Singing Saw Shadow Show Sneaky Dee's, Toronto ON - January 18, 2004

It's hard to believe that so many people came out on a cold Sunday night to see something so irregular. The crowds piled into Sneaky Dee's for the 196th instalment of Toronto's weekly Wavelength series hoping to witness a new spin on the avant-garde. A curtain hung front and centre stage; the audience was treated to a pre-show warm-up in the form of an eye-pleasing short film steeped in white lights and stars. Immediately following the film, a gang of saw-carrying artistes slyly cluttered the white screen with not just shadows of their own but also the shadows of numerous inanimate objects that appeared to be floating in air. What came next was a melodic and haunting demonstration of their craft, clearly portraying the saw's place among musical instruments and dispelling any notion that most tools are only good for one thing. The instrument could use a little amplification somehow but that aside, the saw not only sounds beautiful but also looks novel too. So while it's next to impossible to properly mic a symphony of saws (especially when the 200-plus crowd gets talking), the throngs of people paying attention up front caught one of the most moving performances Toronto has seen in ages. Through the curtain, the shadow puppets bent and bowed their saws with a grace that under normal circumstances would never be associated with the tool. It's a pretty fair prediction to say that with all the talent and creative zest this collective possess, it won't be long until the folks at Constellation Records (not to mention the rest of the country's slightly askew music fans) are knocking down their door.