The CEE presented the Steiner Lecture in Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University on February 26, 2020. The event, moderated by Prof. Alexa Woloshyn, provided background on current members and some individual takes on the creative process.
It seems like only yesterday (actually, it seems like a hell of a long time ago) that the CEE presented its first-ever concert to a large group of startled, bemused and enthralled junior-high students in the spring of 1972. Our plans to celebrate have just begun, but the centerpiece will be a 5-album set featuring unreleased material from the intervening years, new projects and new individual projects from all the current members. Given the time-honored traditions of such an august group, there will have to be at least one major performance and subsequent drink-em-up, but the shape of said event will depend on how soon we escape the COVID cave. Stay tuned, or logged on, or whatever it is you kids say today.
While we’re discussing things historical, check out David Jaeger’s concise history of new music in Toronto in the ‘70’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3aHkaMsVAk
PS: a closing historical note. To our American friends: condolences on the events of January 6 and following, and a gentle suggestion: if you are going to insist on having Republicans, please ensure they come equipped with spines.
Whole Note Magazine, Toronto’s go-to for news about musics old, new and in-between, asked David Jaeger to recap our residency at Carnegie Mellon University and it’s COVID-inspired result: the PtT Project (Pass the Track). You can read it here: https://www.thewholenote.com/index.php/newsroom/feature-stories/30319-lessons-learned-from-the-cee-s-covid-era-experiences
After the high of the CMU residency, we returned to Toronto at the end of February just in time for the Coronavirus crisis. As the reality of social isolation and physical distancing set in, we decided to try doing some music while maintaining our isolation. The result: the PtT project. Here’s the order of track creation for each part of the project.
- PtT-1: Paul, John, Jim, Rose, David J., David S.
- PtT-2: Jim, David S, Rose, David J, John, Paul
- PtT-3: David S, Rose, David J, John, Paul, Jim
- PtT-4: Rose, Paul, John, Jim, David S, David J.
- PtT-5: John, David J, Paul, David S, Jim, Rose
- PtT-6: David J, Jim, David S, Paul, Rose, John
Here’s two of the resulting projects; PtT-1 and PtT-5 with visuals by Intrepita (Paul Stillwell). Enjoy.
PtT-5 was initiated by John, followed by: David J (Darth), Paul, David S. (Suds), Jim (Mudfish) and Rose (band rule; you have to be over 60 to have a pseudonym). Everybody hears the tracks as they’re produced and can then think about a response. John’s stark opening vocal track was a shoku. By the time it got to me, Darth, Paul and Suds had each taken the project in new and deeper directions. What could I add to an already rich project? I decided to relax, and just – breathe. Paul’s video is the exhalation of our combined inspiration – or something.
It was an intense, eye-opening, tremendously satisfying four days, beginning with rehearsals with the Exploded Ensemble in the magnificently equipped Media Center and ending with a concert in the equally well-equipped Kresge Theatre. A great treat was the addition of the brilliant improvising violinist Pauline Kim Harris (whose concert with Jesse Styles, guru of the EE, packed the club where they performed the previous evening. Pretty cool scene in Pittsburgh). We were very pleased that the concert included, as well as our collaborations with the EE, beautiful performances of Larry Lake’s Psalm for oboe and tape with Hannah Senft as soloist and David jaeger’s Sarabande for viola and live delay processing with violist Sara Frankel. Along the way, we collectively presented the Steiner Lecture in Creative Inquiry and four workshops:
Rose Bolton: Electronic Music making for Women and non-binary Individuals
John Kameel Farah: Approaches to Piano Improvisation
David Jaeger and Jim Montgomery: Composing with Electronic Instruments
Paul Stillwell and David Sutherland: Modular Synthesis 101
The CEE concert performances and our collaborations with the EE are being prepared for release. We’ll let you know.
Rose Bolton was back from her very productive leave of absence just in time to prepare for our residency at Carnegie Mellon University in February. David Sutherland has become an integral voice in the group and so the full sextet set off to Pittsburgh in February. Some amazing music happened in and around the seminars and workshops especially our collaborative performances with CMU’s Exploded Ensemble. The results of those sessions are being prepared for release.
October 13 was such a good time we can’t wait to get the new band at it again. This time we’re “at” the Southern Cross Room of the Tranzac, 10PM, Tuesday, October 24. PWYC. If you haven’t been to the Tranzac, this is a great chance to experience one of Toronto’s staunchest supporters of serious improvised music. As an example, the Tranzac hosts the Toronto Sound Festival, November 26 and 27, a can’t-miss for Electro-heads. Great beer, too.
Info here: https://www.tranzac.org/
Or see their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/
The Canadian Electronic Ensemble was founded in 1971. It is the oldest continuous live-electronic group in the world. As we begin our 46th year, there are some new faces, and some older ones. Here’s a chance to get acquainted and re-acquainted with the CEE.
Friday, October 13, at 8:30PM, at the Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph Street. This will be the first appearance of the Quintet in Toronto, or in fact, anywhere. Get in on some history being made in the up-close-and-personal Chalmers Performance Space.
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
The CEE is: John Kameeel Farah, David Jaeger, Jim Montgomery, Paul Stillwell, David Sutherland.