2013 Gallery

416-2013 Gallery of Performers

Mia Zabelka

miazabelka pic4Mia Zabelka, composer, violinist and vocalist from Vienna, with czech, jewish and french familiar background, lives in the Austrian region of southern Styria.
She has the international reputation of one of the most innovative Violin Players of the World. As a composer and performer of contemporary music she has developed a unique language based on the de- and reconstruction of the violin’s sonic possibilities, expanding the instrument using live electronic devices and innovative performance techniques.
She studied music and composition at the University of Music and Performing Arts and the Conservatory of Music in Vienna, creating a foundation on the basis of which she continues to construct and explore the limits of sound and music in a language entirely her own. The violin, voice and her own body transform into sound bodies which are at once organic and primal, screaming, lyrical, composed and explosive.
As „the spearhead of the austrian music avantgarde“ (MICA-Music Information Center Austria) Mia Zabelka developed the process she describes as automatic playing,
continuously exploring sound and music as physical phenomena, always pushing back the boundaries in radical and provocative performances and compositions that question established notions and given structures.
She has given concerts and performances throughout Europe, America and Asia. Recipient of numerous prizes (3-time winner oft the Prix Ars Electronica) and awards, she was a guest of the DAAD’s (German Academic Exchange Service’s) international artists’ programme in Berlin and the Fulbright Commission in New York.





Canada’s pioneering free improvisation band, with roots in the 1970s, CCMC today consists of Michael Snow (piano and synthesizer), John Oswald (alto sax), Paul Dutton (soundsinging and harmonica), and John Kamevaar (percussion and electronics). Committed to exploration and innovation, the quartet draws on a broad range of musical styles but conforms to none. Process takes precedence and form evolves organically in a shifting tapestry of textures and timbres, with dense layerings set off by moments of meditative calm, with idiom-tinted strains transmuting into passages of raucous cacophony.


PaulCramAs an award-winning film composer, arranger and bandleader, Canadian saxophonist. clarinetist and jazz iconoclast
Paul Cram has a multi-faceted career that spans over 30 years in Canada. From Vancouver to Toronto to Halifax he has forged a mature and unique voice that cuts across record bins and stylistic ghettos to capture the metaphorical “middle kingdom” between Europe, Asia, and America.

EAR [ElectroAcoustic Response]

Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 11.27.14 AMEAR is a new experimental ensemble, comprised of Alexandra Spence, Dawn Buie & Elliott Fienberg. The group initially met at a workshop series run by NAISA & were inspired by sessions in ChucK and live coding with David Ogborn. The members hail from various backgrounds, including free improvisation, media arts & electronic beats. Fienberg is a stylistically transient artist who currently drifts within the boundaries between jazz and future bass music. Buie is a banjoist interested in rhythmic conversations, sounds in space and unlikely humours. Spence is an improvising clarinetist and electroacoustic composer, interested by the intersection of composition and improvisation. As a result, their sound is eclectic, ranging from electronic pops & bleeps to manipulations of field recordings, samples & acoustic improvisation. EAR are very excited for their very first gig & will be joined by the talented Fern Lindzon on keys, melodica & harmonium.

*EAR are also hoping to expand & invite interested persons to join them in future plays.




KGB colourKGB is Karen Ng, Germaine Liu and Bea Labikova.  Saxophonist Karen Ng has performed across Europe, Asia, the U.S.A  and Canada with Do Make Say Think, Juno Award winning group the Happiness Project, and the Woodshed Orchestra. Deeply involved with Toronto’s improvising community, she has appeared with the Woodchoppers Association, Hamid Drake, Interstellar Orchestra, Clarinet Panic, See Through Trio, Convergence Ensemble, THREADS Quintet and many more. Germaine Liu is a percussionist.  Liu has been privileged to work with many wonderful musicians, dancers and artists.  Liu studied percussion with John Goddard and Jesse Stewart during her undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph and composition with David Mott at York University in Toronto.  She performs with c_RL , Octopus and Threads Quintet. Bea Labikova is an improvising saxophone and fujara player interested in contemporary, jazz and South-Indian improvisation. During her studies she worked under Casey Sokol, Matt Brubeck, Trichy Sankaran and Mike Murley. She currently performs in Toronto with various groups ( Lila Ensemble, Doug Tielli, ASIKO ) as well as around Europe as part of 4statesessions.


Diane Roblin and HappeningDiane Roblin’s HAPPENING  uses themes from her compositions as a catalyst for free improvisation.  The music is about exploring the unexpected, communicating with the other musicians, engaging the audience and having as much fun as possible.

“Diane Roblin and HAPPENING” is high energy music from the heart.

Diane Roblin, piano, composer
Joe Sorbara, drums
Kyle Brenders, sax, bass clarinet
Howard Spring, guitar


Michael Keith and Bob Vespaziani

bob & michaelMichael Keith’s current work finds him channeling numerous traditional musics and fusing them with his knowledge of the blues and free improvisation. This is being done on a small guitar (baritone ukulele) with just three strings. Michael’s music is uniquely identified by his genuinely global conception of the contemporary guitarist.
Bob Vespaziani is a freelance drummer/percussionist, who is very active in both the Blues and Improvisational music scenes in Canada. Bob’s main axe is the Korg WAVEDRUM which he plays though various electronic effects, expanding the instrument’s potential texturally as well as rhythmically.



vlcsnap-2013-10-26-01h32m44s86e1Ted Phillips
-real time corpus-based concatenative synthesis

At age four or so he discovered the sustain pedal and the bass register of his grandmother’s piano! Minutes later found his uncle’s old tube driven shortwave radio.
WOW– phase modulation, heterodyning, am-plitude and frequency modulation, it was all there. As well as strange languages.
Studied Industrial Design and got sidetracked into audio after that.
Did a radio show for 12 years on Ciut Fm, fea-turing electroacoustic and “computer music”.
Found out about Max from George Lewis (ex-IRCAM) before it was released.
Never met a phase vocoder or convolver he didn’t like or want to modify.
Worked for 23 years at a big feature film labor-atory.
Currently hacks, experiments and performs with a Max based application called CataRT- “real time corpus-based concatenative synthesis”.

Nilan Perera
-electric guitar, effects and inspiration

Nilan Perera has been a part of the improvised and art music community since the mid ’80s starting as the guitarist of choice for the punkfunk/No Wave scene that then infected Toronto. In that time has has performed and recorded with many major international and national musician/composers.
Nilan was nominated the 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Sound Design and won the award for Outstanding Sound Design in the Summerworks Festival 2010, both for Susanna Hood’s ‘Shudder’.
Nilan is also a music critic with the national music paper ‘exclaim!’, is on the board of directors of the Association of Improvising Musicians of Toronto and is Executive Director for ‘circuit’; a national organisation of artist run performance spaces.


 Pierre Mongeon’s eVoid Collective

10377988-2F8E-41D2-B0CA-35F5C1F7415D1Dare to enter the eVoid  – Where the status quo is disrupted and being out of mind is the norm. With an ability to embrace the infinite moment, the eVoid Collective quickly zone into that creative space where Spirit-Centered spontaneous compositions are born. Tossed by the waves of a “Shamanic Selfless Tapestry of Sound” the listener is swept away and becomes one with nothing.


The Tom Richards Trio

Tom RichardsThe Tom Richards Trio is an outlet for the leader’s secret love affair with mainstream jazz. Known for his involvement in boundary-pushing projects such as Riverrun and Engine, Tom brings a more traditional post-bop sensibility to writing for the trio. Featuring Jim Sexton and Nick Fraser or Mark Zurawinski, the music flows from a shared knowledge of a common language.

Queen Victrola

queen victrolaQueen Victrola is the duo of cheryl o (violoncello) and Michelangelo Iaffaldano (clarinet, tenor banjo, accordion). Melodic and full of digressions, all of Queen Victrola’s conversations are freely improvised.

Cellist Cheryl O has been improvising ever since a sudden breeze blew her music away while busking in Spain. Cheryl has been part of the improvising scene in Toronto for many years, beginning as an early guest of the Planet of the Loops ensemble and soon becoming a regular performer at The Ambient Ping series.

A 2008 participant in the Banff International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music, cheryl had opportunites to work with Dave Douglas, Wayne Krantz, Hugh Marsh and Thomas Morgan. With a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, and studies with Matt Brubeck and Ted Quinlan, Cheryl has studied and performed music from early Baroque to Contemporary prior to her current focus of experimental, jazz and improv.

Michelangelo Iaffaldano is an Italian-born,  Toronto-based musician,  instrument builder and visual artist. He has collaborated with artists connected to the experimental scene in Toronto and beyond: John Oswald, Malcolm Goldstein, Ben Grossman, Gino Robair, Jason Ajemian, Christine Duncan, etc. He plays in the electro-acoustic trio Odradek and in various folk / traditional ensembles. He also leads Orchestre Royal Odradek, an ensemble that plays exclusively instruments built by Michelangelo out of found materials. His performance piece “Swept under the rug” was presented at the “Music in Galleries” and “Art Spin” festivals.

Toronto Improvisors Orchestra

TIOThe Toronto Improvisors Orchestra was formed in 2010 by Eugene Martynec to explore improvised music played by a large group of musicians. It uses a simplified version of hand signals made popular by Butch Morris. These hand signals are used by many large improvising ensembles in Europe and North America. Computers, synthesizers, found and invented instruments, strings, brass, percussion, sound singers and vocalists have all found their way into performances. The size of the ensemble varies but there is a core group as a foundation. The Orchestra is open to and welcomes any skilled improvisor.