Sandro Perri’s journey to this point has been anything but linear. For almost two decades, the Toronto-based artist has worn different masks and composed music that spans anywhere from electronic, folk, jazz, and post-rock. Since arriving on Toronto’s scene under the name Polmo Polpo, Perri’s curiosity and inventiveness have led him to compile an impressive catalogue of music over the years.
Perri is set to release his latest work, In Another Life, in Ottawa at St. Alban’s Church this Saturday as a part of the Showbox Concert Series. The album, which comes out on Constellation Records, is his first release in seven years. In the meantime, he has kept busy by mixing, arranging and producing multiple works for LAL, Tasseomancy, Andre Ethier, Kira May, Bernice and Bonjay.
In Another Life is meditative and purposeful, and takes the traditional elements of what we’ve come to expect in today’s music industry and flips it. Perri’s innate ability to push the envelope and experiment with new ideas, instrumentation, and genres is immediately evident. He invites the listener to partake rather than just consume. The first track, “In Another Life,” is a 24-minute exploration of the unknown that masterfully pieces together minimalist elements. They eventually conjoin and build into a meditative composition that the listener can float in. There’s no punchline, and no climax. The album in its entirety is mysterious and simmering, and Perri challenges us to partake in his odyssey.
Layered synthesizer, soft and simple piano, delicate guitars, and fluttering saxophone are all pieces of the puzzle that make this composition a patient masterpiece. Not to mention Perri’s consolatory vocals, with which he sets the lyrical theme. Also featured on the album are André Ethier (Deadly Snakes) and Dan Bejar (Destroyer) who carry on the thematic torch until the final seconds of the record.
Also on Saturday’s is St. Alban’s bill is Flying Hórses, the instrumental post-chamber work of Jade Bergeron. Flying Hórses is working on her sophomore record, which will be out in the spring of 2019 on the well-known Montreal label Bonsound. Distancing herself from her debut Tolt, which was a reflection on childhood and innocence, her new record is said to be a more mature take on some of the challenges she’s faced as an adult, including having to adapt to life in Iceland in the cold, dark winter months over the course of the last few years, and coping with grief. She was nominated for the 2018 Prism Prize for best Canadian music video, alongside Leonard Cohen, Grimes, Feist, The Weeknd. She was recently mentioned by musical genius Chilly Gonzales in an interview ahead of his recent NAC performance.
There will also be a pop-up shop by Lemon Ephemera, creating a true festival atmosphere throughout the night.
The Showbox Concert Series featuring Sandro Perri and Flying Hórses happens Saturday, November 3 at St. Alban’s Church (454 King Edward Ave.), starting at 7:30pm. Advanced tickets are $13 at The Record Centre or Compact Music (Centretown) and can be purchased online, or for $15 at the door.