Artist: Man Made Hill & Friends
Song: [excerpt, in two parts]
Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival – Night 2), November 3, 2016.
When I was asked to present a night at the 416 festival, I considered it a part of my remit to bring something that might not otherwise be considered for the festival. Randy Gagne, best known for his work as Man Made Hill, puts himself into a lot of inventive situations, but they usually fall outside the "formal" spheres of what gets called creative or improvised music. So I invited him to put himself in that headspace — and to bring along whatever sort of ensemble he wanted.
I couldn't have been more pleased with the collaborators he brought, including Zoë Alexis-Abrams (of Manticore, on keyb and vox), Becky Katz (of Hamilton's Sourpussy, on vox, percussion, clarinet and more) and Jeremy Dennis (on sax and vox). I had no idea how this was going to hash out on stage — musically, it turned out, this was somewhat "outside": sonic dank memes, if you will. Rather than focusing on the formalities of musical exchange, there was a strong sense of play, especially from Katz, who had a whole bevy of tricks on hand, including readings from the Guinness Book of World Records and an occasionally confrontational relationship to her drums, stopping and declaring, "it's not... it's not doing what it's supposed to do!" And in that might be captured the anarchic joy of the whole enterprise.