Saturday, August 30, 2014

Recording: Brendan Canning

Artist: Brendan Canning

Songs: [improvisation with harmonica feat. Greg Calderone] + [improvisation with violin feat. Edwin Huizinga]

Recorded at SummerWorks Festival, The Theatre Centre Mainspace ("One Night, Two Brendans"), August 8, 2014.

Brendan Canning - [improvisation with harmonica feat. Greg Calderone]

Brendan Canning - [improvisation with violin feat. Edwin Huizinga]

Full review to follow. The opening show in this year's SummerWorks Music Series didn't go as far as the others in breaking down the traditional concert format, but Brendan Canning took advantage of a patient, attentive crowd to perform a full set of entirely brand-new material. (Although there was less of a sense of artistic intervention with the music, Peter Rahul's live-engineered analog static-scapes were an excellent addition to the proceedings.)

There was a pleasingly fresh rawness as the band (a half-dozen deep behind Canning) tackled a few rockers and some lovely slower ones, but my favourite moments came when Canning went "off-script" for a couple moments of improvisation — occasions that he clearly relishes as well. After one song, he caught something that guitarist/keyboardist Greg Calderone had tossed in on harmonica, and asking him to replay it led to a quick jam. Then, the night ended with Canning calling for Edwin Huizinga (also of The Wooden Sky) to join him for a longer pastoral ramble. We'll have more chances to hear the songs, but these might have been one-of-a-kind moments.

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