Fischlin, Heble, Melville, Warren

Time of the Sign

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Time of the Sign sees the Vertical Squirrels shift from performances as a discrete quartet to a collaborative organism working with other improvisers.

Sculpted from live-improvised performances recorded in-concert and in studio, the CD features a series of linked musical vignettes and soundscapes some of which were conducted by Dave Clark, founder of Toronto’s improvising orchestra The Woodchoppers Association.

On tracks that build from scurrying flute to dense wall-of-sound band energy, where the scraping sounds of hurdy-gurdy combine with baritone guitar and Kaoss pad delays, where voices and melodies erupt from harmonic overtones, where pedal steel and percussive intricacies interweave, and where the sound of ships in the St. John’s harbor mingle with off-centre free grooves, Time of the Sign makes a distinctive sonic statement about musical possibilities and chance encounters.

Guest artists Jane Bunnett, Ben Grossman, and Scott Merritt, all Canadian musical treasures in their own right, bring compelling new sounds into the Vertical Squirrels mix, resulting in a strange, beautiful, and genre-defying blend of evocative melodies, post-rock vibratory textures, and jazz-based minimalism. Seamless transitions, pattern interference, note-worrying, and sounds derived from collisions between old and new technologies, homemade and traditional instruments — Time of the Sign integrates all of these into a provocative sonic narrative.

Track Listing

Total duration: 64m15s