CASSETTE/ digital

  1. Nick Storring — Aigre-Douce : I (17.03)
  2. Nick Storring — Aigre-Douce : II (6.24)
  3. Nick Storring — Aigre-Douce : III & piano recitative (11.03)
  4. Nick Storring — Aigre-Douce : IV (8.08)
  5. Daniel Brandes — Intimations of Melody (31.32)

“Bespoken was assembled in the spring of 2013 with no intent of becoming any sort durable formation—chamber ensemble, band, or otherwise. Its foundational directive was simply to perform a concert featuring the two pieces on this recording— aigre-douce by Nick Storring(composed specifically for this group), and Daniel Brandes’ intimations of melody. Said concert led to chemistry which opened unto a recording and the prospect of further work together.

In many respects, aigre-douce, insofar as it was composed for this ensemble, defined the nature of the project in its debut incarnation. The score was designed to be legible to notationally-oriented musicians and simultaneously geared toward players of a more aural bent. Although it articulates a well-defined trajectory, the score also demands a high degree of intuitive decision-making, personal temperament, and, most of all, listening.

The members of the group represent a diverse set of relationships with respect to notation and improvisation. Cheryl Duvall and Ilana Waniuk are primarily chamber musicians and artistic directors behind Thin Edge New Music Collective, where their curatorial sensibilities engage a variety of compositional approaches. Nick Storring frequently writes for ensembles (including Thin Edge), though his performance practice and a substantial portion of his compositional work is grounded wholly in intuition and improvisation. Brandon Valdivia attended Wilfrid Laurier’s music program with Duvall, Waniuk and Storring, and subsequently immersed himself in Toronto’s experimental music scene, building a reputation as a highly unique and sensitive multi-instrumentalist and improviser. Matthew Ramolo, who primarily works solo under the name Khôra, is the group’s autodidact. His relationship with notation is the most tenuous of all, but this highly sophisticated, self-trained perspective was needed to truly cement the ensemble dynamic that aigre-douce required.

Daniel Brandes’ affiliation with Wandelweiser meant that he was also invested in creating a community-based form of ensemble music. Like aigre-douce, his compositions are open-ended, inviting the contribution and awareness of the performers into the fabric of the music, though they too delineate particular musical spaces/worlds.”


Andrew Patterson, The Coast
James Linsday, Weird Canada
Brian Olewnick, Just Outside
Fluid Radio
Javier Fuentes, Decoder