Women From Space, 2022 edition Women From Space usually takes place on International Women’s Day Weekend to celebrate the varied dimensions of contemporary music practiced by women. First launched in 2019 and organized by saxophonists Bea Labikova and Kayla Milmine, this rich, wide-ranging Toronto-based festival[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Stuart Broomer

Hildegard Westerkamp. Breaking News. Soundscape composer Hildegard Westerkamp creates audio pieces as vivid as any cinematic or literary work. Breaking News is her first album in two decades, comprising five pieces from 1988 to 2012. Though varying dramatically in format and subject matter, the works are connected by what[...] Read more

Recordings Jesse Locke Issue 142

Bekah Simms. Ghost Songs. On Ghost Songs, Toronto-based composer Bekah Simms has written music made of flying sparks and haunted echoes. The JUNO- and Gaudeamus Award-nominated composer often explores all-consuming atmospheres through visceral textures and nervous energy. Ghost Songs follows this trajectory, creating[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 142

Joseph Shabason and Vibrant Matter. Fly Me to the Moon. Woodwinds whiz Joseph Shabason joins former Diana bandmate Kieran Adams (aka Vibrant Matter) for a new EP of slippery ambient surfaces. Fly Me to the Moon was born out of a collaborative routine at Shabason’s Toronto studio, where Adams regularly practised drums and the two would[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken

Tess Roby. Ideas of Space. Montreal dream-pop composer and songwriter Tess Roby follows her promising 2018 debut with a perceptive self-produced LP, the first on her new label SSURROUNDSS. Ideas of Space is a pristine collection of songs about envelopment—by architecture, by colour, by emotion—that tempers[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 142

Quatuor Bozzini. Tom Johnson: Combinations. Tom Johnson is a self-described minimalist composer, who has been credited with coining the term in the early ’70s while working as a music critic for the Village Voice. Johnson tends towards the formalistic extreme of minimalism; his works are often based on the mapping of[...] Read more

Recordings Lawrence Joseph

Eldritch Priest. Omphaloskepsis. The Greek word omphaloskepsis denotes the meditative practice of gazing at one’s navel. The word is well-chosen by composer and performer Eldritch Priest for the title of this creation.   A deceptively simple, monodic guitar line opens the first movement of the work.[...] Read more

Recordings Ian Crutchley Issue 142

Alejandro Morse, Cian, and Eduardo Padilla. Einath. Translating the ephemeral and serendipitous qualities of live, improvised collaboration onto a recording is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. Those singular moments of intuitive interplay between performers are highly elusive and are sometimes diminished or entirely lost in the[...] Read more

Recordings Griffin Martell

Kee Avil. Crease. The sounds on Kee Avil’s debut full-length album Crease seem surrounded by acres of space; it’s as if the instruments are played in a subterranean cavern where you encounter each one separately before they join together into a loose ensemble of voice, guitar, percussion, and[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 142

Joyfultalk. Familiar Science. Crousetown, Nova Scotia’s Jay Crocker revs up Joyfultalk for another kinetic record of rhythm and ooze. Whereas previous Joyfultalk outings have grown out of Crocker’s singular, often solitary practice of instrument-building (he calls his creations “compositional systems[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 142

Instruments of Happiness. Slow, Quiet Music in Search of Electric Happiness. Tim Brady is the artistic director of Instruments of Happiness, under which group name he leads various guitar ensembles of up to one hundred axes. This latest studio release is a collection of four works commissioned for guitar quartet. Each composer was asked to create a piece of approximately[...] Read more

Recordings Lawrence Joseph Issue 142

Double Review: Joane Hétu. Tags; Ensemble SuperMusique. Sonne l’image. Joane Hétu is the codirector of Montreal’s Ensemble SuperMusique (ESM), but that doesn’t mean she overloads the contemporary ensemble with her own works. She also composes for others. Each of these wide-ranging recordings contains only one Hétu–ESM[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 142