Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Recording: Intérro

Artist: Kaie Kellough/Tanya Evanson/Jason Sharp/Kevin Lo

Song: Intérro [excerpt]

Recorded at 918 Bathurst (The Music Gallery's X AVANT XII – Night 3), October 13, 2017.

Kaie Kellough/Tanya Evanson/Jason Sharp/Kevin Lo - Intérro [excerpt]

After an off-season of uncertainty and exiled from its home at St. George The Martyr Church, The Music Gallery has found refuge at 918 Bathurst. Vibewise, this has kept things in the same ballpark, with the new space sharing churchy origins and a wood-y acoustic space. The X Avant Festival was first big test for this arrangement of things, presenting four nights of shows there. More than ever, the linkages between the Festival's performances was in the overarching theme of "Resistance", rather than tracking any musical throughline.

The last-minute cancellation of Chino Amobi left a gap in the night's lineup, and moved this babelogue into the headliner slot. Given the intensity of the piece, it's hard to imagine slotting anything after it. Based on crowdsourced reports of interactions with border guards, this made the power imbalance-induced anxiety of these liminal experiences into a palpable, physical thing. Jason Sharp's ominous synth washes, sax blasts and elevated heartbeat rhythm bumps created a soundscape for poets Kaie Kellough and Tanya Evanson to build up from confused phonemes to disorienting sentence fragments to barked commands. Kevin Lo's visuals, presenting the word-fragments in another way, added to the sensory overload. Intense and harrowing, and a reminder that these tensions are not distributed equally to all border-crossers.

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