suddenlyLISTEN Artists

Norman Adams Canadian cellist, and electronic musician Norman Adams is Principal Cellist of Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Artistic Director of suddenlyLISTEN music. 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, 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, and Strategic Arts Management.

Check out some of Norm’s work here:

timscaleTim 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. In 2014 Tim will release two recordings: his solo CD 8 Ball and Doorknob on the Divorce Records label, and Literal Lateral with the Crofts/Adams/Pearse Trio and percussionist Gerry Hemingway. Tim has also made a mark as an educator. He has co-directed the suddenlyLISTEN bi-weekly improvisation workshop with Norman Adams since 2006.  Tim is a full-time instructor at the Halifax Jazz Festival’s Creative Music Workshop directed by Jerry Granelli, and along with Granelli, the originator of the Creative Music Lab.  Tim is alsoa part-time faculty member at the Fountain School for the Performing Arts at Dalhousie University.

松樹千年翠 (Shoju-Sennenno-Midori) travel the world presenting their unique blend of biwa (Japanese guitar), percussion, Ikebana (flower arranging) and calligraphy: Ancient arts combine with local materials, in real time performance!
Naoto Yamagishi writes: “We are often captivated by the colourful spectacle and beauty brought up by each season – cherry blossoms in spring, the fresh verdure of summer, and the autumn foliage. The pine trees, (matsu) do not appear to undergo many changes throughout the year – the changes are subtle and rarely attract people’s attention. However, the pines weather over a long period of time with countless and unnoticeable transitions, maintaining their greenness for over one thousand years. We, like inconspicuous pines, intend to approach our project with consistency and a long-term view of the past, present and future. We deliver what has been inherited for many generations. However, our concept is subject to the current time and place. Our project is based on the collaboration of calligraphy, Ikebana and sound improvisation. Each artist will react to the unique atmosphere of the Art Bar while responding to each others movements and materials via live performance.”

Shiraishi Setsuhi: calligraphy

Rieko Fujitaka: biwa

Oshun Tsukagoshi: ikebana

Naoto Yamagishi: percussion


Philippe Lauzier (b. 1977) is an active musician from Montreal. After studying composition from 1998 to 2002, he dedicated a lot his time to the art of improvisation. He plays the saxophone since the age of 10 and became a self-taught bass clarinetist later on. Working with several projects, Lauzier has been touring in Europe, North America and Australia with groups like Sainct Laurens, Quartetski, Toiture and Not the Music, as well as playing concerts with the musicians Alexandre St-Onge, Cléo Palacio-Quintin, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Martin Tétreault, Kim Myhr, Franz Hautzinger, Xavier Charles, Jim Denley, Tatsuya Nakatani, Nicolas Caloia, among others. His interest for multidisciplinary arts also leads him to create a sound installation for the FIMAV in 2014; a site-specific piece for Les Symphonies portuaires de Pointe-à-Callière; music for films, contemporary dance and theatre; and a few visual-sound art collaborations such as Motel Hélène with Frédérique Laliberté.



A duo featuring the hollowed-out of amplified clarinet and trumpet, Sound of the Mountain comes from
a strong history of improvisation and extended performance techniques, offering their audience long-
form deep listening experiences through the sculpting of vitalized breath.

Since forming in 2015, they have played over 100 concerts together, developing a sound language which
merges acoustic and electronic textures through amplification and extended performance techniques.
With this language they create long-form improvised soundscapes, evoking a vast range of textures,
from silence and spaciousness, to rumbling bass and room saturation. The duo works with closely-mic’d
instruments and minimal equalization, avoiding the use of effects pedals and loops, such that their
constant physical attention drives the music. The whistles and creaking of metal and reed anticipate the
more dense moments of distortion and feedback in pieces that can be appreciated as discreet moments,
or longer forms.

Active touring artists, they have played internationally throughout Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia
and Australia, and coast-to-coast throughout Canada. Making a point of collaboration, the duo has
collaborated with Japanese improvised music pioneers Toshimaru Nakamura, Tetuzi Akiyama, Takahiro
Kawaguchi, Michiyo Yagi and Akira Sakata , Canadian experimental trailblazers like the electro-acoustic
duo Instant Places, Tone Deaf’s Matt Rogalsky, or Guelph’s own hurdy-gurdy player Ben Grossman, and
members of Quebec’s experimental electronic community Alain Lefevbre, Anne-F Jacques, and Emilie
Mouchous, along with many many more. Favouring community-building and DIY ethics you’re most
likely to hear them playing in your friend’s basement, artist-run-centres, galleries and cafes.



Tanya Kalmanovitch is a Canadian violist, ethnomusicologist, and author known for her breadth of inquiry and restless sense of adventure. Her uncommonly diverse interests converge in the fields of improvisation, social entrepreneurship, and social action with projects that explore the provocative cultural geography of locations around the world. Based in Brooklyn, Kalmanovitch’s layered artistic research practice has rewarded her with extended residencies in India, Ireland, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Siberia.

Named “Best New Talent” by All About Jazz when she emerged from New York’s vibrant downtown scene, Kalmanovitch has continually stretched the boundaries between classical, jazz and improvised music. The Irish Times called her “an exceptional musician,” writing that her music possesses “austere beauty and remarkable unity between the written and the improvised.” She completed her conservatory training at the prestigious Juilliard School only to debut as a jazz violist with the Turtle Island String Quartet soon after. Her stylistically fluid recordings have garnered critical acclaim. Hut Five (2003) was hailed by the Montreal Gazette as “an exceptional recording.” Heart Mountain (2007) with venerated pianist Myra Melford won France’s “Choc” award and topped many critics’ year-end “Best of” lists. Pianist Ethan Iverson (Do The Math) praised her most recent release Magic Mountain (2016) with fellow violist Mat Maneri as “an exceptionally surreal and beautiful performance.”

Kalmanovitch’s career has become a broad platform for artistry and advocacy. She has been an invited speaker at the Society for Ethnomusicology, Carnegie Hall, the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women at Georgetown University, Columbia University, and National YoungArts Week, among others. She was drawn to ethnomusicology as a way to explore the ways in which music can speak to the world’s biggest problems and earned her doctorate at the University of Alberta. In Istanbul, she reworked themes in Song Books for the John Cage centenary to reflect growing resistance movements. Her two residences at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul resulted in at total of 15 public performances, panel discussions, workshops, master classes, collaborative rehearsals and a student exchange with the United States. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Canada’s Globe and Mail, the Irish Times, the Boston Globe, Time Out New York, Jazz Times, and DownBeat, as well as on air for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Kalmanovitch has shown her commitment to education through her dedicated teaching practice for over a decade. She has given master classes at Woodstock’s Creative Music Studios, the Banff Centre for the Arts, London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the Estonian Academy of Music, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, and the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory. As a faculty member at the New England Conservatory since 2006, she played a leading role in new initiatives in the school’s departments of Contemporary Improvisation and Entrepreneurial Musicianship. In 2013, she joined the faculty at Mannes School of Music at The New School New York City, where she is an Associate Professor, Affiliated Faculty with the Tishman Environment and Design Centre, and a fellow of the Graduate Institute of Design, Ethnography and Social Thought.

Kalmanovitch is currently performing in duo settings with pianist Marilyn Crispell as well as in a collaborative trio with pianist Anthony Coleman and accordionist Ted Reichman. She is developing the Tar Sands Songbook, a documentary theater play that tells the stories of people whose lives been shaped by living in close proximity to oil.


Mazen Kerbaj, born 1975 in Beirut, is a draftsman and author as well as a musician. He has published drawings, many short stories and several books with a variety of magazines and book publishers. His comics-like drawings and caricatures are reminiscent of Picasso’s portraits of Dora Maar, with seemingly Cubist, synchronous viewpoints and sometimes markedly distorted features. Not infrequently, the subject of Mazen Kerbaj’s portrait appears accompanied by words or sharp-tongued commentaries that speak of the conflicts of living in wartime even as they struggle to express the bloodcurdling sounds of these and other events.

In his music, Mazen Kerbaj transforms that which remains in part inaccessible to visual images. When he joins in an improvised duet with the sounds of the 2006 bombing of Beirut, the question of whether he does this out of resignation, resistance or defiance remains open. Starry Night is a minimalist improvisation that demonstrates the variety of sounds that can be developed from his experimental approach to certain instruments. It is therefore no surprise that Mazen Kerbaj is considered one of the pioneers of improvised music in the Near East. He founded various improvisation ensembles and played the first concerts of experimental improvised music in the region with colleagues such as the saxophonist Christine Sehnaoui. Together with the guitarist Sharif Sehnao, he conceived the Irtijal Festival, the first festival for improvised music in Lebanon, in 2000, along with the first label for improvisational music. While he initially developed his experimental sound world by generating differentiated sounds on the saxophone, Kerbaj has increasingly been seeking connections with other instruments.

His radical delight in experimentation manifests itself, for instance, in a »synthesis« of saxophone and trumpet. By combining the saxophone’s mouthpiece with the trumpet’s body, and electronic effects with extended playing techniques, Mazen Kerbaj creats a multilayered, at times meditative, at times energy-charged soundscape. During his Berlin residency, one aim is to translate the potential of the prepared trumpet into compositional concepts. The superimposition of different soundtracks – which arise, for example, from the incessant repetition of a single musical gesture and the continuous flow of sonic »microevents« – opens up a new compositional horizon of harmonically differentiated fields of sound.
This musically innovative approach to playing techniques for the prepared trumpet made Mazen Kerbaj an esteemed musician in the European improvisation scene, for instance in the trumpet trio with Axel Dörner (D) and Franz Hautzinger (A). It is not just the effect that matters to these musicians, but rather uncompromising relentlessness and ultimately inner freedom. Mazen Kerbaj has been traveling back and forth between the Near East, Europe and the USA for more than 15 years as a musician and artist – whether with exhibitions of his paintings and drawings or as a soloist and ensemble member in concerts. Onomatopoetic chains of symbols in Mazen Kerbaj’s work also create connections between the sound of the comics and the sound structures in the music.

Éric Normand is an improviser, bassist, instrument designer, composer, songwriter, singer and record and concert producer. He defines himself as an epidisciplinary musician, a free electron driven by its yearning for meetings.

As an improviser, he develop a personal and radical playing on a homemade electric bass equipped with mics and objects feedbacking and vibrating in small electronic devices, creating electric flux interrupted by the instrumental gesture.

With this skill set, he prefers to play duets, with Jim Denley (flute and sax), Philippe Lauzier (bass clarinet and sax), Xavier Charles (clarinet), Pierre-Yves Martel (viola de gamba and electronic), Jean-Luc Guionnet (saxophone), in addition of several spontaneous encounters.

He also compose for ensemble and multi-disciplinary projects.

Interested in collective creation and orchestral improvisation, he led for seven years the GGRIL, a 15 pieces band that has worked with composers such as Evan Parker, Jean Derome, Robert Marcel Lepage and Michael Fischer.

His music has been programmed by or performed in several festivals in Canada , Australia  and Europe. It have also been broadcasted by Radio-Canada, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, Radio-Grenouille, and several college radio stations.


Anne_f (electronique) / / Norman Adams (violoncelle)  / Heddy Boubaker, France (sax) /Arthur Bull (guitare)/ Nicolas Bernier (électronique) /  Magali Babin (électronique) / Rémy Bélanger de Beauport (violoncelle)  / Sébastien Cirotteau, France (trompette, ordinateur) / Isaiah Ceccarelli (batterie) / Michel F Côté (batterie) / James Darling (violoncelle) / Jim Denley, Australie (sax et flûte)/ Érick Dorion ( électronique)  / Bernard Falaise (guitare) / Lori Freedman (clatrinettes / Mario Gauthier (synth analogique, electronique)/ Jean-Luc Guionnet (sax alto, orgue) / Joane Hétu (sax et voix) / Philippe Lauzier ( sax et clarinette) // Pierre-Yves Martel (viole de gambe)  / Nilan Perera (guitare) / Danielle P Roger ( percussions) / Christine Sehnaoui, France (sax alto) /Martin Tétreault (tourne-disque) / Scott Thomson (trombone) /




Arthur Bull has been active on the improvised music scene in Canada since the mid-1970s, during the early days of the Music Gallery in Toronto. In 1980’s he was a member of the Bill Smith Ensemble, participating in numerous multimedia collaborations, and he also toured with Smith in the music/performance duo Duck Soup. Since the late 1990’s he has worked extensively with fellow guitarist Daniel Heïkalo, touring, recording and appearing in several major festivals.  Arthur Bull has worked extensively with many major Canadian improvisers. He has also performed in concert with Roscoe Mitchell, John Tchicai, Joe McPhee, Roger Turner, Peter Kowald, Paul Rutherford, Bob Cobbing, Fred Anderson, John Russell, Mike Cooper, and John Butcher. He has released numerous CDs over the years, including solo, duo and group recordings, and has toured extensively, including recent tours of Europe and Mexico. Arthur Bull is also a published poet, and an activist for small-scale fisheries. He lives on Digby Neck in Nova Scotia.


Nick Dourado (Halifax: saxophone, saxophones/piano/drums) From Nick’s White Rabbit Bio:: probably should have been born in the jungle//dont really know where this whole ship is headed so ive been staring out at the sea same on all sides// i’m connected to deep traditions – studied in some way performance/listening/instruments/mathematics/engineering/oceanphysics am didactic sincere a tru fire sign i want to fly and love to possible.





Doug Cameron (Halifax: drums/percussion) is an award winning jazz and improv drum set player, instructor and composer.  He is passionate about Halifax’s creative music scene and performs with Upstream Music and is on faculty at the Creative Music Workshop.  When not playing with Halifax-based The New Bridge he can be heard performing with improvising jazz trio Monk OFF and is a founding member of the improvising dance/music/art collaborative





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


D’Arcy Gray (percussion: Halifax) exploits his versatility to find himself in a great variety of performing situations. In the past ten years, Gray has premiered well over 100 new works, mostly solo or chamber music by Canadian composers. In addition, he participated in installations of Rainforest IV and the Collage Juke-Box project, both of which have been presented worldwide. He has also given dozens of clinics on three continents on a variety of subjects.

As of summer 2008, Gray has made Halifax, Nova Scotia his new home after 23 years in Montreal. He has been appointed Percussion Instructor at Dalhousie University and will begin working on collaborations with a number of Atlantic musicians, including Norman Adams, Karin Aurell, Tony Genge, and others. He was a founding member of New Brunswick’s Motion Ensemble.

Gray is a graduate of the Juilliard School and McGill University. He has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Getty Research Institute for the Arts and Humanities. He is a Yamaha Clinician and a Sabian Artist. His collection of studies, “7 Operations for Marimba” are published by Honeyrock in the U.S.

Watch D’Arcy here:


Andrew MackelvieAndrew MacKelvie is a saxophone player and improviser who gets to be different types of musicians. In a variety of settings, his improvisations move the music forward with a strong sense of composition. Under his own name, you’ll find works for improvisers – some recordings are completely improvised, others have schemes and themes that provide material. His first record, You’ll Come Upon A Mountain, is a collection of improvised pieces for solo saxophone that was released September 2014. He also appears on Jerry Granelli’s latest (Juno nominated) record What I Hear Now. He is 1/2 the artistic force behind Votive Dance’s music, and the dance ensemble VERGE along with Artistic Director Kathleen Doherty.

Listen to Andrew here:

LP-BassSelf-described as an upright, downright and forthright bassist, Lukas Pearse is known to many by the radical breadth of his musical appetite, easily encompassing free improvisation, country-folk, orchestral classical, electroacoustic composition, tango, hip-hop, contemporary classical, bossa nova, traditional jazz and experimental performance art.

Lukas’ education includes studies in contemporary musicology at Goldsmiths College in London, UK, contemporary music performance at Dalhousie, but began by studying audio-visual art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Lukas has performed with innumerable original Halifax bands and is well represented in the recordings and history of the Halifax independent music scene, appearing on recordings by Blackpool, Buck 65, Al Tuck, Rebecca West, Sixtoo, The Rusty Wheels and Little Miss Moffat, among many others. In addition to this extensive accompaniment experience, he has performed with noted improvising artists and composers including Norman Adams, Rose Bolton, Paul Cram, Christine Duncan, Lori Freedman Francois Houle, Jim Montgomery, Rodger Redgate and Andrew Morgan.

Lukas has written and conducted pieces for the Upstream Orchestra, hosted the Improv at the Khyber series during the Atlantic Jazz Festival, exhibited sonic art installation-performances at the Eye Level Gallery, Mount Saint Vincent Art Gallery, Dalhousie Art Gallery, The Khyber Gallery and the Anna Leanowens Galleries, collaborated on sound installations with audio-visual artists such as Glynis Humphrey, Christof Migone, Kim Dawn and Dan Lander, manipulated radios as part of the BBC’s 2004 John Cage Festival, and scored music for video, film and television.

geordie1Geordie 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:

Andrew Reed Miller has worked as a professional musician for over 25 years, playing in orchestras, opera and ballet companies and performing chamber music.

Originally from New York, Andrew now lives in the small city of Saint John, Canada. In the 2000s he began focusing on contemporary and experimental music and developing original compositions. Much of his recent work explores audiovisual media culture and uses interactive electronics and extended instrumental techniques.

Miller is a core member and principal bass of Symphony New Brunswick, he performs  on a bass (2002) by Masa Inokuchi and bows by Reid Hudson.

He is founder and artistic director ofMotion Ensemble Inc., an organization dedicated to new and experimental music in the form of productions and collaborations since 1998.  Miller has performed at many venues such as Open Ears Festival (Kitchener), The New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, the Scotia Festival of Music, The Confederation Centre for the Arts (Charlottetown), Ensemble Kore (Montreal) Open Waters (Halifax), Sound Symposium (Newfoundland), Tonic (NYC), Western Front (Vancouver) and The Music Gallery (Toronto).

Andrew had many student inspirations studying bass in Toronto with the great Joel Quarrington, at the University of Ottawa, the Kent Blossom Chamber Music Festival in Ohio, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and many other places. More recently he studied Max/MSP/Jitter programming at Harvestworks in New York

Andrew MacKelvie Brandon Auger Hubsch/Martel/Zoubec Ken Aldcroft’s Convergence Ensemble Jacinte Armstrong Sarah 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