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François Houle ElectroAerials, featuring images by Jeannette Hicks

  • Silence Sounds 46 Essex Street Guelph, ON, N1H 4L7 Canada (map)
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In 2006 I released Aerials, a collection of solo clarinet improvisations developed during a residency at Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy. My goal at the time was to create two more volumes of these solo "signposts", one using electronic processing, and one through-composed.

Now a decade later, I am finally set to realize this vision by presenting new improvisations, along with some reprises of the original Aerials set. 

In addition, I have been collaborating with wonderful visual artist (and Guelph resident!) Jeannette Hicks, in the development of graphic scores based on my arsenal of clarinet sounds. This concert is a premiere, introducing some of the beautiful images created by Jeannette from ink and water, while listening to sound "sketches" I provided her with specifically for the occasion.


François Houle - clarinets, loopers and live signal processing

“a spectacularly versatile clarinetist who appears to have no limitations stylistically or sonically” —Mark Swed, LA Times

Clarinetist François Houle has established himself as one of today’s most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces. His extensive touring has led to solo appearances at major festivals across Canada, the United States and Europe, and he has released more than twenty recordings, earning multiple Juno Award and West Coast Music Award nominations. Inspired by collaborations with the world’s top musical innovators, François has developed a unique improvisational language, virtuosic and rich with sonic embellishment and technical extensions. Frequently listed as a “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” and “Rising Star” in Downbeat’s Critics’ Poll and Reader’s Poll. He is a faculty member at the Vancouver Community College School of Music and teaches Masters and DMA clarinet students at the University of British Columbia. He served as Artistic Director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute for five years. In 2008 he was appointed as “Associate Composer” of the Canadian Music Centre. 


Jeannette Hicks - visuals

Jeannette Hicks is a PhD student in Philosophy at the University of Guelph and a practicing visual artist. Driven by the feedback loop between theory and practice, her philosophical research examines the importance of improvisation in the creation of new artistic forms, while her artistic practice aims to open new possibilities for interaction between people, found objects and public spaces. As a member of the installation collective Tongue and Groove, her work has been exhibited in Nuit Blanche Toronto, Landslide: Possible Futures, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. She holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Guelph and a BFA in Visual Arts and Philosophy from York University. As part of the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, Jeannette assists with the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium, researches community art and practice-based research, and recently assisted Improviser-in-Residence Douglas R. Ewart in making musical instruments out of found objects.