Members: Ali Berkok- Piano, Accordion Pete Johnston – Bass
Jake Oelrichs- Drums Mike Smith- Electronics
Formed in the autumn of 2012, these musicians have played with each other in various combinations in numerous groups in Toronto over the last ten years, including Muskox, Arkana Music, See Through Trio, and the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. This trio emerged out of a shared desire to create extended improvised musical structures in which the three instruments would function as equal partners in the ensemble texture. Drawing on a range of influences including jazz, dub reggae, American minimalism, electronic music, and punk rock, Aurochs seeks to expand the traditional palette associated with this instrumentation. To this end, Aurochs focuses on developing sustained, gradually unfolding ensemble improvisations. Aurochs wide open approach to music-making means that we never end up with the same song structure twice.
The trio members come from diverse musical backgrounds, yet each share an interest in improvisation as a generative principle for music-making. The purpose of this trio is to maintain a musical laboratory in which we can try different ideas in the search for ways of playing together that reflect the multi-faceted musical culture in which we live. The traditional jazz and rock forms with which we are most familiar remain points of departure in our performances, but we aim to create a musical space in which we can explore and play with the myriad other sounds that comprise the urban soundscape.