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We're happy to present you a new series of five videos presenting performances and conversations with some of the wonderful musicians playing modal music in and around Toronto. This is our third year participating with the Toronto Arts Council's Arts in the Parks project, and we're grateful for the generous support and the chance to highlight these artists and the music they play.

We hope you enjoy these videos, and that they encourage you to listen and explore further – and maybe even bring an instrument to a park, or even a back yard, to play in the open air.

Your friends at Labyrinth Ontario

Labyrinth Ontario works on the traditional territories of the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. We are honoured to work as guests on this land.


Watch now:

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Pankaj Mishra (Sarangi), recently moved to Toronto from Kolkata, and Tanjeer Alam (Tabla) perform in Raag Kirwani, an originally South Indian Classical raga adopted into North Indian Classical music. The interviews discuss their instruments and the roles they play, the scale and rhythm of the piece, and the connection of raga to certain times.

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Marta performs her arrangements of folk and medieval Polish music on Suka and Plotz Fiddle, two instruments that fell out of use and were reconstructed in the 1980s. She is joined by Lea Kirstein on Cello and Viola, and Saskia Tomkins on Violin and Nyckelharpa, a Swedish keyed fiddle.

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Dr. George Sawa has over 50 years of experience teaching, researching, and performing Arabic music. Here he and Suzanne Meyers Sawa perform 19th and 20th century Egyptian music for qanun and percussion, and discuss the history and construction of the qanun and practices of accompaniment and ornamentation.

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Soudabeh (Gheychak) and Sanaz (Kanun) perform pieces from Turkish classical repertoire, coloured with Iranian modes.  In the interview clips, they discuss their instruments and Sanaz's studies comparing Turkish, Iranian, and other modal musics.

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Ustad Nizad (rabab) and Khavarzamini (tombak) play Afghan music, and discuss the raags and rhythmic cycles used, as well as the history of Kooye Kharabat, Kabul's famous street of musicians, and the legacy of Pedram's teacher, Ustad Khushnavaz.

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Many thanks to the Toronto Arts Council for their support through

the Arts in the Parks Program: Animating Toronto Parks. 

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If you'd like to help us create more projects like this please consider donating; 

Labyrinth Ontario is a small non-for-profit and we truly appreciate any help!