suddenlyLISTEN Artists

Norman Adams Canadian cellist, and electronic musician Norman Adams is the Artistic Director of suddenlyLISTEN music and was Principal Cellist of Symphony Nova Scotia from 1991 to 2018. A student of Hans Jørgen Jensen, Bernard Greenhouse, and American new music pioneer Pauline Oliveros, Norman has been a soloist with SNS, and Les Jeunes Virtuoses de Montréal, and has performed chamber and improvised music throughout Canada, the US, France, Italy, Czech Republic and the UK. His performances have also been heard across the country on CBC Radio. In 2010 Norman was awarded an Established Artist Award by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council for his varied work. In addition to his work as a classical cellist, Norman is well known across Canada, as an exploratory musician, playing free and creative music. Norman has collaborated with many leading artists including Joelle Leandre, Gerry Hemingway, Eddie Prévost, Pauline Oliveros, Buck 65, Xavier Charles, Marilyn Crispell and Evan Parker. Since 2000 Norman has been the Artistic Director and Producer of suddenlyLISTEN Music, an organization that presents an annual series of concerts of improvised music, featuring a broad range of local, Canadian and international artists. He is dedicated to sharing music with all people, leading workshops in Halifax and across Canada. Norm also supports arts organizations across Canada, serving on the Board of Directors of The Canadian New Music Network.

Check out some of Norm’s work here:

Tim Crofts (piano/keyboards: Halifax) is the Artistic Associate and Outreach Director of suddenlyLISTEN and a true 21st Century pianist. He performs a wide variety of music in concerts clubs and recordings. However, Tim’s main focus remains improvisation & new music. His musical style combines elements of 20th century classical music with free jazz improvisation and world music aesthetics. In performance, Tim explores the full sonic capabilities of the acoustic piano through extended techniques and a wide range of piano preparations. Tim has been presented regularly by suddenlyLISTEN in concerts and on tour, with the Crofts/Adams/Pearse Trio. He has performed regularly with the Upstream Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and in other concert with such creative music luminaries as Jerry Granelli, Gerry Hemingway, Graham Collier, Evan Parker and Dave Douglas. Tim has released several recordings including his solo CD 8 Ball and DoorknobLiteral Lateral with the Crofts/Adams/Pearse Trio and percussionist Gerry Hemingway and Collateral with Sam Shalabi and Adams. Tim has also made a mark as an educator. He co-directed the suddenlyLISTEN bi-weekly improvisation workshop with Norman Adams from 2006 to 2016;  Tim is also a faculty member at the Fountain School for the Performing Arts at Dalhousie University.

Ellen is a harpist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a BMus in harp performance from McGill University, and an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance from the University of Limerick. As an orchestral harpist, she has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia and the World Youth Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales, and has toured with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Ellen is currently part of classical flute and harp duo Conundrum, environmental improvisation ensemble New Hermitage, orchestral pop band The Heavy Blinkers, and Irish traditional trio Síle. Her Irish traditional duo with Erin Dempsey, Ragged Robin, released its debut album, Deep in the Tangled Wood, in 2016.Ellen has taught at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, Acadia University, the University of Limerick, and the Canadian International Summer Harp Institute. She currently teaches privately at her home studio.

Brandon Auger is a sound artist and carpenter currently working out of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. Originally a guitarist, he started experimenting with electronics and tape in the early 90’s. Influenced by the works of Cage, Eno, and Erstwhile Records, his minimalist approach draws also from architectural blueprints, industrial design, and photography. Mainly working as an improviser, he manipulates the relationship between sound and silence, to create “temporary audio textiles”. While being an active member of the suddenlyLISTEN community in Halifax, Auger also has performed at the Halifax International Jazz, and Experimental Music Festivals. He has also presented works in various artist run galleries throughout Ontario, Nova Scotia and the US.

Geordie Haley is a Halifax  based guitarist, composer and improviser. He five CDs to hi credit including his most recent album Sculptures. Geordie has performed at L’Off Festival in Montreal, the Toronto Jazz Festival and the Atlantic Jazz Festival in Halifax. The Geordie Haley Trio has appeared at the Guelph Jazz Festival and Glenn Hall’s 416 Festival in Toronto. EXCLAIM magazine voted the Geordie Haley Trio POLAR BEARS album (featuring Nick Fraser, drums and Scott Thomson, trombone) best of 2007’s improvising CDs in their Destination Out section!For two years, Geordie was a co-curator of the Leftover Daylight Series at Array Music Studios, a performance series showcasing improvisation and new composition. Geordie has performed many musicians including: Bruce Cassidy, Lori Freedman, William Parker, Roger Turner, John Oswald, Rebecca Campbell, Andrew Downing, Michael Keith, Dave Clark, along with video artist June Pak and dancers Susie Burpee and Shannon Cooney.Listen to Geordie here:
Nadia Francavilla, Montreal-born violinist and music educator, brings a collaborative spirit, a passion for new music, and a distinctly European sensibility to her performing and teaching work.
A McGill University graduate, she trained under Mauricio Fuks, Raphael Druian and Joseph Silverstein. Her orchestral background includes l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy, and she spent several years with Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc and Quatuor Bozzini, producing recordings and touring in North America, Europe, and Japan. At present, she performs most often with Motion2, Atlantica, and Moineaux D’Entendre, exploring classical and contemporary works in mixed chamber music settings.

Ms. Francavilla’s driving interest in new music has led her to commission and premiere new works from both Canadian and international composers. She is currently musician-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick where she has worked on solo projects, given masterclasses and lectures, and integrated herself into the Fredericton music scene. Ms. Francavilla is also a violin teacher at the Mount Allison University and Université de Moncton.

Erwan Keravec is a Breton piper (Scottish bagpipes) whose eclectic path ranges from traditional to contemporary music and improvisation. This encompasses free improvisation with Mats Gustafsson, Beñat Achiary, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, etc.; writing and playing music for modern dance companies (Boris Charmatz, Emmanuelle huynh, Gaëlle Bourges…); a traditional duo with his brother Guénolé Keravec; playing solo pieces written for him by such contemporary composers as Wolfgang Mitterer, Oscar Bianchi, Oscar Strasnoy, Philippe leroux, José-Manuel lopez Lopez, etc. Lastly, in ‘Urban Pipes’ Erwan presents his work as a composer and an improviser.

Hamid Drake is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 1970s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso’s Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career.[2]

He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks, using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake’s questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae.

Sarah Albu is a Montréal-based experimental vocalist, composer and performance-maker. Her background in theatre and obsession with science fiction feed quirky and darkly comedic imagined worlds. She has been an invited artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the National Arts Centre of Canada, and international series and festivals across Canada, Europe/Scandinavia, the US and Mexico. In 2018, she completed her MMus at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague under the supervision of Renee Jonker, where her research focused on voice, incarnation/body, technology and interdisciplinary storytelling. Equally active as a free improvisor, new music soloist, and early music chorister, she is comfortable lending her voice to settings ranging from 15th century polyphony to noise and psychedelic rock. Her first solo album was released independently in 2013, featuring 8 commissions for solo voice. An avid knitter, environmentalist and folk dancer, her recent work explores the effects of rapidly developing technology on our bodies and lives through a mix of curiosity and nostalgia.

Isaiah Ceccarelli is performer/composer with drums and percussion from Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada. He composes for musicians and ensembles such as Sarah Albu, Mira Benjamin, the Bozzini Quartet, Katelyn Clark, the GGRIL, the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists, the Suoni per il Popolo festival (Stretch Wood), and Ensemble SuperMusique. He has recorded albums for Ambiances Magnétiques (Montréal), Drip Audio (Vancouver), and Another Timbre (United Kingdom). As a drummer, he has performed and recorded in countless jazz and improvised music settings since the mid-1990s. In 2015, he was the artist in residence at the London studio of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Canadian musician Katelyn Clark specializes in the performance of historical repertoire and experimental music on early keyboard instruments. She works through informed playing, improvisation, and innovative performance practice on the harpsichord, pianoforte, and organetto. Katelyn has concertized internationally as a soloist and chamber musician and has held artist residencies at the Banff Centre (Alberta), NES (Skagaströnd, Iceland), OMI (Ghent, New York), Artscape (Toronto Island, ON), and SPAR (St. Petersburg, Russia). Her artistic practice and scholarly study have been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts,, Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Fonds du recherche du Québec – Société et culture, The Banff Centre, and the Early Music Society of the Islands.

Katelyn’s experimental practice focuses on semi-improvised music for organetto and electronics. She creates long-duration works in performance and explores live and digital manipulation of intervals and sequences in modified Pythagorean temperament. Katelyn is also an active performer and commissioner of new Canadian compositions for the harpsichord; she has premiered over 100 solo and chamber pieces, including recent works by Linda Catlin Smith, Tawnie Olson, and Anna Pidgorna.

Mazen Kerbaj (born Beirut, 1975) is a Lebanese jazz and free improvisation trumpeter and comic book artist. Kerbaj grew up in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, and began playing free jazz in local clubs following the reestablishment of cultural life in the 1990s. His first public performances took place in 2000, started his own record label, and toured internationally, playing with musicians such as Michael Zerang, Mats Gustafsson, Guillermo Gregorio, and Fred Lonberg-Holm in Europe and the United States. He also issued his own comics in the 2000s, which are published on a blog. In July 2006, he recorded himself playing live during the 2006 Lebanon War with the sounds of bombs exploding and car sirens wailing. In 2015, he became artist-in-residence at the Berlin collective DAAD.

I’m a composer living in Vancouver’s Yaletown. My day gig is a professor of music and technology at Simon Fraser University‘s School for the Contemporary Arts, where I teach some courses. I’m also the chair of the graduate program there.

I spend a lot of time trying to make my computer help me compose by making it more intelligent. Specifically I’m involved in the notion of metacreation, which is imbuing computers with creative behaviour. I also make robots – designed and built by Ajay Kapur – play my music. NSERC and Canada Council felt my work was worthy of a major New Media Grant. More info on it here. I’ve received some media attention about my work.

I’ve recently been funded to continue work on musebots, which are virtual musical agents that collectively make music together. They have been presented as installations at ICCCISEAGenerative ArtNIMESMCxCoAx, and TIES. Last year, we put on a show in which humans played with the musebots. After a recent musebot code-jam in Byron Bay, Australia, I created an Imaginary Miles ensemble modeled after Miles Davis‘ Filles De Kilimanjaro and In A Silent Way ensemble circa 1969. Ollie Bown asked me to point my musebots towards making trap music (I asked “what’s trap music”), and eight weeks later, they have an album on Spotify.

Together with Philippe Pasquier and Ollie Bown, I’m one of the ongoing program committee and organizers for MuMe, or Musical Metacreation. We put on workshopstutorialsconcerts, and edited a Special Issue on Musical Metacreation for ACM Computers in Entertainment. MuMe even has a Twitter feed!

I used to write a lot of music for Serge Bennathan‘s Dancemakers. An older CD of mine, music for Les Arbres d’Or, is available online. I’ve also got a piece on this CD and this one. But who really buys CDs anymore? Almost all of my music is available here.

My one-time alternate persona still has music available online. It received airplay in, of all places, Macedonia, Croatia, Australia, and Michigan (Update: my latest 5/17 royalty check of $1.08 came from radio airplay in Vietnam!).

Some of this music is/was available via kolorform records (out of print), as well as on the German netaudio label 2063, the Chicago netlabel stasisfield, two Vancouver net-labels (kikapu and nishi). Writer Marc Weidenbaum of Disquiet went so far as to include Nine Days as one of the albums that changed his life. Huh. Now raemus is on Spotify.

I’m a member of the Canadian League of Composers (CLC), the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC), the International Computer Music Association (ICMA),  SOCAN, and an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

I’ve written a lot of software for the Mac, all using Max/MSPCheck it out here.


Derek Charke is a JUNO and four-time ECMA award-winning composer and flutist. He has a catalogue of over 100 available works. He has had various high profile commissions and performances, including several by Canada’s major symphony orchestras, Duo Turgeon, Cheng Duo, Land’s End Ensemble, WIRED!, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, the Kronos Quartet, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, as well as an impressive list of other performers and organizations. His music is eclectic, often defying categorization due to wide-ranging influences. Described as minimalist and post-minimal, modernist, inventive, rich textured, full of colour, and imbued with drama and rhythmic vitality, his compositions often incorporate tonality and/or modality, electronics and soundscapes, explorations of contemporary instrumental techniques, and improvisation. He attempts to speak to a wide-ranging audience. Derek is currently a professor of music at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia where he teaches composition and music theory. He also heads AEMS, the Acadia Electroacoustic Music Studio. As a professional flutist he actively performs as a soloist, chamber & studio musician, and new music improviser. He is a member of the Charke ~ Cormier Duo, a flute and guitar duo, and an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

Andrew Reed Miller is a bass player and composer living in Saint John Canada. Mr. Miller is a principal bass of Symphony New Brunswick and is sartistic director of Resonance New Music Inc., which has presented new and experimental music in and around NB since 1998.

Originally from New York, Andrew studied in Ottawa and Toronto and eventually toured with The Canadian Opera Company, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Andrew has performed at many venues, including Open Ears Festival (Kitchener), New Music Calgary, Sound Symposium (Newfoundland), the Scotia Festival of Music, Ensemble Kore (Montreal) The Music Gallery (Toronto), Western Front (Vancouver),  and Tonic (New  York).

Miller has written music for orchestra, dance, chamber music, film, television, and theatre.

“Miller is a superb player, a master and a creative inventor……” -Stephen Pedersen The Chronicle Herald (Halifax) Jan 10, 2011

松樹千年翠 (Shoju-Sennenno-Midori) Peggy Lee Kim Myhr Ingar Zach Andrew Reed Miller Tanya Kalmanovich Andrew Miller Philippe Lauzier Donald MacLennan Julia Carr Andrew MacKelvie Brandon Auger Burton Greene Isabelle Duthoit Roger Taylor Beverly Glenn Copeland Francois Houle Jeremy Costello Nick Dourado Bianca Palmer Hubsch/Martel/Zoubec Ken Aldcroft’s Convergence Ensemble Jacinte Armstrong Sara Coffin Rhonda Baker Cory Bowles Franz Hautzinger Xavier Charles Instant Places Susan Alcorn Ken Aldcroft William Parker Ben Grossman Quatuor Bozzini Dominic Desautels Susan Sayle Suzanne Lemieux Brandon Auger Shayna Dulberger Craig Pedersen William Parker In the Sea Xavier Charles Franz Hautzinger Sam Shalabi Magali Babin Pierre-Yves Martel hermitofthewoods Andrew Jackson Magda Mayas Danielle P Roger Scott Thomson Jean Derome Joane Hetu Erin Costelo Nick Halley Peter Wiegold Giorgio Magnanensi Robin Streb Donald MacLennan Robin Hayward Christopher Williams Lukas Pearse Eric Normand Remy Belanger de Beauport Joelle Leandre Derek Charke Tena Palmer D’Arcy Gray Doug Cameron Isaiah Ceccarelli Arthur Bull Gina Burgess David Christensen Christine Duncan DB Boyko Karen Bassett Theo Pitsiavas Sebastien Labelle Paul Bendzsa John D.S. Adams WL Altman Christoph Both Jerome Blais Monique Buzzarte Allison Cameron Chris Chafe Chris Church Marilyn Crispell Tim Crofts Anne Davison Erin Donovan Andrew Duke Katherine Duncanson Lori Freedman Jamie Gatti Jerry Granelli Tonja Gunvaldsen-Klaassen Geordie Haley Daniel Heïkalo Gerry Hemingway Ione Diane Labrosse Sebastian Lexer Katherine Liberovskaya Adam Linson Miya Masaoka Bonnie Miksch Pauline Oliveros Dani Oore Sageev Oore Lukas Pearse Rob Power Eddie Prevost Lee Pui Ming Jeff Reilly Martin Tétreault Liam Tucker Dinuk Wijeratne