Concerts and Events

Montreal New Music International Festival: 5th Edition. Montreal, Canada. February 18–26, 2011. Being assigned to cover a new music festival such as Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques is somewhat like being thrown into a different space-time (and sound) continuum—one suddenly has the impression that new music is all there is to be heard all over the city, with ensembles,[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Marc Hyland Issue 110

Vancouver New Music Festival. Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver, B.C. October 21–23 The Vancouver New Music Festival, under the artistic direction of Giorgio Magnanensi, is known for inviting performers from the breadth of the contemporary art world, featuring emerging artists alongside international celebrities, the whole lot unapologetically challenging the audience with[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Randy Raine-Reusch Issue 109

Flow Festival. Helsinki, Finland. August 13–15, 2010. Since its inception in 2003, Helsinki’s Flow Festival has become a major highlight of the Finnish music calendar. This year’s seventh edition certainly didn’t disappoint. Perfect summer weather, a unique urban site, top-notch programming, and careful execution combined to[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Jason van Eyk Issue 109

Electric Eclectics 5. The Funny Farm, Meaford, Ontario. July 30–August 1, 2010. True to its moniker, Electric Eclectics is more than just a head-spinningly diverse festival of modern music. It’s also a truly eclectic experience. Equal parts experimental music festival, bush party, camping trip, participatory art happening, and gathering of lovable misfits, EE is a[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Jonathan Bunce Issue 108

Sound Symposium XV. St. John’s, Newfoundland. July 2–10, 2010. Sound Symposium XV offered up in equal portions traditional concerts, sound installations, urban music, and everything in between. The festival itself became a nine-day art event, greater than the sum of its parts, and for that, the curatorial team deserves to be applauded. For the duration[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Andrew Staniland Issue 108

Big Ears Festival. Knoxville, Tennessee. March 26–28, 2010. Clean, tidy, and walkable, downtown Knoxville feels more like Europe than America. Unlike the Next Big Thing-chasing club crawl of that other Southern-U.S. fest, South by Southwest, in Austin, the Big Ears Festival is a carefully curated festival driven by an artistic mandate to showcase cutting[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Jonathan Bunce Issue 107

Sonic Acts XIII. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. February 25–28, 2010. Since its launch in 2000, Sonic Acts has become a major biennial showcase for electronic music and intermedia art in Europe. This year’s thirteenth edition lived up to its reputation with an ambitious and densely packed program of concerts featuring new and established artists from such[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Patrick Valiquet Issue 107

Densités Festival. Fresnes-en-Woëvre, France. October 23-25, 2009.   A rural French hamlet in the Lorraine countryside isn’t the setting you would imagine for a world-class festival of unadulterated Electronic and Free Jazz music. Yet the Densités Festival in Fresnes-en-Woëvre—population five hundred—about eighty kilometres[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Ken Waxman Issue 107

Decibel Festival. Seattle, Washington. September 24–27, 2009. Decibel is an annual international electronic-music and visual-arts festival celebrating its sixth year, which it did by expanding its programming with stacked line-ups within genre-themed showcases, creating some scheduling conflicts and dilemmas of choice for audiences.   The[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Andrea Ayotte Issue 107

X Avant Festival. The Music Gallery, Toronto. October 21–25, 2009. The fourth X Avant Festival at Toronto’s Music Gallery was entitled Convergence and Collaboration. As noted in gallery artistic director Johathan Bunce’s program notes, the theme was “inspired by ambient music forefather Brian Eno’s idea of ‘scenius,’ .[...] Read more

Concerts and Events David Dacks Issue 106

Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music. Washington, D.C. September 22–27, 2009. Musicologists love to remind us how utterly primal and universal their subject has proven to be. They point to bone flutes and other instruments turned up at the earliest proto-human excavation sites and to the failure among anthropologists to find a single culture, present or past, bereft of[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Richard Sheehe Issue 106

Guelph Jazz Festival. Guelph, Ontario. September 9–13, 2009.   The annual Guelph Jazz Festival is always populist. In its sixteenth edition, it extended its support of outdoor improvisation, plus interaction between Third and First World musicians without lessening its commitment to Free Music. Much of the outstanding music making came from the[...] Read more

Concerts and Events Ken Waxman Issue 106