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Arrhythmia nation 

suddenlyLISTEN’s final concert of the 2014/15 main series leans on the improvisational side of hip-hop.

click to enlarge Hermitofthewoods gets collaborative.
  • Hermitofthewoods gets collaborative.

Hip-hop and spoken word artist Hermitofthewoods might not be the first artist who springs to mind for improvised jazz, but that's part of what excites jazz musicians Tim Crofts, Norm Adams and D'Arcy Gray about their upcoming collaboration, Arrhythmia, the final concert of suddenlyLISTEN's 2014/15 main series. "Every year I look for interesting artists that are maybe a little outside of where free improvisers tend to come from," says cellist Adams, the artistic director of the suddenlyLISTEN concert series. He's always looking for opportunities to collaborate across genres. 

Although both are well-known figures in the Halifax music scene, Adams and Hermitofthewoods first met on Twitter, then in person, where they hit it off: "He was a smart guy equipped with the right flexibility to step out of his comfort zone," Adams says, "willing to step into our world a little."

Adams is interested in "exploring the relationship between the literalness of words and the spontaneity of the music." More focused on spoken word than hip-hop as of late, Hermitofthewoods plans to focus on spoken word in his performance. Rap and spoken word both have a grounding in improvisation, and Adams wants to explore the space where improvised jazz and spoken word intersect, using the voice not as a dominating force but as another instrument within the group, "part of the soundmaking."

Always excited to introduce new audiences to free improvisation, Adams says, "It's really fun to have these concrete words and abstract sounds meet, or to see if the words are still concrete and the sounds are still abstract after."

Tuesday, May 12, 8pm
The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street

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