Michael C. Duguay’s latest collab blends bands, genres
From March 6 to 10, 2023, critically-acclaimed Kingston-based composer and producer Michael C. Duguay, will be one of several artists-in-residence at Hotel Wolfe Island. Joining Duguay will be Halifax’s award-winning minimalist chamber-jazz quartet New Hermitage, and Toronto/Peterborough’s Polaris Prize-nominated hymn-drone duo, Joyful Joyful.
Over the course of this residency, this seven-piece ensemble will be collaborating on a forthcoming musical project, to be recorded this June in Halifax. Produced by Duguay, the recording will incorporate the group’s broad musical interests, combining their backgrounds in jazz, classical, drone, folk, ambient, improvisational, minimalist and avant-garde music, and will feature more than thirty other musicians from the Nova Scotian creative music community. This residency and recording project has been funded by the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
”This residency… represents a significant development in my creative practice. I’m very excited to bring some of my best friends and collaborators from Halifax, Peterborough, and Toronto to the island to work and to mingle with my home community,” Duguay explained to Kingston Live. “The music that we’ll be working on is sure to be distinct… We all share a love for improvisation, experimental music performance, deep listening and drone, and this will be central to our process.”
The music that we’ll be working on is sure to be distinct… We all share a love for improvisation, experimental music performance, deep listening and drone..
This project was developed out of a 2022 performance at Sappyfest in Sackville, New Brunswick where New Hermitage and Joyful Joyful, meeting for the first time, joined Duguay for an unscripted improvisational performance oriented around his songwriter material. The performance received a standing ovation and the ensemble decided to pursue the project further, with Duguay shifting from principal songwriter to co-composer and producer.
“I have produced four of my own albums, each of which has sort of pushed the limits of scale and concept, and this project is a continuation of that growth, but with myself removed as central performer this time,” added Duguay. “Bringing new people together as collaborators is central to my personal creative practice, and this group, particularly, is a fascinating bunch. We have production sessions planned in Halifax this summer, and those sessions will bring in an additional 20-plus musicians from the Nova Scotia creative music community.”
Bringing new people together as collaborators is central to my personal creative practice, and this group, particularly, is a fascinating bunch.
Local audiences are invited to join the ensemble at Hotel Wolfe Island on Friday, March 10th for a collaborative performance of improvised music and new material composed over the course of the group’s residency featuring saxophone, cello, harp, electric guitar, piano, accordion, electronics, and voice. The performance is from 8-10 PM in the Hotel’s piano lounge.
About Michael C. Duguay
Michael C. Duguay is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and poet based in central Ontario whose work focuses on site-specific ensemble recording, radical DIY community-building collaborative practices, and genre-fluid and multidisciplinary projects featuring a diverse and revolving cast of contributing members. Known for his profound and literary lyrical style and projects as far-ranging as traditional folk, punk, free jazz, avant-garde drone, and electronic music, his voice finds a home anywhere the work delivers him.
About Joyful Joyful
Joyful Joyful are a Peterborough/Toronto-based duo of voice and electronics. From the singular voice of Cormac Culkeen an enveloping world of electro-acoustic soundscapes is woven. Their debut album was listed for the 2022 Polaris Music Prize.
About New Hermitage
Ambient improvised chamber ensemble, New Hermitage, is based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia). In their performances, musical dimensions evolve with intentionality and are given shape by the environment as the environment is shaped by the music. Inspired by the ethos of listening practices from Jerry Granelli and Pauline Oliveros that erase sonic hierarchy, New Hermitage dismantles systems of harmony, form, and orchestration through spontaneous composition.