- 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