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#137 Fall 2020 [MAGAZINE + CD]

Musicworks: #137 Fall 2020 [MAGAZINE + CD] (Musicworks)

Fall 2020 issue of Canada's finest new music magazine, focusing on guitars--hollow, heavy, bowed, cracked, pedalled, flung, trusty companions & feedback demons; Plus articles on Casey Koyczan, Susan Alcorn, Amy Brandon, Aidan Baker, Eliza Kavtion, C. Diab, Markus Lake, Catherine Debard, Cloud Chamber, &c; and an 11-track CD with music from the aforementioned.

Price: $15.95


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product information:

UPC: 7257491816402

Label: Musicworks
Catalog ID: 3137
Squidco Product Code: 29658

Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Canada
Packaging: Magazine and CD
See track listing.


Casey Koyczan / NAHGA

C. Diab

Eliza Kavtion


Markus Floats

Aidan Baker

Susan Alcorn

Terry Rusling

Robert Bauer

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Artist Biographies:

"Susan Alcorn (born 1953) is an American composer, improvisor, and pedal steel guitarist. Having started out playing guitar at the age of twelve, she quickly immersed herself in folk music, blues, and the pop music of the 1960s. A chance encounter with blues musician Muddy Waters steered her towards playing slide guitar. By the time she was twenty-one, she had immersed herself in the pedal steel guitar, playing in country and western swing bands in Texas.

Soon, she began to combine the techniques of country-western pedal steel with her own extended techniques to form a personal style influenced by free jazz, avant-garde classical music, Indian ragas, Indigenous traditions, and various folk musics of the world. By the early 1990s her music began to show an influence of the holistic and feminist "deep listening" philosophies of Pauline Oliveros.

Though mostly a solo performer, Alcorn has collaborated with numerous artists including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne, Peter Kowald, Chris Cutler, Joe Giardullo, Caroline Kraabel, Earl Howard, Le Quan Ninh, Sean Meehan, Joe McPhee, LaDonna Smith, Mike Cooper, Walter Daniels, Ellen Fullman, Jandek, George Burt, Janel Leppin, Michael Formanek, Ellery Eskelin, Fred Frith, Maggie Nicols, Evan Parker, Johanna Varner, Zane Campbell and Mary Halvorson."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Terry Rusling (April 2, 1931 - November 27, 1974) was a Canadian electronic music composer, who used graphic notation. Some of his works were used to accompany radio and television broadcasts.

Terry Rusling worked as an engineer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He was on-air engineer for the Gilmour's Albums hosted by CBC broadcaster Clyde Gilmour. In the early 1960s, Morris Surdin, a composer working at the CBC, suggested to Rusling that he try out the electronic studio at University of Toronto, Faculty of Music (UTEMS). Through Surdin, Rusling was introduced to Dr. Myron Schaeffer, to whom he submitted his first electronic compositions. Schaeffer invited Rusling to attend the graduate seminar with Dr. Schaeffer at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, using the renowned electronic music studio (UTEMS) which included instruments designed by Hugh LeCaine such as the Special Purpose Tape Recorder. Rusling was awarded the title of Research Associate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Among the notable composers who studied at University of Toronto's Electronic Music Studio (UTEMS) University of Toronto, Faculty of Music were John Mills-Cockell, Pauline Oliveros, Ann Southam, Gustav Ciamaga, John Beckwith, among others. After receiving a Canada Council he travelled to studios in the USA and Europe. He continued his studies and composed music in studios at the Psycho Acoustic Institute at Ghent University, Belgium; the University of Utrecht; and the University of Illinois. During this period he was also known to be the recipient of a Canada Council Grant in support of his travel, education and production of electronic music. He also did work at the University of Rochester with Wayne B. Barlow as well as in Paris where he studied with Pierre Schaeffer. He spent two months at the Phillips lab in Holland learning about their new electronic equipment. All of Terry's music was precisely notated using mathematics and other symbols. His music was often inspired by his interest in visual art. During this period Terry also reported on an interview on CBC Radio that he worked at the BBC Radiophonic. He specifically mentions Barry Burmage.

Several of his works, including The Trains, a piece of musique concrète, were broadcast on the CBC and he composed an electronic theme for the nightly news. One of his public performances at computer tape music was at the Bohemian Embassy in Yorkville, Toronto. October 1964. He also collaborated with visual artist Zbigniew Blazeje in a large multimedia exhibition in 1967 called Audio Kinetic Environment which began at the Art Gallery of Ontario and travelled to other galleries in Canada. The exhibit initially opened with music prepared by Blazeje. In an interview with Terry Rusling on CBC Radio, Rusling said that Blazeje approached him as he found the music he made was not good enough. Rusling stated he spent some time watching the kinetic installation and then proceeded to create a new score for the exhibition in Toronto and this music was used throughout the exhibits tour of Canada. The installation toured to other galleries including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The music was set to trigger lights in the installation. There was also a radio program combining Rusling's music with Earle Birney's sound poetry on CBC Radio. After the piece was performed they discussed their personal approaches to their art forms. Birney discussed various approaches he took including sound poetry and using chance techniques, such as cutting phrases from newspapers including comics into bits of paper and finding combinations by chance. A related collaboration with poet Gwendolyn MacEwen, combining poetry with electronic music was also broadcast on CBC Radio. Rusling also worked with performance artist and sound poet Bob Cobbing and dancer Rima Brodie."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

Casey Koyczan / NAHGA

1> Ravenous 3:02

2> Standing on Ice 5:54

(with Marina Hasselberg)

3> Kids & Trails 6:03

C. Diab

4> Born Under Punches as the Sparks Fly Upward 5:08

Eliza Kavtion

5> Nashville 4:31


6> Limitless 4:46

Markus Floats

7> Forward Always 7:26

Aidan Baker

8> Icy Moments w/ Bass Pulse 4:27

Susan Alcorn

9> Circular Ruins 9:46

Terry Rusling

10> If I Could Find A Thing To Hate 4:12

Robert Bauer

11> Extensions II (Guitar) 8:06
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"On The Cover:

Casey Koyczan is a Tlicho Dene interdisciplinary artist from Yellowknife, NT, now based in Winnipeg, where he is beginning the second year of Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Manitoba. Through various creations of interactivity, he explores and reveals how culture and technology intersect with political, economic, and environmental challenges. He writes and performs with live-looping guitar as NÀHGĄ, and is also a workshop facilitator, web designer and advocate for future generations of artists. Mercedes Webb (first-place winner of Canadian Art magazine's 2019 writer prize), interviews Koyczan about his exploration of Indigenous futurities in his work, what the name NÀHGĄ means in the context of his music practice, and creating new work during COVID-19. Koyczan contributes three tracks to the CD, and provides a "virtual tour" of his studio in the centrespread of the issue! (Cover photo by Robert Szkolnicki.)

Canadian Works for Guitar & Electronics

Nova Scotia guitarist and composer Amy Brandon (profiled in our Fall 2019 issue) makes her Musicworks writing debut with a feature that explores how the activities of the Guitar Society of Toronto, the University of Toronto Electronic Music Studios, and the McGill Electronic Music Studio sparked new works and ideas in guitar composition in the late 1960s and '70s. With a focus on the evolution of Canadian works for guitar and electroacoustics, Brandon follows the progression of key artists and works from then to now. The article includes a lengthy sidebar list of notable compositions; to get the listening started, the CD includes works by Terry Rusling and Robert Bauer.

Susan Alcorn

Following her performance at the 2020 edition of Toronto's Women From Space festival in March, the Baltimore-based pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn talked to Jesse Locke about her country-music origins, world travels, introduction to improvisation, and political activism dating back to the Vietnam War. Though primarily a solo performer, the sixty-year-old musician has collaborated with an impressive list of experimental heroes including Pauline Oliveros, Eugene Chadbourne, Mary Halvorson, Jandek, and Joe McPhee. The CD includes a track from her forthcoming album, Pedemal (out Nov. 2020).

Aidan Baker

Over 20 years, the Berlin-based Canadian composer and guitarist Aidan Baker has been the creator and curator of an immense amount of work. In a recent conversation with Michael Rancic, Baker discusses how that instrument informs his musical practice, and discusses his genre agnosticism when it comes to working along a continuum of noise, metal, and free jazz. Baker has his own label which each year releases multiple recordings under his own name and that of NADJA, the duo he helms with his wife Leah Buckareff, which he describes as a vehicle for his massive output. He also speaks about the DIY ethos that's at the centre of his work. The CD includes a recent, previous unreleased solo track by Baker.

. . . and we've got more multifaceted guitarists in the Fall 2020 issue mix . . .

Eliza Kavtion is a Mohawk experimental guitarist from Oka who layers provocative vocal clips and sound samples over mesmerizing shred guitar to explore issues related to Indigenous resistance and sovereignty.

C. Diab is a Vancouver-based guitarist whose ambient music is influenced by natural surroundings and propelled by his self-developed bowed technique.

Of Stars and Stripes is Mark Miller's new biography of Canadian jazz-guitar innovator Sonny Greenwich.

. . . and more exciting music from the very recent past and very near future!

Markus Lake is a Montreal musician, composer, DIY-scene stalwart, and visual artist who releases synthetic audio works as Markus Floats.

Catherine Debard is a Montreal electronic musician who releases bedroom-y lo-fi solo and collaborative recordings as YlangYlang.

Cloud Chamber is the working title of collaborative project between four Canadian composers to create and, eventually, perform pieces for Arkora, an electric vocal chamber consort that includes a huge 31-TET glass marimba."

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Improvised Music
Various Artists & Compilations
New in Compositional Music
New in Improvised Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
New in Rock Forms
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