The artists in the Winter 2019 issue are connected through the sonic mycelium of Musicworks! Order the Winter issue now.


Buffy Sainte-Marie's Illuminations

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Illuminations is one of the most sonically beguiling, technologically groundbreaking, and undeniably brilliant albums of the 1960s folk era. Sadly, it failed to find commercial success upon its release in 1969 and has yet to receive widespread appreciation fifty years later. Though many musicians, avid listeners, and critics consider it their favourite title in Sainte-Marie’s extensive discography, the stories behind its innovative combination of acoustic and electronic sounds remain untold . . . until now. To investigate the album’s origins, Jesse Locke spoke to Sainte-Marie and some of her collaborators, including unheralded Buchla-synth pioneer Michael Czajkowski. To discuss the pervasive influence of Illuminations from its cult status through to tp the present, Jesse talks to Indigenous experimental artists Cris Derksen, Raven Chacon, and A Tribe Called Red. God is alive, and magic is still afoot.

Baroque to the Future

Delving into the relationship between instruments and musicians, writer Sara Constant speaks with three Canadian artists who use baroque-era instruments in fearless ways. Montreal viola da gamba player Pierre-Yves Martel speaks candidly about his improvising practice, where he brings together harmonica and treble viol to carve out sparse, unearthly harmonies. Montreal viola and viola d’amore player Jennifer Thiessen talks about her love for historical tools, and the moments in her life where early music, contemporary chamber music, and free improvisation intersect. And in Toronto, pianist and harpsichordist Wesley Shen explains the intimacy of the sound of the harpsichord, and shares contemporary works for the instrument that draw out its most expressive qualities. The artists recall first encounters with period instruments—and negotiate the implications of bringing historical tools for music-making into the experimental twenty-first century.

Julia Kent

Vancouver-born, New York–based cellist and composer Julia Kent has built an impressive career as a solo artist and in-demand collaborator and session musician—beginning in the late 1990s as an original member of the cello-driven goth-pop outfit Rasputina, through her work in the early 2000s with the baroque-pop group Antony and the Johnsons, and guest turns with freak-folk artist Devendra Banhart, singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright, and no-wave stalwarts Swans among others. For her solo albums—released on imprints Important Records and the Leaf Label—Kent uses loop pedals to layer cello lines and incorporates field recordings to explore thematic concepts; the songs on her most recent album, Temporal, were originally written for dance and theatre pieces. Toronto writer Michael Rancic talks to Kent about her creative journey from Vancouver to New York, the learning process behind her compelling solo music, and the expanding scope of her collaborative work, and Rancic also checks in with a few of Kent’s collaborators, including Berlin-based Canadian musician Aidan Baker.


Saskatchewan-born, Japan-based Tim Olive moved from indie rock into more experimental / improvised music and is committed to creating spaces and opportunities for improvising musicians from different backgrounds to collaborate . . . 
San Francisco-born, Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist Tosca Terán is collaborating artistically with algae, physarum polycephalum, and mycelium, translating biodata from non-human organisms into music . . .
Electroacoustic composer Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi gets busy . . .
Saxophonist Bea Labikova expresses the sonic geography of her time in Qikiqtaaluk in words, image, and music . . .
Check out Indonesian experimental label Hasana Editions.
And reviews of recent Canadian and international recordings as well as the fourth annual Calgary New Music Festival.
Musicworks 135 CD  
1> Buffy Sainte-Marie Poppies
2>  Tosca Terán The Dye Maker
3> Julia Kent Crepusculo 
4> Tim Olive, with Doreen Girard Boro, excerpt 
5> Tim Olive, with Takuji Naka The New Attractive, track 3
6> Pierre Yves Martel Estinto, excerpt
7> Jennifer Thiessen, with Ida Toninato L’aurore 
8> Wesley Shen toile de jouy (composed by Monica Pearce)
9> Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi The Starts and Stops 
10> Bea Labikova Akshayuk Pass 
© all rights reserved