Monday, March 1, 2021

Monday Roundup #7

In the absence of concert listings, my regular Monday dispatches have fallen off. After bringing some life to the blog with the "bumping into" series, I figure I should get back in the groove. I'm guessing that this will be a bit like what used to get shoved into the end of the post when I was doing listings — 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!). Plus maybe a look back through the MFS archives.


Community notes:

  • Special reminder that due to recording restrictions under the stay-at-home order, the Women From Space Festival has shifted forward to April 9-11. (Means you have more time to acquire your Holobox Theatre!)
  • Carl Didur made a rare social media appearance to remind us that things are still regularly being added on his excellent youtube channel, including this just-posted Faust cover from Zacht Automaat:

In the Mix:

  • My latest Drone Brunch mixtape is up on Mixcloud, full of youtube finds and other overlapping sounds (played at various speeds), including some fast Steve Reich slowed way down. Sounds by Lonershy, Ruscadå & Joel Gilardini, Mahan Esfahani, Robert Rutman's U.S. Steel Cello Ensemble, Mooons, and Stars of the Lid:

It happened this week...

  • ...on March 1, 2014 at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge. Sending hugs and regards to all the musicians in this incredible band: Scott Peterson (double bass, voice), Eric Woolston (drums), Peter Lutek (clarinet), Jay Hay (sax, flute), Tom Richards (tuba), Colin Fisher (guit), Isla Craig (voice), Jay Anderson (percussion) and Brandon Valdivia.

Prince Enoki's Insect Orchestra - Dragonflies

[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.]


Bandcamp corner:

  • Is it Bandcamp Friday yet? Not quite, but it will be on Friday, so get your shopping lists in order. Bandcamp Fridays are a great opportunity to pre-order stuff from artists; it makes for a nice surprise when you get that notification on the album's release! On that score, Lina Allemano just put two albums up for pre-sale, and both come highly recommended:
  • Plus, here's a couple more things I'll definitely be grabbing:

Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Roundup #6

In the absence of concert listings, my regular Monday dispatches have fallen off. After bringing some life to the blog with the "bumping into" series, I figure I should get back in the groove. I'm guessing that this will be a bit like what used to get shoved into the end of the post when I was doing listings — 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!). Plus maybe a look back through the MFS archives.


Livestream nation:

  • Exit Points didn't have too much time to take root before being forced to shift online, but it's been thriving there, creating a platform for spontaneous sonic interactions. The series celebrates its first anniversary on Wednesday (February 24th) with live sets from two ensembles (Claire Yunjin Lee/Danny Sheahan/Vania Fortuna/Michael Palumbo and then Diane Roblin/Colin J. Gibson/Dot Starkey/Marcus A. Gordon) plus the usual open-call recombinations.
  • Long Winter TV returns on Saturday night (February 27th) in its new online format, a brisk mix of music and art, contextualized with mini-talkshow segments. This outing is co-curated with Heart Lake Records and in collaboration with Hand Eye Society and will offer music from Yasmine, Rosie Monday, Lillian Blue Makin and Frosty Valentine as well as art by Spencer Glassman, Meghan Cheng, I Am Robot and Proud, Matt Beckett & Maria Bui, Shaïra Boursiquot, Adam Bovoletis and the Free Flow showcase.

Bandcamp corner:

  • Saxophonist Keir Neuringer, who used to be a regular visitor to the city at Tad's Burn Down the Capital shows, dips into his archive for terminal one (evoke the forms), a "set of solo acoustic saxophone recordings made at STEIM (the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music) in Amsterdam in 2009", finding they resonated in this now as "elegies for cataclysms to come."
  • Kat Burns' pandemic time has been spent in contemplation and isolation, which lead to some ambient explorations last year and now to this plush huggable of an EP, whose title is something of a mission statement. The title track (declaring "whenever life gets hard, I just get soft") also stands up with Burns' best songs.

It happened this week...

  • ... on February 25, 2011 at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio.

Okavango - Kharami

  • ... on February 26, 2012 at The Garrison, for Crosswires #1. (This was even before this group was dubbed "The Wrong Guys").

Julie Doiron - Heartbeats

[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.]

Monday, February 15, 2021

Monday Roundup #5

In the absence of concert listings, my regular Monday dispatches have fallen off. After bringing some life to the blog with the "bumping into" series, I figure I should get back in the groove. I'm guessing that this will be a bit like what used to get shoved into the end of the post when I was doing listings — 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!). Plus maybe a look back through the MFS archives.


Bring me my cake!

  • Once more, it's time to celebrate MFS' blogiversary, though I almost feel like the past year hardly happened, or should count for blog-age purposes. (And, for that matter, the fun of the 10th Aniiversary celebrations two years ago still feels really close at hand!) In these times, the future of so many things remains uncertain, but I guess one should still mark twelve years of doing a thing with some manner of curt nod to oneself.

Livestream nation:

  • Double feature at the Music Gallery on Saturday night, with sounds and visions from Ami Dang and Gudiya commencing at 7 p.m. The night "will showcase the intricacies of Dang's experimental effected sitar techniques with synthesizers and electronic instruments from South Asia along with Gudiya's original electronic music production and visual collages." As with all of their events this season, the livestream is free and available to all, on facebook or over at the MG's website.

In case you missed it...

  • MFS faves Not The Wind, Not the Flag convened for a special pandemic-at-home performace as part of Bogotá's "Sesiones Bolón de Verde". It's a real shot of spiritual energy to hear Brandon Valdivia and Colin Fisher playing together, and their jam is still up on youtube for your enjoyment:

Monday, February 8, 2021

Monday Roundup #4

In the absence of concert listings, my regular Monday dispatches have fallen off. After bringing some life to the blog with the "bumping into" series, I figure I should get back in the groove. I'm guessing that this will be a bit like what used to get shoved into the end of the post when I was doing listings — 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!). Plus maybe a look back through the MFS archives.

A quieter week this time 'round. I grabbed plenty stuff from Bandcamp on Friday, but I'm just starting to absorb it now, so expect some recommendations next next week!


It happened this week...

  • ... on February 13, 2018 at The Tranzac's Southern Cross Lounge (for Ornate Ornette).

Andrew Furlong/Alexei Orechin/Germaine Liu/Nelson Moneo - Latin Genetics

  • ... on February 9, 2019 at Workman Arts' Main Hall (for Long Winter 7.4).

Donna Linklater - I Hear Voices

  • ... on February 14, 2019 at The Tranzac's Main Hall (for Sound For Silence II). [P.S.: kind of an inside-out cover-band version of The Weather Station here, with Tamara Lindeman joined by Ben Whiteley, Sam Gleason, Geordie Gordon and Evan Cartwright.]

Unclassic Classics - In the Shape of a Heart

[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.]

Friday, February 5, 2021

Bumping into... Paul Newman

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

I'm still in Toronto, and doing pretty well.

What have you been up to since March or so?

I've been working at two projects: Copernicus, which is a very long piece designed to last from dawn till dusk on the Winter solstice and involves a lot of loops; it's a very Cosmic Homeostasis-influenced piece; and a new set of solo music which I hope to have up on Bandcamp by the start of March, it's called Time is Both Concrete and Elastic.

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

I have been discovering Bandcamp lately and am really liking that I can buy all the great records my friends are making even though I don't get to see them. So if you have a new record, please send me a Bandcamp link!

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

I've been doing a lot of reading, although I'm drawing a blank at the moment on exactly what I've been reading. I've also been listening more than usual, and have particularly enjoyed Twelve Psalms of Repentance by Alfred Schnittke.

How are you feeling about 2021?

It's going to be magic when we can play together again. I've had a pretty productive time during the epidemic. I have enjoyed the quietness of life and have learned a lot about playing the saxophone. So it's been good to have this time to breathe, but it will be nice to see regular life restored at some point in the coming year.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Monday Roundup #3

In the absence of concert listings, my regular Monday dispatches have fallen off. After bringing some life to the blog with the "bumping into" series, I figure I should get back in the groove. I'm guessing that this will be a bit like what used to get shoved into the end of the post when I was doing listings — 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!). Plus maybe a look back through the MFS archives.


Community notes:

  • The big news of the week was the announcement of this year's Women From Space Festival. Last year's edition remains vivid in my mind, not only for being the last "regular" shows I went to in the before-time, but even more for its excellent vibe and programming. Organizers Bea Labikova and Kayla Milmine are attending to both of those things, with another intruigingly-mixed lineup including Denise Solleza & Madeleine Ertel, Britta B & Pursuit Grooves, Thanya Iyer featuring Anh Phung, Laura Barrett/ SlowPitchSound/Mairi Greig, Eve Egoyan, Fides Krucker & Tania Gill and plenty more. But they're also fostering a vibe as well, this time as purveyors of the Holobox Theatre, a "miniature tabletop stage where performances come to life as holograms". The whole thing is being streamed (in standard two dimesions as well) on March 6 to 8.

Livestream nation:

  • Keep your receptors tuned to TURNONANDBENOTALONE on Wednesday and Thursday this week for the Music Gallery's presentation of a "multi-channel audio and visual installation, activated by a series of four solo instrumental performances" (by Amahl Arulanandam, Yang Chen, Sara Constant, and Émilie Fortin) assembled/curated/composed by Jason Doell. I don't entirely know what that means either, but as part of the MG's efforts to make livestreams into more than just a filmed performance, it seems intruiging. And in the meantime, there's a cool lava lamp effect bloobering away on the event's homepage.

It happened this week...

  • ... on February 5, 2016 as part of Nite Comfort 41 at Handlebar.
Tenderness - unknown
  • ...on February 2, 2014 in the Southern Cross Lounge.
Allison Cameron and D. Alex Meeks - [end of first set]

[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.]


Bandcamp corner:

Don't forget it's bandcamp Friday this week, from midnight to midnight Pacific time on the 5th. That gives you a few days to share recommendations with your pals! Here's a couple things that I've been waiting to grab...

Friday, January 29, 2021

Bumping into... James Beardmore

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

I’m… alright! That sure is a big question these days. It’s a mixture and it changes, like it is for everyone. I’m writing this the day before I attend a livestreamed funeral for a close friend back from the UK so that’s a heavy and surreal feeling. But I’m healthy, safe, employed, and I have a home with my partner and two wonderful idiot cats. I regularly check back to that and realize in the grand scheme of things I’m incredibly lucky. I’m currently at home in Fairbank, Toronto.

What have you been up to since March or so?

Working from home, finding ways to work on music that doesn’t result in me permanently staring at the same laptop on a desk when combined with said work. Enjoying new and exciting ways to brew coffee. We’re lucky to have access to some backyard space so that was a big part of the summer. Walking around the York area, usually at night. Been enjoying the beltline trail quite a bit.

Music-wise I ended up being fairly productive but I consciously decided in March 2020 not to push that or feel bad if I didn’t feel like being creative. It really felt like everyone had this unspoken pressure to use all their new free time to churn out music. But you either feel like making music or you don’t. And stress and uncertainty are creativity killers.

I had a split tape with Shayu released on DISPLAY in March 2020, just as we were all locking down, trying to find groceries, and disinfecting our doorknobs:

Then I allowed myself to ignore making music until I felt like it, which it turned out was several months. It was the right decision.

In the meantime, I did take part in the Basilica Hudson 24 Hour Drone. I invited lots of Canadian musician friends to take part in a performance as part of a multi-livestream event as Canada Resonance Agency (CRA) It was: Eternal Real World + Colin Fisher, Fog Spirits, Brigitte Bardon’t, Leucrocuta, myself as Cares, Marty Adem, Hensu, Brother Tiger, Ylang Ylang, Cetacea. I’d never organized that sort of thing before. It was fun learning both the technical and creative possibilities and working with friends. It was a memorable day with beautiful performances. We went from noon until about 8PM, then Bryan Bray continued into an epic endurance-performance odyssey until noon the next day. Unfortunately it was all too long for Youtube to archive.

Around June I realized I was back into recording and production mode. The late summer I spent a lot of time recording and arranging and I now have a couple of releases lined up.

I remixed a track by Wasn’t from their latest album in the summer. HENSU just did a beautiful remix of a single from my last full length. I have a split tape with Altar Boa (Harpur from IRN) out in February, and a new full length Cares album is out March 26 on Zabra. A few other things are in the works too.

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

In music, I have resolved a lot of anguish about the process so I can just get on with it. Music always involves chaotic experimentation for me which can be messy, and I’m finally cool with that. Lots of people go through the cycles of loving and hating what they’re making, and I’m more comfortable with that now too. Generally just happier with my approach. Not focusing at all on how anything works live has reminded me how much I love production.

Spotify needs to die. The more I see headlines about Spotify gaming it’s own system with fake artists it doesn’t need to pay, the more I get spam emails offering to get me onto bullshit playlists, the more I also see artists continuing to invest in a platform that actively resents their existence. I honestly think Spotify is trying to move to a model without musicians.

I’ve seen some good discussions about people forming more collectives to boost each other and I think any sense of community like that is a great thing. It could be compilations, labels, connected projects, but can even (in future) translate to live spaces and events. My guess is that’s where good things are going to happen more than ever.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

I’ll keep it short. Buck II: Where Do You Want It? by Buck Young (AKA Zoe Burke). Such a unique album with a powerful atmosphere. Country themed tape loop experiments, musique concrète and the odd guitar ballad. I’ve heard nothing like it.

Really enjoyed watching Avenue 5. I’m a big Armando Iannucci fan and these days the more satire TV like that the better. We watched that show in the late winter and had to re watch because it just got more relevant as the year went on. Probably the funniest, most absurd yet real thing I’ve seen in years.

How are you feeling about 2021?

Cautiously optimistic. Socially, locally, artistically I think we have learned a lot and there’s the potential to do some really meaningful things together. Maybe later on this year we’ll go to a show?! Maybe! There’s a lot of awful goings on right now and it seems like it’s more incomprehensible every day. But the main theme I see is that more people are done just accepting it. For all the or bastards profiting off or actively worsening disaster, there are more people than ever organizing, helping each other and deciding that things need to be better. I’m hoping that beyond the pandemic slowly coming to an end, more of us are going to realize we need to look after each other and improve a society that has ended up benefiting very few of us. Locally we need to band together and push against the interests gutting our city for profit.

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

I'd want to know what you're up to! Always great to hear the latest things you're putting together. If I go to a show and I see you there I always know I’m in the right place. I look forward to that again in the future.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Monday Roundup #2

In the absence of concert listings, my regular Monday dispatches have fallen off. After bringing some life to the blog with the "bumping into" series, I figure I should get back in the groove. I'm guessing that this will be a bit like what used to get shoved into the end of the post when I was doing listings — 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!). Plus maybe a look back through the MFS archives.


Community notes:

  • I was glad to see Shaun Bowring (of The Garrison and The Baby G), who has been speaking up for local music venues since things shut down last March, getting some recognition in The Star.

Livestream nation:

  • The electroacoustic improvisation series Exit Points has moved seamlessly online, thanks to Michael Palumbo and co.'s technical skills. The series returns from a holiday hiatus with a show on Wednesday night — and as usual, community members can join in for the open jam after the curated sets (all the information you need is over here).
  • Soprano saxophonist Kayla Milmine and dancer Allison Elizabeth Burns are joining together for a joint improvised livestream on Saturday afternoon (January 30th), and viewers and invited to invited to submit prompts to inspire the direction of the performance.

Bandcamp corner:

  • Nur Michael (a.k.a. Michael Keith) has bundled some of his recent baritone ukulele improvisations into an EP that is suitable for meditations or winter walks.

It happened this week...

  • ... on January 28, 2014 in the Southern Cross.
Drumheller - Nguyen Ngoc Loan
  • ...on January 30, 2015 at Geary Lane (for their self-titled album's release celebration!)
Absolutely Free - Beneath The Air

[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, January 24, 2021

Bumping into... bob wiseman

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

I'm in High Park.

What have you been up to since March or so?

Walking in High Park, sometimes at night I also walk it and wish I had the nerve to go into the same trails I do when the sun is out.

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

Yogurt, soymilk, kombucha, chocolate cake without sugar and baked beans, they are old things, but new for me to make. I'm feeling good about the way music is now being made telepathically.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

The Master and Margarita. I wish I knew a country of people who celebrate that book every hour.

How are you feeling about 2021?

Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store.

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

There are scholarly papers out there about how insects improvise due to global warming.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Roundup #1

In the absence of concert listings, my regular Monday dispatches have fallen off. After bringing some life to the blog with the "bumping into" series, I figure I should get back in the groove. (Although we may yet bump into a few more peeps!) I'm guessing that this will be a bit like what used to get shoved into the end of the post when I was doing listings — 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!). Plus maybe a look back through the MFS archives.


Community notes:

  • In case you missed it, you can catch Saturday's Long Winter (which is, in this Winter of our Sepration. being transformed into "Long Winter TV") over on youtube:

It happened this week...

  • ...on January 22, 2010 at the Out of This Spark 3rd Anniversary Party at The Garrison.
Forest City Lovers - Song For Morrie
  • ...on January 21, 2011 at The Tranzac.
Canaille - Angeer
  • ...on January 24, 2012 at Soundscapes.
John K. Samson - The Last And

[Okay, jeez, that was harder than expected to not pick even more things. Still, going forward, this is more likely to be constrained to one or two picks. 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.]


Bandcamp corner:

  • Heidi Chan's series of Bachelard EP's over the past year have investigated different approaces to modular synthesis and are all rewarding listens, but things really stretch out in a satisfying way on this new collection of "minimalist, hazy" pieces:

Monday, January 11, 2021

Bumping into... Nilan

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

Yo..in tha hood...N of Eglington and Keele.

Me?

Pretty good, pretty bad, about the same, being a dad.

What have you been up to since March or so?

Well, it's been like the definition of combat..long stretches of boredom punctuated buy moments of extreme stress! But I'm being slightly specious/facetious.

I'm chuffed about the Willow Gardens Collective with Fahmid, me, Mark and Germaine working the soil and have found our work and collaborations to be very nutritious in all the ways. Then there's my 6 year old daughter who is central part of my life and my heart's beautiful journey. I've had some pretty fkn weird shit handed to me around Child Services but I was exonerated...my daughter had my back....which you can imagine made my heart very much bigger.

All in all, everything considered, I'm grateful...I'm a lucky guy!

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

It's funny...I'm a player not a practice-er so my guitar time seems to focus on playing old blues/roots music (back to the beautiful well!) or working on some off kilter ways to play Bach and Satie, all of which leave opportunity to inject elements of the Mystery, which results in some self contained Mysterious extrapolation.

I go through lengthy periods of not playing and spending too much time on the 'net...I love connections and information so I'm guessing that'll feed onto the creative. Coming back into playing after not playing for a while is an initial explosion of coolness 'til my chops fall apart, lol.

I'm really looking forward to a blossoming of formal compositions but can't wait for the conversations I'm used to in spontaneous play. I'm intensely curious about how things are going to sound like when the coviditties calm down.

I was on a project in 2012 in Sri Lanka checking in with artists of all genres about their work during the 30 year civil war...the visual artists said that there wasn't much done during but in terms of producing work you couldn't shut them up after.

I think the same seemed to work for the theatre people and music there is pretty stratified into commercial, traditional and some art music of a formal nature. I'm wondering now whether that had anything to do with the wartime censorship, but it's the closest in my experience to what we are going through now.

Civil war has very different social parameters, though.

I think electronic musicians in general are the ones who can really make use of the time now as composition and performance are intimately tied in that world and one can create fully realised work instead of relying on in person rehearsals and $$$. considerations.

I did release my ancient solo recording with the new addition of the re/demixes and am checking into my archives for more.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

That's a hard one... yes and no.

I'm into different things... politics, social justice, the environment and thinking about issues and connective tissues.

I've always felt a bit of a dilettante when it came to music and the arts. I've got a bit of a case of ADD I think... lol.

I started playing music seriously at 30 so don't have the early years of affirmation, practice, routine and career... I was a huge fan though.

My diversions are reading, gardening and my daughter... and the internet... which is kind of, like f'book, a bit like radio for me. People post cool things which remind me of other things either re discoveries or discoveries, but I repost and don't latch on. It's actually a bit annoying sometimes.

Colin F turned me on to 'Ka' (hip hop) who blew my mind...the Days With Dr. Yen Lo by Ka and Preservation is amazing.

How are you feeling about 2021?

Pretty good... I'm excited about the possibilities, though there are some major pragmatic challenges for our community of artists at large re: venues, spaces (performance or otherwise) etc. as well as distribution of art/music.

I think, if we don't unite in an interdisciplinary way in a movement of the times, we're going to be looking at major difficulties.

It's also a time of reflection of not only the 'hows', but the whys' of art.

All this is tied into what I feel is a crucial time for the community of improvised/non mainstream music to place themselves in the cultural framework in more active/activist ways.

It's all changed., and trying to go back won't work.

And also deal with uncomfortable questions around diversity and representation and the origins of and solutions for that question.

I'm working on stuff...when and if it happens, y'all will know.

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

The weather, how it's cool how the traffic has reduced, food, the price of pomegranates, what you're doing... the usual friendliness.

Photo credit Nehara S. P-K

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Bumping into... Kristel Jax (Brigitte Bardon't)

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

I'm sleepy. Currently in Parkdale with Lana Del Satan the mini pug, who misses everyone very much.

What have you been up to since March or so?

Since March I released an album entirely made with a Barbie keyboard and started a magazine with Tasman Richardson called Hum, about different drone sounds we find around the city. I've been doing livestreams for the Music Gallery through OBS which has been a huge adventure.

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

I feel like I'm in the part of the shift where I don't know what things are shifting to. It's a little eerie.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

I'm addicted to 90 Day Fiancé. Been bopping to a lot of Minimal Violence from Vancouver and trying to read Dune.

How are you feeling about 2021?

The Music Gallery actually put "2020" in one of my passwords and now it's just 2020 forever for me... good luck on the other side

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

A full rundown on Twin Peaks theories until you slowly backed away and remembered you had pressing matters with someone over there.

Bumping into... Xuan

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

up and down within the four walls but doing as well as I can

What have you been up to since March or so?

same old million lil different things

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

my body feels sincerely acutely sad/bad/rad/ that it can't vibe with live sounds in the same space any more no flow only scroll It (body) is now only friends with alien beeps and slurs >120BPM n decided not to make seriously-hardly-vibing music any more It (still the body) even gets tight when seeing the word JAM It longs for SHALLOW listening LOUD bass REPEATING patterns and GROOVING with mother who only knows Mao and does not know Cage unlike you who should know that Cage was pro Mao and using I-Ching to decide on which letter to use out of 26 letters is like ok I hear you have nothing better to do bc you are so privileged that you cannot live not liberally not without a book you've borrowed so I guess I've maybe found new ways to not do old things

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

so many art crushes in these times bc of so much smoke and scroll but also bc so many shits have happened in 2020. i have to say my truth telling close friend rant on social media has felt like a good diversion of emotional excesses because one needs a space for telling the truth but not feel unsafe.

How are you feeling about 2021?

all the fucked ups will not resolve in our lifetimes however we still have to subsist n persist

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

how you doing? may you survive a peaceful mind

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Bumping into... Aline Homzy

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

Howdy! Thanks for asking. I am feeling cheerful yet fatigued. It’s really nice to bump into you in Nanaimo, Joe! The trees and plants are gleaming with life here as the clouds drop water onto us daily.

What have you been up to since March or so?

The top things I have been doing since March:

Putting my trail cam all over toronto. In search for good spots to set the camera, I happened upon families of foxes by the Etobicoke river, a coyote up near the Humber river... and so many beautiful birds. Captured lots of them on the camera as well and so many deer, mice and rats!

I’m really hoping to get some footage of some city cougars around here and maybe a bear (really pining to see a wolf but they are coastal in these parts).

I found lots of joy in walking and working out with my mom. We used the free YMCA workouts and had fun doing them together (though separated on a screen). Now that I’m momentarily living with my parents, we spend most of our active time walking outside.

Working on new music has been really quite strange. Bursts of melodies enter my mind and I sit writing them out... and a couple hours later, I have a string quartet piece finished and done. On the other hand, there are projects I want to complete (from before-pandemic times) that I can’t seem to get to. I’m learning a lot.

I’ve been doing lots of great projects for other people, at the studio at my parents here in Nanaimo, and working on all of this music brings on a sense of normalcy.

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

I think about it daily. I have projects that were particularly meaningful and meticulously thought-out, from before the pandemic. I’m having a hard time letting go of the fact that they cannot be accomplished in the way that I had planned. On the other hand, I am thrilled to still be able to work creatively on other projects. I am really finding a lot of positivity from working on my own and creating music with and for others.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

Since I’m with my dad quite regularly these days, we’ve been discussing and watching lots on the early days of jazz. I am working as a board member for the Nanaimo jazz festival here, which my dad started a few years ago. The point of the festival is to support the local community. We’re working now on a virtual festival that is supporting a micro community from the Comox valley to the Cowichan valley. We are celebrating the music of Canadians and specifically, we are highlighting the music of Canadian composer Shelton Brooks who was quite active in the first third of the 20th century.

How are you feeling about 2021?

We have all adapted so creatively and quickly to this new way of life. I’m anticipating that I will hold on to some of the new habits I have developed. I’m extremely lucky that none of my family or close friends have been terribly affected by Covid, health-wise and that I have had extreme privilege in this time to keep working so much and to take time to think of what my personal priorities are in ... life.

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

I would certainly like to know what you have been listening to and what you have been thinking about. I’m wondering, Joe if you’ve seen any good movies or eaten any interesting food lately? Oh! Also... Are you into politics?

Bumping into... Alex Fournier

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)


How are you? Where are you?

I'm alright. Mostly just stirring around my apartment and keeping myself busy/amused however I can. I'm up at Eglinton W. just at the edge of the International Market neighborhood. The Caribbean food is fantastic up here. How are you?

What have you been up to since March or so?

It's been a mostly introspective time. Working on myself wherever I can. Lot of projects that have been started and sustained as well. Started with a list of exercises I put together to help with getting a better/more pliable grip on polyrhythms and that kind of language. Lot of exploring and understanding what I'm trying to do on my instrument in terms of improvising as well. Settled on the idea of a "cascading" or "tumbling" sound... whatever that means. Changed up my reading list to focus on a lot of critical theory and philosophy, so I've got a mountain of books on top of my dresser I want to get through. Released a trio album with some friends from Baltimore at the beginning of this. Been kinda hard to promote it and talk it up though. Haven't had the gusto for that kind of stuff lately.

Had an interlude in the early fall that kept me pretty busy with gigs actually. Triio played its first festival and I'm told we're invited back for next year! Lot of Jazz Manouche as well with Tak Arikushi. Recorded an album with Dan Pitt's Quintet. Started working on a theme-transcription project - namely Wayne Shorter's playing on Speak No Evil. Also been going over tunes friends have written - though I'm back to focusing on my own music for now. Got some good news from CCA that I'll likely announce soon too!

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

Oh my gosh you should see my teaching from home setup. It gets pretty silly when you see what a double bass lesson looks like on my end. Had to learn a little about recording tech, which was no biggie. Truth be told I haven't been consuming a lot of new music. I feel like I had a lot on my shelf before all of this that I hadn't properly explored, so I've taken the time to listen more thoroughly to what I've picked up over the years. More reading than anything these days. Otherwise, not too many changes beyond remembering the mask when I go out.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

Sam Rivers' "Fuchsia Swing Song" reminded me why I love jazz. Same with Jaki Byard's The Jaki Byard Experience, among a few other things that have been on the iPod (yes I still have one of those). The Ethics by Baruch Spinoza was a pretty incredible read. Been diving into philosophers that have come from his sphere of influence. Replaying Bloodborne and Doom Eternal too. The music/sound design for both are incredible.

How are you feeling about 2021?

Uuuuuhhhh... I get the feeling it's going to be another rocky year but at least it has a chance to have an upswing by the end, so at least we won't have to call it a trash-fire. Had a conversation with Michael Davidson that got me thinking about what we can contribute to our community/the world - quality over quantity and the like - and I get the feeling that that will be a focus for a lot of people, especially since everyone (and I'm saying this especially to myself) seemed stressed out from "the hustle" for such a long time. Still sorting that conversation out, but I feel like the year can end on a better note than expected if we're both engaged and checking in on each other. At very least I'm incredibly interested to hear everyone play again!

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

Always interested in hearing what shows you've been to/what else has been new. I'm terrible at remembering to talk to people when I'm at home but I suppose it has the benefit of giving you more to talk about in person, which I prefer anyway.