Peggy Lee. Echo Painting. Composer and cellist Peggy Lee has made major contributions to Vancouver music. She’s active in free-improvisation and chamber-music settings and much between and beyond; however, her identity grows much more distinct in her roles as bandleader and composer. She regularly leads octets[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer

Melody McKiver. Reckoning Melody McKiver is an Anishinaabe musician, dancer, and intermedia artist with a background in classical music, whose broad and adventurous palette also includes jazz, blues, hip-hop, and contemporary classical music, performed primarily on solo viola and laptop. The music on Reckoning was[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 130

Jean Derome. Résistances. While his previous conceptual works, like Canot Camping, conjured paddling through streams, Jean Derome considers waves and currents of a different kind on Résistances—a paean to the hum, crackle, and fizz of electricity. After receiving its premiere at the 2015 Festival[...] Read more

Recordings Lawrence Joseph Issue 130

Eric Chenaux. Slowly Paradise. Slowly Paradise is a particularly apt name for Eric Chenaux’s latest album. Listening to its gently swaying rhythms and mellow, watery tones feels like watching a creaky musical barge float slowly down a southern river, or a folk trio kept to a barely languid pace by the weight of the[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 130

Togetherness! Togetherness! The Montreal-based band Togetherness! injects a shot of jubilant foot-patting rhythm into free-form improvisation. The band splashes a couple of trumpeter Ellwood Epps’ high-spirited compositions into the swirling pool of free-jazz, high-life, second-line, and brass-band creations that[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 130

Éliane Radigue. Occam Ocean 1 The French composer Éliane Radigue has moved through various stages in her career. After working as an assistant to electronic-music pioneer Pierre Henry, she started using controlled feedback to create pieces. She worked with synthesizers for a considerable time, then decided to have[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 130

Keiji Haino and John Butcher. Light Never Bright Enough. It’s not unusual in improvised music to find unlikely partnerships onstage. English saxophonist John Butcher and Japanese singer-guitarist-percussionist Keiji Haino might seem like such a pair. Much of Butcher’s work is refined exploration of the saxophone’s sonic[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 130

Matthew Bailey's Camargo (self-released) On two recent albums, Toronto multi-instrumentalist Matthew Bailey taps into the imaginations of digital-age dreamers. Camargo, a solo release, and Vol. 1, a release by ES + MB, Bailey’s improv duo with Edwin Sheard, differ aesthetically. The former is filled with angular electronic[...] Read more

Recordings Laura Stanley

Ensemble SuperMusique. Les porteuses d’Ô. In its first twenty years under founders Danielle Palardy Roger and Joane Hétu, Montreal’s Ensemble SuperMusique has established itself as Canada’s most broadly exploratory midsize ensemble (here numbering thirteen), investigating and combining contemporary composition,[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer

Tyshawn Sorey. Verisimilitude. Depending on where you find him, Tyshawn Sorey might appear as a jazz drummer (the Vijay Iyer Trio or the group Paradoxical Frog, with Ingrid Laubrock and Kris Davis), as a new-music percussionist, a multi-instrumentalist (playing piano and trombone) or as a composer. Like George Lewis (with[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 129

Steve Roach. Structures from Silence. Since the mid-2000s, a lot of ambient music has been moving into increasingly abrasive and gothic territory—at times even cozying into the coffin right next to doom metal. The recent reappraisal of New Age music, on the other hand, has brought some welcome sweetness and even humour[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Rasmussen, Dorji, Damon. To The Animal Kingdom. To these ears, the most exciting improvised music—regardless of its temperament—carefully balances surprise and stability. The strongest performances of this work tend to maximize the friction between compulsive change and the urge to establish a clear, communal sound world[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129