Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Preview/contest: X Avant XI

X Avant XI Festival of New Music: Reverberations

October 13-16, 2018

Reverberations could arise from musical vibrations, but they can also be echoes through time. Whereas last year's tenth festival (and the Music Gallery's fortieth anniversary) skewed more to the retrospective side, this year's edition is looking forward — as well as investigating once again how musical reverberations vibrate through a community in the here and now. [audio links below are from my own live recording archives]

  • The opening night is definitely future-focused, with Egyptrixx's abstract grooves backed by The Dun Dun Band's "awesome tapes from Toronto" sounds from master theoretician Craig Dunsmuir and Deenzi's "Ancient Asian to the future" soundtrack to a Wuxia movie set on a space station orbiting a collapsing star. (Having hosted Deenzi's first performance at Track Could Bend, I'm especially proud to be giving away a pair of tickets to this night — see 'contest' section below.)

Craig Dunsmuir and Dun-Dun Band - Untitled (12→13→14→15→16→12→21)

Deenzi - [excerpt from third segment]

  • Friday offers a "a multichannel, improvisational performance" lead by Pauline Oliveros (digital accordion) and featuring Ione (text/sound art), Anne Bourne (cello) and Doug Van Nort (electronic diffusion). Mika Posen (ex-Forest City Lovers, ex-Timber Timbre) opens, showing new re-applications of violin and keyboards in her Merganzer project. [Bonus: Pauline Oliveros will also be giving an Artist Talk up at York earlier on Friday. Admission is free!]

Merganzer - Songs Without Words

  • Saturday has a triple dose of extra-curricular activities, including a Deep Listening intensive workshop led by Anne Bourne, a talk from Noah Mintz ("Why is MP3 and streaming audio quality killing our love of music?") plus a late-night revival of the TRP internet radio station in an audio-visual spectacle. But the evening's main event is a visit from violinist Sarah Neufeld (known for her work with Arcade Fire, Bell Orchestre and Colin Stetson) presenting music from The Ridge, with Dialectica, a new saxophone quartet lead by Shannon Graham, opening things up.
  • On Sunday, the festival closes with a true spectacle — Roscoe Mitchell (one of the founders of the Art Ensemble Of Chicago) leads an all-star big-band ensemble of Toronto and Montréal artists through what I've heard are some dense and tricky improvisation-inspired compositions. Expect to catch some MFS faves, including Lori Freedman, Kyle Brenders, Peter Lutek, Nicole Rampersaud, Craig Pedersen, Tom Richards, Scott Thomson, Rob Clutton and Nick Fraser on stage. [Bonus: Also on Sunday, the Music Gallery's History Series continues with a talk from spoken word/hip-hip artist Motion on "Music, Culture & Identity in Toronto’s Black Aural Spaces". This free event is happening just behind the MG at OCADU's Lambert Lounge.]


You can check out the details of all the festival's events here, and the MG has a user-friendly/wallet-friendly online ticketing system that makes it easy to book shows in advance — and as always, Music Gallery members get a sweet discount. The talks and deep listening workshop are free, and you could see the whole festival with a pass on sale for $40.


But if that weren't enough, complements of the Music Gallery, I have a pair of tickets to give away to Thursday's Egyptrixx/Dun Dun Band/Deenzi show.

To enter, shoot me an email to mechanicalforestsound@gmail.com, with "contest" in the title and your name in the body. I'll randomly draw a winner on Thursday, October 13th at noon.

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