Artists: Toronto Improvisors Orchestra + The Element Choir
Songs: [excerpts from three improvisations]
Recorded at Array Space, March 19, 2017.
A special night convened by the TIO to pay tribute to The Element Choir and its leader Christine Duncan. Both groups showed up in force — I counted sixteen or so musicians and about twice that many choristers, although there were a few people that were members of both. In the first half, each ensemble performed on its own, and then after the break the whole conglomeration performed together.
The key question for large improvising ensembles is how to keep everyone on the same page and to provide a shape that goes beyond heaping one thing on top of another, and both groups have found a solution in their own similar conducting systems. Eugene Martynec and Christine Duncan led their ensembles in the first half, but Duncan held court in the second, at first leaving one group to improvise while she led the other before (as heard here) attempting to guide the whole thing.
[You can watch Array's archived version of the event's livestream over on their vimeo page.]