Intersection, the annual multi-day festival celebrating musical experimentation, takes place this year on Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 3—events take place on Friday at Soybomb (156 Bathurst Street), and on Saturday at Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Street East).
A joint project of Contact Contemporary Music and Burn Down The Capital, Intersection unites the creative energy of Toronto-based musical artists, ensembles, and collectives with special guest artists. Described by David Dacks in Musicworks magazine as combining “the diverse aesthetics of the now legendary Police Picnic… and Bang On A Can’s casual yet radical presentation of contemporary music”, Intersection truly is a festival that presents music from every direction. Through installations, improvisations, compositions, performance pieces, and more, Intersection connects both active and passive audiences with contemporary music making.
Co-presented with The Music Gallery’s Departures Series
NYC based guitarist, saxophonist and composer Elliott Sharp has been straddling the lines between composition, improvisation, and genre for over 30 years. An early adopter of computers as a tool in both live performance & composition, his works plays with ideas based in fractal geometry, fibonacci numbers, and chaos theory, among other things. Sharp has collaborated with such mavericks as Christian Marclay, Nels Cline, Zeena Parkins, Jack DeJohnette, Sonny Sharrock, Debbie Harry, Bachir Attar (Master Musicians of Jajouka), and most recently actor Steve Buscemi. Their duo recording “Rub Out The Word”, a tribute to writer/artist William S. Burroughs comes out September 2nd. Elliott will make a rare appearance in Toronto to perform a solo guitar set and present some of his string quartet compositions. His guitar work pulls from jazz & blues traditions, while making use of extended techniques. Sharp moves from textural guitar drones, sprinkled with blues inspired meanderings, full of wavering notes, and spectral highs, to a ripping free shred session, sounding at times like glitched out electronics. Shifting gears his frantic finger tapping, almost conjure the essence of funk, but the angular notes quickly move into a more noise punk dominated territory. Easily one of the most versatile & engaging guitarists and composers of our time.
THIN EDGE NEW MUSIC COLLECTIVE
Adventurous boundary pushing contemporary ensemble founded by Cheryl Duvall and Ilana Waniuk perform string quartet by Elliott Sharp. This arrangement of Thin Edge will include Ilana Waniuk and Suhashini Arulanandam on violins, Rachael Abramoff on viola, Dobrochna Zubek on cello and Nathan Petipas on percussion. They will also be joined by Sharp to preform his piece “Mare Undarum”. The rest of the program will include “Light In Fog” and “Homage James Tenney” for string quartet, and Flexigons for string quartet & percussion.
Toronto avant garage punk trio The Soupcans keep the good times rolling. Growling vocals flounder like a child’s head in a bowl of milk & cereal. Blubbering & yelping over spastic angular guitar movements, that lurch & bounce forward over slamming drum beats & locked in bass grooves holding on for dear life. Layers of languid fuzz slosh over everything. From super speed slop singles to swaggering bastard ballads, these maniac junk partiers take garage rock to the next level.
Plus a panel discussion focusing on the role contemporary classical music plays in the worlds of popular music (rock, blues, jazz, etc) and vice versa. In a world where musical forms & genre are becoming increasingly entangled, where do we see new music in the future? Moderated by Jerry Pergolesi and featuring Elliott Sharp, Ilana Waniuk, and others.
A day of performance and interactive installations taking place in the heart of Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square from 2-10pm. Robert Everett Green of the Globe and Mail describes the event as “a marathon of sound in the middle of traffic.”
ABSOLUTELY FREE with CONTACT
Toronto kraut inspired trio Absolutely Free collaborate with contemporary classical ensemble Contact in this rare live performance. Contact has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary classical music, reaching out into the avant-garde, rock & jazz worlds. Having recently released a recording of Brian Eno’s “Discreet Music”, as well as Toronto composer Allison Cameron’s “A Gossamer Bit”, this collaboration is an obvious next step. Absolutely Free, mutating their minimalist informed krautrock structures into a large ensemble format with Contact is something not to be missed. Expect dips into deep repetitions, swirling subdued textures hovering in the air, hidden layers of sound bubbling to the surface. Prog constructs take a relaxing trip in space where they spread their languid limbs. Flourishes of more confronting drum & guitar collaborations exist in pockets rising & falling into synth lines & bleeping electronic patterns. Synthesized pulses coarse through organic structures that ebb & flow like distant currents.
NYC Saxophonist/Composer Travis Laplante (of Battle Trance, Little Women) brings his solo jams to Toronto. For those not familiar with his work in spiritually abrasive & transformative sax quartet Battle Trance, Laplante is a serious heavy hitter. From quiet meandering rhythms, and luscious curves of sounds to explosive blasts of saxophone white noise, Travis displays the utmost control and restraint. Only letting the intensity raise to a blistering level, when he is sure the complexities presented earlier are understood. The air through his horn is like an unholy creature escaping the womb, it has a voice of it’s own that is hardy human, yet it’s scratchy growls and buzz of distortion are eerily familiar. A highly unique player to say the least, creating some of the most beautiful, emotional and visceral solo music around. This performance is not to be missed.
Brainchild of cellist/bassist Cory Latkovich, Imaginary Flesh is birthed from the half alive corpse of Clarinet Panic, featuring percussionist D. Alex Meeks (Hooded Fang, Holiday Rambler), saxophonist Karen Ng, guitarist Rob Greve, Andrew Collins on synth, and Lisa Conway (L CON) on electronics. Densely packed revolving forms reminiscent of krautrock, but also tapping into modern minimalist composition, Imaginary Flesh picks up where Clarinet Panic left off. Brutally engineered, free wheeling abstractions, clusters of structure in constant battle amongst caterwauling texture. A seriously heavy ensemble of minimalist shred kraut!
KYLE BRENDERS’ ENSEMBLE
Saxophonist & composer Kyle Brenders bring his large format electro acoustic ensemble out for another run after their jaw dropping set at this years Somewhere There Festival. Featuring a real who’s who line up of Toronto’s avant whatever scene, including Ben Grossman (hurdy gurdy,electronics), Germain Liu (percussion), Peter Lutek (clarinet, electronics), Karen Ng (alto sax), Cheldon Paterson (turntables), Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet), Nick Storring (cello, electronics), Brandon Valdivia (drums), Doug Van Nort (electronics), and Brenders himself (saxophones). Kyle weaves this group through humble melodic phases amidst unsettling drones, minimalist distortion & electronic noise. Diving deep into a murky swamp like environment of low hums and buzzing electronics like flies, Brenders conjures a world full of ominous movement. On the other side of the spectrum screeching reeds almost mimic their electronic counter parts in anticipation for a cacophonous burst.
Bryan Bray’s ever mutating drone / doom / sludge / metaphysical ensemble Gates creates slow building soundscapes that seem to swallow everything they encounter. Guitar drones swell, riffs becomes static noise, growling electronics. Percussion clatters in a relentless chamber of dissonance. Haunting strings cut through the clouded walls of feedback, only to build their own. Bass notes ripple like corrugated metal. The creation of a true behemoth, but not without beauty. This performance will include an expanded ensemble featuring Karen Ng, Nick Buligan, Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Heather Sita Black, and James Beardmore.
Ottawa cello & voice duo juxtapose sparse foreboding landscapes with rich minimalist influenced romantic phrasing. Their aural ranges interact like dancers in the throes of an intense performance. This music is cautious, but adventurous. Heather;s vocals soar but never to far out of reach for Raphael’s bowed cello notes, that weave & hum in her presence. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a beautiful performance in an apt environment.
MICHAEL SNOW & MANI MAZINANI
Both Snow (Wavelength, New York Eye & Ear Control, CCMC, etc.) & Mazinani (Gravitons) come from a visual arts and music background, having worked with countless materials, approaches, and forms, they perform together both playing CAT synthesizers. This abrasive yet entrancing duo creates a new language as they dance with each other in what feels like a sonic battle. The grand scope & versatility of synthesis is reduced as both improvisors have all the same tools. The focus becomes their own capacity to create and engage in what often seems like a caustic storm of notes, morphing in mid air.
Toronto avant garde anti-legend Brian Ruryk is easily one of the cities best kept secrets, Ruryk has been manipulating the concepts of sound since the 80’s. Free jangled guitar notes spray over a live collage of junk percussion & chaos. Tape samples squeal out amongst herky jerky clatter of Ruryk’s eclectic set up. Much like the coming together of puzzle pieces in a way in which they do not fit, then experiencing the process in which the puzzler, instead of sorting the pieces, just cuts & mangles them to create a new image.
ELLIOTT FIENBERG’S SOUND SPAGHETTI
Sound Spaghetti was created to help younger audiences learn about the fundamentals of synthesis by encouraging free play. Using a tactile interface, users experiment by plugging in various waveforms and seeing how these combinations change the shape on the oscilloscope. The system was created as a capstone project for OCAD University’s Digital Futures program, where it was an audience favourite at the school’s graduate showcase. It aims to be the first cardboard synthesizer which is open source and hackable. Elliott Fienberg’s interests sit at the intersection between new media and sound art. Through his projects and initiatives, he aims to bring awareness to the importance of sound in our everyday lives.
This event would not be possible without support from