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Jessica Moss (CAN) + WOLF

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Montreal violinist Jessica Moss has performed and recorded with a wide spectrum of ensembles over the last two decades. Best known as a permanent member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, she was also a founding member of avant-klezmer group Black Ox Orkestar, recorded and toured with the Vic Chesnutt band for the two albums released on Constellation, and worked extensively with Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista. She has also performed and recorded as a guest with many of Montreal’s best known artists, most recently with Big|Brave on their acclaimed 2016 record for Southern Lord. She was featured in Jem Cohen’s Empires of Tin project, and joined members of Godspeed, Fugazi, White Magic and Dirty Three to perform the live score to Cohen’s film We Have An Anchor in various locations at Europe and the USA. 

Though she’s been playing violin practically her entire life, Jessica has always felt most at home in a collaborative setting and has been steadfastly devoted to the practice of ensemble playing. This has generally meant creation 'in the service of': the other parts being played, the lyrics being sung, the structure of the song, and/or the recording and mixing at hand. The practices inherent in group creation and performance inform her very person in many ways and have given her a deep understanding and respect for both group dynamics and 'working communities' in general. 

Moss’ catalyst to create solo work was a 2014 virtual collaboration with Olympia, USA musician Kevin Doria, who creates intensely rich and layered minimalist drone music under the moniker Total Life and with his bands Growing and Hiss Tracts. Simultaneously she was commissioned by La Biennale de Montréal to create a site specific composition that reflected on the theme of the 2014 exhibition. 

Alone in her practice space equipped with the tools, methods, and experiences gleaned from years in studios, rehearsal spaces, performing and touring, Jessica commenced building her unique style and structure. The music that came was longform and narrative, conjuring images with sounds and melodies and occasional lyrics, and telling exigent stories of troubled times. Written by ear and memory and never committed to paper, Moss conceives for live performance, where she makes use of violin, a myriad of pedals, a microphone, and three amplifiers. 

Moss’s first solo recordings came in the form of a self-released cassette entitled Under Plastic Island (2015), a beautiful, swirling meditation on the island of plastic trash floating in the ocean, the result of a trip to Brooklyn during which she spent time in the basement recording studio of friend and occasional collaborator Guy Picciotto (Fugazi). In 2017 she released her first solo LP on Constellation, Pools of Light, recorded with kindred spirit Radwan Ghazi Moumneh. Comprised of two side-length multi-movement compositions, it is a stunning work that unfolds at a stately, inexorable pace, combining sound-art and signal-processed timbres, extended melodic and contrapuntal lines, and the periodic deployment of stark, minimalist vocals. 

Since the release of Pools Of Light, Moss has been newly ascendant as a live soloist, captivating audiences with her gritty, warmly expressive electronic- and drone-inflected post-classical Minimalism (and sometimes Maximalism), accented by a distinctive melodic sensibility that channels Klezmer, Balkan and Middle Eastern tropes. Moss has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, playing over 80 shows in 2017-2018, including festival appearances at Big Ears, WSO New Music, Le Guess Who?, ATP, Zemlika and Supersonic, participation in multiple editions of Basilica Hudson’s 24-Hour Drone Fest, and a mix of headlining and support dates with the likes of Zu, BIG|BRAVE (on whose most recent album she also plays), GAS, Xylouris White, and labelmates Godspeed You! Black Emperor among many others. Moss recently collaborated with Angel Deradoorian, Nick Zinner, Clarice Jensen, and Francesco Donadello as part of a residency at Berlin’s PEOPLE festival, and composed the score for the Fact Award-winning documentary Laila at the Bridge. Heading into 2019, she will be collaborating with Roy Montgomery as well as composing and performing the live score for “DUST,” a new production from award-winning Australian dance company Dancenorth. Moss also creates all her own video work to accompany her solo music. 

SUPPORT FROM WOLF
WOLF, is a project from composer/producer; Kim Moore. With live strings and voice, WOLF travels through minimal ghostly orchestral worlds with walls of distorted noise and electronic driven song. Kim Moore also makes collaborative work as a composer and sound designer in theatre/dance/film. WOLF is currently working on their first EP release, available 2019 from: thisiswolfmusic.bandcamp.com


FREE ENTRY 
19 NOVEMBER
BLOC | 117 BATH STREET

Earlier Event: November 18
Bloc+Jam Open Mic