ambient//electronic//orchestral: Akio Suzuki, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman & Ando Laj

A while ago, I wrote a piece on Weird Canada about Sounds You Love / Sounds You Hate, a special exhibition and archival project performed for this year’s Vancouver New Music Festival. It reminded me that Japanese musician Akio Suzuki gave a solo performance for the festival and I wish I could’ve been there.

I’m quietly listening to this piece called Analapos (A-1) Opening Music For Yokosuka Museum Of Art from K7. The piece was commissioned by the museum to be played at opening and closing. It was recorded at the museum in 2007. You can just imagine the paintings blowing dust off themselves and the statues rolling their shoulders back.

Yesterday morning, I was listening to an old podcast of Toast and Jams, my old favourite CIUT show (it ended in December 2013). It opened with a few movements from Philip Glass’s soundtrack to Koyaanisqatsi (1982). Later that night while speaking to my boyfriend on the phone, I told him about how much I enjoyed hearing these compositions for the first time. Strangely enough, the movie was recommended to him earlier that morning by his friend Carol, the Director of Music at Wychwood Art Barns. I like weird coincidences like that; they make me feel like I’m on the right track.

Prophecies plays with tempo to great effect. The slow repetition of the organ feels like an interrogation and a funeral.

How to describe Einstein On The Beach? It feels like elbows plopped down on an organ while you nod in succession. “These are the days, my friends.”

Delectable, chewy strings in this Michael Nyman piece, Wheelbarrow Walk. It feels triumphant and brisk, like the windswept hair toss of a rebellious woman standing in the middle of a pale yellow wheatfield at dusk.

After working on various Weird Canada projects for the past few months, I’ve decided to start writing about music. It’s what I’ve been interested in for a while, but never been bold enough to try. I’m not sure why it was so intimidating for me, but I think it might have been the fact that I read WC for so long that it felt like an institution to me.

I’m currently working on a piece on Ando Laj (Andy Lajeunesse) a Toronto experimental electronic musician releasing music under Hacktivism, a Michigan-based label that focuses on breathing analog life into digital tracks. Here’s a track that I didn’t end up writing about; it’s excellent; spacey and deep with small quirks and an interesting lite bongo drum machine beat. It sounds like bent wires flexing back into shape.

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