The Lanka Suite, by Tova Kardonne feat. The Thing Is, GREX & Jane Bunnett plus Khora

The Music Gallery, Ashkenaz Foundation and Koffler Centre for the Arts present

The Lanka Suite featuring The Thing Is, GREX and special guest Jane Bunnett + Khôra

Doors: 7PM | Concert: 8pm

The Music Gallery, 197 John St.

Tickets: $25 Regular| $15 Member | $10 Students | $20 Advance BUY NOW

Post-civil war Sri Lankan artistry seen through the eyes of an outsider

One of Toronto’s most exciting up and coming composers, Tova Kardonne, presents her most ambitious work to date: The Lanka Suite. Kardonne’s work is typically complex with many polyrhythms and harmonies that draw on Balkan-jazz fusion, and a large pallette of classical, African, South Indian, Brazilian, and Klezmer music.

Kardonne accompanied Nilan Perera on a journey to Sri Lanka in 2012. He wished to reconnect with family, to look around for the first time since the 2009 end of the conflict, and to talk to some of the generation of artists who had grown up in the midst of conflict, not, as he had, in the diaspora. Kardonne was a complete stranger, coming along strictly in the role of traveling companion. But a peculiar thing happened.

“Those things which were most new and strange were nonetheless paralleled in my experience” Kardonne recounts. “The connection with place, and the naming and claiming of space to belong. The catch-22 of a people’s self-definition through political movements, and the inevitable betrayal from the political class. The ravages always borne by the natural world as a society struggles to advance, and how those ravages then form the greatest stumbling block. The shifting role of women. All of these have incarnations in the several lands of my own life experience. So though I knew little of the particulars, I found myself rethinking my own understanding of life back in Canada through the lens of what I learned from Sri Lanka.”

This is the musical result. The personnel features an amalgamation of her most familiar working units, The Thing Is and GREX, along with special guest Jane Bunnett.

Opener Khôra is an experimental music project of Toronto resident Matthew Ramolo aimed at blurring the lines that separate the organic and synthetic, improvisation and composition. The emphasis in Khôra’s music is distributed between interlocking melodies performed on acoustic and electronic instruments and experimentation involving field recordings and analogue/digital processing. Khora has released music through the Constellation label.


Tova Kardonne: compositions, arrangements, voice

Nilan Perera: Sound design, visual design

Alex Samaras: Vocal direction, voice

GREX: Felicity Williams, Robin Dann, William Reid, Ryan Brouwer, Ghislain Aucoin – voices

The Thing Is:

Mike Wark: flute

Peter Lutek: alto saxophone

Tom Richards: trombone

Mark Segger: drums

Jim Sexton: double bass

Ali Berkok: piano

Luon Phung: electric guitar

Jane Bunnett: soprano saxophone

The Lanka Suite, by Tova Kardonne feat. The Thing Is, GREX & Jane Bunnett plus Khora

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