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CCMC 22|23_4

JANUARY 26, 2023 @ 7:30 PM ET

  • Live at the Arrayspace: PWYC
  • Livestream: Free

A non-idiomatic, free-improving ensemble, CCMC is united by a desire to play music that is fluid, spontaneous, and self-regulating. The original members founded the artist-run Music Gallery in 1976, where they performed twice weekly until 1980, and the band, with shifting membership, has been a cornerstone of Toronto’s left-field-jazz and free-improvisation music scenes ever since. CCMC has travelled and toured widely, performing at venues and festivals in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan, and has recorded 11 albums.


All works by CCMC and our guests unfold spontaneously and in an exploratory spirit, with no preset formal frameworks such as key and time signatures or rhythmic and melodic structures, focusing instead on textural elements and sonic originality through exploratory approaches to the sounding potential of the instruments employed, reaching beyond orthodox methods of playing, though not eschewing them completely.” — Paul Dutton

John Oswald (alto saxophone)
Michael Snow (Octave Cat synthesizer)
Paul Dutton (soundsinging/mouthharp)



“Snow is a serious jazz musician, so much so that it’s hard to get him to talk about anything else. But he is also, and more significantly, the most influential Canadian artist—ever. There have been other important twentieth-century Canadian artists, but none of their work has achieved the reach of Snow’s, over the course of a career that has spanned more than fifty years.”

Michael Snow started a career as a jazz pianist in 1947. Since the 60’s he’s played piano, trumpet, synthesizer and other instruments in free improvisation ensembles, including CCMC of Toronto.  He has made many recordings, including Musics for Piano, Whistling, Microphone and Tape Recorder (1975), The Last LP (1987) and 3 Phases (2000). He has also released recordings in collaboration with CCMC, Artists Jazz Band, Alan Licht & Aki Onda, Christian Marclay. In 2018, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra commissioned and premiered his composition, Prophecy. His other compositions include Hue Chroma Tint (1999) commissioned by the Burdocks ensemble and EVƎ (solo piano for Eve Egoyan) (2014). Snow has played many solo piano concerts, most recently at Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2019. He is also a renowned visual artist (painting, photo-works, holography, film, video and sculpture). Snow has made several public artworks in Toronto, including Flight Stop (Eaton Centre) and The Audience (Rogers Centre). 


“Multifaceted artist John Oswald nearly always incorporates an electroacoustic element to his productions. . . John Oswald’s work is all about metamorphosis, “détournement” and eclectism often realized from existing materials.”

“I like improvising with people as a way of talking. It’s sort of like an idiot savant kind of thing: I don’t know what I’m doing, but I can do it. . . I think my job is to try to make things that are interesting and desirable enough that the mechanisms of their availability will be generally, eventually considered necessary.”


“My thematic concerns, in both literary and musical modes, revolve around the sphere of the spiritual and the ineffable, probing the unconscious, releasing energies beyond the conventional and emotions within and beyond the everyday. This I endeavour to do in a musical context by employing both orthodox and unorthodox modes of expression, including overtones, multiphonics, nonvocal effects, and an ever-expanding repertoire of utterances, both in common usage and out of the ordinary.” — Paul Dutton

“My exploration of the limits of human sonic expression began within a literary framework, but I gradually came to follow it just as much within the field of music, specifically free improvisation. For years, I was content to call what I did “sound poetry,” but with increased interest in such musical effects as isolated overtones and the univocal production of chords, I found myself favouring the term “soundsinging.” Truth be told, I make less and less distinction between language and music, and my work is centred on a fusion of the two. I’m chasing elusive visceral and spiritual game, and don’t have time to cavil over categories.” – Paul Dutton, excerpted liner notes from Mouth Pieces: Solo Soundsinging CD

Twitter (@soundsinger)