03_60_improvisasionsVarious Artists

Association of Improvising Musicians of Toronto AP-04 (www.aimtoronto.org)

David Sait (b.1972), the Brampton/Toronto experimental guzheng (zheng) improvising musician and the curator of this album, has “sewn together back-to-back… sixty innovative, forward thinking musicians from all over the World.” Each of them has provided a sixty second performance identified by their own unique musical voice.

While one expects a conceptual and aesthetic musical framework around such a curating job, this unique CD has in addition a fascinating numerological frame. The organisational principal of the number sixty is evident on several levels: sixty musicians performing for sixty seconds each, carefully compiled and arranged into ten tracks comprised of ten suites of six musicians.

Moreover the resulting journey is not a simple smorgasbord of individually recorded solo improvisations. It is rather a reaffirmation of David Sait’s long-term project: to forge links between performers of experimental and traditional global musical languages. The inclusion of performers from North and South America, Europe and Japan implies a kind of emerging global community of improvising musicians. For Sait’s future projects, I would like to propose the inclusion of musical voices from the rest of the world.

The mind-boggling variety of instrumentation included on this CD already serves to blur traditional and experimental musical genres. Solos on church organ, “rubber glove bagpipes,” cello, gong, piano, signal processor, oud, Theremin, tar and “field recordings” are among dozens of different instruments. Leading Toronto free improvising musicians Michael Snow, John Oswald and Joe Sorbara present characteristic virtuoso gestures, but there are too many musical highlights and quirky moments to mention in a single review.

Listening to this CD is a satisfying international armchair sonic expedition. There seems to be something for almost every musical taste here – and if you encounter something too sonically trenchant, you can relax knowing that in less then sixty seconds you will be entering yet another new personal sound world to explore.

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