Witch Prophet. Gateway Experience Discovery and understanding are tenets of the work of Witch Prophet, aka Ethiopian-Eritrean Canadian musician Ayo Leilani. Her 2020 album DNA Activation was a prism reflecting the range of the African diaspora experience. On her third album, Gateway Experience, the Toronto-based artist[...] Read more

Recordings Leslie Ken Chu Issue 145

Spektral Quartet, Julia Holter, and Alex Temple. Behind the Wallpaper Behind the Wallpaper occupies the unknown space just before a transformation is complete. Inspired by composer Alex Temple’s gender transition, the album explores themes of renewal and realization and is performed by Chicago’s Spektral Quartet and singer-songwriter Julia Holter.[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 145

Rasmussen / Flaherty / Rowden / Corsano. Crying in Space Mette Rasmussen is a Danish alto saxophonist who has worked in diverse and distinguished contexts, including Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra and the all-star multinational quartet Hearth. Here she joins Connecticut-based saxophonist Paul Flaherty, a free-jazz warrior whose wily name for[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 145

Éliane Radigue. 11 Dec 1980. Quatuor Bozzini. Éliane Radigue: Occam Delta XV. In approaching the work of French composer Éliane Radigue, one is recommended to let go of any preconceptions of what music should sound like. The music moves outside the realm of rhythm patterns, melody, and fixed pitch, with slow and subtle changes in sound and in the layering of[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 145

Roxanne Nesbitt / Ben Brown / Marielle Groven. Play Symbiotic Instruments A brief note accompanying the latest record from Montreal free-jazz purveyor Small Scale Music highlights things before players: The titular “instruments,” we read, represent “a collection of resonant objects and systems played by an ever-evolving group of musicians.[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 145

Erin Rogers and Alec Goldfarb. Earth’s Precisions Within the lineage of improvised guitar-and-saxophone duo recordings, Earth’s Precisions sets itself apart with its stated aim: exploring a single simulated hybrid of the two musicians’ instruments. Across five expansive tracks, saxophonist Erin Rogers and guitarist Alec Goldfarb[...] Read more

Recordings Patrick O’Reilly Issue 146

Zeena Parkins. Lace Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Zeena Parkins was not initially inspired by lace, finding it “too ornate, too bourgeois, not [her] thing.” Despite this, she would collect bits of lace, among other textile treasures, from fabric stores on her travels. In 2008, on a[...] Read more

Recordings Monica Pearce Issue 146

Pantayo. Ang Pagdaloy Originating centuries ago in the southern Philippines, kulintang music is played on a set of brass gongs strung on a cord, sitting on a wooden resonator and hit by wooden mallets. Each gong has its own tuning and timbre, and players usually improvise over set rhythms with additional gongs[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 146

Pierre-Yves Martel. Mer Bleue: Music for Solo Viola da Gamba Adapting and altering the parameters of an instrument first created in the fifteenth century, Montreal’s Pierre-Yves Martel creates a brief (under twenty-five-minute) sound picture of Mer Bleue, a sphagnum bog near Gloucester, Ontario where he often hikes. No watery or moss-like[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 146

Lune très belle. Ovale Ovale, the second full-length album from Montreal-based composer, singer, and writer Frédérique Roy, defies reduction: Its tendrils are too vast, its heart so pure, its moments never completely passing. Across eleven tracks, Roy and company unfurl a series of dulcet compositions[...] Read more

Recordings Andrew Patterson Issue 146

Darius Jones. fLuXkit Vancouver (i̶t̶s̶ suite but sacred). In the early 1960s, Fluxus artist George Maciunas began assembling fluxkits: small boxes containing everyday objects alongside interdisciplinary works by his peers in the movement. These unique collections allowed everyone who opened a package to experience their own art event. During a[...] Read more

Recordings Jesse Locke Issue 146

François Houle Genera Sextet. In Memoriam The loss of Vancouver International Jazz Festival founding artistic director Ken Pickering in 2018 was difficult to process for those who knew him. François Houle Genera Sextet’s new release, In Memoriam, gives cathartic, yet celebratory, closure. Ken would have approved.[...] Read more

Recordings Kerilie McDowall Issue 146