2017 events:

  • SUNDAY, MARCH 5, 2017
    The Vintage Room (2nd floor of The Grand: 608 1 St SW)
    Doors 7:00pm, show 7:30-10:00pm
    $5 cover, all ages

    After a sleepy start to the year, the Bug Incision concert series is back in action. First up in 2017 is a handful of shows surrounding Joe Morris, a world-class guitarist, improvisor, and educator who is currently in the midst of a residency at the University of Calgary (see past Bug Incision posts for info on his free classes and workshops). We're excited to once again be presenting in The Vintage Room, which is the tiny room just adjacent to the second floor bar in the Theatre Junction/GRAND building on 1st street downtown. Attendees of the amazing Tatsuya Nakatani solo concert last August will remember it fondly.

    It's hard to know where to start with a figure like Joe Morris. As a top-tier guitarist, bassist, and composer, he's one of the most consistently visible members of the world of contemporary free jazz and improvisation, well-known for his own groups (featuring the likes of Mat Maneri, Gerald Cleaver, Luther Gray, Steve Lantner, and Jim Hobbs), his trio Eloping With The Sun with Hamid Drake and William Parker, and collaborations with other titans of the music, such as Evan Parker, Nate Wooley, Anthony Braxton, Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe and Mat Maneri, Rob Brown, Raphe Malik, Ivo Pearlman, Borah Bergman, Andrea Parkins, Whit Dickey, Ken Vandermark, DKV Trio, Karen Borca, Eugene Chadborne, Susie Ibarra, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell, Roy Campbell Jr., John Butcher, Aaly Trio, and more. He's also an educator, currently a faculty member at the New England Conservatory's jazz and improvisation department, and is the author of the fantastic book "Perpetual Frontier - The Properties Of Free Music" (Riti, 2013). 

    His website has lots of info to offer:

    And you can get started with his Bug Incision trio disc from a few years back:

    It feels right to start off the year with a statement from the two main figures behind the scenes at Bug Incision, Chris Dadge (percussion) and Jonathon Wilcke (reeds). The duo has been slowly sharpening their approach to the sax & drums lineage, offering a tense, tactile flow of ideas and exchanges. Their debut disc is forthcoming on Bug Incision.

    http:// www.bugincision.com/ chrisdadge

    Pianist and composer Mark Limacher performed on the very first documented Bug Incision concert, way back in May of 2006 (keep your eyes peeled for the long-awaited release of that recording soon), so it is with great pleasure that we have him back, some 11 years later, this time with partner in crime, violinist Laura Reid. Reid has under her belt eight years as a member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, a key organizational role in Classical Revolution Calgary (a group that focuses on presenting high-quality classical music in non-traditional venues), and a long list of genre-jumping collaborations. Limacher plays with a staggering variety of different projects, encompassing stints with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Theater Calgary, and the Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble. As a composer, his compositions highlight an "acute attention to the creative process and the discovery of new means of experimentation within the act of composition itself, in addition to exploring ideas such as of 'found music', patterns, silence/waiting, repetition, and grids." His pieces have been performed in the United States and Canada. 

    Aside from their burgeoning activities in the worlds of jazz, classical, and pop music, the two have recently extended their reach in Calgary music scene via their CJSW 90.9FM radio show "Unprocessed" (5:30-7:00 on Thursday mornings) and, with increasing regularity, have also been making the scene as a duo, working with an eclectic selection of contemporary pieces. 

    http:// www.marklimacher.com/

  • SUNDAY, APRIL 9, 2017
    The Vintage Room (2nd floor of The Grand: 608 1 St SW)
    Doors 7:00pm, show 7:30-10:00pm
    $5 cover, all ages

    The year's second show is once again being crammed into the lovely, small/cosy room in Theatre Junction's GRAND building on 1st street downtown. Joe Morris is still in town, and we're thrilled to present him here again, a second helping for those who caught the March show, and a second chance for those who missed it. He'll be joined by Rob Oxoby, and then they'll be joined by Eric Hamelin. On top of that, there is one act who will be playing the BI stage for the first time, and another that will be playing under this guise for the first time.

    It's hard to know where to start with a figure like Joe Morris. As a top-tier guitarist, bassist, and composer, he's one of the most consistently visible members of the world of contemporary free jazz and improvisation, well-known for his own groups (featuring the likes of Mat Maneri, Gerald Cleaver, Luther Gray, Steve Lantner, and Jim Hobbs), his trio Eloping With The Sun with Hamid Drake and William Parker, and collaborations with other titans of the music, such as Evan Parker, Nate Wooley, Anthony Braxton, Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe and Mat Maneri, Rob Brown, Raphe Malik, Ivo Pearlman, Borah Bergman, Andrea Parkins, Whit Dickey, Ken Vandermark, DKV Trio, Karen Borca, Eugene Chadborne, Susie Ibarra, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell, Roy Campbell Jr., John Butcher, Aaly Trio, and more. He's also an educator, currently a faculty member at the New England Conservatory's jazz and improvisation department, and is the author of the fantastic book "Perpetual Frontier - The Properties Of Free Music" (Riti, 2013). 

    His website has lots of info to offer:

    And you can get started with his Bug Incision trio disc from a few years back:

    Bassist Oxoby first entered the Bug Incision radar a good handful of years back, with his then-group the Bobby Kork Orchestra. Somehow we never managed to make it happen, but since then he's continued popping up in some of the more interesting corners of the music world around town, whether it's as a member of Muerte Pan Alley or as one third of the Not Now, Trio, with Eric Hamelin and Jonathon Wilcke - a group who made their BI debut last December and positively tore it up. He will play in duo with Morris before being joined by Hamelin for a trio.

    A longtime fixture of Calgary's music scene, especially in the more fringe-related sectors, Hamelin is well known in town for his work with rock acts like Sleepkit, Ghostkeeper, Chad VanGaalen, and noisier pursuits such as No More Shapes (with Jay Crocker), Crun (with Eddie Dalrymple), and Not Now, Trio (with Jonathon Wilcke and Rob Oxoby). His elegant touch on the tin & tubs is often augmented with crazed electronics, junk, and contact mics, a heady mixture that is well-showcased in his killer solo sets. 

    Jack Sinclaire has been popping up on Bug Incision bills for the last couple years, appearing with bands like Duet (with drummer Andrew Lehman) and solo project Returnals, and this is the BI debut of his most recent endeavour. Focusing on minimal acoustic-derived improvisations for mandolin and mixer, the intimate environs of the Vintage Room will provide an ideal setting for these hushed investigations. 

    Check it:

    Very excited to witness this new project by two very active members of Calgary's music and art scenes. From the duo:

    "Part of an ongoing live sound performance by Kerry Maguire and Gwen Morgan. Crafted from field recordings, drum beats and live synthesizer, it is a project that incorporates audio from in around each space it is performed, playing on memory, deja vu and melding contemporary electronic music with experimental audio. 

    Gwen Morgan and Kerry Maguire are artists and musicians from Calgary, Alberta. They both pursue individual art practices as students at the Alberta College of Art + Design, and have collaborated on many audio and sculptural installations. They have also played in several bands together, including Juice Box and Crims & Flow. "

  • SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2017
    (The New) EMMEDIA Screening Room - 2005 10 Ave SW
    Doors 8:00pm, show 8:30-11:30pm
    $5 cover, all ages

    After another slow few months, we are happy to be back in action, with our debut show at the new Emmedia space. Also very excited to be presenting Craig Pedersen once again, this time with his hot new duo.

    This Montreal-based duo is comprised of the amplified clarinet and trumpet of Elizabeth Millar and Craig Pedersen, respectively. The latter is known around his home base of Montreal for his work with his own Quartet/Quintet (which freejazzblog.org calls "a wonderful mix of clever composition and free jazz"), a collaborative ensemble called Dusk Scored Dark, and formerly was one half of an intriguingly eclectic country-chamber-jazz duo called It's A Free Country, which prompted Stuart Broomer at The WholeNote described as "consistently playful, imaginative work that’s somehow true to both the emotional directness of country music and the oblique abstraction of current improvisation, just not at the same time." Australian-born Millar counts Joane Hétu, John Oswald, and Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh (Instant Places) among her collaborators, she's spent time studying with the great Canadian clarinet maestro Lori Freedman, and she actively works to pursue her vision of sound through acoustic sounds and amplified textures. The duo recently inaugurated a new record label Mystery and Wonder (https://mwrecs.com/) and here is their own description of what they do:

    "A duo featuring the hollowed-out sounds of Elizabeth Millar and Craig Pedersen on amplified clarinet and trumpet, Sound of the Mountain comes from a strong history of improvisation and extended performance techniques, offering their audience long-form deep listening experiences through the sculpting of vitalized breath.

    Drawing influence from the works of Pauline Oliveros, Keiji Haino, Toshimaru Nakamura, and Isabelle Duthoit and Franz Hautzinger, Sound of the Mountain’s debut album Amplified Clarinet & Trumpet evokes a vast range of textures, from silence and spaciousness to rumbling bass and saturation. The duo works with closely-mic’d instruments and minimal equalization, avoiding the use of effects pedals and loops, such that their constant physical attention drives the music. The whistles and creaking of metal and reed anticipate the more dense moments of distortion and feedback in pieces that can be appreciated as discreet moments, or longer forms."

    http://soundofthemountain.com/ || https://www.facebook.com/soundofthemtn
    https://www.craigpedersen.com/ || https://vimeo.com/218864294

    A brand new trio comprised of Eric Hamelin (drums, percussion), Cody Oliver (double bass), and Chris Dadge (violin). While these three have certainly played a lot together in different groupings, and probably even together in larger ensembles, this specific trio has never sat down in a room together, and certainly never with this relatively unusual instrumentation. Dadge, usually known for his percussive explorations with Midnighties, Wilcke/Dadge duo, et al, has used the violin on a semi-regular basis over the last decade, but never as a dedicated third in a trio. Similarly, Oliver is no stranger to the bass, having made many outings on one in the 90s, but the Lyle Pisio-assisted return of the beast to his life is somewhat recent, and the terrain is fresh still.

    http://www.bugincision.com/chrisdadge || http://www.bugincision.com/midnighties

    Another in a long and wonderful line of conceptual gambits from Calgary's long-running saboteur of the straight and narrow, Mark Fleischhaker. He's joined this time once again by the similarly wide-ranging musical omnivore Eric Svilpis. Mark's been steadily carving out one of the most extensive and unique bodies of work - in video, recordings, and the live performance realms - of anyone in Calgary, with projects such as Lord Something, Faster Disco, Terrible Crayon, countless ad hoc collaborations, and more. Svilpis is currently burrowing deep into his solo project Cytokinesis, and also works with the bands Ghost Factory and As Above. Direct from Mark's typing fingers:

    "It's a tribute to Mr. Bungle, in particular the album 'Disco Volante'. The whole piece is based on their live 1992 version of "Everyone I Went To High School With Is Dead", pre-'Disco Volante'. Here's what our first rehearsal sounded like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QIeNB3JROA"

    McHugh House: 1515 Centre St S, Calgary, AB T2G 2E6, Canada
    Doors: 8pm / First Set: 8:30pm / Done by: 11pm 
    Cover: $5 / All Ages: Yes

    One-off show at the cool new McHugh House - at the intersection of Centre Street and 17th Ave South - featuring a trio of returning performers to the Bug Incision stage. (And a last-minute addition!)

    Devin Friesen and Nate Waters need little introduction to Calgary's fans of forward thinking musical actions, and to wit appeared at the recent Sled Island fest, and dropped a hot new album on Friesen's Shaking Box imprint (watch out for some exciting news from them very soon). With Friesen's heavily FX'd guitars and Waters' pure columns of air and key manipulation (sax), the two perform a sort of musical dry humping, nudging and pushing at each other's sonic areas, slowly working towards achieving a sort of precarious commingling. They've been at it for some time, and it sounds good. 

    http://www.natewaters.ca/ | https:// shakingboxmusic.bandcamp.co m/

    Nikki Reimer and Jonathon Wilcke perform arrangements of poetry that combine verbal and instrumental sound. Using the formal structure of poetic texts to suggest improvisational strategies, the duo play with the possibilities of meaning that arise when sound and sense meet in general disarray and inky darkness.

    In addition to being a saxophonist and general humanoid, Jonathon Wilcke plays “ludic instruments,” a collection of flutes, whistles, tubes, clay pots, and invented instruments that he uses for vocal accompaniment. Wilcke is a mainstay in the Calgary free improvisation scene who plays regularly as a soloist and with the groups Not Now, Hamelin (Wilcke, saxophone/Eric Hamelin, drums/Rob Oxoby, bass), the Dadge-Wilcke duo (Chris Dadge, drums), and with the Westwinds Jazz Orchestra. He has appeared on stage with Darren Williams (saxophone), Dave Chokroun (bass), Kevin Romain (drums), Joe Morris (guitar), Mats Gustafsson (saxophone), Eugene Chadbourne (guitar), Bruce Freedman
    (saxophone), and Han Bennink (drums) at least once, but never all at the same time, and as regularly as the space-time continuum allows.

    Nikki Reimer is a carbon-based life form residing on the traditional territories of the Treaty 7 people of Southern Alberta (Calgary). She writes poetry, non-fiction, and criticism, yells on the Internet, and makes digital art. She has published two books of poetry, including [sic] (Frontenac House 2010), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Downverse (Talonbooks 2014). Her writing also appears in a number of journals and anthologies. She is also a founding member of the Chris Reimer Legacy Fund and is the host of the Calgary chapter of the Dinner Party.

    The solo vehicle for Danny Milanese, hailing from the slightly more northerly environs of Ponoka, Gel Nails is the most current iteration of this fascinating artist's musical output. He recently participated in Gerry Morita's improv-based collaborative installtion 'RV There Yet?' in Calgary, and we've been fans of his work for what must be close to a decade, enjoying his previous guises (among them Ultra Bon Bon and others) on a semi-regular basis at the now-defunct Discord series (Bug Incision's electrifed spirit series-brother from the old Emmedia heyday). If you're lucky, DM will hopefully have some of his artwork for sale as well. Always a treat to see this outfit.

    A last minute addition to the bill, we're very pleased to be once again presenting the solo music of Jordon Hossack, this time under the current Ram Hoss moniker. Hossack performed countless times, almost always unamplified, at countless Bug Incision shows back at ol' Weeds, and while his bill-mates were usually knob-twisting electronicists or free jazz groups, he sat alongside them naturally thanks to his highly moment-specific performance style and ecstatic songwriting style. Since his move to the west coast a few years ago, we haven't had the pleasure of seeing him do his thing, so don't miss it.

    EMMEDIA Screening Room (2005 10 Ave SW)
    Doors 8:00pm, show 8:30-11:30pm
    $5 cover, all ages

    Settling in for the next four months at our favourite screening room around, the mighty Emmedia, getting ever more comfortable in its great new space over on 10th avenue SW.

    The duo of Jason Wierzba and Dan Wilson are back for their annual appearance on the Bug Incision stage. Their past shows have featured a constant (JW's rabid guitar playing) and a variable (DW's combinations of drums, cymbals, guitars, and FX - not sure what he's planning for this round), and this time they're adding another element to the mix: the one and only Cody Oliver, joining them on double bass. While Oliver has been on the scene in Calgary for years (appearing with the Midnighties, MOP Trio, and others), his presence as a double bassist is relatively new, and watching his rapid development on the beastly violin has been fascinating. Expect some intense and scrabbling improvising from some of the city's lynchpins of the creative music scene.

    We had the pleasure of witnessing these two in action earlier this year at the Vintage Room, opening up for some of that fondly-remembered Joe Morris action. Kerry and Gwen play an intriguing mixture of synths, field recordings, and minimal beats, and offer a confusion of time and space by piping in recordings of the performance room itself. A keen observer might also recognize these two musicians from their work together in local units such as Juice Box and Crims & Flow.

    Very pleased to be presenting a project by excellent Calgary drummer Erik Allen, who will be joined by bassist Aaron Scholpp. This will not be the first time these two have played together - they have logged many hours as a rhythm sections for busy groups such as the Northern Beauties and John Rutherford & The Big Blues Trio, and this will be their first appearance on the BI stages. Erik's description for this project is as follows:


    Two organisms, that when placed together in an external environment, improvise a response resulting in sound. Organism #1, Erik Allen is a dynamic drummer and percussionist and Organism #2, Aaron Scholpp is an expressive bassist and guitarist. Each of the organisms are active musicians on the Calgary music scene. Nature vs Nurture. The duo conjure soundscapes based on their implanted urban environments and the natural habitat of their homelands. Be part of the experiment and witness Stimulus-Response through the musical microscope."

    The latest incarnation of musical actions from one Jack Sinclaire, a musician who has appeared with regularity at Bug Incision events over the last few years, and is also frequently seen involved in other pockets of action around the city. Past projects include Duet (with drummer Andy Lehman), the solo project Returnals, and Aftertaste, an excoriating solo mandolin investigation. This new project will include Jack Sinclaire, Jesse Conradson, and Matt Purdue on a huge assortment of drums, sax, melodica, upright bass, guitar, electronic organ, keyboard, violin, mandolin and possibly more.

  • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2017
    EMMEDIA Screening Room (2005 10 Ave SW)
    Doors 8:00pm, show 8:30-11:30pm
    $5 cover, all ages

    Continuing on at the excellent new Emmedia space, we're pleased as hell to be presenting a solo set from of Canada's premier improvisors, some Bug Incision regulars, and a long-in-the-pipeline debut BI performance!

    BRODIE WEST (solo)
    To followers of fringe-leaning Canadian music, Toronto-based alto saxophonist Brodie West should need no introduction - for the last three decades, he's put in countless hours with various groups, solo projects, and other collaborations. Here at Bug Incision HQ, one of the first (then-)active Canadian groups we discovered exploring improvisation and the further reaches of jazz was a trio called Zebradonk, featuring none other than West himself (and also featuring Alfons Fear, who also collaborated with early Bug Incision recording artist Rachael Wadham - small world!). It soon became clear that this guy had also spent time in Holland, and cut a rambunctious record with Han Bennink to boot (who caught the feral set that he played with Bennink and Terrie Ex at the Ironwood a few years back?).

    Since then he's been pretty much consistently on fire - he was a key element of the amazing off-jazz quintet Drumheller and a member of Alex Lukachevsky's bizzarro jazz-pop combo Deep Dark United (both fixtures of the highly idiosyncratic and influential Rat-Drifting record label and surrounding scene), he counts membership in the Ornette-ish Lina Allemano Four and the incomparable Ryan Driver Sextet, and he can be heard as a guest on Broken Social Scene's classic You Forgot It In People album. And that's not even mentioning his own self-directed endeavours, such as the "avant-calypso" nonet Eucalyptus (check out their amazing run of limited 10"s on West's classy Lorna imprint), his dual-drummer quintet, or his trio with percussionist Anthony Michelli and bassist Rob Clutton. We highly recommend checking out his website for more info, and also this profile in Music Works magazine. Here's a few things to listen to:

    This duo has been working together since 2002, covering a fairly bewildering array of activities, including inaugurating Bug Incision itself back in 2005. Together, in the studio and on the stage, they have played rhythm section for countless artists around Calgary including Lorrie Matheson (with whom they co-produced his last solo LP), Rae Spoon, and Samantha Savage Smith, they swapped roles regularly in the original lineup of Lab Coast, they've done ad hoc work with dancers and poets, and, as the Bent Spoon Duo, they've acted as "house band" for many touring improvisors, including Peter Evans, Eric Chenaux, Eric Normand, Allison Cameron, Nilan Perera, and have also cut records with Cody Oliver, Jack Wright, Ellwood Epps, and more. Their work in "Bent Spoon Continuum" (ie the Ensemble, Trio, and Duo) was the impetus for starting Bug Incision, and they've released over 25 albums on labels from Canada, US, and UK. Additionally, they have performed and recorded as Mama Safari and the Deadly Winos. Scott Munro is primarily known these days for his work as guitarist/co-producer of celebrated indie rock titans Preoccupations, while Bug Incision overseer Chris Dadge is known as a live and studio drummer for units such as Lab Coast, Samantha Savage Smith, and Alvvays, and has been working increasingly as a producer-engineer in his home studio. The two can be seen performing together across North America and Europe this fall/winter as members of Chad VanGaalen & The Bleach Wipes.

    Mark Fleischhaker possesses one of the most unique musical visions in Calgary, and he has been doggedly pursuing, archiving, and presenting this work for around two decades. Since moving to Calgary in the 90s, MF has been seen as the vocal half of the song-title-driven drums & voice freakout duo Faster Disco (alongside a multitude of willing co-conspirators), a completely phenomenal drummer in free metal trio Lord Something (with Scott Munro and Chris Dadge), a guitarist and destroyer of things in I Can't It's Hailin', and as an amazingly supple ad hoc collaborator - highlights here include sets with Canadian improvisors pianist Tim Crofts and bass clarinettist Kathryn Ladano. Terrible Crayon is a solo affair, and is characterized by deft vocal FX manipulation, home cassette recordings of him and his family as children, and the trademark vocal bluster we've come to know and love.

    The solo project of one Ian MacLean, who has been stretching this project across a wide variety of incarnations, instrumentations, and approaches. Those checking in with MacLean for the first time will find themselves entering a fully flowing trajectory in progress; so far his discography spans eight releases on Bandcamp, some of which have manifested themselves as physical objects across a variety of labels. MacLean has been developing this project since 2010, and has worked with a variety of familiar Calgarians, including Josie Fraser (of Citadel, Fraser-Sereda Duo, Hatebomber) and Patrick Seager (Crack Cloud, Aleem Kahn, Sunglaciers), and the work covers a compelling spectrum of sonic identities. Key influence include Ben Chasny/Six Organs of Admittance, The Dead C, and a kinship with Japan's legendary PSF Records' aesthetic. This show will see MacLean presenting new music inspired by the late Romanian composer Ana-Maria Avram. Very excited to witness this Bug Incision debut.

  • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2017
    EMMEDIA Screening Room (2005 10 Ave SW)
    Doors 8:00pm, show 8:30-11:30pm
    $5-10 sliding scale cover, all ages

    An amazing double-headliner bill, featuring two of eastern Canada's hardest-working and distinctive musical voices, and a fresh new ad hoc grouping of some of Calgary's most willing improvisors. The "I" pronoun in these instances is that of Chris Dadge, for those who might be curious.

    At the beginning of 2017, I had the great fortune of attending the Open Waters festival in Halifax, and one of the highlights of the trip was surely our introduction to the music of Chik White, aka Darcy Spidle. As the man behind the much-loved OBEY Convention festival and a longstanding instigator of musical adventurousness, Spidle's name was not unfamiliar to me, but his stark, strange performance in the large and lovely Rebecca Cohn Theatre was a the very first taste of what is clearly a very personal and unique vision of music and performance. From his own website, Spidle describes himself and his history as well as we could hope to:

    chik white began in 2004 as my stage name for crust-punk band The Hold. That project lasted for five years and saw two full lengths, multiple singles/EPs, and a number of Canadian tours. I kept the chik white moniker for doom metal outfit Vennt and  art-damaged noise rock trio Attack Mode. I played drums in both bands. I also recorded under chik white for my experimental vocal project Shitcook, and I used the pseudonym for my role as an actor in Lowlife and a few short films.

    chik white music took a minimalist turn when I moved to West Chezzetcook, on the rural coast of Nova Scotia, in 2009. Around then I acquired a collection of handmade jaw harps and began a regular ritual of improvising on the instruments in natural settings, a ritual that continues on a weekly basis. Over time, my harp project morphed into experimental territory and has come to incorporate preparations, techniques, and performative elements that tease uncomfortable vocalizations from my mouth, throat, and lungs.

    My latest sound work involves processing locally-sourced field records into sound sculptures  and merging them with live vocal and harp improvisations mic’d at my windpipe. On occasion I also build instruments out of ocean refuse, as can be heard in my work from White Rabbit’s 2016 Artist Residency in Economy, Nova Scotia.

    As a jaw harp player, I’ve released seven albums on various labels. My work has been covered by The Wire (UK), Quietus (UK), Tiny Mix Tapes (US), Weird Canada (CA), Decoder (US), CBC 2 (CA), Canadaland (CA), Exclaim! (CA), among other outlets.

    He has an album coming out on the wonderfully oddball Massachusetts-based label Feeding Tube Records (home to such acts as Thurston Moore & John Maloney's Caught on Tape duo, reissues of legendary no-wave pioneers Mars, Chris Corsano/Paul Flaherty, and many more), which will be an essential purchase for fans of the fringe-leaning.

    Multi-instrumentalist Fisher first came to the attention of Bug Incision HQ more than a decade ago through his involvement in the seminal Toronto improvising trio I Have Eaten The City, alongside compatriots Brandon Miguel Valdivia and Nick Storring. Since then he's not only kept insanely busy with all sorts of different genre-blurring projects (about which more below), but he also seems to add a new instrument to his arsenal almost every time you look at his Facebook or Instagram feed. While many improvisors explore a multi-hued instrumental palette, often picking up winningly idiosyncratic - albeit limited - languages on secondary axes, Fisher seems to fully inhabit all of them, neatly sidestepping any notions of dilettantism and replacing them with an extremely high level of essential engagement with each one. When I first performed with him, in Toronto, in 2008 or so - alongside Simeon Abbott, as a guest in their group Lamp Chops - he was playing the ghuzeng, a koto-like Chinese instrument with non-fixed movable bridges and many strings ripe for plucking. The instrument itself was surprising enough, but even more startling was how good at it he was. A similar revelation happened again in 2012, when him and Valdivia were in Calgary with their killer duo Not The Wind, Not The Flag, in which Fisher essayed on guitar, tenor sax, and then also drums, on which he'd also had developed a highly unique style. Last I saw, he was - between posting some roiling, tasty drumming on his huge junker drumset - shredding on a newly acquired fretless guitar, conjuring some truly warped Terje Rypdal/ECM-ish glory..... Basically, the dude is a monster and he has a worthy thing to say on most instruments he touches. Here is a quick further overview, from his website, of some of his recent exploits:

    Fisher's collaborators include tabla player Victor Cirone, groove/improv trio Body Help; spiritual/free jazz duo Fake Humans with keyboardist Carl Didur (with whom he also plays in Zacht Automat); he released an album on Tzadik Records with Many Arms; plays drums with guitarist Tristan Trump in the improvised rock duo Conventional Weapons, plays saxophone in Craig Dunsmuir’s Dun Dun Band; plays in a free jazz quartet with NYC musicians Brandon Lopez, Marc Edwards and Daniel Carter; rides a free jazz trio with heavy younger cats Carl Testa and Mike Pride; and co-leads a NYC trio “Monas” with Kid Millions and Johnny Deblase, who recently released an album.

    In more ad hoc-oriented settings, Fisher has worked with Anthony Braxton, Dan Snaith's Caribou Vibration Ensemble, master bassist William Parker, Sabir Mateen, Rhys Chatham, Dominic Duval, Joe McPhee, Deily Mori, Tounkara, Larajii, Jah Youssouf, The Constantines, Slim Twig, Zones, Matt “doc” Dunn, and many others.

    In the grand and storied tradition of ad hoc groupings at Bug Incision, we are pleased to have this particularly fine crew of rippers coming together for the first time. Devin Friesen is in the top echelon of Calgary's finest guitar manglers, whether as part of his long-running solo act Bitter Fictions, or in Friesen-Waters, his killer duo with saxophonist Nate Waters. He's also issued a ton of great music on his Shaking Box Music imprint (including a hot new platter from veteran noise-niks Richard Youngs and Neil Campbell). Eric Hamelin is one of the core members of this city's improvising community, and has been for years, churning out great stuff in acts like Nomoreshapes (the fondly-remembered quasi-jazz trio with Jay Crocker and Ceri Jones), Crun (with guitarist Eddie Dalrymple), Caveaged (with modular synth-head and Bug Incision live recording maestro Brad Hawkins), XL Hippie (with Bug Incision's Chris Dadge), and more recently in Not Now, Hamelin, a "standards"-toting trio with Jonathon Wilcke and Rob Oxoby. His solo work is also extremely pleasing, and he brings a sensitivity and an awareness of tradition to the table that is sorely missing from many of today's players. Saxophonist Colin MacLeod is a new face to the Bug Incision world, coming to our attention via the his attendance at the excellent Joe Morris improvisation workshops during the latter's stay in Calgary earlier this year. A musically omnivorous player who cites an impressively eclectic blend of Ornette, Wayne Shorter, Chris Potter, and Johnny Hodges as his influences, MacLeod head is occupied with his "ongoing struggle to find and maintain the value of what I have to say on my instrument. [This] is what keeps drawing me back into the cycle of creating sound, textures and melody. Very excited for his BI stage debut. And rounding out this fresh quartet is double bassist Rob Oxoby, who is known around Calgary for his work with Not Now, Hamelin (described above), Muerte Pan Alley (with Bob Keelaghan and Joy Woolley), and recent duo and trio with Joe Morris and Eric Hamelin (a Lorrie Matheson engineered recording of the duo with Morris is due out on Bug Incision Records in the coming months).

  • FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2017
    EMMEDIA Screening Room (2005 10 Ave SW)
    Doors 8:00pm, show 8:30-11:30pm
    $5 cover, all ages

    The members of the Bent Spoon Trio - David Laing, Scott "Monty" Munro, and Chris Dadge - are the same three individuals who first started Bug Incision back in 2005 to release their first studio recording March 3, 2005. They played a lot during that era, all over Calgary and the west coast, and in the years that followed, they would occasionally pare themselves down to a duo - usually Dadge and one of the others - and soon it became often enough that the Duo was the norm rather than the occasional exception. (For further information on this genesis, please refer to the Free Music in Calgary: Bug Incision at 10 Years zine, soon to be back in print.) At a certain point during this time, the Bent Spoon concern played their last show as a three-piece, and it was only just December of last year that they reconvened, for the final show for the 4th street Emmedia. The show was enjoyable (stay posted for information on its release in the coming months) and they trio decided to keep the flame alive with a yearly December, holiday-time show.

    This year, Laing (saxophone and small wind instruments, mainly known for his frontman duties in acclaimed pop band Lab Coast), Munro (bassist/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire from Preoccupations, Chad VanGaalen, Mama Safari, and collaborations with the likes of Eric Cheanux, Peter Evans, and Nilan Perera), and Dadge (percussionist/multi-instrumentalist from Lab Coast, Chad VanGaalen, Midnighties, Alvvays, Mama Safari, collabs with players such as Mats Gustafsson, John Oswald, Joe Morris, and Bug Incision overseer) - will be joined by two guests.

    Rebecca Bruton is a composer, song-maker and vocalist. She characterizes her work as "understated, Surrealist folk music", and she specific areas of focus include sonic ideas that aestheticize tuning discrepancies, auditory illusions and other acoustic phenomena alongside of simple and surprising melodic structures. Her compositions have been performed by Quatuor Bozzini (Montréal) Momenta Quartet (New York), Quasar quatuor de saxophones (Montréal), Continuum Ensemble (Toronto), and she comprises one half of the vocal performance duo Moss Moss Not Moss (with Canadian-Icelandic poet angela rawlings), which recently presented original work at Tectonics Festival Glasgow. With Australian sound artist Alexandra Spence, Bruton co-founded Tidal ~ Signal, a Vancouver-based festival dedicated to women and trans-identifying artists working in experimental music. Rebecca is from Calgary but now lives in Banff, Alberta.

    Chad Vangaalen is one of Calgary's most cherished artistic exports, and is hot on the heels of the release of his sixth full-length album Light Information. The multi-instrumentalist/animator/artist has been issuing critically-acclaimed outsider pop albums via Calgary's Flemish Eye and the legendary Sub Pop records for the better part of the last two decades, and his instantly recognizable sonic and visual aesthetics are loved rightfully and passionately around the world. His contributions on this night will be drawn from his recent acquisitions from various music and junk shops found on his last few months of touring (with BST's Munro and Dadge) in Europe and North America.

    The second presentation of this stellar trio follows their 2016 performance, a boisterous, full-bodied affair if there ever was one. Before relocating to Calgary in 2012, Jonathon Wilcke (reeds) spent a long stretch in Vancouver, closely linked with some of the city's most interesting players - including Shane Krause, Darren Williams, Dave Chokroun - and the legendary 1067 venue. He's since then been working in various groups, including a duo with percussionist Chris Dadge (the two performed and recorded with guitarist Joe Morris earlier this year and have a duo record coming out in early 2018). Bassist Rob Oxoby and drummer/percussionist Eric Hamelin have appeared together a good number of times over the course of the last year; aside from last year's debut Not Now, Hamelin show, the two also played with Joe Morris and as part of an ad hoc ensemble at last month's show. They are known respectively for their involvement with such quality groups as Muerte Pan Alley and the Bobby Kork Orchestra, and Ghostkeeper, Sleepkit, Chad Vangaalen, Nomoreshapes, and Cryinsnice. This group freely and ruthlessly investigates all corners of their eclectic songbook, which includes pieces from Sun Ra, Steve Lacy, and others.

    We're super pleased to be presenting for the first time the ever-mutating solo act from Nick Dourado, a multi-faceted musician (and ex-Calgarian) currently based in Halifax. Dourado is known across the country for his work with a very healthy variety of ensembles, dipping into poppier waters with Century Egg and Special Costello, and covering collaborative duo work with drummer Nate Doucet (Heaven For Real) in Eddy and with saxophonist Andrew MacKelvie in xxvii. BUDI exists in formations that range from one-man sampler & sax action to bustling large band activity, and we're beyond excited to see what he'll be bringing to this night. For more info about Dourado, check out this excellent piece on him in Musicworks.

    A debut performance from this guitar duo. Guitarist and bassist (and photographer) Cody Oliver should be no stranger to Bug Incision watchers, having been closely involved with the label and concert series since nearly the beginning. He has performed and recorded extensively with Chris Dadge as the Midnighties, a slashing, clanging amplified guitar & drums duo; he's issued numerous solo albums, both compositions and improvisations, on Bug Incision Records and his own labels; and he's appeared over the years alongside luminaries such as Darren Williams, Eugene Chadbourne, Dan Meichel, and more. Evan Van Reekum has been an integral part of the Alberta independent music community for the past decade or so. As a label impresario, he co-ran the widely acclaimed garage/punk/psych label Mammoth Cave Recording Co. and more recently inaugurated the Wyatt Records imprint, home to acts such as Chad VanGaalen, Melted Mirror, and Lab Coast. Van Reekum has also played in a bunch of different bands over the years: the top among them was Fist City, a excellently brittle, nervy post-punk quartet with a few records and countless shows under their belts. He also logged hours with the Ketamines, Samantha Savage Smith, New Friends, Teledrome, and more. With all this in mind. it will be a pleasure to see what these two come up with on this fine night.