Friday, December 9, 2016

Recording: Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble

Artist: Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble

Songs: [1st set, 2nd suite] + [1st set, 2nd suite] + Tangent IV [feat. Nicole Rampersaud] [suites contain music from The Wirecutter Suite's "Pickpocket", "Gospel", and "Mister, Mister". All compositions by Ken Aldcroft except for Wirecutter Suite by Joe Sorbara.]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), November 9, 2016.

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble - [1st set, 2nd suite]

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble - [1st set, 3rd suite]

Ken Aldcroft's Convergence Ensemble - Tangent IV

Another sombre celebration mixing joy and sadness following Ken Aldcroft's untimely passing in September. This event was a bit more geared to practical concerns, including a stacked-high merch table giving folks an opportunity to purchase all of Aldcroft's in-print recordings. It was also the launch of a cross-country tour that Aldcroft had been planning before his passing — the show would go on, even if in an unexpected configuration and a new raison d'être. This touring version consisted of Scott Thomson (trombone), Emily Denison (trumpet), Andrew Furlong (double bass), Joe Sorbara (percussion) and Karen Ng (alto sax). (Longtime Convergence member Nicole Rampersaud sat in on the second set as well.)

Just as the Convergence Ensemble was originally named as being a joining-together of a couple different of Aldcroft's existing groups, its music is based in principles of merger and recombination — mostly consisting of "suites" that mixed together sections of several pieces. Besides occasions where players could freely improvise in their playing, there's an improvisatory quality of instant re-composition, where a player could decide that a musical thread being played by other musicians could be complemented or counterpointed with something else. They'd catch the eye of another player they wanted to join them, and indicate what they wanted to play via a system of hand signals before launching in to alter the course of the piece. The art of it, in both the composition and playing, is how seamlessly it coheres.

[The music of Ken Aldcroft will live on, with his old regular Tranzac timeslot on the second Wednesday of each month now being dedicated to a new series called "Music BY & FOR Ken Aldcroft" curated by Joe Sorbara. The first instalment will be on Wednesday, December 14th with music by Paul Newman, Alaniaris and Tania Gill/Wes Neal/Joe Sorbara.]

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