Four sets of musicians reached out to the far boundaries of their instruments at the first day of IMOOfest at Club SAW on Friday.
IMOO co-founder Craig Pedersen opened with some new solo trumpet explorations, adding in percussive effects to lines that waxed and waned in strength. Northern Sound Electrical System combined two guitars with laptop loops for a rich tapestry of sound including glistening high notes near the end. Alternator featured cello, alto sax, bassoon, electric guitar, and lap steel for an ever-changing soundscape that ranged from aggressive to eerie.
And, finally, clarinetist Lori Freedman pushed the upper and lower ranges of her bass clarinet, right from her first attention-grabbing high notes down to the deep, vibrating notes at the end, and even lifting the tall instrument right above her head at one point for a particularly intense solo. She created multiple voices in her playing, and used silence and near-silence as a counterpoint to louder sounds.
For the middle section of her set, she switched to regular clarinet for a low, vibrating riffs which abruptly jumped to extremely high. And, then, after inquiring whether she had been too loud for the audience, she disassembled the instrument and sang through the bell, and then reassembled it partially, leaving out the centre section. The shorter length allowed her to use her hand as a mute, and produce interesting high quavering sounds. It was a highly varied and interesting exploration and was greeted by strong applause at the end.
Freedman appears again tonight for the final day of IMOOfest, conducting and playing with the IMOO Orchestra.
– Alayne McGregor