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CCMC 22|23_9

JUNE 29, 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



“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)


John Kamevaar has been active for decades in a variety of artistic media and genres, primarily sonic arts. While studying with Udo Kasemets at the Ontario College of Art in the late 1970s, he participated in a series of performances of John Cage’s work with the composer present. Kamevaar’s interest in free improvisation led him to become a multi-instrumentalist with the free improvisation collective CCMC from 1981 to 1994. During this period they performed weekly at The Music Gallery, there were numerous international tours, and they produced a cd, “Decisive Moments”. He rejoined the CCMC from 2012 to 2022 (with Paul Dutton, John Oswald, and Michael Snow), playing percussion and electroacoustic sound. Kamevaar has also played with some of the pioneers of improvisation such as Evan Parker and Derek Bailey, and he participated in a performance of John Zorn’s “Cobra” conducted by the composer.

In the mid-1980s, Kamevaar began to create fixed compositions for tape and formed the industrial/ambient/noise project Kaiser Nietzsche, with Thomas Handy and David Scurr. He worked with them until 1991. This resulted in six releases and several performances in Toronto and Montreal. From 1987 to 2004, Kamevaar produced eight feature length soundtracks for the experimental films of Carl Brown. The last film, “Triage,” was a collaboration with Brown and Michael Snow.

Since 2002, Kamevaar has developed sound for the electronic installation works of digital media artist Nell Tenhaaf. Between 2005 and 2008, he was a member of the improv band Trio Snow, with Michael Snow (synthesiser), Aleck Snow (percussion) and Kamevaar (electronics). From 2009 to 2011, Kaiser Nietzsche was reactivated with Zev Farber, resulting in audio/video productions as both fixed media and performance. Kamevaar also continues to produce photographic and video/audio works.


One of the founding members of the CCMC he has been playing music for 75 years, beginning with the accordion and polkas.  As he grew up, he began a lifelong practice of playing stringed instruments, beginning with the guitar, then the electric and acoustic bass and eventually synthesizers.  He brought all these instruments to the CCMC and together with Nobuo Kubota and Peter Anson, two other founding members they created numerous other instruments including tuned gold mining pans, hanging brass cannon shells, and tuned pipe drums, a giant 3 tiered marimba and a giant Koto fabricated from logs sent from BC  After years of touring and playing he left music behind as a vocation and became a research scientist.  Now music has, once again, regained a position of importance in how he spends his time playing electric bass and other mall instruments including the Crackle synthesizer.


“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.”