2017 Performers

416-2017 Performers Gallery

Kayla Milmine

Kayla’s audiences generally consist of large amphitheaters filled with lovers of avant-garde music, as well as critics who praise her contributions to one of the most under-explored and under-played of the saxophone family. Her fame began last year when she had the opportunity to perform for Bidhya Devi Bhandari, first female president of Nepal who awarded her the Soprano Saxophone Prize of Supreme Excellence, as well as granted her an open invitation to become Chair of Arts and Music not only in Nepal, but also in India, China, Great Britain, and Spain.  Kayla now travels the world playing music at all the local Chambers of Commerce and lives off support from all the wonderful music patrons that she has collected worldwide. When she is not travelling the world, she relaxes in her home base of Antananarivo, Madagascar where she records lemurs in the wild, and is often found mimicking them with her horn.

AUDIO LINK: https://soundcloud.com/iamanelephant


LIGHT INDUSTRY is a belief and a compulsion that music can be a force for good in our shared world; a call-to-action to use acoustic instruments, deep grooves, and free-flowing improvisation to elevate and re-vibrate the restrained and shadowed parts of humanity into creative thought and practice. Many of the compositions are skeletal; short melodies underpinned by the bass and propelled by percussion. Interpretation and improvisation are essential to release them. Led by drummer/composer Chris Cawthray, the core trio will be augmented for this festival appearance only by the multi-instrumentalist duo of Celina Carroll and Chip Yarwood, former members Canadian world beat pioneers MOTHER TONGUE and currently performing as the duo, See Why Sound.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Instagram @lightindustryband

AUDIO LINK: http://chriscawthray.bandcamp.com/track/catacombs



Two flutes, two marimbas and drums. Visiting from Slovakia, Sisa Suchankova (flute) and Lenka Novosedlikova (marimba) are joined by local improvisers Bea Labikova (woodwinds), Raphael Roter (drums) and Rick Sacks (marimba) to pay tribute to legendary and recently passed Slovak experimental composer Milan Adamčiak.

Here is Lenka’s soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/aknelnovo


The Toronto Improvisors Orchestra 

The Toronto Improvisors Orchestra is a constantly evolving musical collective formed in 2011 by Eugene Martynec. Using hand signals, graphic scores, and other methods of guided improvisation, the TIO creates a compelling sonic experience and features some of the city’s best improvisors.

Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/ambrose-pottie/tio_robclutton_sept2017

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/TorontoImprovisorsOrchestra


John Kameel Farah
John Kameel Farah
is a Canadian composer and pianist whose work embraces aspects of baroque and early music, experimental, contemporary classical, improvisation, middle-eastern music and forms of electronic music.

He studied composition and piano performance at the University of Toronto, where he received the Glenn Gould Composition Award twice during his studies. In 1999 he had private lessons with Terry Riley in California, and later at the Arabic Music Retreat in Hartford.

Farah continues to compose for ensembles and film, but largely focuses on live solo concerts, using a setup which surrounds the piano with synthesizers, as well as processing the piano through computer filters and effects. His music draws upon an interest in astronomy, history, mythology and painting. As a visual artist, his intricate ink drawings have been presented at solo and group exhibitions.

Since 2010 Farah has been based in Berlin, Germany. He has toured across Europe, the U.K and North America, as well as South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, and Israel/Palestine. He has given concert-lectures at several universities and colleges in both Canada and Germany and has performed his work in some of Germany’s most prestigious venues, such as Berlin’s Volksbühne and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Kölner Philharmonie, and soon the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.

His newest album “Time Sketches” has been released on the label Neue Meister/Edel Kultur.
Farah will be performing on harpsichord at the 416 Festival.

photo: Leonie Hochrein



The Unknown Guitar Quartet
The Unknown Guitar Quartet features four of the more consistently weird guitarists in Toronto. The group was formed when Ted Philips, while having a psychotic episode on Seroidapan, a new experimental caffeine pill, suggested that Brian Abbott, Luan Phung, Patrick O’Reilly, and Nilan Perera start a quartet. Having joined a new mysterious religious order called the Afferterion, Brian was required to say yes to any suggestion made to him by anybody (In an effort to break the ego and realize the meaninglessness of self) He soon convinced the other three to follow suit. These “four horsemen” began improvising together and writing compositions for the group, and the Unknown Guitar Quartet was born. They will be performing at the 416 Festival this November. Unfortunately, Nilan Perera, having a prior commitment as volunteer in a human asexual reproduction scientific study will be unable to attend. Taking his place will be Rob Grieve, who will be returning from safari in Africa where he was hunting the ever elusive and rare Xiawg Xiawg bird. It’s neon green feathers are rumored to be a strong aphrodisiac and the oil secreted by a gland above it’s anus is known to get out any stain, even red wine…


Audio: https://soundcloud.com/416festival/unknown-guitar-quartet-4