Tonight, genre bushwhacker John Kameel Farah shows off his compelling work as a composer-pianist
One of Toronto's most fascinating musicians is John Kameel Farah, a man with impeccable credentials as a classical pianist, who has been bushwhacking his own path across a number of aesthetic thickets as a 21st century composer-pianist. The full digital arsenal (from laptop to electronic keyboard) sits alongside the traditional piano as he loops, mixes and distorts and noodles.
He is the gifted spawn of piano nerd and computer geek, mixed with a lively, inquiring, skeptical mind.
Farah has been travelling a lot in recent months, having found a ready outlet for his talents at music festivals in the U.K., Europe and the other Americas. Before his next escape, he has landed a residency at experimental Little Portugal arts venue, Mackenzie Post Digital.
As part of that residency, he is performing live at Unit Bar, next door to the Gladstone Hotel, just east of Dufferin St. He is down to play two sets between 9 p.m. and midnight.
There are several more performances of various kinds before the end of the month. You can find the schedule here.
Farah is doing a couple of things during Nuit Blanche. If I didn't have to be conscious for church duty in the morning, I wouldn't want to miss him playing Erik Satie's Vexations at Brookfield Place (the former BCE Place -- and one of my favourite pedestrian passages in the world) on Oct. 3 between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Here's a clip of Farah improvising on acoustic piano at the Church of the Holy Cross in Berlin this summer: