The Bug Incision Players is a group specially assembled for this occasion. The members of this group include exemplary past performers from the Bug Incision Presents concert series and some of its central organizer/musicians. The group can be thought of as ambassadors for the Bug Incision community of musicians, and it is our hope to represent as vividly as possible one of the main modes of music making that occurs within our programming at Bug Incision Presents.
Since 2005, Bug Incision has operated in Calgary as one of the key outlets for improvised, experimental, and all manner of other unusual music. Initially founded by Chris Dadge, David Laing, and Scott Munro as an outgrowth of their long-running improvising group the Bent Spoon Trio, Bug Incision has operated ceaselessly, releasing nearly 100 albums of improvised music and 13 years’ worth of monthly concerts, both aspects featuring a broad array of local, national, and international players.
The series has presented a long list of amazing musicians including Joe Morris, Peter Evans, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Sam Shalabi, Chik White, John Oswald, Allison Cameron, Eric Chenaux, and many more. Currently helmed by Dadge, the Bug Incision Records arm is about to release a new batch of recording this fall, and alongside co-runner Wilcke, Bug Incision Presents is gearing up for another year of music in 2020.
Chris Dadge is a musician, producer, and concert organizer in Calgary, and while he is primarily known as a drummer & percussionist, his work spills over into many other areas. In the world of pop & rock music he is known for his work with Chad VanGaalen, Juno Award-winning band Alvvays, Marlaena Moore, and many others besides his own group (with David Laing) called Lab Coast. In recent years his work as a producer/engineer has been increasing, and his studio Child Stone has been the birthplace of recent acclaimed albums by Jom Comyn, Sunglaciers, Strip Mall, and the yet-to-bereleased new work from longtime collaborator Samantha Savage Smith. And, since 2005, Dadge has been the main operator of Bug Incision, about which more information can be found above.
Classically-trained flutist Jiajia Li is being praised as “one of the city’s finest and most adventurous flautists”. She was the 2016 recipient of Canada’s “Juno” music award micro grant and a multi-time scholarship recipient from Banff Centre. Since her arrival in Calgary in 2014, Jiajia has forged her identity through music and performance, cutting across a wide range of modern musical experimentations and traditions. Currently a faculty member at the Mount Royal Conservatory, Jiajia is an active performer and has appeared in festivals including Sled Island, Calgary New Music Festival, and The Works.
Lydia Pineau is a multi-instrumentalist improviser mainly focused on percussion, strings, tape music, and various forms of electronics & electro-acoustics. Pineau explores sound much like a painter would explore colour, and the resultant music create images, colours, and landscapes for the ear rather than the eye. Some current inspirations include Masayoshi Fujita, John Cage, Else Marie Pade, Marcus Gilmore, Kezsler, and as of very recently Toshimaru Nakamura. Pineau’s setup for this concert is a fun collection of elements reflecting numerous of these current musical inspirations. It includes a prepared drum set and a no input mixing board, a combination which Pineau finds ideal for expressing both soft quiet, fairy tale like sounds to the scariest and least comforting sounds possible.
Nate Waters is a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist from Calgary, and has performed and recorded in a number of disparate musical iterations. He has contributed to the city’s musical fringe as half of the freely improvised Friesen/Waters Duo and as a part of the minimalist quartet Nobody Say Anything, while performing more conventionally with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prime Time Big Band. Last year he released his first recorded foray into straight-ahead jazz, the Nate Waters Quartet’s Fact Contrafact EP. He has also featured in pop groups such as Cable-Knits and Hunter- Gatherer, and recorded and appeared with Samantha Savage Smith, Aleem Khan, Prepared, and Raleigh.
Jonathon Wilcke is a saxophonist and ludic instrumentalist whose music ranges through strict composition, free jazz, free and structured improvisation, text-sound, and vocal accompaniment in solo and group situations. His current projects include Not Now, Hamelin, a trio with Eric Hamelin (drums) and Rob Oxoby (bass), and a solo ludic instrumental project called The Big Elbow. He is also the author of two books of poetry, Pornograph and Dupe!, and during the day, Wilcke works as an intellectual schlepper who teaches and researches subjects in writing and poetics.
This “organized improvisation” was constructed by Dadge – founder of the Bug Incision concert series and record label – with these players specifically in mind. The piece attempts to reconcile two seemingly conflicting areas: the freedom of expression and unpredictability that accompany free improvisation and the structural clarity of composed music, which purely improvised music is often unlikely to happen across. A lot of free improvisation is performed in smaller groups – duos and trios – and as the number of players in this context increases, the trajectory of the music is more likely to take on broad, familiar forms. This is a method of bucking that tendency while still relishing the opportunity to revel in the sound of an increased number of instrumental voices. The players are given a large amount of freedom with which to navigate through a series of different sections defined by various limitations and instructions for how to interact with each other. The piece will display a vivid sampling of one of the key kinds of music that is central to the Bug Incision concert series and community, and The Bug Incision Players are pleased to debut this “Circular Sparrow” here.