Saturday, September 21, 2019

Recording: Laura Barrett

Artist: Laura Barrett

Song: Who is the Baker?

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, August 8, 2019.

Laura Barrett - Who is the Baker?

Laura Barrett's Who is the Baker? comes a decade after her first album Victory Garden, so perhaps it's no surprise that several of the songs are themselves concerned with the passage of time. Never totally absent from music-making as other parts of life moved to the fore, several of these songs have been floating around for a while, though they gain some gravity when presented as a considered whole. And as Barrett reflected upon the person she was, though her trusty kalimbas were close at hand, most of the set was played at the piano (both solo and with a shifting cast of collaborators), reminding herself and the audience that the next chapter can always be new and different.

Recording: Moyo Mutamba

Artist: Moyo Mutamba

Song: Rhinoceros Song

Recorded at Monarch Tavern, August 8, 2019.

Moyo Mutamba - Rhinoceros Song

Laura Barrett's adaptation of the kalimba allowed her to sidestep piano-pop orthodoxy in her aughties ascendance — and though she's pivoted away from the instrument in her recent work, she nevertheless took the opportunity at this release show to share the stage with one of the thumb piano's noteworthy local players. Besides his formidable technique on mbira (the kalimba's Zimbabwean cousin), Rainos Moyo Mutamba has grown more comfortable on stage, confidently telling the audience the stories behind the songs, and assuring them that the tunes have some good jokes in the lyrics, as long as you speak Shona. Playing alongside some video footage from his childhood home, this had the feel of a friendly travelogue, sharing with Barrett's set a sense of nostalgia and carefully-considered meditation as to "where I'm from".

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Recording: Hiroki Tanaka

Artist: Hiroki Tanaka

Song: Bare Hallways*

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Track Could Bend #53), August 6, 2019.

Hiroki Tanaka - Bare Hallways

Best known for his work with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Hiroki Tanaka takes a deeply personal turn on this new project, inspired by his time as a caretaker for his grandmother and uncle. Mixing interview snippets with his grandmother alongside a collage of evocative field recordings from her house, these pieces unpack the transition of lived experience slipping into memory, placeness, and finding dignity in the times when bodies are engaged in acts of slow betrayal.

* Thanks to Kiroki for passing along the title to this one!

Recording: Del Stephen's Today Versions

Artist: Del Stephen's Today Versions

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Track Could Bend #53), August 6, 2019.

Del Stephen's Today Versions - unknown

Rather than the excellent atmospheric ambient sounds that might be an easy choice to showcase at a series like Track Could Bend, Del Stephen brought a sheaf of poems and some breezy pop confections (the piece heard here has hints of, say, the easy glide of a Yo La Tengo instrumental, sunny but with some moodiness somewhere underneath). He was joined by Niagara-based Dylin North (who often does projections for Culture Reject) on an overhead projector, and the sound of its fan and the crinkle of his acetate roll turning was a steady background sonic element as well. A lot of his images were projected through an aperture that brought things back to the cover of Stephen's recent Moss Rock album, which contains more sounds in a similar vein.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: Love Children of the Apocalypse

Artist: Love Children of the Apocalypse

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (Track Could Bend #53), August 6, 2019.

Love Children of the Apocalypse - [excerpt from first piece]

Some new improvisations from this duo of Mike Lynn (double bass) and Liz Lima (voice, clarinet) — and although they didn't get physical, they had some new jigs that need to be seen to be believed.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #319

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gigs of the week:

3M [Mira Martin-Gray/Michael Lynn/Mark Zurawinski] [Duos tape release!] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-18 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

NAIL [Nicolas Caloia/Ab Baars/Ig Henneman/Lori Freedman] (Kind Mind [Karen Ng/Michael Davidson/Josh Cole]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

There's a bunch of intriguing festivals happening this weekend (including Venus Fest, Thin Edge's Ongaku and the Noise Fest) but the most concentrated bunch of coolness this week is Wednesday's double-header at The Tranzac. First up is a tape release from Mira Martin-Gray, Michael Lynn and Mark Zurawinski — a trio who are releasing an album of duo improvisations. (Keen-eyed observers might note that this is merely the first of a hat-trick of album releases for Lynn's projects, which continues Friday with a release of The Side Eye's first album on the venerable Arachnidiscs label.)

Josh Cole's usual timeslot later on Wednesday has a special performance from an Amsterdam/Montréal supergroup, with four top-notch improvisers passing through town playing in the intimate surroundings of the Southern Cross — this one deserves a full house, even if it means staying out a little late on a Wednesday.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Adam Teixeira Quartet [Andrew Kay/Chris Pruden/Julian Anderson-Bowes/Adam Teixeira] / The Rex Hotel 2019-09-16 (Monday) [FB event]

Jim Lewis/Michael Davidson/Andrew Downing / The Emmet Ray 2019-09-16 (Monday) [FB event]

Music Hosted by Karen Ng (feat. Trevor Turple / Germaine Liu/Mira Martin-Gray/Karen Ng) / Wenona Lodge 2019-09-17 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Team Building ["new songs, works in progress, thoughts in sound"] (feat. Nigel Chapman / Sophia Ruby Katz / Chris Lyons / Wes Allen / La Diem Fortune / Koza) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-09-18 (Wednesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

AMBiENT PiNG (feat. memorycarderror / Paul Kwitek / Dillon Lorne) / Handlebar 2019-09-18 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Alex Lukashevsky Trio with Evan Cartwright and Colin Fisher / Pamenar Café 2019-09-19 (Thursday) [FB event]

Frequencies (feat. Sergio SP / SlowPitchSound / Sonja / lil airhole) / Handlebar 2019-09-19 (Thursday – PWYC!) [FB event]

Ongaku ["a three day festival and cultural exchange celebrating some of Japan and Canada's most exciting voices in contemporary and experimental music"] (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective with Ko Ishikawa, Miyama McQueen-Tokita + Akiko Nakayama) / 918 Bathurst 2019-09-20 (Friday) [FB event]

The Side Eye [Kayla Milmine/MJ Wright/Michael Lynn] [CD release!] (Stargoon / Mira Martin-Gray / Elizabeth Lima) / Array Space 2019-09-20 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Venus Fest (feat. The Vaselines / The Weather Station / Fiver / Dorothea Paas) / The Opera House 2019-09-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Toronto Noise Fest (feat. 9916 / Esther Splett / Hexzuul / Goth Girl / Exe.Jocko / Machine Moon / Knurl / Survivor Guilt) / See-Scape 2019-09-20 (Friday) [FB event]

Holly Rees (Lunar Bloom / Sarah Greene) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-21 (Saturday – early!) [FB event]

Mingjia Jessica Chen & Yunjin Claire Lee (Madeleine Ertel & Harry Bartlett) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-09-21 (Saturday – early!) [FB event]

Ongaku ["a three day festival and cultural exchange celebrating some of Japan and Canada's most exciting voices in contemporary and experimental music"] (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective with Ko Ishikawa, Ami Yamasaki + Akiko Nakayama) / 918 Bathurst 2019-09-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Autumnal Happiness: Part One (feat. Stranger Still / Tena Palmer/Karen Ng/Marilyn Lerner/Nick Fraser/Rob Clutton) / Gallery 345 2019-09-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Music Gallery's Departures Series (feat. Fly Pan Am / Khôra) / Matt Durant Studio 2019-09-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Pretty Matty [album release!] (Baby Band / Piper Maru / Tea Room) / Owl's Club 2019-09-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Venus Fest (feat. Tei Shi / HanHan / Riit / Too Attached) / The Opera House 2019-09-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Toronto Noise Fest (feat. Abrasion Therapy / Chuck Steak / Pain Chain / L'eclipse Nue / Naegleria / Hoarding / God of Gaps / The Rita) / See-Scape 2019-09-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Jazz United Jam [live jazz + tap dancing!] / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-09-22 (Sunday)

Ongaku ["a three day festival and cultural exchange celebrating some of Japan and Canada's most exciting voices in contemporary and experimental music"] (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective with Miyama McQueen-Tokita / Urbanvessel [Germaine Liu/Aki Takahashi/Sonja Rainey]) / 918 Bathurst 2019-09-22 (Sunday) [FB event]

Venus Fest (feat. Charlotte Cardin / TRP.P / Nice Hands / Amaka Queenette) / The Opera House 2019-09-22 (Sunday – all ages!) [FB event]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

Lucky Break (feat. Glass Orchestra) / Array Space 2019-09-25 (Wednesday) [more info]

CCMC / Array Space 2019-09-27 (Friday) [more info]

Francophonie en Fête (feat. Abel Maxwell / Emmanuel Jal) / Miles Nadal JCC – Al Green Theatre 2019-09-28 (Saturday) [FB event]

TIO Celebrates Justin Small (feat. The Toronto Improvisors Orchestra with Justin Small) / Array Space 2019-09-29 (Sunday) [FB event]

Track Could Bend #55 (feat. Gilliam, Milmine, Pottie / Matt Nish-Lapidus & Karen Ng / Infinite Monotremes) / Wenona Lodge 2019-10-01 (Tuesday – PWYC!) [FB event]

BA Johnston (Tough Age / First Base) / Junction City Music Hall 2019-10-19 (Saturday) [FB event]

Bernice (Booty EP) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-10-29 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society presents (feat. The Maghreb Project) / Aga Khan Museum 2019-11-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

Batuki Music Society presents (feat. Okavango African Orchestra) / Aga Khan Museum 2019-11-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Burn Down The Capital presents (feat. Ami Dang / Kat Estacio / Memory Pearl) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-11-11 (Monday) [FB event]

Ahmed Ag Kaedy / Aga Khan Museum 2019-11-29 (Friday) [FB event]

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Recording: Quraishi

Artist: Quraishi

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Flemingdon Park (Arts in the Park: Labyrinth Ontario), August 3, 2019.

Quraishi - unknown

Excellent work from Labyrinth Ontario, teaming up with the Arts in the Parks program to bring a series of Sunday afternoon concerts of modal musics to Flemingdon Park. Just down past the Science Centre and nestled under a leafy, shady corner of the vast swath of parkland, this couldn't have been a lovelier day for sitting outside and hearing some beautiful sounds. Music for the first concert was provided by Quraishi, sharing some Afghani folk styles on his rubab, and backed by Tanjeer Alam Rajeeb on tabla. There were gorgeous little overtones in the ringing notes, although that might be lost a little in this, which is very much a field recording — but you can get a sense of the space if you listen carefully, with some birdsong and cicadas (and a little wind noise against my mics) in the background.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Recording: FASTER

Artist: FASTER

Song: [second piece, edit]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (FASTER Presents), July 30, 2019.

FASTER - [second piece, edit]

Filling in an extra Tuesday night at Wenona, FASTER brought this night of electronic and acoustic improvisational explorations. Kayla Milmine and Brian Abbott closed out the night with an old-fashioned set of FASTER improvisations, shifting genres exploding outward from their mind-meld.

Recording: cheryl o & Bob Vespaziani

Artist: cheryl o & Bob Vespaziani

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (FASTER Presents), July 30, 2019.

cheryl o & Bob Vespaziani - [excerpt from first piece]

Filling in an extra Tuesday night at Wenona, FASTER brought this night of electronic and acoustic improvisational explorations. Pared back from a planned trio, Bob Vespaziani (wavedrum) and cheryl o (cello) had plenty of space to explore.

Recording: Kieran Maraj

Artist: Kieran Maraj

Song: [excerpt from first piece]

Recorded at Wenona Lodge (FASTER Presents), July 30, 2019.

Kieran Maraj - [excerpt from first piece]

Filling in an extra Tuesday night at Wenona, FASTER brought this night of electronic and acoustic improvisational explorations. Kieran Maraj offered the night's electronic zones, celebrating cicada season with glitchy fragments on top of digital surf hitting an electronic rocky shore.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Recording: Davis-Grieve-Ballyk

Artist: Brandon Davis/Robert Grieve/Mark Ballyk

Song: Degradation

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), July 28, 2019.

Brandon Davis/Robert Grieve/Mark Ballyk - Degradation

A new grouping from guitarist Rob Grieve and bassist Brandon Davis featured Mark Ballyk on the skins this night, although Nick Fraser is the regular drummer. Playing some new compositions — this one, starting off a bit like a NMN record stuck in a groove, was the only one yet to get a title — the trio explored some new quiet/loud dichotomies in their jazz-metal excursions.

Recording: Orechin-Downing-Lee-Qu

Artist: Alexei Orechin/Andrew Downing/Yunjin Claire Lee/Bryan Qu

Song: [second piece]*

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), July 28, 2019.

Alexei Orechin/Andrew Downing/Yunjin Claire Lee/Bryan Qu - [second piece]

Summer visits to the city from expatriated artists can bring a flurry of activity — I was glad to have caught guitarist Alexei Orechin a couple times on this visit, but this was the only chance I got to see saxophonist Bryan Qu. Orechin was leading this session, focusing on his skills as a composer and arranger with a quartet willing to improvise within his loose structures and stretch out into some ambient zones. There were lovely textures added by Andrew Downing on cello, as well as pianist Yunjin Lee, who showed off some synth skills that I hadn't previously caught. The group revisited Orechein's Aphex Twin arrangements as well as some newer pieces. This piece's slow skirl offered up frozen notes puffing out like breath on a winter's day — hovering, then dissipating. Excellent stuff.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Recording: Hundevad-Pencer-Fisher

Artist: Mark Hundevad/Daniel Pencer/Colin Fisher

Songs: [three pieces]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), July 28, 2019.

Mark Hundevad/Daniel Pencer/Colin Fisher - [set 1, second piece]

Mark Hundevad/Daniel Pencer/Colin Fisher - [excerpt from set 1, first piece]

Mark Hundevad/Daniel Pencer/Colin Fisher - [set 2, third piece]

Some dynamic improvisations, thumping momentum and slow-burning intensity from this trio, with some instrument changes giving a lot of different sounds. Colin Fisher, as usual, brought saxophones and guitar, while percussionist Mark Hundevad made a couple excursions on the piano as things moved along, mixing melodic runs and clustered clomps. Dan Pencer stuck to the clarinet this time out, but that doesn't mean he was playing all parts of it all the time.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Concert Listings Roundup #318

You can read more about why I'm doing listings here. Long story short: This curated and decidedly non-comprehensive list contains nothin' but shows that I am going to/would go to if I had more time.


Gigs of the week:

The Retune [12-hour drone excursion] (feat. Nidus) / Array Space 2019-09-13 (Friday – free! 6 p.m. 'til 6 a.m.! B.Y.O.P. [bring your own pillow]!)

Don't Speak (feat. Bonnetta/Huizinga / Carl Didur / Kat Estacio / Saturn City) / The Tranzac 2019-09-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Two different takes on drone excursions at hand here. On the one hand, Nidus' overnight shift is a modest pyjama party from a crew that have undertaken some durational marathons in the past — a minimalist environment encouraging settling in and spacing out. Rather more ambitiously, Saturday's Don't Speak sees programmer Adam Bradley returning to a concept he pioneered a few years back, exploring the tensions of creating a spectacle of an anti-spectacle. The explicit prohibition on any speaking can feel heavy-handed — especially to anyone used to events (like a Nidus show) where that largely happens of its own accord through self-organization — but to anyone who was stuck at, say, a Casual Drones set where ambient aural exploration was overpowered by a chatty make-the-scene crowd this should be a welcome gesture to put the music at the forefront — and an excellent lineup to boot.


This week's noteworthy shows:

Colin Avery Hinton/Naomi McCarroll-Butler/Reknee Harrett/Patrick O'Reilly / The Emmet Ray 2019-09-09 (Monday) [FB event]

Rebecca Hennessy/Andrew Downing/Michael Davidson / The Emmet Ray 2019-09-09 (Monday) [more info]

Ornate Presents (feat. Colin Clinton/Kaelin Murphy/Phil Albert) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-10 (Tuesday – early!) [FB event]

Cramzac (feat. Catherine Ribeiro [reading] / Christopher Willes) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-10 (Tuesday)

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. John Wiese / Bloomer / New Tendencies / Esther Splett) / Bambi's 2019-09-10 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Jazz and Otherwise Improvised Musics (feat. Fish with an "F" [Brian Abbott/Naomi McCarroll-Butler/Mark Zurawinski/Andrew Furlong] / Mark Ballyk/Chris Pruden/Julian Anderson-Bowes) / Wenona Lodge 2019-09-10 (Tuesday) [FB event]

Brodie West/Alessandra Patrucco/Angelo Conto / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-11 (Wednesday – early!)

Music By & For Ken Aldcroft XXXIII [final show in the monthly series!] (feat. Solos & Duos by Rob MacDonald/Patrick O'Reilly/Holger Schoorl / William Davison/David Story/Gordon Way / Joe Sorbara & Friends [Madeleine Ertel/Reknee Harrett/Naomi McCarroll-Butler/Patrick O'Reilly/Joe Sorbara]) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-11 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Paul Linklater and friends / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-13 (Friday – early!) [FB event]

Colin Fisher with Kieran Adams / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-13 (Friday)

Subtle Blend presents (feat. Elaquent / Pursuit Grooves / 2nd Son / CY) / Rivoli 2019-09-13 (Friday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet Presents (feat. B Boys / Alpha Hopper / Blankscreen) / The Garrison 2019-09-13 (Friday) [FB event]

Guerilla Toss (ZONES) / The Garrison 2019-09-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Audiopollination 75: Self-Curating Project (feat. Rod Campbell/MJ Wright/Aaron Corbett / Curtis Whittaker/Esin Gunduz / James Bailey/Ryan Kinney/Danielle Fernandes / 3M [Mira Martin-Gray/Mark Zurawinski/Michael Lynn]) / Array Space 2019-09-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Young Guv [record release show!] (Big School / Kiwi jr / Sour Key) / Jasper Dandy 2019-09-14 (Saturday) [FB event]

Quiet Concerts [a series of experimental music performances hosted by Artist-In-Residence Christopher Willes featuring musicians and poets in an intimate low-volume concert, which is broadcast on site in a wireless headphone mix] (feat. Robin Dann) / Toronto Public Library - Cedarbrae Branch 2019-09-15 (Sunday – free! all-ages! afternoon event @ 2 p.m.!) [FB event]

Jazz United Jam [live jazz + tap dancing!] / The Tranzac (Tiki Room) 2019-09-15 (Sunday)

Diane Roblin Presents (feat. Glen Hall's Ossingtones) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-15 (Sunday – early!) [FB event]

Mega Bog (Scott Hardware) / The Boat 2019-09-15 (Sunday) [FB event]

Somewhere There presents (feat. (Rob Clutton/Patrick O'Reilly/Joe Sorbara) / The Emmet Ray 2019-09-15 (Sunday – PWYC!) [more info]


Add these to your calendar:

Reminder: This post only contains this week's updates — the full listings can always be found over on the right-hand sidebar!

Music Hosted by Karen Ng (feat. Trevor Turple / Germaine Liu/Mira Martin-Gray/Karen Ng) / Wenona Lodge 2019-09-17 (Tuesday) [FB event]

3M [Mira Martin-Gray/Michael Lynn/Mark Zurawinski] [Duos tape release!] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-18 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

The Side Eye [Kayla Milmine/MJ Wright/Michael Lynn] [CD release!] (Stargoon / Mira Martin-Gray / Elizabeth Lima) / Array Space 2019-09-20 (Friday – all ages!) [FB event]

Mingjia Jessica Chen & Yunjin Claire Lee (Madeleine Ertel & Harry Bartlett) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-09-21 (Saturday – early!) [FB event]

Pretty Matty [album release!] (Baby Band / Piper Maru / Tea Room) / Owl's Club 2019-09-21 (Saturday) [FB event]

Bill Gilliam/Glen Hall/Joe Sorbara [Counterstasis - Refracted Voices CD release!] / Array Space 2019-09-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Andrew Furlong/Karen Ng/Daniel Pencer/Mark Zurawinski) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-26 (Thursday) [FB event]

Cosmic Homeostasis XII / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2019-09-29 (Sunday – afternoon show, 3 to 5 p.m.!) [FB event]

Ora Cogan (Eiyn Sof / Syzygy) / The Baby G 2019-09-30 (Monday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Ceremony / Collapsing Scenery) / Velvet Underground 2019-10-03 (Thursday) [FB event]

Aesthetics and Adventure ["conversation between Levi and Marcus Boon, professor of English at York University, followed by a musical performance"] (feat. Louise Landes Levi with Colin Fisher & Victor Cirone / Burdock Music Hall 2019-10-06 (Sunday) [FB event]

Grün Wasser (Dregqueen) / The Baby G 2019-10-09 (Wednesday) [FB event]

An Intimate Evening ["refined, gently plugged in entertainment"] (feat. Blonde Elvis / Lake Versions) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-10-18 (Friday) [FB event]

Aaron Corbett (Dame Cook / Annacetaminophen) / Handlebar 2019-10-23 (Wednesday) [FB event]

Not Dead Yet presents (feat. Lust for Youth / Kaade / Sahara) / The Garrison 2019-10-24 (Thursday) [FB event]

Most People [LP release!] (Crystal Light Collective) / Burdock Music Hall 2019-10-25 (Friday) [FB event]

The Sadies / Lee's Palace 2019-10-26 (Saturday) [more info]

Triples [Big Time album release show!] (James Wyatt Crosby) / Owl's Club 2019-11-07 (Thursday) [FB event]

Bloodshot Bill / The Horseshoe Tavern 2019-11-09 (Saturday) [FB event]

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Recording: aus!Funkt

Artist: aus!Funkt

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Painted Lady, July 14, 2019.

aus!Funkt - unknown

aus!Funkt's version of dance-punk leans heavily both on electronic grooves and disciplined postpunk mantras, and the group has a lot more material than can be found on their online demo.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!