|Gallery 4 Christopher Cauley (soprano sax) and Joe Sorbara (percussion) faced each other on a slightly raised platform against a large and luminous video backdrop at MOCCA, 954 Queen Street West. All the time, Sorbara firmly related his tom-tom and cymbal sounds to Cauley's hard-blowing, cyclical statements.
Gallery 6 Paul Petro Multiples & Small Works, 962 Queen Street West, had Ken Aldcroft seated by himself in the small space, playing electric guitar. I felt then and I felt afterwards that Aldcroft was one of the highlights. Frankly, his extended sounds were sometimes brittle and downright unattractive, but he always played the core of the music. In the case of a Monk tune, he whammed away on the end notes, nice and appropriately dissonant. His playing was uncompromising.
Gallery 7 Anne Bourne (cello and voice) and Matt Brubeck (cello) droned and oscillated and Germaine Liu (percussion) counter-rhythmed on small cymbals placed on the floor of Propeller, 984 Queen Street West. Anne Bourne sang/chanted in this modal world while bowing her cello; cellist Brubeck was a felt presence.
Gallery 8 Two voice artists Toronto's Christine Duncan and Vancouver's DB Boyko delivered a visual and theatrical performance at the Ontario Craft Council, 990 Queen Street West. It was like stepping right into the middle of an actor's scene in progress. DB Boyko occasionally emitted twittering sounds from her largely impassive and controlled face in reaction to Christine Duncan who was slightly bent forward from the waist and supplying a series of near-taunting drones. It was a highly watchable sound performance.
Gallery 9 Gallery TPW, 56 Ossington Avenue, featured a robust tenor sax (Paul Newman) in duet with a mobile yet grounded acoustic bass (Michael Herring). Think Jimmy Garrison with Coltrane.
Gallery 10 I arrived at Xpace at 58 Ossington Avenue to hear Kyle Brenders' rugged tenor sax winding down to keyboardist John Kameel Farah's high twinkling notes hanging in the air.
Gallery 15 Engine Gallery, 1112 Queen Street West, hosted a finely interactive trio of Rob Piilonen leading and pushing on flute, Wes Neal fluently sympathetic on bass, and Tiina Kiik on accordion, deftly filling in the spaces and emitting occasional high drones.
Gallery 16 Loop Gallery, 1174 Queen Street West. The relentless, biting line of John Oswald on alto was paired with Ronda Rindone's screechy provocations on bass clarinet. In an interesting bit of theatre, the seated Rindone turned her back to Oswald and even moved further away from him, all the while responding and taunting on her bass clarinet. Near the end, the two players filled the gallery with the sounds of a conference of birds.
The concept of Music (in) Galleries was recently explained to me by the trombonist, Scott Thomson: He said it was a representation of all the music you can't hear if it's playing in all the galleries. I loved it.
I'm glad I got to hear so many of Toronto's finest creative improvisors.
Thanks to all the improvisors and the galleries. I definitely hope there's a 3rd year for Music (in) Galleries.