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Upcoming Performances

Live Electronic Music Performance with Liquid Light Imagery
By Robert Fantinatto
October 17, 2020, 7:00 pm
Online Location issued after Advance Registration.
General $10, Students FREE, Optional Admission Fee

Endosymbiosis is a video and improvised electronic music performance by Robert Fantinatto and co-presented by Charles Street Video, New Adventures in Sound Art and Toronto Media Arts Centre. Endosymbiosis utilizes a variation on the technique of Liquid Light by replacing the overhead projector with a 4K video camera. The improvised music performed by Fantinatto uses a customized modular synthesizer along with slowed down water sounds. The performance will be live-streamed over YouTube with Q&A discussion taking place afterwards on the Whereby platform.

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"Endosymbiosis” evokes the transitional time when, 2 billion years ago, early simple bacterial life forms began to evolve into complex cells with internal organs. This came about when a simple cell engulfed another, the engulfed cell becoming a nucleus for the host cell and the eventual location of the first DNA molecules. This key event marks the beginnings of complex life that would eventually lead to the diverse biology known today.

“Endosymbiosis” seeks to help viewers disengage with the information overload of today and transport the viewer back to the primal sensory landscape of our cellular origins. Much like the effect of gazing up at the night sky and contemplating the vastness of the cosmos can help one gain valuable perspective and help offset the manufactured stresses we as a species seem to burden ourselves with, “Endosymbiosis” invites the viewer to engage with the micro perspective of our primal cellular landscape.

The visual component utilizes the technique of “Liquid Light”, a popular component of live concerts during the psychedelic era of the late 1960’s, where different dyes are added to a bath of water and mineral oil which is illuminated from below. Whereas traditional Liquid Light compositions would be projected using an old fashioned “overhead projector”, Fantinatto uses a 4K video camera with a macro lens to reveal very tiny movements of bubbles merging and dyes moving that create an ever changing sea of activity.

Fantinatto will perform improvised music during the performance using a customized modular synthesizer that does not employ any computer control. This will be augmented by an aural soundscape of slowed down water sounds and white noise that will remind viewers of the experience of hearing when underwater.
Robert Fantinatto has studied Astrophysics at the University of Toronto and Film at York University. made a drastic change in career paths. In early 2011 he began to notice an explosion of interest in the world of modular synthesizers. Having been involved in electronic music during the 1980s, he was intrigued by how computers and digital keyboards were in the process of being replaced by equipment long thought to be obsolete. He bought his own modular system and was drawn into the ever-expanding group of musicians who have shunned modern technology for these reborn instruments. He made the feature documentary “I Dream of Wires” that explored this musical innovation along with producing his own music under the name of Robert Blank. He is currently directing two new feature-length documentaries on the life of synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog and composer Morton Subotnick. He spent almost 20 years working as the technical supervisor for Charles Street Video and continues to be an active member to this day.
Adeva (version000_01)
Electronic Music and Video Performance
By Debashis Sinha
October 24, 2020, 7:00 pm
Online Location issued after Advance Registration.
General $10, Students FREE, Optional Admission Fee

Sinha’s explorations of how his Bengali heritage can manifest through the toolset of contemporary electronic music continues with this livestream performance. “Adeva (version000_01)” is a project started in 2019 at the MUTEK JP AI Music Lab, where Sinha began exploring machine learning and AI and their applications in sound, and where he realized their use as a dramaturgical tool in the story-based explorations and re-imaginings of Hindu myth Sinha has been creating for nearly 2 decades. The text and sound world of the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) is subjected to machine learning algorithms and processes to create content that lies just beyond the reach of human comprehension - a piecing together of half-understood and half-perceived bits of wisdom that is reconstructed by Sinha, and the listener in the moment of performance.

The performance will be live-streamed over YouTube with Q&A discussion taking place afterwards on the Whereby platform. It is a co-presentation of New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA), Charles Street Video and and Toronto Media Arts Centre.
Debashis Sinha A percussionist with a distinctive voice and imagination, Sinha has long been a fixture on Canada’s creative music scene as an acoustic and electronic musician, exploring the many different ways traditional and contemporary tools can inform each other. He is well known as a performer and sound artist, making many appearances nationally and internationally at ISEA, MUTEK Montreal, MUTEK Japan, the Banff Centre, Deep Wireless, Madrid Abierto, Guelph Jazz Festival, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and other venues. He is active in the Toronto theatre community as an award winning sound designer and composer, creating audio for productions at Soulpepper, the Stratford Festival, Necessary Angel, and many other companies. Upcoming projects include a sound cycle using machine learning tools based on the Vedas and a new album on Berlin’s Establishment label.
Hand-made Muskoka Films
By Sandy McLennan
November 14, 2020, 7:00 pm
Online Location issued after Advance Registration.
General $10, Students FREE, Optional Admission Fee $10

Port Sydney filmmaker Sandy McLennan presents an online screening of his unique hand-made 8mm and 16mm films that portray life in the Muskoka region. He will be on hand to introduce the films and discuss the processes he used to make them. Featured are his films “Line in the Sand”, “The Last Skate”, “Moving, part one” and “Thanksgiving Weekend to the Cottage”.

I. Line in the Sand (2017, 4:50, Double 8mm hand-processed black & white, digital sound) by Sandy McLennan
Double 8mm film, with its unique line down the middle, is used to reflect on divisions in thought, purpose, practice; in the world. Shot with lenses and a pinhole while visiting nearby lake access points, multi-exposed/edited in-camera and variously hand-processed including a wash in the ice and sand of the spring-melt lake. Sound is synthesized from pictures of a depth map of the lake and of the processed film itself (the mid line like a vinyl record groove) and mixed with location recordings. There is both a private and a public experience here. Dividing lines appear and wash away, and persist.
II. The Last Skate (2018, 4:50, 8mm, stereo) by Sandy McLennan
The end of a decades-rare season for skating the entirety of smoothly-frozen lakes near home: Regular 8mm Bolex cameras double-exposing, sometimes a pinhole for a lens, hand-processed with various recipes and physicalities. The cameras failed miserably/wonderfully in the cold. Sound is not looped; you could skate forever. The living lake rumbles just under foot, solid and liquid. A naturally scary and oh so temporary place on earth. Spring begins to birth itself from the deep; winter had its turn.
III. Moving, part one (2019, 3:37, Double 8mm hand-processed black & white/colour, English) by Sandy McLennan
Same shot of my house, Double 8mm film variously hand-processed over time of thinking about moving. Sound on a cassette plucked from a box to be purged - thoughts overdubbed on an Ideas radio program from the time I moved here in the first place, about the power of women.
IV. Thanksgiving Weekend to the Cottage (2016, 3:20, super 8 hand-processed colour, silent) by Sandy McLennan
Cottagers dedicate hours of their experience to traffic, dashing out from the city and back again, especially on Thanksgiving weekend. Shot during such a Friday night escape and holiday-Monday-night yield, the super 8 is in-camera edited and hand-processed
V. Pinhole Camera (2015, 2:59, super 8 hand-processed black & white, silent) by Sandy McLennan
A sequence demonstrating how a cardboard pinhole camera is built and used. Edited in camera.
Sandy McLennan is a multidisciplinary artist thriving on reinvention. A Sheridan College Media Arts graduate (1981), he worked as Audio-Visual/Computer Technician in schools until 2014, residing near Huntsville, Ontario since 1986. Making movies on celluloid film or digital video, he is compelled to reproduce docu-drama evidence of the world around him. After decades away he is back in his home darkroom, hand-processing motion picture film. He employs both a portable darkroom and portable cinema to take film outside. Sandy has received grants from the Ontario Arts council to teach pinhole photography and has led workshops at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. McLennan's experience includes performing with the Canadian Opera Company at age 7, shooting slides in Hong Kong in 1972, tape recording R.Murray Schafer’s lake opera in 1981, documenting a canoe trip on 16mm film, mounting solo and group exhibitions of photography, installation, audio and motion pictures and installation/performance collaborations with Beverley Hawksley for Nuit Blanche North.