Lara Solnicki. The One and The Other. The One and the Other; a title both rigorously specific and philosophically general, deftly fits Lara Solnicki’s third album. Built with equal measures of poetic craft, classical vocal training, and a jazz-infused exploration of form and improvisation, the seven tracks are a journey[...] Read more

Recordings Tova Kardonne Issue 139

Hearth. Melt. Hearth is hot. The embodied listening in this quartet of pan-European improvisers is palpable. This is engaging improv, in which clear intention drives artful exploration. Abstract instrumental language revolves with choreographed clarity around a conceptual centre. Melt, which was recorded[...] Read more

Recordings Jennifer Thiessen

Kyle Gann. The Arithmetic of Listening: Tuning Theory & History for the Impractical Musician. In addition to being a fascinating composer (e.g. the exuberant microtonal multi-Disklavier opus Hyperchromatica) and a professor of music theory and composition at Bard College, Kyle Gann remains one of the best-known contemporary-music critics, thanks to his writing for the Village Voice[...] Read more

Books Nick Storring

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. Theory of Ice. Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a prodigiously talented Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg singer-songwriter, teacher, and author who explores decolonization and Indigenous resurgence in her fiction and nonfiction books, poetry, and music. For her fourth album, Theory of Ice, Simpson reworked some of her[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 139

Future Perfect. Drone On. Montreal-based interdisciplinary artists Julia Dyck and Amanda Harvey join forces as Future Perfect on Drone On, a live recording that functions as a sonic treatise on ecoacoustics and the phenomenology of sound. The piece, originally performed by the duo in 2019 as part of a month-long[...] Read more

Recordings Griffin Martell Issue 139

Taylor Brook / TAK Ensemble. Star Maker Fragments. The British novelist, philosopher, and poet Olaf Stapledon’s 1937 novel Star Maker concerns itself with nothing less than the history of life in the universe. It’s a lot to cover in a little over three hundred pages, much less an hour-long CD, which is why the Edmonton-born[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 139

Colin Fisher. Reflections of the Invisible World. Colin Fisher is busy. For nearly two decades his musical output and collaboration have touched many corners of the Canadian experimental scene—he is known as one half of psych duo Not The Wind, Not The Flag, as a frequent collaborator with artists such as Caribou, and as a solo artist[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 139

Terry Uyarak. Nunarjua Isulinginniani. Terry Uyarak made headlines earlier this year when he and a friend set out from their Igloolik, Nunavut, home on a traditional Inuit polar-bear hunt, travelling into the wild for ten days on dog sleds without GPS or phones. The self-taught musician has shown that same level of intrepid[...] Read more

Recordings Jesse Locke Issue 138

Meredith Bates. If Not Now. Vancouver violinist Meredith Bates has a long history of performing and improvising with other like-minded musicians. Founder and leader of the improvisational sextet Like the Mind and of the multimedia collaboration Sound Migrations, she has also recorded and performed with Peggy Lee, Leah[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 139

Marc Sabat and the Harmonic Space Orchestra. Gioseffo Zarlino. The notes that accompany this new release by Berlin-residing Canadian composer and string player Marc Sabat epitomize one of the greatest difficulties around composing in Just Intonation (tuning systems derived from the harmonic series). Though his notes are precise and succinct, it is all[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 138

Lina Allemano Four. Vegetables. The Toronto-based Lina Allemano Four—the experienced musical chefs who sauté the ingredients in this six-course musical feast—have been cooking on trumpeter Allemano’s originals since 2005. Alongside her gritty and dulcet trumpet textures are reed garnishes from[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman

Dominique Fils-Aimé. Three Little Words. In 2018 Montreal-based jazz artist Dominique Fils-Aimé released the first album of a trilogy exploring the shifting genres and experiences of African-American history and culture. The blues-inspired Nameless explored African sounds that morphed into the blues during enslavement. The[...] Read more

Recordings Chaka V. Grier