Up early, morning routine updating the tour log. The weather is very much New England, yesterday 80 degrees and sunny, today 30 degrees, overcast and raw. Breakfast with Matt Lee, then off to The Mardi Spaghetti Marathon at Le Cagibi. We find parking, pay $3 for 45min! We meet Gordon Allen locking up his bike outside the venue. Craig gives us a ticket for a free beer and spaghetti. After the first set we unload a minimum of gear, Bonnie drives off in search of free parking, I return to the venue.
Here’s the complete lineup –
15h00 – Marielle Groven, Aaron Lumley, Elizabeth Millar
15h45 – Elizabeth Lima, Karen Ng, Nicolas Buligan, Lori Freedman
16h30 – Thierry Amar, Craig Pedersen, Liam O’Neill
17h15 – Raphael Foisy, Pierre-Luc Simon, Colin Fisher
18h00 – Walter Wright, Bonnie Kane, Emilie Mouchous, Joane Hetu
18h45 – Vicky Mettler
19h30 – Rainer Wiens, Malcom Goldstein
20h15 – Geraldine Eguiuz, Ian Gibbons, Stephane Diamantakiou
21h00 – Felix Antoine-Hamel, Guy Thouin
21h45 – Nic Caloia, Yves Charuest, Karl Fousek
22h30 – Alex Pelchat, Jean Derome, Michel F Cote, Ida Toninato
We arrive in time to catch the first set: Elizabeth Millar, clarinet, is Craig’s wife and co-host; Marielle Groven, violin; Aaron Luumley, upright bass. Minimal or, as Jack Wright says, reductionist, their playing is crisp, intelligent and empathetic.
Next set: Elizabeth Lima, clarinet; Lori Freeman, clarinet; Nicolas Buligan, trumpet; Karen Ng, sax. Finally, I meet Lori Freeman, a friend of Laiwan Chung, my advisor from Goddard College in 2005. Again minimalist, their set focuses on listening.
The first two sets we’re relatively quiet, this set begins to ramp up the volume: Thierry Amar, upright bass; Craig Pedersen, trumpet; Liam O’Neill, drums. Free jazz mode, chasing down a structure in real time, their set redirects energy towards creating a cohesive group sound.
Next set: Colin Fisher, alto sax, baritone sax, guitar; Raphael Foisy, upright bass; Pierre-Luc Simon, drums. Colin’s baritone solo was amazing, Raphael’s energy contagious, Pierre-Luc’ drums knit the whole thing together. Quite the trio!
Time for our set: Bonnie Kane, tenor sax; Joane Hetu, tenor sax; Emilie Mouchous, handmade Lunetta synthesizer; Walter Wright – drums. Can’t say much about this set, i was stuck in the corner behind Emilie. However I was excited to play with Joane. For years I’ve followed her various projects: Les Poules, Wonderbras, Justine, etc.
Next set: Vicky Mettler, solo guitar and lots of pedals. Loops over loops, some vocals, a dense tapestry constructed in real-time. A pleasing change from the larger groups.
From solo to a duo: Malcom Goldstein, violin; Rainer Wiens, mbira(s), guitar. As one gets older one can also get better, these two are examples. Tightly woven, but relaxed, they play together seamlessly.
From duo to a trio: Stephane Diamantakiou, upright bass; Geraldine Eguiluz, mbira, whistles, voice; Ian Gibbons, cello. A very interesting set mixing improvisation with traditional music and instrumentation.
Next set: Felix Antoine-Hamel, ???; Guy Thouin, ???
Only the second set featuring an audio synthesizer: Yves Charuest – alto sax; Karl Fousek, modular synth; Nic Caloia (???), upright bass. Very excited to hear another synth player in the mix. The set built over time, and an interesting conversation between instruments emerged!
Final set of the Marathon: Alex Pelchat, guitar; Ida Toninato, baritone sax; Jean Derome, alto sax; Michel F Cote, drums. One final blast of energy, amazing duo between the two horns. Alex right behind them, pushing them, Michel’s drums, a very interesting kit, knitting the whole together. Great end to great event!
From the get-go, all sets were outstanding, minimal/reductionist to full throttle skronk. A number upright bass players, minimal electronics, lots of acoustic instruments. Twenty-one men, eleven women, young and old. Since this runs from 3-6pm or 15h00-23h00, the audience is constantly changing. There 10-15 people their for the early sets, 25-30 people in the evening. People come and go, I would estimate 50-60 people overall. And a lot of them were musicians, playing and not playing. Quite the community of improvisers!