Just a few days after I lamented the state of Toronto’s electronic music scene on our blog, my prayers were answered when a friend connected me to a small but growing organization called StudioFeed. StudioFeed is a Toronto music collective made up of artists, producers, DJ’s, promoters, labels, venues and anyone else who supports independent music and wants to be part of the crew. Their mandate is to “unlock the energy of the local music ecosystem in pursuit of an increasingly supportive and collaborative music community where artistic, social, and technological innovation can thrive”. They make videos, produce really cool podcasts, run festivals, and (wait for it) they’re creating tactile sound in their very own sound laboratory. All of this happens in one small office in Chinatown.
I met John, one of the founders of StudioFeed, in May to discuss ways in which OCAD U students and local artists could become more involved in Studiofeed projects. I immediately warmed to his enthusiasm, openness and drive to champion the independent music scene that exists here that most of us are unaware of. When I met John, the whole Studiofeed team was working their butts off to prepare for Sound in Motion, a non-profit electronic music festival that happened between July 13-15 across a number of different venues including warehouses, galleries, patios and Sugar Beach. Cool, right?!
Sound in Motion is unlike the many other electronic music festivals happening in Toronto this summer, which are sponsored by corporate giants and support big name DJs. Sound in Motion brought independent artists from abroad to preform alongside local talent such as Knowing Looks, Arthur Oskan, Pheek, Zeina and Fairmont, to name a few.
While I was only able to attend the event on Sugar Beach, I’m happy to report that it was beyond sweet. The sun was hot, the sky was clear and the music was stellar from noon through sundown. There was freshly squeezed lemonade and local beer, healthy snacks, an ice-cream truck and FREE WATER. The stage was no more than a foot above the dance floor, which was made of white sand. There were umbrellas and adorondack chairs, a fountain to cool off in and willow trees to lie beneath. The crowd was diverse and friendly. The music was fresh and the sound was just right — loud enough to seriously get down too, but not so loud you couldn’t chat with friends. At one point during the day, a friend of mine visiting from Paris turned to me with a look of amazement on her face and exclaimed: “I didn’t think events like this existed in Canada! I wish we had more festivals like this in Paris!” I smiled back at her and acted nonchalant while in my head I was aggressively high-fiving Studiofeed for impressing the pants off a Parisian.
Dancing to really good techno and house music in bare feet on white sand, while watching the sun set behind the Redpath Sugar factory was an unforgettable moment. I’m thrilled to have been there for the inception of Sound In Motion. I think it’s only a matter of time until the festival becomes Toronto’s version of Mutek. I’m so grateful for StudioFeed. They are one more reason why I’m so excited to be living right here, right now.