416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival

Mia1We told you this would happen and now IT IS! Mia is coming back to Toronto!

WHO: From Austria, one of Europe’s foremost improvisers: Mia Zabelka – violin.

Mia Zabelka improvised violin play comes from the Hitchcockian folds of the brain, making hairs stand up, spinal columns straighten and senses sharpen at the sheer menace of her performance.” Incubate Festival Tilburg (NL)

“Visceral, dynamic landscapes of sound and silence from one of the leading 21st century proponents of experimental violin Music” Noizemaschin London (UK)

“Mighty mistress of the contemporary violin takes you further into the sound with malstrom. Mia Zabelka is a wondrous violinist who takes adventurous journeys into uncharted musical territories.” Pauline Oliveros (USA)

Joining Mia to explore one another’s soundworlds will be Doug Van Nort – electroacoustic systems; Anne Bourne – cello; Glen Hall – soprano saxophone, flute, audio mosaicing, CataRT

WHAT: Mia Zabelka has engaged in sound explorations and interactions with an international who’s who of improvisers.  In Toronto, she will dive into the sonic deep end with master Canadian improvisers Anne Bourne and Glen Hall and their American collaborator Doug Van Nort.

WHEN: February 18, 2017, 8:30-10:30

WHERE: The Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Avenue, TORONTO ON

AND THERE IS MORE! On Thursday, February 16 at 4 p.m. Mia Zabelka will be a featured soloist with violinist Fae Sirois in the premiere performance of “Communications #3” by Glen Hall with the Electro Acoustic Orchestra (EAO) directed by Doug Van Nort. Mia will also be involved in  pieces by visiting conductor/artist Sara Weaver and Van Nort.

The Electro-Acoustic Orchestra (dir. Doug Van Nort) is an ensemble comprised of a mixture of acoustic and electronic performers. It is an emergent sonic organism that evolves through collective attention to all facets of sound, soundpainting-inspired conducting, commissioned pieces and improvisational practice. The ensemble functions both as a music course during the Fall semester, as well as the year-round resident ensemble for the DisPerSion Lab where it integrates members of the larger Toronto improvising community.

Members for this performance are Chris Anderson-Lundy, Robert Appleton, David Bandi, Aaron Corbett, Marcello Fiorini, Glen Hall, Ian Macchiusi, Mackenzie Perrault, Liz Petzold, Ted Philips, Danny Sheahan, Fae Sirois and Lauren Wilson

DisPerSion Lab
Room 334 Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts
York University


The 416 Toronto Creative Improvisers Festival is a yearly showcase for the vibrant Toronto improvised music scene.  The 416 area code’s finest improvising musicians, and sometimes visitors from farther afield, play in a wide variety of styles in 3 or 4 sets over each of the festival’s 4 nights.  Their improvisations take the form of completely free-form spontaneous compositions, created entirely “in the moment, at the moment of performance, by the performers”.  At other times, a drawing, graphic, object, original musical chart or just the audience ‘vibe’, are used to inspire the music.

The 416 is a celebration of music-making on a tightrope.

Samples from the 2012 Festival on Soundcloud.

 Preview of the 2014 Festival on Soundcloud.

I wake this morning my chakras all aligned, and grateful to have experienced last night at 416. Eagerly anticipating tonight and the two orchestras which will no doubt take me again to a higher level of soul existence. If you have not ever experienced 416 you may wish to head on down to the Tranzac tonight for 10. Come be awemazed.”

—  Madame Joy, 416 Festival participant