPOPOP can be purchased in Edmonton at Tix on the Square, Hideout Distro, Coffee Bureau
and Latitude 53. Catch students from John A. McDougall Elementary selling POPOPOPOPOP at
Habesha Market on Thursdays throughout the summer. All proceeds from the sale of
POPOPOPOPOP will support future art and music programming at John A. McDougall Elementary
School. More retail locations to be confirmed...
The development of POPOPOPOPOP was grounded in the many lands our contributors and
supporters gratefully inhabit: Treaty 6, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-