By Matthew Fava
I have been working from home this week (surprise), and have been spending a lot of my time in dialogue with friends and collaborators whose income opportunities are restricted as a result of our collective health precautions. I have also been spending a lot of time this week listening to recorded music. One of the places I visit for my listening is Bandcamp.
Bandcamp has announced a fundraising effort—running on Friday, March 20 from midnight to midnight pacific time—whereby the site is waiving their revenue share on sales. Bandcamp Co-Founder and CEO Ethan Diamond posted a statement on their site with the goal of “rallying the Bandcamp community to put much needed money directly into artists’ pockets.” It is a great call to action.
State-driven relief efforts are part of the way we care for vulnerable workers, and another step is valuing the work and workers directly: acknowledging their ongoing professional expenses, and revelling in the craft, rigour, and imagination of their output.
As an encouragement, I present my CMC-themed Bandcamp wishlist featuring a few of the artists, albums, and labels that I would recommend. Give them a listen, and if you are in a position to purchase the music consider doing that, too—some of these are “name your price” offers.
PHONG TRAN / I met Phong Tran last year during the Toronto Creative Music Lab. There is something direct, inviting, and surprising in his electronic work, and I have been listening to his most recent collection, Kindness, this week—favourite track is Naturalize.
ADAM BASANTA / Staying in a dream-like realm, here is an album that excites the same neural pathways established when I first listened to Ryoji Ikeda in my late teens, while bringing an added warmth. Adam’s restraint on Intricate Connections Formed Without Touch is endearing. The swirling of the tactile and synthetic in this sonic reduction is sumptuous.
YUNJIN CLAIRE LEE / We recently featured Yunjin Claire Lee as part of the CMC Presents series in partnership with Women From Space, and it is amazing to listen to this album—Voluntary Response, featuring pieces recorded by local music hero and ardent Arrayspace attendant Kelley Mitchell—in relation to her set earlier this month. Claire offers rhapsodic piano passages contrasting, colliding, and colluding with sporadic audio samples and electronic processing. It’s a trip.
EVE EGOYAN & LINDA SMITH / Two years ago I was borrowing my parents’ car for a week, and I drove my upstairs neighbours down to Queen St. West to do some grocery shopping. As dusk approached, I was parked and sitting in the car, facing east. The sun began to set, I watched as the sunlight inched along the dashboard, and the sky in the rear view mirror hastened through myriad colour combinations towards a velvet blue. I was listening to Thought and Desire on the car stereo. I heard the faint vocalizations nestled in the soft rhythms of the piano. I felt lucky to be in the same city as two of Canada’s greatest artists, and I marvelled at what a lifetime of collaboration can achieve in sound.
CHERYL DUVALL & ANNA HÖSTMAN / This album is a haven of propulsive, wandering, and at times fragile sounds that Cheryl embodies with such grace. Harbour is a signpost on a path which will be extended and articulated in countless ways as these two artists collaborate further. And why not check out the wider discography available from the label, Redshift!
JASON DOELL / I remember getting yearbooks in high school