Premiere by Eve Egoyan; Vancouver New Music Festival; A Place To Listen

IMG_3665I’m excited to announce that I have a quite a few interesting things going on in the next little bit.

Toronto’s Litmus Theatre has brought me on as a composer/ sound designer for their adaptation of Brave New World. We’re currently only in the workshop phases but there will be a showing on October 16th/ 17th at Collective Space, Unit #5, 221 Sterling Rd, Toronto.

One of my biggest projects over the last few years has been composing a solo piano piece for Eve Egoyan.  Piano for me has always been a daunting medium because the instrument is simultaneously (and paradoxically) so limiting, and so limitless. On one hand it spans an enormous range both pitch-wise and in terms of dynamic but on the other, if you’re sticking mainly to the keys, it’s pretty uniform from a timbre point of view.  I’ve always loved integrating it into my chamber works but I knew it would be a great challenge to create a solo work that I’d feel happy about (especially for such an amazing performer).  After chucking a number of drafts, I’ve arrived at byland, a 24 minute work for piano.  I feel like composing it really gave me a thorough sense on how to use piano harmonies both for pitch and to generate colour.  It”s also expanded my sense about how to compose for a solo instrument, pushing the scope a little larger than my previous solo work. I’m really really happy that Eve has taken it on and I’m really quite proud of the work. She’s debuting the piece at a series of intimate concerts celebrating the release of her new CD, Thought and Desire, consisting of three works by one of my favourite composers, Linda Catlin Smith. These three concerts will take place on October 16-18th at the Small World Music Studio in Artscape Youngsplace. On top of works by Linda and myself, another composer whose work I admire greatly, John Mark Sherlock has a new piece being unveiled as well. For more details and to purchase tickets, please visit this link.

The following week, I am going to be giving my first concert in Vancouver at this years wonderful Vancouver New Music Festival.  My performance ushers in a whole set of amazing concerts at the festival from the likes of crys cole, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Lawrence English and Flux Quartet (playing Feldman’s first String Quartet). It’s a honour to have been invited and I’m really excited to be able spend time in the city and catch up with some wonderful people there (while taking in these amazing concerts). The festival opens October 22nd at VIVO Media Arts (2625 Kaslo Street) with my set, followed by performances by Steve Roden and Ms. cole. Full schedule can be found here.

Directly after I’ll be involved in a concert at Daniel Brandes‘ series A Place To Listen in Victoria. The series focuses on quiet works, often from the Wandelweiser collective of which Brandes is a member. Daniel and I have had an ongoing virtual correspondence but have yet to meet in person.  My group Bespoken has performed two of his works, one of which appeared on our debut recording (we plan to record the other as well).  I find his work both sensuous and exceedingly gentle, a balance that I try to achieve in many of my own pieces.  The concert will consist of works by myself and by him. Followed by a solo performance of mine, a group he has assembled will play my work Ruins and then together, the two of us, we will play his piece With Our Shadows.  This will take place on Monday October 26th at James Bay United Church, 7-9pm. Facebook invitation is here.

Over the next while I will also be collaborating with Greenlight Arts on a new theatre work, filmmaker Aaron Mirkin and a dancer-choreography team comprised of Sudeshna Maulik and Anjali Patil.

A full-length cassette release for my cello duo (with Tilman Lewis) the Knot on Cabin Floor Esoterica, and a solo tape Exaptations on Notice Recordings are both on the horizon.

I’d also like to share the score for a collaboration I’ve been working on with Kathak/modern dancer Deepti Gupta, a dancer who divides her time between Ottawa and Delhi and has been known for her innovative work for sometime.  Her piece is called The Lion’s Roar and was it debuted at the Angikam Seminar in Toronto.

Posted in Chamber music, Events, Film / Theatre Music, Releases, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New video for “Now Neither One Of Us Is Breaking”


Thanks to Matt Pancer at Masada Media, I have a new music video. Pancer and I went to high school together and he recently got in touch with me and volunteered to work with one of my pieces.  I chose the “Now Neither One Of Us Is Breaking” because it’s one of my newest pieces.  It came out on a very limited 7″ in Long Winter’s split series but will be included in a full-length that I’m still working tentatively titled My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell (both titles are veiled Roberta Flack references!)

At any rate I’m super grateful. Pancer culled a variety of footage from various excursions to the Great Lakes, Greece, Nicaragua and elsewhere and wove them into a dense psychedelic nest of images.

Decoder recently featured the video in their Week In Review column as well!  Thank you to Dwight Pavlovic and the gang over there!


Posted in press, Releases, Uncategorized, Videos, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 in Retrospect / Finally embracing 2015

IMG_9644This is already long enough as it is, so I’ll cut the preamble.  2014 was, overall, a pretty exciting year for me and here’s some of the many reasons why…

2014 Highlights

  • Gardens —
    Getting ‘Gardens’ (Scissor Tail Editions), my second album out, for me, felt like a huge advancement.  I had worked on the piece for 2011-2013 and it really felt like I had found different and more potent resonances for me personally.  The idea of coming into one’s one is a bit fraught but for some reason creating this work and putting it out felt like I was offering something more personal than my first album.  To see that it was warmly received by several critics was also heartening.
    nick storring


  • Endless Conjecture —
    ‘Endless Conjecture’
    was released on Orange Milk Records within a week of Gardens and encompassed a bunch of other recent pieces made in a similar manner to its companion—Terminal Burrowing  To have two releases come out on two really amazing independent labels and have other musicians, listeners and media folks respond was really nice.
    Nick Storring-ENDLESS CONJECTURE 700



  • Scoring Terrance Odette’s ‘Fall’
    In 2013 I provided a very modest score for Ingrid Veninger‘s the Animal Project, which largely did not need musical accompaniment of any sort.  Not that Terrance Odette’s Fall *needed anything* from me to be a great film, but with it I was able to provide a more full-fledged score—one based around minimal multiple-cello arrangements with a lot of space and breath.  It’s the first time I’ve contributed something that like that a feature film.


  • Performing at Obey Convention —
    I had never been to Halifax before 2014 and last year I had the privilege of visiting the HRM twice. The first though was for the amazing Obey Convention, the brainchild of Darcy Spidle of Divorce Records/ Heavy Fog.  The vibe at the festival is super warm and friendly and was a wonderful way to visit the city.  Crowds were receptive to a wide range of work from Maja Ratjke to Low and it was great to mingle with local artists, musicians as well as people I knew from elsewhere. It was also lovely to have the opportunity to open for Tim Hecker, whose most recent album, Virgins, really made an impression on me.


  • Whitehorse and Manitoulin Island on tour with MT Space’s Body 13—
    The aforementioned second time I visited Halifax (well we technically were staying in the underrated city of Dartmouth!) was with theatre group the MT Space. The theatre piece we were touring was also responsible for some other travel highlights this past year.  In February we toured out to the Northwest (Edmonton and Whitehorse).  While the former was not without charm, fun, great people and some great records, Whitehorse as a city felt like it made a much greater impace.  For one, the natural landscapes that frame it are utterly gorgeous and the concentration of great food (shouts out to Burnt Toast and the Yukon Brewery), good vibes and artistic activity (our hosts Gwaandak, and the Available Light Film Festival) was stellar.  At the end of the very warm fall we also visited the Debajehmujig Storytellers in Manitowaning on Manitoulin Island.  We had a bit of time to explore the island’s breathtaking scenery and mingle with artists and WWOOFers at the Debaj’s Centre.  We were also brought by our hosts to various points of interest in Wikwemikong nearby. That day was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. We attended a Pow-Wow for a couple of hours where we became part of a dance competition (where most of us looked like twits). But conversely were welcomed around a sacred fire where the tradition was described to us in great detail by an elder.  Later we were taken to the serene Prairie Point that boasts an amazing view of the Cloche Mountains.  We were also taken to the ruins of a residential school and into a church.


  • Working with Yvonne Ng on her ‘SoloDuet’ show in May —
    While I had done stuff with film, theatre and interactive collaborations, dance remains an area where I had only done a few projects.  With Yvonne Ng‘s show SoloDuet (containing two works—’Metamorphosis of a Solitary Female Phoenix, for Linnea Wong and Magnetic Fields for the duet of Mairéad Filgate and Luke Garwood) this all changed.  I sound-designed the former work but for the latter I created the full 24 minute score. Scoring that duet really felt like I was responding very directly to the movement as Ng was creating it.  It was a really symbiotic relationship, where music can often feel like a very secondary thing.  Observing how dancers respond to sound too was incredibly inspiring.  I’m looking forward to doing more dance projects.


  • Ratio
    In July a bunch of us launched a new venue, Ratio in downtown Toronto.  So far we’ve seen some really amazing stuff come, both local and from elsewhere as well as a notable increase in interest and activity. We’re all excited to see where it goes in 2015.


Some of what I am looking forward to in 2015
(There’s more of this stuff than I’ve listed below, but I’m omitting anything that’s not totally confirmed)

  • Picastro tour 
    This spring I’m finally able to join Picastro (it’s my tenth year in the band this fall) on tour in Continental Europe.  It’s going to be a blast.  It’s also the first time with our new lineup (myself, Matthew Ramolo – Synthesizer, and Germaine Liu – drums).  Here are the dates:
March 18 | Brussels – BE | Les Mariniers*
March 19 | Utrecht – NL | Db’s
March 20 | Munich – DE | Kafe Kult*
March 21 | Innsbruck – AT | PMK*
March 22 | Zero Branco – IT | Altroquando*
March 23 | Genova – IT | Garage 1517*
March 24 | Perugia – IT | Postmodernissimo*
March 25 | Rome – IT | Dal Verme*
March 26 | Bologna – IT | Freak Out Club*
March 27 | Lausanne – CH | Le Bourg With Toronaut
March 28 | Nijmegen – NL | Derde Wal
March 29 | Ghent – BE | Kinky Star*
March 30 | Brussels – BE | Le Chaf
* = with Khôra


  • Exaptations —
    Notice Recordings will be releasing a cassette for me later this year featuring two side-long cuts, Field Lines and Yield Criteria.  They’re a fabulous label with a stacked roster (Coppice, Talk West, Anne Guthrie and Chik White to name but a few) and it’s honour to be working with them on a release!  Field Lines was the score for the aforementioned dance piece choreographed by Yvonne Ng that I composed from November 2013 to May 2014.


  • Another collaboration with Yvonne Ng—
    Speaking Ng’s work I’m delighted to be working with her yet again on another piece for 2016.  I’m excited to see how it evolves.


  • Debut of piece for Eve Egoyan—
    In 2013 Eve Egoyan secured the funds to commission a new solo piano work from me.  Writing for piano by itself has proven to be a huge learning experience for me.  As an instrument piano has qualities of extreme limitation but also a certain limitlessness. Last time I had written for piano was in 2001 or something—early undergrad so needless to say my sensibilities have changed drastically over the years. Given my usual approach which is really interested in colouristic possibilities as well as conventional pitch, it was hard to find a way into writing for the instrument.  The new piece is still taking shape but I’m definitely feeling like I finally immersed myself in composing for the instrument.  In fact working on this piece has piqued my interest in writing more solo works.  The piece is being premiered in fall alongside works by two of my very favourite Toronto composers — Linda Catlin Smith (who’s launching a new album of piano work performed by Egoyan that night) and John Mark Sherlock.


  • Chamber music album—
    I’ve been working toward completing an album of chamber music for some time now with the magnificent ensemble Thin Edge New Music Collective and expert producer Jean Martin, who’s recording at his own studio and Canterbury Music Company. The album will contain several works from the past decade and a bit. We’ve already recorded A Destination (2012), a long piece written specifically for a subset of their instrumentation — english horn, violin, piano, marimba/ glockenspiel (featuring harmonica by the percussionist and pianist).  They’ve also laid down Senesce, my 2009 string quartet.  The album will also feature the trio Exits (2010) for piano, trumpet and percussion as well as two violin duet pieces — A Timid Statement (2003) and a brand new piece, Framing (2015) composed for the album.  Release details should be solidified later in the year.


  • Blue Bird
    Working with theatre is a big part of what I do and I have some really interesting stuff on the horizon for 2015.  I’ll be scoring Blue Bird, a duo piece created by actors Brad Cook and Tawiah M’carthy and Anne-Marie Donovan (who’s taken a co-directorial role). The work unfurls a circuitous and poetic narrative and is very movement-oriented and atmospheric.  Music’s role in the work will undoubtedly be a bit more central than more text-based work. I’m excited to collaborated with this bunch.  We’ve worked extensively before, primarily with the MT Space, but this abstract intimate piece will be something different altogether for us!


  • Making Music Project —
    Following the composition of my 2013 harp piece, Hinting which was part of the Canadian Music Centre‘s New Music For Young Musicians Program, I was invited to compose another pedagogically-themed piece, this time for/ with a music class at a school in Ottawa.  This is all taking place via an initiative through the University of Ottawa.  I’ve been assigned a class of students at Henry Munro Middle School and I’m really genuinely excited to discover a collaborative creative process with them where they feel empowered and free to explore the potential of their instruments and the act of composing. In my opinion initiatives such as these are of great importance and are not to be underestimated.  Not only is it a chance to get younger musicians engaged on a deeper level with different musical practices, it’s also pertinent for composers as it’s a chance to reacquaint yourself with what it’s like to be a younger musician and to better understand how people relate to music and art-making.

Favourite albums in 2014 (in no particular order)

  • Flying Lotus – You’re Dead (Warp)
  • Chik White – Jaw Works & Behind A Dead Tree On The Shore (Notice Recordings)
  • Laurence Crane – Chamber Music (Another Timbre)
  • Richard Glover – Logical Harmonies (Another Timbre)
  • Coppice – Vantage/ Cordoned (Caduc)
  • Talk West – Black Coral Sprig (Preservation)
  • Ian William Craig – A Turn of Breath (Recital)
  • Tashi Dorji – Tashi Dorji (Hermit Hut)
  • Grouper – Ruins (Kranky)
  • Ashley Paul – Heat Source (Important Records)
  • Chiyoko Szlavnics – Gradients of Detail (World Edition)
  • Chris Strickland – Animal Expert (Caduc)
  • Hecker – Articulaçao (Editions Mego)
  • THOMAS – When I’m Weak, I’m Strong
  • Aurochs – Rational Animals (Woods and Wires)
  • D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah (RCA)

Favourite non-2014 albums I heard for the first time this year.

  • Maria De Alvear — Flores (World Edition)
  • Maria De Alvear — Libertad (World Edition)
  • Maria De Alvear — Equilibrio (Verso)
  • The Necks — Open (Northern Spy)
  • Annette Peacock — I Have No Feelings (Ironic)
  • John Mills-Cockell — Heartbeat (True North Records)
  • Roger Eno — Voices (Editions EG)
  • Wim Mertens — Educes Me (Les Disques Du Crépescule)
  • Beverly Glenn Copeland — Beverly Glenn Copeland (GRT)
  • Harold Budd — Bandits of Stature (Darla)
  • Amel Larrieux — Ice Cream Everyday (Bliss Life)

Music that already excites me in 2015

  • André Vida — Minor Differences (Entr’acte)
  • Matana Roberts — Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee (Constellation)
  • Eric Chenaux — Skullsplitter (Constellation)
  • André Cormier (perf. Markus Kreul – piano) — Zwischen Den Wolken (Redshift Music)
  • Nicholas Krgovich — On Cahuenga (Orindal)
  • Cluttertones — Ordinary Joy (Healing Power)
  • Scott Tuma — Hard Again/ The River 1-2-3-4  (Scissor Tail Editions)
Posted in Chamber music, Events, Film / Theatre Music, I Have Eaten The City, Intermedia, press, Releases, Uncategorized, Works in progress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ENDLESS CONJECTURE (Orange Milk Records) launch show.

IMG_2765Yeah, yeah, I know.  Gardens is still technically in pre-order over at Scissor Tail, and I’m already talking about my next album.  Maybe I just feel weird because my last solo thing came out in 2011.

The thing is though, I’m really excited to play this show and about this release.

First the show—it’s the first time I’m playing a solo set in Ratio (the space I co-run with six other amazing people) but perhaps more notably I’m in really excellent company.  Musically, I’m sharing the evening with two phenomenal musicians. Michael Keith is perhaps the brightest glimmer of hope for the ukelele (at least that I can think of), applying strategies culled from various folk and classical traditions to the instrument creating, open and copiously melodic improvisations. Keith has long been a part of Toronto’s music scene recording with noted artists in folk, blues, rock and free improvisation.

Craig Dunsmuir who’s created a vast minimalistic yet varied body of work under various monikers including Kanada 70, Guitarkestra, Max Gross, and with Sandro Perri as Glissandro 70, will be presenting some new work of his that night.

The evening will also feature a screening of Mikel Guillen’s short film The Natural State based around the nihilistic writing of U.G. Krishnamurti.  The soundtrack of said film closes out Endless Conjecture.

Endless Conjecture the album, like Gardens, consciously avoids electronic processing in favour of stacking various instruments (all played by me) using multi-tracking to create large ensembles that you likely wouldn’t encounter in the wild. Unlike Gardens, this release was brought together from different sources yet still manages cohesion through its exploration of more dissonant, fricative and even raucous territory (not to mention more playful aspects too).  I’m beyond grateful for the support of Seth Graham and Keith Rankin whose excellent Orange Milk label has released work for some of the most interesting musicians active today—Sean McCann, Ashley Paul, Christopher Merritt (AKA Sebastian Wolfe) and let’s not forget their own work under Graham’s own name and Giant Claw respectively.

Opening with a brief mysterious piece created during the work on Gardens, it immediately transitions into the nearly 19-minute “Terminal Burrowing” which was commissioned for Montréal’s 2013 AKOUSMA Festival, and accordingly has shades of music concrète, despite it lack of computer processing.  While predominately instrumental it does also employs spring reverb and contact speakers to create electromechanical (amplified acoustic) resonance effects. “Dewclaws” is easily the liveliest moment between the two albums combined with its brisk percussion-driven pile-ups.  The album finishes with the 13 1/2 minute “They Carry Light” the albums most sombre and  melodic piece which also explores intuitive/ accidental alternate tunings.

Endless Conjecture (complete with delicious Keith Rankin artwork) will be available soon through Orange Milk Records.


Here’s the info about the show:

16 December 2014
NICK STORRINGEndless Conjecture album release
CRAIG DUNSMUIR – a rare Live PA set
MICHAEL KEITH – solo baritone ukelele
+ screening of Mikel Guillen’s THE NATURAL STATE
at RATIO, 283 College St. (2nd floor), Toronto
doors at 8PM, cover $8
Facebook event

Posted in Electroacoustic music, Events, Film / Theatre Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nick Storring ~ Gardens

A Closer Listen offered some insights about my new album, “Gardens”…

a closer listen

nick storringThere is an immersive, musical element to every garden, even if your visit is momentary. After all, they too, are reliant on a sense of composition, of making an expression emerge from a re-ordering of natural components. Everything in them holds a specific relation to the whole, but more importantly, everything works towards constructing a certain space – for pleasure, for meditation, conversation, solitude, or perhaps even to represent a vision of the world. Such spaces are always visually layered, sometimes through terraforming, others through the erection of ‘walls’ that guide visitors’ paths; there’s a depth that plays with the micro and macrocosmic as we can sit down and analyze the textures of certain leaves as much as we can stand back and make out the patterns the colors of flowers make when brushed by the wind. In a first instance, it is all uniformly coherent, but if enough attention…

View original post 523 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Gardens” in the media & release show (this Friday)!


I’m very pleased that Gardens, my forthcoming disc on Scissor Tail Editions, has been fetching some kind words from some notable sources over the last little bit.

1.) Tiny Mix Tapes’ Chocolate Grinder has an exclusive preview up of the album, along with a lovely little review.  They say: “Gardens is delicate yet crisp, trippy yet grounded, hypnotizing yet never repetitive, and (perhaps most importantly) never so beholden to concept that it loses its fundamental girth as a composition.”

2.) I’m grateful that Boston Hassle also felt compelled to offer their two cents about the project.

3.) I also spoke to Joe Strutt (of Mechanical Forest Sound fame) for the Wavelength BlogIt’s quite an extensive interview about the creative process behind the album, among other things.

4.) German website Das Klienicum also had some other nice things to say (if I can trust GoogleTranslate!).  If you’re a Germanophone here is the link!

5.) Guelph Radio station CFRU 93.3FM‘s show Sound It Out (hosted by rachel elliott) also spoke to me for a program airing this Thursday at 3PM.  You can find a podcast version later at her site.

Gardens in a box

…And just another shameless plug (again).  Here’s the info for the Gardens release show:

Friday October 24th — 9PM
Wavelength and Burn Down The Capital Present:Ben Frost (Aurora tour)
Nick Storring (Gardens album launch)
+DJ Daniel Vila
at the Garrison (1197 Dundas St. W)
$15 adv. (at Soundscapes/ Rotate This/
Facebook event
Wavelength site

Posted in Events, Links, press, Releases, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Gardens” pre-order and launch show (with Ben Frost) — October 24th

IMG_9102I’m really excited to be announcing that Gardens is finally coming out this fall.  As I’ve discussed elsewhere on the site, creating this album was a huge turning point for me sonically—switching from a method that primarily revolved around electronic processing (as heard on my debut Rife), to an approach that was far more organic, and almost entirely instrumental.  This whole transformation sprang from a desire to better integrate my various practices: electronic music, improv, and composing for ensemble, and I now feel very at home in this approach.

It should also be noted, yet again, that the work on Gardens was made possible through the Toronto Emerging Composer award, an excellent initiative administered by the Canadian Music Centre, which offers funding for a project proposed by a selected up-and-coming local composer.  I’m really grateful for that as well as the philanthropic contributions of Roger D. Moore (one of the city’s biggest supporters of emergent experimentation!) and Michael Koerner.

Scissor Tail Editions, the label that has graciously decided to release this album have truly outdone themselves.  Owned by Dylan Golden Aycock (aka (the wonderful) Talk West), the label has been committed to putting out some truly remarkable material that I’m honoured to have my work beside.  Personal highlights include Nathan McLaughlin’s Karen Studies and Matteo Uggeri’s Untitled WinterFor my own album, Aycock has enlisted the help of Amsterdam-based artist Louis Reith for the cover design and I’m absolutely thrilled with the result.

Nick Storring - Gardens cover

The album is now available from Scissor Tail for pre-order, but I will also be launching the album at Toronto’s Garrison in an opening slot for Ben Frost on October 24th.  I’m excited about this show, as it’s going to be a chance for me to try to take the next step, introducing some of the more raw textures of Gardens into a solo live context.  I also greatly admire Frost’s work — so it should be an exciting evening.  Thanks to Wavelength and Burn Down The Capital for programming for the concert.  Here’s a Facebook link for more information about the show.

Stay tuned for more, too. I will be releasing another album this fall Endless Conjecture on Orange Milk Records.

Posted in Awards, Electroacoustic music, Events, Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment