Upon arrival in Edmonton, I vowed to jump into the city’s music life, and the experimental/sound art scene in particular. I’d contacted my earlier acquaintances in the area, Shawn Pinchbeck and Gary James Joynes, to let them know I was here for any future happenings. So when I found out about SONAR, at the University of Alberta Museums Enterprise Square Galleries, it was a sonic treat I couldn’t refuse. The exhibition featured sound projects through recordings, interactive environments, and installations referencing noise, electroacoustic, experimental and minimalist sound art practices. And Shawn, Gary and Scott Smallwood were performing as Trio Latitude for the opening! I brought my camera and took some pics and video of the show. I didn’t get much time to view the artwork on display, but it did fuel some excitement for what kinds of inspired projects are being made – like cassette tape work from Parker Thiessen and accordions in various environs by Raylene Campbell. Afterwards, I went for celebratory beer and food with Trio Latitude and I spun a few Newfoundland tales. They all said they were glad to see me in Edmonton, and I couldn’t agree more.
So, January 15th saw lots of movement and music for me with the culmination of many weeks of improv dance rehearsals. The 4th year BFA actors Movement class had a final performance at the University of Alberta, and I provided electronic music to accompany three improvised dance numbers. I was initially invited by my friend Gerry Morita from Mile Zero Dance, who was part of a revolving door of equally awesome Improv Choreographers for the course, including Jeannie Vandekerkhove and Amber Borotsik. I loved the idea of creating evolving compositions for the students to vibe on, as I’d been interested in exploring music for dance. Everyone was really receptive to the idea, and provided some good feedback on the direction I would eventually go with it. I utilized layers of percussion, atmospheric keys, glitchy effects, abrupt playback speeds, and vocal captures from a microphone. Big thanks to Aiden Ware and Andrea Murphy for tech assistance, Dance Choreographer Marie Nychka for the love, and finally to Joe, Maxwell, Dylan, Kabriel, Nikki, Morgan, Natalie, Bobbi, Hunter and Zvon, who kept me on my toes and made it a pleasure every day to be a part of it all. Great show!
Below are a couple of vids I was able to take of two of the improvisations. Enjoy!
The Kid was burnin’ at the closing night of the Lawnya Vawnya Festival, which may be the reason there were oven mitts for sale at the merch table. I’m speaking of Eric San, a.k.a. Kid Koala, who I’ve been anticipating for weeks. I’ve long been a fan of this unconventional turntablist, and quite frankly the guy’s a wizard. So it was fantastic to see him perform in my hometown, to a packed house. And being a fan, I managed to get a few snaps and vids of the moment. And the best part was the fact that I took with me my copy of his new record, 12 bit Blues, got his autograph, had a nice conversation, and gave him some of my music, too. That made my night. He’s a super nice guy, and gave me some cool things to think about. I may end up in Montreal yet. Regardless, it is really satisfying as an artist to get the chance to see others who have influenced your own creations. Other performers who have done it their own way, and are successful with their art. And having fun with it. Smile.