Geary Lane is a brand new venue tucked away in the heart of the Bloor/Symington/Geary rehearsal space neighbourhood.  The space shows big promise as the future site of a number of experimental and avant-garde concerts in the Pitchfork vein of music being hosted by the Man Finds Fire crew.

Thursday night, talent shone brightly in the dark space as Manticore, Koen Holtkamp (of  experimental group Mountains) and Mind over Mirrors (both from Brooklyn and on the Thrill Jockey label) lit up the room with their wavering tones. The night was a huge success and I wish the promoters well in their future endeavours! Toronto is always hungry for new venue spaces and this one should do nicely. See my recap of the eve below!

While I missed the opener, Manticore (locals Zoe Alexis-Abrams & David Jones), their name inspires much awe, as the mythical beast with the head of a lion, the tail of a snake and wings of a dragon. In western speak, manticore is also an expression used to describe a mishmash or combination of various  parts all fitting together, and I can only imagine their performance was something of that nature.

Koen (pronounced keen) is “one-half of the post-kosmische duo Mountains. As a solo artist, Holtkamp crafted the most elaborate and varied record in the Mountains discography, 2008’s Field Rituals, which found him obfuscating field recordings though erosion and effects, then playing symphonic and folksy guitar and keyboard parts over them. He has a strong mastery of this dreamy kind of tuneful-meets-experimental ambient music, which makes it easy to recommend it. Just kill the lights, lay back, and float away. ”  His show was accompanied by engaging visuals of burning fireplaces and winter nature scenes that came in and out of focus while most of the audience took to laying down on the pleasantly carpeted parquet flooring and let their minds drift away, as catharses were released by his spectral loops and tones.

Here’s a pic of his mind boggling synth set up. So many wires!10252138_10154052286155296_8686199794615592518_n


Closing the night was Mind Over Mirrors.  I was very excited to see the use of an experimental harmonium but for some reason, it was out of sight, at least, in the dark, and I only saw a man behind a cluster of panels. Turns out it was there all along, but I’m used to seeing the hand operated style from my various yoga and meditation classes, and this was the pedal-operated style.

MIND OVER MIRRORS is the “solitary reeling of American harmoniumist/electronicist Jaime Fennelly. Utilizing an Indian pedal harmonium, oscillators, tape delays, and an assortment of synthesizing processors, Fennelly bends slowly-building, repetitive melodies into massive sonic mountains. What makes Fennelly’s work rise above homage is his use of Indian pedal harmonium, which cuts through his web of tape delays and synths and gives “Storing the Winter” a singular timbre.”

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