The Story of Toadstool

Toadstool was formed in April 2015 when percussionist Kevin Van Walk was seeking like-minded musicians to collaborate on post-jazz/free jazz approaches to musical improvisation and spontaneous composition. Inspired by noise, ambient, experimental and free jazz, Van Walk desired to blur the lines between acoustic and electronic musical application, recognizing the relation – however separated by time,  genre and spiritual longing – of free jazz and experimental noise music; in short, Albert Ayler meets Stockhausen meets Merzbow. Van Walk placed a craigslist ‘seeking musicians’ ad  and  Portland saxophonist Nicklas Waroff answered the call. Within a week of the reply, Waroff appeared on Van Walk’s doorstep, saxophone case in hand, and within two hours the newly acquainted duo had recorded their first album ‘Meeting.’ One month passed and the duo again reconvened to record their second album, ‘Meeting 2.0.’ Both recordings are a merger of primarily acoustic but also electronic sound textures, an elixir of jazz and ambient improvisational exploration, less angry, screaming free jazz, and more atmospheric soundscapes. However, the duo’s live appearances at the monthly Experiments in Noise series of showcases held in Corvallis and more recently at The Space in Salem showcase a much more visceral and aggressive side of the band. Toadstool has recently been joined by cellist/guitarist/vocalist Chris Rorrer who adds incendiary energy to the bands sonic foothold. Footage of those performances are available here. Check our comments page for more info. . .




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