Tilman Lewis

improvising cellist


The Knot, a transgressive cello duo with Nick Storring, has been one of my principal creative projects. Using audacious contra-techniques, we go to startlingly discordant places. But almost despite ourselves, beauty bursts through. Jakob Rehlinger @ Arachnidiscs nailed it: “somewhere between the gravel pit and the northern lights.” No processing; no phone-ins.

I’ve also been privileged to collaborate with many committed sound travellers. A few highlights:

  • Legendary improvising collective CCMC – hear a recent show with CCMCer Paul Dutton and percussionist Rick Sacks
  • Indie iconoclast Slim Twig. Check out Gate Hearing, White Fantaseee
  • Haunting songsmith Clara Engel. Check out Secret Beasts
  • Quorum, a fine ensemble of deep-end improvisors. Check out Gestation
  • Dronemeister Aidan Baker. Check out Liminoid
  • Composer/instigator Kyle Brenders. Check out Ways
  • Various members of Toronto’s improvising community. Hear an evening at Audiopollination with guest artist Kathryn Ladano; and Mechanical Forest Sound’s documentation of a Synaptic Circus set with Nilan Perara and Rick Sacks

I’ve sat in with members of the legendary improvising collective CCMC (Paul Dutton, 2022; Michael Snow and Kamevaar, 2019); joined the improvising superband at the Music Gallery’s Compose Yourself fundraisers (2006, 2010); and played in the AIM Toronto Orchestra led by Anthony Braxton, released on Spool as Creative Orchestra (Guelph) 2007.