extermination music night X

In May of 2008 I  was invited to perform at the 10th Extermination Music Night in Toronto, underneath the Prince Edward Viaduct. By attaching contact microphones to the structure, I used the bridge as a source for my performance. Shortly afterwards the event was disrupted and dispersed by the Police.

Sadly, no recordings exist, but a few publications wrote about the night:

“‘The Extermination Music Night (EMN) is part of a growing experimental music scene that has taken to the streets, to disused industrial sites, residential houses and public parks for its fruition. While Toronto’s traditional arts spaces are far from conservative, this movement is re-examining artistic relationship with the city’s environment, while in turn absorbing its urbanity…
…It is exactly the kind of urban environment and situational melding that appeals to the night’s first performer Joda Clément, an ambient recordist and arranger. For his (2006) piece Cherry Beach Project (reviewed in The Wire 278) Clément documented two nights in an abandoned and toxic industrial ruins, frequented by Toronto’s underclass and corrupt cops…
…Tonight Clément has miked the viaduct, and fed the results through itself. The vibrations of the bridge’s traffic are then manipulated, squeezed through reverb and amplified, conjoining with the continuous hum of the nearby highway and the train’s regular and overwhelming rattles overhead. The synthesis of the natural city ambience and synthetic, the acoustic and electronic, mesmerises the audience, who listen intently not only Clément’s production but the independent hubbub of life.’”
— Daniel Neilson, The Wire (excerpt from Global Ear: Toronto article, issue 298)

Extermination-night-cmyk

(Stream a selection of tracks that accompany the article here)
“{16} EMN X, which the promoters called “Beneath the Luminous Veil,” occurred below the Prince Edward Viaduct that connects Bloor Street in the west to Danforth Avenue in the east, the city’s main mid-town lateral artery and subway line. The Luminous Veil is the name given to the suicide prevention fence city planners constructed in the early 2000s to stop people from jumping off the bridge into the valley 100 meters below; beyond the eerily-charged energy of the site, subway trains rattled above at intermittent intervals throughout the night, shaking the girders overhead and providing a concrète antiphony to the music below. In fact, capitalizing on the site’s imposing structural and acoustical architecture, the promoters programmed sound artist Joda Clément to “play the site” by creating an audio installation that consisted entirely of sonic artefacts derived and manipulated from the structure, along with ambient sound from the environment. Clément, who has since relocated to Vancouver, has made a practice of working with site-specific materials and found sound objects to generate works that “transcend a distinction between audio and source.”25
His contribution to EMN X was as subtle as it was exemplary of EMN’s wider aim in reclaiming discarded urban spaces. Situated at the base of a massive column, Clément processed sound being picked up by ambient and contact microphones, turning the aural textures of space—social and physical—into a sonic replication of itself. At times, it was difficult to hear the distinction between environmental sounds and those that Clément had manipulated and sent through the loudspeakers. Only when noticeable sonic events occurred, such as the rumbling of the subway train traveling underneath the viaduct, was the distinction between “audio and source” put into sharp contrast.”
– Jeremy Strachan, Echo (excerpt from Extermination Music Nights: Reanimating Toronto’s Lost Geographies In Sound and Art)


“When it comes to emotive space in Toronto, few, if any, can beat the vibe of the Prince Edward Viaduct and its Luminous Veil suicide barrier that, from below, looks like a giant stringed instrument. When Vila and McDonough were planning EMN X, they asked sound sculptor Joda Clement if he’d like to play—the bridge, that is. Taking input from passing trains and other ambient sounds and feeding it back through a processor, Clement improvised a slow-moving wall of sound with sudden explosions whenever a train passed. This type of site-specific improv can be heard on his Cherry Beach recording. “For the other performers, the trains were a hinderance; to me, they were integral to my piece. Every time a train went by it was like a bomb went off. I was very pleased about that.””
– Jay Somerset, Musicworks (excerpt from Extermination Music Night article, issue #105)
(Stream a selection of tracks that accompany the article here)

 

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