CCMC

CCMC. 'Free music orchestra' formed in 1974 in Toronto as the Canadian Creative Music Collective. Only the abbreviation was in use by 1978. Defining itself as 'a composing ensemble...

CCMC

CCMC. 'Free music orchestra' formed in 1974 in Toronto as the Canadian Creative Music Collective. Only the abbreviation was in use by 1978. Defining itself as 'a composing ensemble... united by a desire to play music that is fluid, spontaneous, and self-regulating,' the CCMC, by its instrumentation, by the backgrounds of several of its founders, and by the improvised nature of its music, was initially aligned with the free jazz community.

Its original members were Peter Anson (guitar and later synthesizer); Graham Coughtry (trombone); Larry Dubin (percussion); Greg Gallagher (saxophones); Nobuo Kubota (saxophones); Allan Mattes (bass, bass guitar, electronics); Casey Sokol (piano); Bill Smith (saxophones); and Michael Snow (piano, trumpet, guitar, analogue synthesizer). Gallagher, Coughtry and Smith left 1976-7, Dubin died in 1978 and Anson departed in 1979. The remaining quartet was augmented by the drummer John Kamevaar in 1981. Sokol left in 1988, Kubota in 1991 and Damevaar and Mattes in 1994, and the vocalist Paul Dutton became a member in 1989 and John Oswald (alto sax) as of 1994. The CCMC began moving toward improvised electroacoustic music: instrumentation in 1990 comprised guitar-synthesizer and double bass (Mattes); wind synthesizer (Kubota); tapes and live electronic sampling (Kamevaar); voice (Dutton and Kubota); and piano (Snow).

After early performances in private, the CCMC established the Music Gallery in 1976, performing there on a twice-weekly basis until 1983, and later weekly. CCMC members were responsible for the gallery's operation until 1987 - Anson and Mattes 1976-80, Mattes alone thereafter - and established the Music Gallery Editions record label and Musicworks. After 2000, the CCMC's relationship with the Music Gallery ceased.

The CCMC has travelled widely, making four tours in Canada by 1982 and five in Europe 1978-85. It performed at the FIMAV (Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville) in 1984 and again in 1997, at the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles, at Expo 86, in Japan in 1988 and for New Music America, Montreal, in 1990. It later appeared in France (1998); Texas (1999); New York (2001); and in 2002 in England, the Netherlands, France and Germany. It has also played in various festivals in Canada, eg, Open Ears (Kitchener-Waterloo) and No Music Festival (London, Ont). The ensemble since 1995 has been a trio, consisting of Dutton (voice or soundsinging, harmonica); John Oswald (alto sax); and Snow (piano, analogue synthesizer).

Music Gallery Editions released six LPs recorded by the CCMC 1976-80: CCMC Vol 1 (MGE-1), CCMC Vol 2 (MGE-2), CCMC Vol 3 (MGE-6), Larry Dubin and the CCMC (3-MGE-15), Free Soap (MGE-22) and Without a Song (MGE-31). Two cassettes, CCMC 90, documenting the 1989-90 season at the Gallery, were issued in 1990. These were followed by the CDs Decisive Moments (TLR 02, 1994); Accomplices (VITOcd063, 1998) and CCMC + Christian Marclay (NMRx0003/ART MET CD004, 2002).


Further Reading

  • Snider, Norman. 'Call it frontier music,' Toronto Globe and Mail, 22 Jun 1977

    Decade: The First Ten Years of the Music Gallery (Toronto 1985)