Intersection, the annual multi-day festival celebrating musical experimentation, takes place this year on from Thursday, August 31st through Monday, September 4th—events take place on Thursday, and Friday at The Jam Factory (2 Matilda Street), on Saturday at Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Street East), and on Monday at Allan Gardens (19 Horticultural Ave)

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.

THE JAM FACTORY (2 Matilda St)
8 PM, $10/$12/$15

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Co-presented with The Music Gallery’s Departures Series

NYC based experimental metal guitarist and composer Mick Barr straddles the worlds of metal, free improvisation, and contemporary classical, with his intricate, and angular playing style. Barr builds jarring yet trance like forms out of repetitive shredding. Piercing notes vibrate with intensity, as Mick’s hands merge with the guitar. An uncanny attention to detail both challenge & enthrals as brutality becomes beauty. Know for his work with American black metal band Krallice, as well as an extensive collaborative and solo practice that has seen the release of over 100 recordings, Barr is an integral piece of the contemporary avant-garde scene. He has collaborated with Zach Hill (Death Grips, Hella), John Zorn, Jon Irabagon, Marc Edwards, and Zeena Parkins to name a few. Don’t miss this rare performance featuring some of his Octis work, as well as a new solo guitar piece!

Adventurous boundary pushing contemporary ensemble founded by Cheryl Duvall and Ilana Waniuk perform three chamber pieces by Mick Barr including the world premiere of his string quartet “Quroten”. This arrangement of Thin Edge will include Ilana Waniuk and Suhashini Arulanandam on violins, Rachael Abramoff on viola, and Amahl Arulanandam on cello. The rest of the program will feature string trio “Fothem” and “Lordlore” for violin, cello, and featuring Cheryl Duvall on piano.

Brampton’s Droid skillfully meander through the conventions of what it means to be a heavy metal band, while defining their unique voice. Merging elements from prog, jazz & thrash with more methodically slow & psychedlic sections Droid create enthralling songs draw you into the void. Technical ripping guitar riffs spiral as if echoing out into space. Percise drum patterns keep languid guitar notes floating in some sonic swamp, until they release in a thrash fury. One of the most cohesive yet versatile bands Droid creates a brutal & haunting soundtrack for a post-apocolyptic sci-fi fueled world that is just as relevant today as it will be when that world become a reality.

Plus a panel discussion focusing on the concepts of brutality, intensity, and the commonality between metal and classical music  In both genres brutality and intensity is something that can be accomplished through, volume, repetition, speed, fullness and randomization or a guise of it. These & many other techniques are applied in both metal & forms of contemporary classical music. This paired with a lean toward virtuosity both enthralls and eschews audiences. This panel will include cellist Amahl Arulanandam of Thin Edge, composer Bekah Simms, Exclaim! & Noisey writer Sarah Kitteringham, and guitarist Tyler Semrick-Palmateer of experimental metal band Mare. 

THE JAM FACTORY (2 Matilda St)
8 PM, $15/$20

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LA/Toronto ensemble of violist Eyvind Kang (John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Secret Chiefs 3), vocalist Jessika Kenney (ASVA, Wolves In The Throne Room), suling player Andrew Timar (Evergreen Club Gamelan), tombak player Pedram Khavarzamini (Varashan), and tar player Araz Salek perform together for the first time in this rare concert appearance. This newly formed quintet explores the intersections between Persian and Indonesian (Javanese and Sundanese) musical traditions. Vocals, strings, flutes, and percussion interweave in a deep rooted tapestry, creating an inherently contemporary sound, while never letting the tradition or technique slip away.

Folk doom trio featuring bassist Lucas Gadke (Blood Ceremony, Gates), violinist Laura C. Bates (Gates, Fresh Snow, Del Bel), and percussionist Jimmy P Lightning (Do Make Say Think) merge distorted strings with thundering percussion. Hard treble screeches out over crushing bass, and blood curdling vocals. Sounding like some funeral march anthem from the fiery pits, group vocals unite in an occult hum. Borrowing from post rock, and folk traditions but using the obliterating language of their doom metal forefathers, Volur helps you become one with the flame. They will unveil a special acoustic set for this show! CVLT.

Plus a panel discussion: Until recently it could be argued that artists had some sense of their audience—anticipating the setting for an audience experiencing their work, and being able to make assumptions about the shared cultural knowledge of that audience. The accessibility and immediacy of most any musical output today shatters the façade of a  homogenous audience. Listening habits, and loyalty to a musical category are never guaranteed. How does this influence the intentions and decision-making of the artist who seeks to connect with an audience, either directly through a live experience, or indirectly through online and other spaces? How do artists seek to build audience, and what do they want to offer to that audience? Is the term “audience” sufficient, or do artists see their role as fashioning a community through their practice? For that matter, is there is difference between “audience” and “community.”
The accessibility/immediacy of musical output also results in the ubiquity and ease of (un)intended influence, inspiration, borrowing, and appropriation. How do artists engage respectfully with art/artists from other traditions? How does attribution and collaboration function in present-day musical creation and presentation? While imitation and borrowing are sometimes presented as gestures of admiration for a musical tradition, when should artists curtail their enthusiasm in relation to a particular tradition/sound/culture?

2 PM -10 PM, FREE

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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.”

Dialectica Sax Quartet – 2:15 – 2:45pm / Stage 1
The Visit – 3:00 – 3:30pm / Stage 2
Jason Doell & Xuan Ye – 3:45 – 4:15pm / Stage 3
Northumbria – 4:30 – 5:10pm / Stage 1
Kristina Guison – 5:25 – 5:55pm / Stage 2
Carl Didur – 6:10 – 6:40pm / Stage 1
Meridian – 6:55 – 7:25pm / Stage 3
Contact – 7:40 – 8:20pm / Stage 1
Conventional Weapons – 8:35 – 9:05pm / Stage 2
Wolf Eyes + MV Carbon – 9:20 – 10:20pm / Stage 1


9:20 – 10:20pm / Stage 1

Detroit noise cum trip metal unit Wolf Eyes touch down in Toronto to drip some of their psycho-jazz slow burners with special guest NYC cellist & sound artist MV Carbon. Wasted guitar jams meander amoungst crippled electronics. Layers of distortion give blistered songs a new meaning, as maligned vocals crawl through the thick air. Foreboding sparsity creates spiritual unrest. Languid sax shreds like the sound track to some lost Twin Peaks episode. Gnarled psych riffage curls back on itself. A not to be missed mind destruction unit.

4:30 – 5:10pm / Stage 1

Drone duo Northumbria build celestial soundscapes with bowed guitar & bass tones. Capturing them as they ripple through crushing amplification the duo create an almost serene landscape of pedal twisted frequencies that roll over you like the rising fog. Desolate notes seem to stretch out forever over some barren landscape. Smooth waves of dissonance feel like the soundtrack to Dark City. Guitars emit a silky growl amidst the haunting almost synthesized whispers Northumbria has conjured up.

6:55 – 7:25pm / Stage 3

Electro acoustic percussion trio Meridian (Tim Feeney, Sarah Hennies, and Greg Stuart) re-imagines the way we approach rhythm. Using the drum as just another object is a collection of various pieces of metal, wood, and other resonant items they create a language is tenuous scrapes, vibrating whispers, and subtle trance like pitter pattering. Precise drones make way for more rambunctious textures, as drum heads shift & quake. Driving rhythms are born out of improvised noise-scapes. Sounding larger than life Meridian explores the infinite and minute sonic possibilities in their array of objects.

7:40 – 8:20pm / Stage 1

Toronto contemporary classical ensemble feels more like a rock band, or a group of avant jazz experimentalists. In a time of melting genres & lost classification Contact is a show in. This year at Intersection they will perform pieces by NYC composer Elliott Sharp, Toronto visual & sound artist Johan Seaton, and Intersection founder Jerry Pergolesi.

6:10 – 6:40pm / Stage 1

Part of the mastermind behind Zacht Automaat and Fake Humans, electronic manipulator & synthesizer Carl Didur creates equally as brilliant & encompassing solo compositions. Glowing organ tones hum over eerie tape loops & vibrating synth tones. An electronic wizard from a lost century. Toronto’s best kept secret?

3:45 – 4:15pm / Stage 3

Toronto composer / guitarist Jason Doell, and electronic artist Xuan Ye (APA) team up to unveil some song based material that sees them dabble in the louder end of the sonic spectrum. Expect the dissonance & abstract beauty present in both of their compositional work to make an appearance here. Balancing on the edge of chamber music & noise / electro-acoustic music both Jason & Xuan pull together these often disconnected, but not to dissimilar universes.

8:35 – 9:05pm / Stage 2

Toronto meets Buffalo duo of Colin Fisher (drums) and Tristan Trump (guitar) unite two nations with their free form psych fuel energy. True instrumental maverick Fisher brings his unique merger of chaotic & spiritual vibrations to the kit, while Tristan creates intricate guitar loops, melting together the past & present.

3:00 – 3:30pm / Stage 2

The Visit, comprised of cellist Raphael Weinroth-Browne and vocalist Heather Sita Black, is a musical dialogue that transcends genres and idioms. Combining the structures and instrumentation of classical chamber music with the emotional and rhythmic weight of metal, their lengthy, through-composed pieces conjure sonic worlds in which listeners can immerse themselves. With a rare combination of virtuosity, emotional intensity, and genre-defying innovation, The Visit is making their mark on the international stage as they forge a musical path all their own.

5:25 – 5:55pm / Stage 2

Sound artist Kristina Guison presents a version of her sculptural sound piece “Landing” at Yonge-Dundas Square. Using pieces of sheet metal Guison builds a tenuous structure, where each piece informs the others sonic abilities. Bowing the structure extracts writhing tones, and hollow vibrations. As the pieces shift so do the sonic properties. Clusters of wayward frequencies escape from this temporary cell. The sculpture’s twisted death cries waver until the final bow forces collapse.

2:15 – 2:45pm / Stage 1

Shannon Graham (tenor sax), Chelsea McBride (baritone sax), Olivia Shortt (alto sax), and Samantha Etchegary (soprano sax) blur the lines between jazz and classical traditions. Both Graham and McBride sit in the composer’s chair along with Javier Vazquez, who all also write for Spectrum. Dialectica sees the group play with latin themes, minimalism, and not to mention dipping into new age territory at times. Leaving the idea of genre at the door they are able to traverse a varied musical landscape. Keeping a cohesive voice through a their playful voice & dialogue.

1 PM – 4 PM, FREE

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Plant Music for Allan Gardens Conservatory:

Four composers will present music they have written for the plant life inside the green houses at Allan Gardens. Join us for a free afternoon of music & botanical enjoyment featuring:

Toronto kraut synth manipulator Castle If will be accompanied by a string trio for this special performance.  She will play “Sansevieria Trifasciata” from her Plant Material recording, plus 2 new pieces for the plants of Allan Gardens! Castle If extracts eerie tones from repetitive electronics. Her haunting soundscapes belong in some heavenly cold storage locker. Vocals almost hidden, slither amongst synth hums. The cold gurgling of the future, mixed with some entrancing nostalgia that won’t let you go.

For this performance psych dance mashup master JFM gets into the ambient zone with his new piece “Greener Grass”. Culled from manipulated and sampled 90’s new age CDs, intermingled with field recordings JFM creates a meditative soundscape for the plants of Allan Gardens. Live sampling of the green house sonics will further embed this piece into it’s environment, as JFM prunes his piece to perfection.

Storring (Picastro, I Have Eaten The City) leads a small ensemble through a series of specially-composed open-ended compositions geared at interacting with the environs of Allan Gardens.

Canadian vocalist/ composer Laura Swankey is known for her versatility, creativity and musical open mindedness. With extensive shows and festival appearances nation-wide, she has worked with artists such Juno award-winner Mike Murley, Mark Feldman, Poet Laureate Dennis Lee, Christine Duncan and Ralph Alessi, and premiered works by Juliet Palmer, Elio Villafranca and Mike McCormick. Laura has three upcoming releases in 2017: the sophomore album with feminist avant-garde improvising ensemble Jazz Bras, Volume II with Toronto’s Collective Order, and an album of original music recorded live at the Rex Hotel with her quartet. As an active member of the Toronto scene, Laura continues to focus on fully exploring imagination within her voice; to exploit its capacity in both raw and processed settings

This event would not be possible without support from

Canadian HeritageCanada Council For The Arts, Ontario Arts CouncilToronto Arts CouncilSOCAN Foundation, The City of Toronto, Wellington Brewery, Psiphon, and Yonge Dundas Square.