By Jeremy Farkas // Photo by Adriana Ciccone
The Ottawa Experimental Music Facebook page was started five years ago by Ottawa music vet, Adriana Ciccone. To commemorate the five-year anniversary, OEM is putting on a show at Le Minotaure in Gatineau, featuring a wide variety of local artists. Deathsticks, Novusolis, Obsidian Will, Forgotten in the Woods Again, Clavius, and RAAS will be throwing down their own flavours of experimental jams starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 11. The event will feature giveaways and raffles and on top of that, the first 25 people through the door get a free OEM t-shirt! Check out the interview with local experimental music expert Adriana Ciccone below.
How would you define experimental music?
Adriana Ciccone: Experimental music to me is music that goes beyond the normal conventions and pushes boundaries. Using anything to make music and incorporating it into the music in creative ways. The sound of a bottle crashing to the floor, recording that sound, looping it and effecting it with delay, for example. Using traditional instruments in non-traditional ways, creating music in unexpected ways.
Did you start the OEM page alone or was it a collective decision?
AC: I started the page on my own. I did/do have people who have come on board since then but I’ve been the constant.
What inspired you to start a page dedicated to Ottawa’s experimental music scene?
AC: I was playing in this band at the time and I was the main person tasked with finding gigs for us. I remember it being difficult to find bands in the same genre. I knew they were out there but if you didn’t know the name of the band etc, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. I was following pages like The Post-Rock Community and I thought what if we had something similar that focused on the Ottawa scene? My main goal in creating the page was to specifically help promote the experimental music scene here in Ottawa and help bands find each other. It soon grew to incorporate bands from all over Canada and the world.
Are you a part of any bands or solo projects?
AC: Yes, my current band is called Forgotten in the Woods Again. I play keys in the band. I also have a solo project called Constellation 425.
How long have you been a part the Ottawa music scene?
AC: I started playing keys when I was 14 or 15 and I’ve lived in Ottawa all my life so one could say 30 or so years?! Officially though, in the experimental scene, around 7 years?
What’s it like being watching the development of the experiment scene here in Ottawa and where would you like to see it go?
It’s been really cool watching it grow and hearing what people are doing in their creative processes. I find the people in the scene are so creative and so awesome as human beings. The last few years have been exceptional in this regard. The second part of your question is a difficult one to answer. I tend not to think about the future too much since there is a lot going on in the present. Thinking about it now, I think I’d like to see it promoted even more. Would be cool to partner up with the scene in other Canadian cities and have a festival or symposium of sorts held here in Ottawa. Even if it’s done every other year or something. Kind of like Dunk! but a Canadian version. That would be so incredible.
What made you want to put on a show for the fifth anniversary of the Facebook page?
AC: Haha, well it was all by accident really. Sometime in August, I was sitting at my desk and about to write a post for the OEM page. Something made me have a look at when the page was created. What was that something? I have no idea. I soon realized that on September 8, it would be 5 years since the page was started. So I decided to write a post about it and posed the question to the group, “Should we have a party to celebrate?”The answer was, “hell yes!” That’s how it started.
What can we expect from Ottawa Experimental Music in the new year?
I’m not too sure. I’ve taken on a few more things, so in-depth reviews are taking a little longer to post this year. I’d like to get back to more timely reviews in the new year.