Published Oct 18, 2012Trumpeter JP Carter was Polaris-nominated for his work with Vancouver's Destroyer and is a member of several bands, including Aeroplane Trio, but tonight he was trying something new. Minus any stage lights, Carter stood with his trumpet in front of a mic and a bank of effects pedals taped to a music stand. Faint sounds emanated from the horn like scurrying insects, slowly building as Carter played with the recorded trumpet parts until huge loops like fog horns sounded under broken, fractured samples that provided a beat of sorts.
Visuals were provided by Steve Reaume, with the results this time being slightly more architectural and graphical in nature as they responded in real time to the music being played. At times, Carter would kill the sound completely, which was enjoyably disorienting at first, but after several times, the end result was slightly infuriating.
The set picked up again, diving into noisier territory, with Carter at one point putting down the trumpet to take feedback from an amp placed opposite, forcing many to reach for their earplugs. The sound eventually settled into somewhat of a groove, if you can call the sound of a nine-force gale blowing into a mic a groove.
Eventually the noise dissipated and led into a gorgeous ambient piece with star-like visuals morphing in the blackness — something the set could have used more of — before coming to a satisfying, grinding close.
It became an incredibly subtle and intricate performance that maybe lacked dynamic in terms of set arc, but was definitely interesting and pushed boundaries. Love it or hate it, this is exactly the kind of performance that makes X Avant so special and necessary for Toronto.