Intersection Festival Comes to Toronto, Sept. 1-5

Source: Intersection Festival.

The Intersection Festival, celebrating music from all directions, is back with five days of ambitious, and unprecedented artistry running from September 1 to 5. Ever the venturing festival, the 2022 lineup is defined as much by the varied performance settings as the participating artists. Over the course of the festival audiences will be treated to visiting legends and numerous Toronto acts who assemble experimental sounds from rock, jazz, hip hop, chamber music, and more.

Calling back to past events presented by Intersection, the festival opens with the launch of A More Beautiful Journey (AMBJ) on Thursday, September 1. AMBJ is a city-wide augmented reality app that immerses transit riders in site-specific generative sound art pieces. To celebrate this uniquely Toronto initiative, Intersection and AMBJ are presenting a veritable lexicon of local artists with 15 performances staged at TTC locations including Neville Park loop, Humber loop, and Regent Park. Throughout the afternoon audiences can take in performances by OBUXUM, Red Bear Singers, Emissive, Korea Town Acid, SHN SHN, and others. Day 1 programming is all ages, and free to attend!

Day 2 of Intersection takes place at St. Anne’s Anglican church and features two unparalleled sets from artists returning to the city for the first time since before the pandemic. The defiant and kaleidoscopic Anthony Braxton performs alongside James Fei as the headlining act—both artists bringing a penchant for restless/curious pursuits of the personal in extended soundworlds on their instrument. Braxton’s decades-long practice as saxophonist and composer makes him an icon of 20th and 21st century avant-garde, and his visit to the city a rare gift. Berlin-based Nadja bring their signature atmospherics, colliding ambient electronics with the maximal densities of metal/noise, to their city of origin as they open for Braxton and Fei.

Saturday, September 3, Day 3 of Intersection, features the signature festival event as a marathon concert is presented at Yonge Dundas Square. From 2-10pm, audiences—unsuspecting and otherwise—get a close encounter with an exciting lineup of artists activating the square. The day includes a performance by the wildly ambitious Labyrinth Ensemble, the minimalist dreamlike reverie of Joseph Shabason (AMBJ co-creator), intricately interwoven noise from The Dead are Those Who Have Died, and more. Unique collaborations will also hit the square as JOYFULTALK assembles and plays alongside an all star local band, Toronto’s musical polymath Colin Fisher joins forces with drummer Marc Edwards, and New York based saxophonist Steve Baczkowski brings his raucous trio with Ravi Padmanabha (percussion) and Brian DeJesus (bass) to the city. Revelatory racket-makers the Nihilist Spasm Band, world-renowned for their transcendent noise-making dating back to the 1960s, will present a joyful cacophony as part of the marathon as well. Programming in Yonge Dundas Square is free and open to all ages.

Days 4 and 5 offer entry points to a multifaceted project developed by LMNL over the course of the pandemic. On Sunday, September 4, audiences can join a virtual rehearsal of Rainbow by Louise Campbell and Jerry Pergolesi, a compelling interplay of chamber forces with excerpts of Judy Garland’s mesmerizing vocal work from the Wizard of Oz. The durational meditation on queer identities and spaces offers listeners a kind of speculative utopianism that can be seen as both personal and communal. The glimpse behind the curtain sets the stage for the performance of the piece on Monday, September 5 as a multi-locational interactive in-person/online hybrid concert experience. Folks can join in-person at the Canadian Music Centre and Arraymusic.