Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recording: Rub Out The Word Ensemble

Artist: Rub Out The Word Ensemble

Song: Nova Express* [words: William S. Burroughs / composition/conceptualization: Glen Hall]

Recorded at The Music Gallery, November 7, 2014.

Rub Out The Word Ensemble - Nova Express

Opening the 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival (the other events would take place at The Tranzac) was this ambitious music suite celebrating William Burroughs' centenary. The event was conceived by Burroughs scholar Glen Hall, who played and conducted as the piece's several parts worked off each other. Not only was there an eight-piece band (Bruce Cassidy, Jim Sexton, Chris Cawthray, Rakesh Tewari, Tom Richards, Heather Segger, John Gzowski, David Story), a pair of laptop soundscapists (Ted Phillips, Matt Miller) and live-processed visuals (John Creson, Adam Rosen) at the edge of things (behind a typewriter) sat Ron Gaskin in a rumpled fedora, reading/narrating parts of the proceedings with Burroughs' own words. There was a nice ebb and flow to it such that there was never too much going on at once, even as it built to a fever dream of warped reality.

* I'm not sure of the formal structure of this piece, so I have named this extract after the Burroughs text that is read/invoked during it.

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