Derek Bailey. Domestic Jungle. In the ’90s, London guitarist Derek Bailey would sit at home and improvise along with jungle and drum-and-bass music playing on underground radio stations. The DJs would repeat music, then suddenly drop off and talk aimlessly—it was all fodder for the anarchic genius of Bailey,[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 143

An Laurence 安媛. Almost Touching. Montreal-based guitarist and vocalist An Laurence (An Laurence 安媛, in full) fervently explores every crevice of her instruments on her debut album Almost Touching. The record features six works for guitar, voice, and electronics, each traversing a different sonic palette including spiralling[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 143

Sound Symposium XX The Newfoundland and Labrador Sound Symposium returned in full form this year, delivering nine jam-packed days of events for its twentieth anniversary. There was a special energy to this year’s festival, maybe because collaboration was something we had taken for granted pre-pandemic.[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Wendy Rose Issue 143

London Contemporary Music Festival Walking away from the Thames on the final night of the London Contemporary Music Festival (LCMF), I was reminded of the classic scene from The Simpsons in which Bart’s friend Nelson emerges from a screening of David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch and says, “I can think of at[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Daniel Glassman Issue 143

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, 38th edition. After a lean, socially distanced 2021 edition, Festival International de Musique Actuelle Victoriaville (FIMAV) returned this year with a strong program that offered concertgoers a chance to discover large-ensemble works by established artists along with fresh, genre-bending musical[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Alex Pelchat

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