Saturday, July 2, 2022

Recording: Imaginary Percussion Ensemble & The Element Choir

Artist: Imaginary Percussion Ensemble & The Element Choir

Songs: And With: as dreamed up by Germaine Liu [soundwalk montage, in two parts]

Recorded at The Bentway, June 25, 2022.

Imaginary Percussion Ensemble & The Element Choir - [soundwalk montage, part 1]

Imaginary Percussion Ensemble & The Element Choir - [soundwalk montage, part 2]

Goodness gracious! How nice it is to get outside, and to be somewhere a little unfamiliar, and to see folks from your community doing cool things! This soundwalk was conceptualized by Germaine Liu to use percussion and voices to reflect and enhance the sounds in a stretch moving from Canoe Landing Park and running along The Bentway, under The Gardiner Expressway. Accompanied by the whirr of traffic and backbeat of underpass construction, the groups' sounds fit in like ghostly counterparts to the sonic landscape. Truly delightful. (And for the record, the participants in the piece were: Bea Labikova, Aki Takahashi, Bee Pallomina, Brenda Joy Lem, Fahmid Nibesh, Joe Sorbara, Lieke van der Voort, Michelangelo Iaffaldano, Mingjia, Stephanie Chua, Raphael Roter, Heather Saumer, and Christine Duncan.)

In addition to the audio clips above, here's a slightly more expansive visual record. (Do be warned, this was taken with a handheld camera, so there are some shaky spots here):

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Recording: Gordon Grdina's Nomad Trio

Artist: Gordon Grdina's Nomad Trio

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (TONE Festival), June 24, 2022.

Gordon Grdina's Nomad Trio - unknown

Gord Grdina brought his guitar and oud out for some explorations with this trio (though the latter instrument was a bit less present this night, taking a backseat to the guitar — and a little quiet in the mix when it did show up). Touring a brand-new Astral Spirits release, this unit, which sees Grdina joined by Matt Mitchell on piano and Jim Black on drums, brought some spirited interactions and plenty shredding to close out the night.

[Gordon Grdina will be on sideman duty Sunday afternoon at a free/outdoors jazz festival show as a part of François Houle's Quintet, alongside Mark Helias and Gerry Hemingway.]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

Recording: The Brodie West Quintet

Artist: The Brodie West Quintet

Song: Entrainment

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (TONE Festival), June 24, 2022.

The Brodie West Quintet - Entrainment

Another night at the TONE Festival mixing some of the best local acts with visiting headliners, hopefully once more blowing some minds amongst those who might not come out to see the locals so often when it's not an "event". This was also the first chance for a lot of folks to catch up with this unit since the release of Meadow of Dreams earlier this year, and the group drew from that for a good chunk of the set. Even with the stalwart Phil Melanson subbing in for Evan Cartwright on one of the drumkits, the intricate rhythmic division of labour with Nick Fraser was maintained as the group had a joyful time exploring meadows and bouncing through other landscapes.

Recording: BLOOP

Artist: BLOOP

Song: [excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (TONE Festival), June 24, 2022.

BLOOP - [excerpt]

Another night at the TONE Festival mixing some of the best local acts with visiting headliners, hopefully once more blowing some minds amongst those who might not come out to see the locals so often when it's not an "event". This opening set was also a welcome back from Berlin for trumpeter Lina Allemano, here in duo formation alongside sound processor Mike Smith. Extended techniques, extended electronically, there were plenty snaky/woozy sounds under the blats, sputters and rattles.

[Lina Allemano is currently touring the nation's jazz festivals with her quartet, and then her Berlin-based group Ohrenschmaus will be visiting Canada — be sure to check them out on July 19th at The Tranzac.]

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Recording: O'Reilly/Downing/Fraser

Artist: Patrick O'Reilly/Andrew Downing/Nick Fraser

Songs: Paths #1 + Shattered [composer: Patrick O'Reilly]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Ornate Presents), June 21, 2022.

Patrick O'Reilly/Andrew Downing/Nick Fraser - Paths #1

Patrick O'Reilly/Andrew Downing/Nick Fraser - Shattered

A special night at The Tranzac, celebrating the release of The Remembrancer, which bears the descriptive subtitle of Justin Haynes Plays the Compositions of Patrick O'Reilly. One of the last projects Justin Haynes was working on before his untimely passing in 2019, moving this to release has been a labour of love for O'Reilly and his W/DRWN label.

To celebrate the release, the concept was turned on its head with O'Reilly being joined by Andrew Downing and Nick Fraser to tackle some of the same pieces played on the album, as well as a few of Haynes' own compositions. The sounds ranged from contemplative to "fast and dumb", and I was amused at how in the latter piece here, the pretty, careful progression was jarred loose by Fraser's sudden percussive clatter — provocative disruption being one tool in Haynes' musical arsenal.

You can also watch the musicians in action, and hear them playing a couple of Justin's pieces over on youtube:

Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday Roundup #76


Community notes:

  • In case you were wondering what the Toronto Music Advisory Committee has been up to over the pandemic, the minutes for their last meeting includes this handy list of "Actions and Accomplishments" (click through to find the full document as a PDF.) With so much on the city's plate and new faces forecast after the upcoming civic election, we'll see how forceful TMAC is in the next term, and how much "community" is folded into its "industry" framework.

Concert announcements:

The Titillators / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-07-06 (Wednesday). $pay-what-you-wish. [FB event]

Mixto Festival 2022 (feat. Ghetto Kumbé / Tush / Sofia Fly / Mosamba / New Chance) / Lynx Music 2022-07-08 (Friday). $25.12 advance. [FB event]

small, like the wren [world premiere performance, written by Anna Höstman] (feat. Cheryl Duvall) / Canadian Music Centre 2022-07-08 (Friday). $20 regular/$15 Arts Worker, Senior and Student, livestream available. [FB event]

Ayal Senior's Monthly: Az Yashir LP Release Show (feat. Ayal Senior & Kurt Newman / David Sait / Saturn City / Nick Flanagan) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-07-10 (Sunday – 2:30 p.m.) [FB event]

Cate Le Bon / The Great Hall 2022-07-19 (Tuesday). $33.99 advance, 19+. [FB event]

Cots (Luka Kuplowsky) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-07-24 (Sunday). $10/pwyc. [FB event]


Shows this week:

Jessie Dara (Jessica Moore) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-06-29 (Wednesday – early!) [FB event]

Naomi McCarroll-Butler: CHRYSALIS (feat. Anh Phung/Kae Murphy/Nebyu Yohannes/Colin Fisher/Naomi McCarroll-Butler/Aysel Taghi-Zada/Kel Mansaray/Amahl Arulanandam/Adrian Russouw/Roa Lee/Yang Chen/Racha Moukalled/Stefan Hegerat) / Toronto Jazz Festival, [corporate brand name] Main Stage - [corporate brand name] Grove 2022-07-02 (Saturday – 4:30 p.m.). $free, outdoors. [more info]

Ladyfinger / The Emmet Ray 2022-07-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

François Houle Quartet [François Houle/Gordon Grdina/Mark Helias/Gerry Hemingway] / Toronto Jazz Festival, [corporate brand name] Stage 2022-07-03 (Sunday – 3:15 p.m.). $free, outdoors. [more info]

TONE Festival (feat. FIRE! [Mats Gustafsson/Johan Berthling/Andreas Werlin) / Völur / Brian Ruryk) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2022-07-03 (Sunday). $17.52 advance, 19+. [FB event]

Bloodshot Bill (The Shook Boys) / Monarch Tavern 2022-07-03 (Sunday). $15 advance, 19+. [FB event]


Bandcamp corner:

  • With so much stuff being released and then shifted aside for the next new thing (especially over the course of the pandemic, when even the attention-grabbing album release shows were often skipped) I'm going to dip back here and re-post a couple of my fave albums from last year. Thoughts of both of these were spurred on by the welcome sight of shows from both of these artists (see above).

It happened this week...

  • ...on July 3, 2010 at Pride Toronto (South Stage).

Woodhands - CP24

  • ...on July 3, 2010 at Against Life II.

Anagram - The End of Against Life II

[Do remember that you can click on the tags below to go back and find the original posts (and often, more stuff) from these artists.]

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Recording: Sick Boss & Co.

Artist: Sick Boss with Peggy Lee, Josh Zubot & JP Carter

Song: Useless Genius 2

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (TONE Festival), June 16, 2022.

Sick Boss with Peggy Lee, Josh Zubot & JP Carter - Useless Genius 2

This superb evening at the TONE Festival saw Sick Boss expanded from its core trio (Cole Schmidt, guitar; James Meger, bass; and Dan Gaucher, percussion) to include friends Peggy Lee (viola), Josh Zubot (violin), and JP Carter (trumpet) — a true Vancouver all-star troupe. The extra hands allowed the group to explore a lot of new terrain over a bunch of new music (including the three-part suite heard in part here) that moved from shifty prog-rock rhythms to sweeping GYBE-esque swells. Big band, big sounds.

Recording: Gaucher/Zubot/Carter/SlowPitchSound

Artist: Dan Gaucher/Josh Zubot/JP Carter/SlowPitchSound

Song: [3rd section]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (TONE Festival), June 16, 2022.

Dan Gaucher/Josh Zubot/JP Carter/SlowPitchSound - [3rd section]

This superb evening at the TONE Festival saw Vancouver's expanded Sick Boss joined by locals Tania Gill and SlowPitchSound as well as Berlin-based Samuel Hall. In lieu if an opening act, the latter were scattered amongst redistributed members of the band for two sets of improvised encounters. With turntablist SlowPitchSound joining sound processors Josh Zubot (violin) and JP Carter (trumpet), there were textures aplenty in this set, but drummer Dan Gaucher (himself a freqent Tranzac player back in his Toronto days) managed to find a chance to drive things along (and even get in some air drumming as leaking sound from the Main Hall reached a crescendo).

Recording: Schmidt/Meger/Gill/Hall

Artist: Cole Schmidt/James Meger/Tania Gill/Samuel Hall

Song: [2nd section]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (TONE Festival), June 16, 2022.

Cole Schmidt/James Meger/Tania Gill/Samuel Hall - [2nd section]

This superb evening at the TONE Festival saw Vancouver's expanded Sick Boss joined by locals Tania Gill and SlowPitchSound as well as Berlin-based percussionist Samuel Hall. In lieu if an opening act, the latter were scattered amongst redistributed members of the band for two sets of improvised encounters. The first of these saw Sick Boss' Cole Schmidt (guitar) and James Meger (bass) alongside Gill (piano, melodica) and Hall, mutating from weird grooves to shimmering spatter.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Recording: Abbott/Cole/Fraser/Lerner

Artist: Titus Abbott/Josh Cole/Nick Fraser/Marilyn Lerner

Song: [1st set, 2nd piece]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Josh Cole Presents), June 15, 2022.

Titus Abbott/Josh Cole/Nick Fraser/Marilyn Lerner - [1st set, 2nd piece]

This special one-off in Josh Cole's regular Kind Mind timeslot saw reeds player Titus Abbott (visiting from Maine) joined by Cole, Nick Fraser, and Marilyn Lerner. Abbott, moving from soprano and tenor sax to bass clarinet, brought one loosely-structured scored piece, but otherwise the group fell into place with some sweet improvisations.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Recording: Allison Cameron

Artist: Allison Cameron

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), June 15, 2022.

Allison Cameron - [first set, second piece edited excerpt]

Allison Cameron - [first set, third piece excerpt]

Allison Cameron returned to her Tranzac residency with an evening of solo performance — not the way it was originally planned after COVID scrapped the previous month's show, but nonetheless an excellent restatement of sonic purpose. Cameron's solo setup contains some familiar elements (ukulele, SK-1), but the sounds are now being framed with a series of field recordings from her laptop. (And as a bonus, the rarely-seen crackle synth made an appearance, as heard on the first selection here.) Cool noises, a bit of a breeze coming through the open window — this is what I call a good evening.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Monday Roundup #75

Someday this space might be mostly concert listings again, but for now Monday roundups might include a romp through the MFS archives, some bandcamp suggestions, nods to a few livestreams, and sundry community notes (email me if you have anything that needs broadcast in the latter category!).


Community notes:

  • You know about SoundList, right? "SoundList is an E-mail newsletter devoted to announcements of free-improvisation, experimental music and sound art events in the Toronto area." When it returned after a pandemic hiatus a little while back, it felt like one of the forces that bind the community together had returned, although getting the machine up to speed meant that there were some issues with the web front-end where you could subscribe. It looks like that's fixed now, so it you're not getting SoundList in your inbox every week, I really urge you to go here and change that. There's been a lot of talk lately about how tough it is to hear about shows, so we should all be using a viable resource that's already in place!

Video hits:

  • You might have to watch this new one from Badge Époque Ensemble twice: once to absorb the song, and then again to follow the band/local music history lesson, provided by local stalwart Jay Anderson
  • It's always a delight when there's new music from Man Made Hill — and even moreso with the news that his Mirage Repair will be released by Orange Milk Records on July 15th.

Concert announcements:

Ladyfinger / The Emmet Ray 2022-07-02 (Saturday) [FB event]

The Spire Choir ["a sound performance involving a human performer and a bio-sensing voicing apparatus"] (feat. Xuan Ye) / Array Space 2022-07-08 (Friday – 6 + 8 p.m. performances!). $25 or pay what you want, livestream available. [more info]

Long Branch (Fortunato Durutti Marinetti / Michelle McAdorey) / Monarch Tavern 2022-07-14 (Thursday). $11.62 advance, 19+. [FB event]

Jennifer Castle / The Garrison 2022-07-14 (Thursday). $34.72 advance, 19+. [FB event]

Departures Series (feat. Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp / Sam Shalabi) / The Music Gallery 2022-07-15 (Friday). $17.03 advance, all ages. [FB event]

Lina Allemano's Ohrenschmaus [Lina Allemano/Dan Peter Sundland/Michael Griener] / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-07-19 (Tuesday) [FB event]


Shows this week:

Ornate Presents: The Remembrancer album release show (feat. Patrick O'Reilly/Andrew Downing/Nick Fraser) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-06-21 (Tuesday)

Counterstasis with Christine Duncan [Bill Gilliam/Glen Hall/Joe Sorbara] / Array Space 2022-06-22 (Wednesday). PWYC ($10 - $20) + livestream.

Music By Harry and Furlong (feat. Harry Bartlett/Dan Pitt / Mike Gennaro/Colin Fisher/Andrew Furlong) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-06-22 (Wednesday). $10/PWYC. [FB event]

TONE Festival (feat. Amirtha Kidambi/Matt Evans / Mira Martin-Gray/Kieran Maraj / Plastic Babies) / Array Space 2022-06-23 (Thursday). $22.89 advance, all ages/licensed. [FB event]

Scott Thomson & Holger Schoorl (Scott Thomson/Arthur Bull/John Oswald) / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-06-23 (Thursday). $pay-what-you-wish.

Reverb [works by works by Maria Eduarda Mendes Martins, Meghan Cheng, Bruce A. Russell, Annie Hui-Hsin-Hsieh, and Anna Höstman] (feat. Thin Edge New Music Collective) / 918 Bathurst 2022-06-23 (Thursday). $25 ($20 Students/Seniors/Arts Workers), Proof of full vaccination + masks required. [FB event]

TONE Festival (feat. Gord Grdina's Nomad Trio w/ Matt Mitchell & Jim Black / Brodie West Quintet / BLOOP) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2022-06-24 (Friday). $17.52 advance, 19+. [FB event]

Marilyn Lerner/Matt Brubeck/Heather Saumer / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-06-24 (Friday – early!)

The Ryan Driver Sextet / The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge) 2022-06-24 (Friday) [FB event]

CCMC with special guest Arthur Bull / Array Space 2022-06-24 (Friday). livestream available.

And With: a sound walk as dreamed up by Germaine Liu (feat. The Imaginary Percussion Ensemble & The Element Choir) / The Bentway 2022-06-25–26 (Saturday–Sunday). $free, outdoors, registration available. [more info]

TONE Festival/The Music Gallery’s Departures Series (feat. Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl / Bernice) / The Tranzac (Main Hall) 2022-06-26 (Sunday). $22.89 advance, 19+. [FB event]


It happened this week...

  • ...on June 24, 2019 at Burdock Music Hall (TONE Festival 3.5).

Kat Estacio - [excerpt]

  • ...on June 26, 2019 at Monarch Tavern.

Anunnaki - The Cries of Hypatia

[Do remember that you can click on the tags below to go back and find the original posts (and often, more stuff) from these artists.]

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Recording: Houle/Sorbara/Gill/McCarrol-Butler

Artist: François Houle/Joe Sorbara/Tania Gill/Naomi McCarrol-Butler

Song: [set 1 excerpt]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (Most Popular Mic Touching Sounds), June 14, 2022.

François Houle/Joe Sorbara/Tania Gill/Naomi McCarrol-Butler - [set 1 excerpt]

Amongst the things that I didn't really notice I was missing was a night like this, where a visiting musician is given a chance to mix things up with some local faves. Unlike last time I saw him, Vancouverite clarinetist François Houle was playing without his cool effects rig, but there were still plenty of sounds to be wrung from his instrument as he was joined by Naomi McCarrol-Butler on sax, Tania Gill on piano and Joe Sorbara on percussion, stretching out through a spontaneous suite of ideas.

[François Houle will be playing a free and outdoor show with his quartet (including Gord Grdina, Mark Helias, and Gerry Hemingway) at the Jazz Festival, Sunday afternoon, July 3rd.]

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Recording: Perera/Fournier/Sacks

Artist: Nilan Perera/Alex Fournier/Rick Sacks

Songs: [second piece] + Spiritual [composer: John Coltrane]

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (SynCirSundays), June 12, 2022.

Nilan Perera/Alex Fournier/Rick Sacks - [second piece]

Nilan Perera/Alex Fournier/Rick Sacks - Spiritual

With two guitar/bass/drum trios playing, this was a real chophouse of an evening. After lamenting that he had to follow Laun Phung's complex grooves, series host Nilan Perera took up his electric axe and proved he was no slouch, guiding his rhythm section through some gliding inquiries that pulled inspriations ranging from nimble West African licks to 'Tranes's laments.

You can also check out some video documentation from this set over on youtube:

Recording: Phung/Bowes/Wright

Artist: Luan Phung/Julian Anderson Bowes/Ian Wright

Song: #4

Recorded at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (SynCirSundays), June 12, 2022.

Luan Phung/Julian Anderson Bowes/Ian Wright - #4

With two guitar/bass/drum trios playing, this was a real chophouse of an evening. This fiery trio, lead by Luan Phung (and playing some of his compositions mixed in with an improvised exploration) was a precision operation — albeit one that wrangled its entertainment value by having its tightrope walkers untying knots while blindfolded. (Do not attempt this at home!)

You can also check out some video documentation from this set over on youtube: