Guitarist and composer Bernard Falaise is a vital presence in Montreal’s field of musique actuelle, improvisation, and avant-rock, with long-term membership in such important groups as Klaxon Gueule, Quartetski, and Miriodor. His playing is kaleidoscopic and beyond category, demonstrating a facility across genres and styles and a knack for sculpting forms out of the rich textures he coaxes out of his pedals and amplifier. While equally at home in the extreme expressionism his background in rock music proposes, Falaise’s latest solo record, lézards et zébrunes (Ambiances Magnétiques), is a delicate, almost minimal work in which layers of material, organized in various rhythmic cells, unfold in richly satisfying ways. His solo in Guelph, however, could reflect any and all of his radical approaches to his instrument, and will be a wonderfully intimate introduction to one of Canada’s finest creative musicians.
Photo credit: Patrick Laroque
For over twenty years, this international trio has toured throughout Europe and North America to play its energetic electroacoustic improvised music, documented on five recordings. Roger Turner’s quicksilver drumming generates enormous flows of momentum and dynamics without ever falling into predictable patterns. Tim Hodgkinson, best known for his membership in Henry Cow, contributes a radical set of musical resources with the unconventional instrumentation of lapsteel guitar, clarinet, and electronics. German analogue synthesizer player Thomas Lehn was featured at the 2017 festival, where he demonstrated an amazing command of an instrument capable of a bewildering range of sounds and timbres. Together, what distinguishes Konk Pack from much improvised music is the intense focus, the undeniable energy, and the long-wrought group rapport at the root of the group’s sound. Their capacity to sculpt noise into extraordinary musical shapes that flow and change in satisfying ways is nothing short of wonderful.