Canadian Electronic Ensemble s/t LP

Canadian Electronic Ensemble s/t LP front cover
Canadian Electronic Ensemble s/t LP back cover
Canadian Electronic Ensemble s/t LP insert
Inside cover close-up
Canadian Electronic Ensemble s/t LP side A

Founded in Toronto in 1971 by David Grimes, David Jaeger, Larry Lake and James Montgomery, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble plays live electronic music with occasional guest musicians on acoustic instruments. Since 1974, the CEE organize an annual music festival with visiting composers and performers and have been touring abroad extensively since the mid-1970s. The CEE’s first LP appeared on Music Gallery in 1977.

♫ This 1981 Centredisc LP was their 3rd release and features a purely electronic collective composition on side A and a piece for voice and electronics on the flip. A distinct feature of the CEE compared with regular, studio electroacoustic compositions is the obvious live and semi-improvised aspect of the music. Sounds enter and disappear with a pace of their own, sometimes slightly out of synch with the rest of the proceedings, but always contributing to a living sonic organism of sorts, not unlike other Music Gallery projects like The Glass Orchestra, for instance. While the Ensemble uses purely electronic sounds sourced from EMS Synthi A, ARP Odissey and Roland SH-5 synthesizers, plus self-build electronic devices and ring modulator, their music has a chamber-like quality which is rather unique in the field. In Chaconne à son goût (hard to translate pun), deep, powerful electronic drones are contrasted with delicate synth loops and textures emerging from the sonic continuum. In All Wounds, the surreal voice of soprano Billie Bridgman with pianist Karen Kieser sends the music into dreamlike soundscapes with echoes of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande opera.

Note: my copy of this disc comes with Braille system insert sheet and inside cover sticker, pictured above.

01 Chaconne à son goût (17:30)
02 All Wounds (14:25)

Total time 31:55
LP released by Centrediscs, Canada, 1981


Canadian Electronic Ensemble selected discography:
1977 s/t LP, Music Gallery Editions, MGE 8
1978 w/ James Campbell and John York, LP, Radio Canada International’s Transcription series, RCI 484
1981 s/t LP, CentreDiscs, CMC 1
1983 The Electronic Messiah, with the Elmer Iseler Singers, LP, Moss Music Group, D-MMG 113

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10 Responses to “Canadian Electronic Ensemble s/t LP”

  1. 1 Nico Teen May 12, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Your finds are truly, truly amazing. This was not on my map until now. Many thanks!

  2. 2 continuo May 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Their first albums are worth checking out, especially the Music Gallery LP.
    I forgot to mention they have an official web presence here.

  3. 3 Joaquín Mendoza Sebastián May 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I’ll be heading to europe next january…and one of the first things I’m gonna do is start a vinyl collection like yours(of course it will take me years…)..great album…..on a side students gonna need a new hard disk too =P..the weekly homework is visiting your site


  4. 4 continuo May 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Good luck with your future collection, Joaquín. There are still a lot of rarities out there, awaiting for you.

  5. 5 andrea May 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    many thanks!
    do you also have the New Music Ensemble LP?

  6. 6 continuo May 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Hi, Andrea. I don’t have the LP you mention, but it looks interesting, if only for the inclusion of Source Magazine founders Stanley Lunetta and Larry Austin.

  7. 7 Brian June 5, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I have their 1977 Music Gallery LP and, if memory serves, David Jaeger was, at the time, co-host of a late Sunday night program on Canada’s CBC FM radio playing and discussing contemporary/avant garde music. That was where I first heard CEE. I have never been able to find any other recordings until now! Many thanks continuo! I shall be exploring your wonderful site further.

  8. 8 continuo June 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Hi, Brian. Welcome on the blog. I enjoy many artists from the Music Gallery roster and a few of them have been posted here, including my beloved Glass Music Ensemble.
    Thanks for your comment.

  9. 9 Paul Stillwell August 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Hi – thanks for writing about our music. The CEE is still performing and we do have more recent material available – on iTunes even :-) Three CD’s are available – Catbird Seat, SuperTrio, and LIVE. Our most recent performance was at the Arts & Letters club on July 29, 2011 as part of their Ad Lib series. The group has shrunk and grown since the seventies also. David Grimes departed and the current lineup includes Rose Bolton, John Farah, and Paul Stillwell (me :-) along with David Jaeger, Larry Lake, and Jim Montgomery. The CBC radio show referred to above was produced by David and hosted by Larry and was called Two New Hours. I am in the process of updating our web site – which has needed doing for some time. We now have a facebook page and the recordings from the last concert are available on SoundCloud. There are some issues with distortion in them, but their is some tasty stuff in there. If you would like to reach us for any reason, info[at]CanadianElectronicEnsemble|dot|com usually gets a pretty quick response. Thanks for listening, and here’s the link for Facebook.

  10. 10 continuo August 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Hi, Paul. Glad to know the Ensemble is alive and kicking. The CEE’s SoundCloud page can be found here.

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