JOYFULTALK is the brainchild of composer, producer, arranger, instrument builder, multi-instrumentalist and multimedia artist Jay Crocker. Since relocating from Calgary to a rural Nova Scotia homestead a decade ago, Crocker has been broadening the scope and pace of his visual, sculptural and video work in tandem with his musical exploration.
JOYFULTALK creates instrumental compositions that straddle analog and electronic sound explorations in uniquely inventive ways. Guided by graphic scores, handmade kinetic sculpture, and junked/recuperated Crocker delicately weaves between human interaction and machine clockworks.
From the widescreen synth-driven works of early albums MUIXXX and Plurality Trip to the electronics and string quartet polyrhythmic Minimalist systems music of A Separation Of Being, to the exuberant harmolodic avant-jazz collages of Familiar Science. JOYFULTALK’s album discography offers up a distinctive and kaleidoscopic world, always combining an ear for melody and noise, always seeking the ghost in the machine.
JOYFULTALK premiered A Separation Of Being at MUTEK Montréal in 2021, following a long wait due to tour and festival dates being canceled due to the pandemic.
As a multimedia and visual artist working under his own name, Jay Crocker exhibited the award-winning BIBELOT (a custom-built sound installation of sixteen ceiling-mounted mechanical ‘music boxes’) across the Maritime provinces (Eastern Canada), culminating in an exhibition at the prestigious Phi Centre in Montreal in 2019.
His monumental 5’x10’ graphic score for A Separation Of Being, the latest composition of his Planetary Music System, was acquired by the Nova Scotia Art Bank that same year. Recently, he unveiled an interactive laser installation called Last Life On Earth, as part of Tatafest Music & Art Festival in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia.
Crocker’s musical work has received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Wire, Uncut, The Quietus, The Globe And Mail, and the BBC. In recent years he has been profiled in MusicWorks, Clot Magazine and at KEXP. Crocker has amassed a substantial production resume, including Ghostkeeper’s Polaris-nominated self-titled album (Flemish Eye Records, 2010) and Jon Mckiel’s internationally acclaimed album Bobby Joe Hope (You’ve Changed Records, 2020). Crocker has received awards and grants from Arts Nova Scotia, Music Nova Scotia, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Familiar Science represents the first of several JOYFULTALK lockdown projects to come to full fruition, with Crocker revisiting and recombining his former life as a tireless guitarist/improvisor in Calgary’s out-music and avant-jazz scenes through the 2000s. Crocker is currently at work on two new large-scale score pieces; one for 16-voice choir and one for 30-piece wind ensemble, alongside a large-scale installation sculpture of 1000 mirrors and robotics, video art and a quotidian bric-a-brac tinkering with sonic and kinetic machines.
Contacts & Links
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12 Jun 2022 - Toronto, ON @TONE Festival
14 Jun 2022 - Montreal, QC @Suoni Per Il Popolo
16 Jun 2022 - Peterborough, ON @Sadleir House
17 Jun 2022 - London, ON @Palasad Socialbowl w/ OMBIIGIZI
18 Jun 2022 - Hamilton, ON @Something Else! Festival
23 Jun 2022 - Calgary, AB @Sled Island Festival
24 Jun 2022 - Vancouver, BC @Vancouver International Jazz Festival