Surgery Series Challenges Music’s Norms
“It’s not entertainment and it’s not intended to be entertainment,” says Joel LeBlanc, as he explains the idea behind Fredericton’s Surgery Series, a semi-regular series of improvisational performances. “If you are going in expecting to be entertained you might not enjoy it to the extent that it could be enjoyed. It’s a real listening kind of environment where the creative artistic expression is practiced without compromise.”
LeBlanc, an accomplished musician and educator recognized nationally for his improvisational guitar work, has been carving out a place for unconventional performances of this nature in venues across the city for the last five years. Together with fellow musician Eric Hill, the two have hosted performances by a variety of touring musicians in recent years, performing what LeBlanc calls, new music.
“New music seems to get lumped in there somewhere in between improvisation and composition. Historically, a lot of the western compositional tradition has simply eradicated improvising from its form. So now, a lot of music performance is simply about executing parts and phrases. That has its place, but I think what new music is trying to do is reclaim the importance of improvisation within and without form.”
“Its very much like reclaiming old trails that people have built and trying to unearth them, or uncover them again so we have somewhere to work from and somewhere to explore.”
Susanna Hood and Scott Thompson combine poetry, music and dance in their current project, The Muted Note, based on poems by P.K. Page. Beginning last September, the duo have toured coast to coast and are making their second visit to New Brunswick performing The Muted Note.
Ken Aldcroft has existed at the heart of Toronto’s new music scene since 2001 and has built a reputation as a highly skilled jazz guitarist, improviser and music educator and his Convergence Ensemble’s traditional jazz configuration presents the perfect pallet for his creative blend of improvised music making.
“I’ve been working with Scott Thomson and Ken Aldcroft for several years now,” said LeBlanc. “They’re both based out of Toronto and I’ve done a lot of work with Ken. We did a record together and have done a lot of playing together. He’s been in Fredericton before. He did a workshop and played a concert through the Surgery Series.”
“Scott Thompson is part of the same crowd,” he said, referring to Toronto’s thriving experimental/improve scene. “There’s a good collective of musicians in up there who work together all the time, trying to do tours and help support each other’s work.”
Hard)s(core presents Surgery Series 18.0 | Susanna Hood & Scott Thompson: The Muted Note | Ken Aldcroft’s Convergence Ensemble | November 14, 2014 | 334 King Street, Unit 7, above Victory Meat Market | 9pm (doors at 8:30pm) | Tickets $10 | For more information call 506-476-1034