Snowday, The Visit, and DF at Pressed 2016-07-06

July 12th, 2016 by  |  Published in Concerts


Last Wednesday, Pressed hosted a complete evening of eclectic experimental music with the Toronto chillout project Snowday, Ottawa’s own cello/vocalist duo The Visit, and in from Montreal, sound and light artists DF.

Dustin Finer, Daniel Freder - DF at Pressed 2016-07-06

Bringing this night at Pressed into focus were the experimental minimalist Montreal duo of Dustin Finer and Daniel Freder (a.k.a. DF). Dustin composes the music and plays the saxophone which is input through a ‘looper’. Dan designs unique light sequencing (which responds to the live and looped compositions) with found materials. This performance featured three clustered stacks of fair-sized cardboard boxes painted black with white designs and the lights within.

The programmed real-time responses to the live loops and Dustin’s onstage sax playing created an intriguing ‘space’ (…with the house and stage lights of Pressed off) where the live and looped sounds influence the light-sequencing set-up and vice-versa. To illustrate how unique a performance DF creates, here is a video recorded live in 2015 at House of Common (Ottawa), because a written description does not do the performance justice…

Raphael Weinroth-Browne and Heather Sita Black - The Visit at Pressed 2016-07-06

The Visit, vocalist Heather Sita Black and cellist/pianist Raphael Weinroth-Browne, are continually mesmerising and enthralling. Heather’s seraphic voice, which may move from soaring like a reborn phoenix through a volcanic sky to floating as dust of the Faire Folk in soft Arabian breezes, wove within and around Raphael’s ‘daemonic’ cello pyrotechnics.

They kept the packed house at Pressed spellbound with three numbers from their album, Through Darkness Into LightOffering, Through Darkness, and Into Light. In closing, they chose a new composition which they dedicated to ‘Willow’ who was at the show.

Again, words cannot depict the transcendant encounter Heather and Raphael create, so I will abdicate my worthless words to an audio/visual recreation of a rendition of Offering.

Snowday - Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner

The Toronto duo of producers Cam Sloan and Chad Skinner (a.k.a. Snowday) integrate an intricate mixture of ProgRock, Cool Jazz and Ambient to arrive at a psychedelic, yet sensual, style of chillout music – but only on their recordings. In live shows, compositions remain, but with the addition of drummer Tait Rowsell, these hypnotic absorbing pieces become a rhythmic body-pulsing music that flows from dangerous to smooth to quiet to primal – and beyond.

So what one may experience live onstage as a three piece (or a quartet with the addition of violinist Jessie Lyon), is not what one wiil hear on their recordings – and perhaps even decidedly different. Flowing effortlessly from piece to piece (from their albums Evoke and As We Travel), the percussion would fluctuate from a fierce counterpoint with the more meditative synths/electronics and guitar to a merging with them that would meld into a cohesive reflective wash of minimalistic ambience.

Tait Rowsell

Truly a seductive mesh of styles whether in the more robust live version or the ethereal recorded incarnation, Snowday creates music worthy of including in one’s collection and experiencing often.

Snowday > Website, Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube
The Visit > Website, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter
DF > Bandcamp, Facebook

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