By Ricky Lima
I think that some of the most interesting and forward thinking stuff is being done in the electronic scene. There is something about having the ability to literally craft every instrument and sound an artist uses that encourages a high level of creativity. From October 12 to the 21, The Music Gallery presents X Avant New Music Festival VII: Expanding Circuits, a music festival dedicated to electronic music. The festival will take place in Toronto, Ontario at The Music Gallery. I had a chance to talk to David Dacks, the artistic director at The Music Gallery, to discuss this year’s X Avant festival.
Popshifter: What can attendees of X Avant expect from this year’s program?
David Dacks: This year’s X Avant explores a wide range of electronic music. While the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) side of electronic music has risen to new heights of popularity this year, X Avant asks questions about what it means to make music using electronic tools. Toronto has always produced wildly creative electronic music, this festival taps into the historical curiosity and diversity of approaches that exist here. The festival swings from intense dance parties (Global Bass Avant) to dubbed out post-classical sounds (Contact with Sandro Perri) to the further frontiers of post-J Dilla experimentations (A Mind/Body Split). You can also expect stunning visuals ranging from Pierre Hebert’s live animation (October 13) to Steve Reaume’s musically interactive projections on a huge screen (October 17) to Pursuit Grooves’ delicately distorted natural scenes. There are two free events as well Bob Ostertag’s keynote address “The Meaning Of Music In The Digital Age” (October 14) and a panel which examines different strategies of electronics and improvisation (October17).
Popshifter: The title for this festival is Expanding Circuits. Can you explain the title for the festival?
David Dacks: I started as artistic director of the Music Gallery in January of this year. This is my first festival. Expanding Circuits has a double meaning: Circuits, because it’s a festival of electronic music; Expanding, because we’ve reached so many new audiences in the last few years by drawing inspiration from Toronto’s creative indie musicians-—ur next step is to reach out to the many, many fans of electronic music in the GTA. The Music Gallery has been presenting forward thinking electronic music since its inception in 1976 so this festival is a continuity and an expansion at the same time.
Popshifter: What is the goal of this year’s festival?
David Dacks: New audiences meeting established audiences. Walking into the church sanctuary where we stage most of our shows and seeing folks from all ages and walks of life coming down to enjoy boundary-pushing music. Creating a feeling that bringing all kinds of disparate genres and personalities into the realm of “creative music” is beneficial to Toronto as a whole. Then seeing that momentum carry through to the rest of The Music Gallery’s season, which runs through June 2013.
X Avant New Music Festival VII: Expanding Circuits runs in Toronto from October 12 to 21, 2012 with the main hub of the festival taking place at The Music Gallery, 197 John Street, with extensions of the festival programming taking place at various additional downtown venues. For more information, please visit The Music Gallery website.