In May of 2013, the 21 piece Upstream Orchestra got on a bus in Halifax and headed straight to Victoriaville, Quebec to perform in the International Festival de Musique Actuel in Victoriaville, Quebec. It’s one of the most prominent international festivals devoted to improvised music. It was a pleasure, an honour, and a thrill to conduct this group. Here’s a section from Paul Cram’s piece The Magic Order.
Here’s a great review from the concert: “Another real treat was the set by Upstream Orchestra, 18 pieces from the Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada – not a place one usually thinks of as a hot bed of avant-garde music. But this year was an improvising orchestra with real depth and very strong conduction by Jeff Reilly, they started off with a great run-through of Barry Guy’s Witch Gong Game* and followed it with two pieces by their musical director, Paul Cram. Big chunks of Mingus, George Russell, the ICP and much else assembled itself into a squawk-swept landscape of brilliant playing. They don’t seem to have any recordings available, but hopefully they will soon.” The Wire (UK)*