B I O G R A P H Y

Ha Chung Gong Nilan Perera Sarah Peebles

N I L A N P E R E R A
altered electric guitar

Nilan Perera is a sonic explorer and improviser whose work expands the language and techniques of experimental electric guitar performance, while attending to the legacy of 20th-century tradition established by such pioneers as Harry Partch and Fred Frith. Perera’s unusual approach to his instrument has earned him a reputation as one of Toronto's most innovative experimentalists. He plays in a number of cutting-edge ensembles — including Handslang, The Excalceolators, Wiens-Perera Duo and NOMA — and has performed at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Toronto International Jazz Festival, for Sound Image Theatre, Autumn Leaf Performance, the Synaptic-Circus project, and with Peter Chin, Anne Marie Hood, and Susanna Hood.

Perera has also performed and recorded with Vinnie Golia, Don Preston, Roswell Rudd, Al McDowell (Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time), John Oswald, Michael Snow, Michael Ondaatje, Mary Margaret O’Hara, and Don Thompson. In addition to his performance activities, Perera served as Program Director and Station Manager at CIUT-FM 89.5 (Toronto) from 1991–1993, as well as producer-broadcaster of the jazz and improvised music program, "In Through The Outside" for the past decade.

Selected Recent Performances

  • "Green", by Peter Chin and Anne Marie Hood, accompaniment for dance performance, choreographed by Susanna Hood, November 1998 and July 1999.
  • "Down Here On Earth", an opera for prepared guitar quintet and voices composed by Rainer Wiens. Toronto and Montreal, March 1999 and Toronto, March 1998.
  • Vancouver International Jazz Festival, performance with Handslang, 1997.
  • Toronto International Jazz Festival, performances with Handslang, 1994–1996.
  • Toronto International Jazz Festival, performances with Excalceolators, 1995–1996.
  • "Hallucinations", a multimedia performance featuring Roswell Rudd on trombone and original compositions by Glenn Halls, 1997.

Selected Recordings

  • "Handslang", a self-titled CD
  • "Eternal Good Foot", Excalceolators
  • "Trails of Smoke", Excalceolators, Combustion Lente, and Marzipan
  • "Climbing the Waltz", Noma
  • "Anhai", a self titled cassette
  • "Four Year Phrase", Thin Men

Current Music Ensembles

  • Handslang: Improvisational music trio, performing since 1994
  • The Excalceolators: Dub/Jazz/Electronica quartet, performing since 1994
  • Wiens-Perera Duo: Electric guitar duo, performing since 1988
  • CCMC: Improvisational music ensemble, performing since 1997
  • Noma: Improvisational nonet, performing since 1988

Awards and Support

  • Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific
  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Laidlaw Foundation
  • FACTOR.

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Biography: Ha Chung Gong
Biography: Sarah Peebles