Sunday, April 3, 2016

Recording: TorQ Percussion Quartet

Artist: TorQ Percussion Quartet

Song: Music for Small Spaces [composer: Patrick Arteaga]

Recorded at the Canadian Music Centre (Music for Small Spaces), March 22, 2016.

TorQ Percussion Quartet - Music for Small Spaces

A lot of the time, TorQ can fill a stage with large-scale percussion gear, but this aptly-titled show saw them exchange that for a table apiece of widely-assorted implements, from plant pots to woodblocks. They'd put out a call for compositions suiting this scaled-down kitchen junk-drawer of bricabrac, the results of which filled out this programme in the cozy performance space at Chalmers House. The composers rolled with the idiosyncratic instrumentation, and many of the pieces had a playful spirit, with several incorporating improvisation or elements of chance. Sally Norris' follow-the-leader "Experiments 1 + 2" were as much performative as musical, and Andrew Staniland's "Liar's Dice" (one movement of a larger suite that group has been debuting throughout their season) involved co-ordinated foot stomping and dice-rolling — its ideal format would be in viral video form. And this final piece, which gave the event its name, involved a series of scored substrates which two of the musicians would play together while the other two improvised to graphic scores — which turned out to be a series of tree photographs selected via a show of hands from the audience.

[TorQ will close out their season at 918 Bathurst — much less of a smaller space — on Tuesday May 24th, 2016, with a programme that will include the final movements of Staniland's Time Travels Light and more.]

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