now you know what you'll be doing on thursday AND sunday next week!


hello all,

while we soldier bravely on through renovations to 46 essex st to make it a busy hub for all things silence (and so on - don't worry, there will be more info forthcoming!), i want to let you know about TWO shows next week. 

the first also includes a venue change, so if you had the info in your agenda already, please update.  due to space and technical issues, we've had to make the difficult decision to move nicholas loess' show from the lovely MSAC to the (we trust) equally lovely lower massey hall, just a short walk from the MSAC we know and love.  this is going to be a really amazing event and i'm pleased not only to be presenting it, but to be performing as well.  details below.

in addition, i'm honoured to be co-presenter with the estimable rough idea a double bill featuring new york-based saxophonist michael blake with a wonderful group of musicians backing him up AND guelph's own improv titans, the vertical squirrels.  please note the 1pm show time for this one.  details below as well.

by the way, the image above is a still from nicholas' 24Progressive, which recently took first prize at the toronto urban film festival.  you can see it here:

as always, please pass the word to anyone whom you think might be interested in our work. 

many thanks - i look forward to seeing your next week.

we now have a facebook page!  you can find us here.  please drop by to say hi and 'friend' us (is that what you call it?).

there will be more music up soon at the soundcloud page too - i just need to knock the sawdust out of my head a little bit.



morning music

46 essex st, guelph

monday mornings at 9:30

please join us every monday morning at 9:30 for an invigorating morning session of improvisation.

ben's home-roasted coffee, tea are offered.  admission is $5 or free with a breakfast food contribution.



31st january 2013 8:00pm

moved to lower massey hall* - please take note!    $10 or pwyc

nicholas loess

Guelph-based video artist Nicholas Loess is offering a smorgasbord of media and formats for your retinal delight! VHS! 35 and 16mm film! Digital Video! Lens-based medium format photography! Contact photography! Oh my! Loess seeks to rhythmically juxtapose these different textures, in consort with improvisers Joe Sorbara and Ben Grossman.

The performance begins with an intermedial simultaneous multi-projection of Chris Marker’s La Jetée in VHS, Beta, 16mm, and digital formats. Where it goes from here will be motivated by the moment-to-moment improvised consideration of memory, space, sound, and image. Taking neither one as a subdivision, primary, or secondary, the collaboration might feel like a trip to a cinema in low-Earth orbit where the preciousness of gravity and air make the popcorn smell how you might’ve remembered it a decade after having it for the first time. If you haven’t had popcorn then you should definitely come. Seriously.


*This improvisation is the second of three public performances that Loess is producing as a part of his PhD work with ICASP and the School of English and Theatre Studies.*


3rd february 2013 1:00pm

macdonald stewart art centre (358 gordon st, guelph)    $15 or pwyc

michael blake's variety hour + the vertical squirrels


NYC based Canadian saxophonist Michael Blake (Lounge Lizards, Slow Poke, Jazz Composers Collective) is back with a star-studded new Vancouver quartet. Their music covers a lot of ground, from electro-acoustic, cinematic soundscapes to straight-up postbop and soul. Let's call it jazz.

Michael Blake saxophone
JP Carter trumpet treated
Chris Gestrin Fender Rhodes and Micromoog bass
Dylan van der Schyff drums

Saxophonist and composer Michael Blake was born in Montreal, Canada and raised in Vancouver, BC. He moved to New York City in 1986 where he has established an international reputation in the field of jazz. He has released 10 critically acclaimed CD’s under his own name ranging from original contemporary concept albums (Kingdom of Champa, Amor de Cosmos) to mainstream projects, such as his tribute to the under-recognized saxophonist Lucky Thompson. Michael has received study, commission and travel grants from Canada Council (1986, 2000 and 2002) and he received Chamber Music America’s Doris Duke grant for ‘New Jazz Works’. Michael is a faculty member at Europe’s oldest jazz masters program, Siena’s Fondazione di Jazz in Italy, where he has taught along side Kenny Werner, Rufus Reid, Greg Osby and Enrico Rava. Blake has performed at jazz festivals worldwide and has conducted workshops in Canada, Italy, Brazil, Denmark and Portugal. His work has been profiled in the New York Times, Downbeat, The New Yorker, The Globe and Mail, All About Jazz as well as many online, European and Canadian music journals. In 2002 he was recognized in Downbeat Magazine’s 50th Annual Critics Poll for Talent Deserving Wider Recognition categories for tenor sax, soprano sax and jazz artist of the year. Among the many artists he has recorded and performed with are The Lounge Lizards, Ben Allison, Oliver Lake, Medeski Martin and Wood, Ray Lamontagne, Lee konitz, Frank Kimbrough, Ted Nash, Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, The Gil Evans Orchestra, Ben E. King, Neil Sedaka, Tricky, Prince Paul, Natalie Cole, Steven Bernstein, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Hal Wilner, Sir Coxsone Dodd and Pinetop Perkins.


Like the music they play, the Vertical Squirrels came together through a mixture of chance and perseverance. Long-time collaborators in and outside the academy (in projects musical and non- musical), Daniel Fischlin, Ajay Heble, and Lewis Melville started officially playing together as a group in 2008. Starting partially as an informal outlet to get Heble back into playing piano after years of curating the Guelph Jazz Festival (but rarely performing himself), the Vertical Squirrels quickly morphed into a recording and gigging band focused on their distinctive brand of in-the-moment improvisation. They bring together years of diverse individual musical experiences, a sense of humor and friendship to their playing, and a deep commitment to multiple forms of sonic expression and freedom.

Daniel Fischlin guitars and devices
Ajay Heble piano and keyboards
Lewis Melville pedal steel, bass, horn, things
Ted Warren drums and percussion


please spread the word and bring your friends. 


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