Over the past 18 months, I have been on the CNMN board as an interim replacement for Jerry Pergolesi. My time on the board has shown me some of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. We are strong because no matter what your musical practice there are like-minded individuals that share your passions who are connected through our network. CNMN’s FORUM 2014 in Calgary demonstrated that we each have similar goals and hopes for our music and by coming together we are able to support each other to keep pushing the limits of music in Canada. Though in saying this, it is clear that we need to broaden our own definition, become more inclusive, and provide support for a wider swath of exploratory music within Canada.
The CNMN is poised to have an impact on the cultural perception of unheard and under recognized musics throughout the country. We are strong because of our membership, which includes representatives from the old guard that has experiences to share, and the rising leaders that are doing things within a new paradigm. Each has something to learn from the other and only by bringing people together in an environment of openness and accessibility will we be able move forward as a national musical culture. We are only weak if we privilege one over the other. The future of the network is the grassroots effort that is redefining how music is being created in this country in collaboration with the established institutions. If we ignore this, we will lose the possibility of expanding our network to represent the true diversity of our country’s musical culture.
Kyle Brenders is a Toronto based multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser and arts administrator. Brenders’ work attempts to fuse the various musical experiences that have shaped him as a creative artist. His interest in music that falls within generic and idiomatic cracks has allowed him to develop his own personal style. Brenders has studied and played with Ab Baars, Anthony Braxton, Lori Freedman, David Mott, Alvin Lucier, Taylor Ho Bynum, Jean Derome, Gordon Allen, The Australian Art Orchestra, Malcolm Goldstein, Dan Snaith (Caribou), Evan Parker, Marshal Allen, and Mary Halverson. Brenders current group, the Kyle Brenders Quartet, plays music that explores the idea of a jazz quartet through expanding approaches to composition and improvisation. Brenders also acts as Artistic Associate with Soundstreams curating the Salon21 series, providing art direction for the concert livestreams and Soundmakers.ca, as well as numerous other tasks that support the presentation of contemporary music on a national and international scale.