Nick Storring. Music from Wéi 成为. In 2017, choreographer Yvonne Ng commissioned Nick Storring to compose music for a piece with five dancers to be performed at the Banff Centre, a circumstance requiring Storring to depart from his characteristically dense works with multiple layered instruments. His solution was a tape piece[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 143

Gordon Grdina. Oddly Enough: The Music of Tim Berne. During COVID-19 lockdowns, Brooklyn-based Tim Berne began sending idiosyncratic compositions to Vancouver guitarist Gordon Grdina. As soon as one of the interpretations was recorded and emailed back, Berne dispatched another. This back-and-forth continued for a year until enough music was[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 143

Eucalyptus. Moves. Moves is the sixth release from Eucalyptus, a group of Toronto-based jazz and improvisation veterans led by alto saxophonist Brodie West (Musicworks 128). The ensemble’s personnel has remained relatively stable over the years, with West, keyboardist Ryan Driver, trumpeter Nicole[...] Read more

Recordings Lawrence Joseph Issue 143

Esmerine. Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More. Esmerine is a group of Montreal multi-instrumentalists with sonic and historical ties to peers like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Set Fire to Flames, and Thee Silver Mt. Zion, and with a virtual universe of sounds in their arsenal. On their seventh album, core members Rebecca Foon, Bruce[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 143

Katelyn Clark & Isaiah Ceccarelli. Landmarks. Modern eras, Umberto Eco suggested, have revisited the European Middle Ages ever since they ended. His own novel The Name of the Rose illustrates that point; so does the so-called early music revival. Katelyn Clark, heard here playing continuo and portative pipe organs,[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 143

Allison Cameron. Somatic Refrain. In the cover story of Musicworks 122, Nick Storring addressed the “beautifully puzzling” quality of Allison Cameron’s work, illuminating her music-making through its informed acceptance of her elusiveness and its grasp of her fascination with sound. Somatic[...] Read more

Recordings Julian Cowley Issue 143

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

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