For the next few months, we will be hearkening back to the early days of Bug Incision, where the evenings are shuffled ad hoc groupings of 6-8 musicians in a given evening, playing short pieces grouped into three sets from 7-10pm.
Devin Friesen is a central figure in Calgary's fringe-leaning musical community, known mainly as a guitarist working in the post-Sonic Youth 6-string landscape. Over the years he's honed his sound into a malleable and responsive set of techniques, pedal settings, conceptual procedures, held together with a robust improvisor's aesthetic. His solo project Bitter Fictions has a pile of great LPs, CDs, and cassettes available, all via his own imprint, Shaking Box Music. He can also be found playing in the Friesen-Waters Duo, alongside saxophonist Nate Waters.
David Laing was present for the birth of Bug Incision back in 2005, as a member of the Bent Spoon Trio, who issued their debut recording as the first Bug Incision Records release. During that area he was highly involved with Bug Incision and Calgary's free improvisation scene, eventually moving this activity aside in favour of singing and songwriting for the acclaimed group Lab Coast, who've released a number of LPs, CD, 7"s, and cassettes, and recently toured Europe and the UK. His playing on the alto sax, Laingdon, and melodica is spacious, idiosyncratic, and highly malleable, making him an ideal player for this type of situation.
Rob Oxoby is a double bassist who has - luckily for us - been appearing with increasing frequency on the Bug Incision stage, with his group Not Now, Hamelin, and also in various ad hoc scenarios. He's known for his work with Muerte Pan Alley and the Bobby Kork Orchestra, and performed last year alongside master guitarist Joe Morris in a duo and trio (with Eric Hamelin). Morris and Oxoby also cut a duo record at Arch Audio studios, which will be released on Bug Incision Records this year.
Nathaniel Schmidt is primarily known as a pianist of excellent caliber, having worked extensively in Calgary's classical music communities, covering the entire gamut thereof, dipping into everything from choral work to chamber groups. Last year, along with Nate Waters, Chris Dadge, and Mark Limacher, Schmidt took the reigns in starting the composer-performer ensemble Nobody Say Anything, which played their debut show last year a Festival Hall, and is currently planning a release for this year. He is a member of Signs & Letters, a cross-provincial collaboration of electronic compositions, also holds the position of president of Kensington Sinfonia, 30 year stalwart of the Calgary Baroque string ensemble scene.
Lisa Cay Miller is a pianist based in Vancouver, who, it turns out, is originally from Calgary and hasn't played here in some time. She is the managing artistic director of Vancouver's seminal, long-running NOW Society, is an internationally renowned composer, and played with a long list of fellow improvising stalwarts, including Audrey Chen, Nicole Mitchell, Butch Morris, John Zorn, Ig Henneman, Wilbert de Joode, and many more. Of her piano playing, the Globe & Mail wrote “If the new improvisational movement means to convey the spirit of jazz without reiterating its stylistic clichés, then Vancouver-based pianist Lisa Miller deserves to be considered one of its leading lights.”
Chris Dadge is a multi-instrumentalist mainly known for his work as a drummer and percussionist, primarily working in the fields of rock and pop music (Lab Coast, Chad VanGaalen, Alvvays) and free improvisation (Bent Spoon Trio/Duo, Midnighties, Eric Chenaux, Joe Morris, Mats Gustafsson). While often seen performing on various configurations of drums and percussion, he has also been spotted playing guitar (in XL Hippies and on Bent Spoon Duo recordings), trumpet, and violin, the latter of which he'll be using on this night. He has operated Bug Incision since its inception in 2005.
Nate Waters is a multi-reedist with a strong penchant for the saxophone. He is one of the city's more wide-ranging hornsmen, equally at home in jazz scenarios with his own groups and countless sideman gigs, classical music, and pop & rock (with his sadly-defunct combo The Cable-Knits). He is one half of the Friesen-Waters Duo with Devin Friesen, and is a key member of the Bug Incision administrative team.
Eric Hamelin has been at the epicentre of Calgary's various creative music worlds for the better part of two decades now. His primary focus is drums and percussion, with which he routinely whips up a fantastic racket. He is a member of the free jazz-loving trio Not Now, Hamelin, maintains a duo of mostly potential with Chris Dadge (called either XL Hippie or Cryingsnice), was a member of the raucous jazz-beating Nomoreshapes duo/trio, and holds down the drum chair in Ghostkeeper and Sleepkit, two of Calgary's more genuinely out there groups.