Wavelength Music paves the way for Toronto indie artists


Feist, Arcade Fire and Tokyo Police Club have all come through their journey to global acclaim through Wavelength Music.

For independent artists and bands who work tirelessly to enhance their skills and get their craft to the public, the Toronto-based grassroots arts initiative is there for them.

What used to be a Sunday night gathering at Sneaky Dee’s at College and Bathurst for seven years where local artists would come to share their music has turned into monthly workshops, artist talks, deejay nights, concert series and other interactive events at venues across Toronto such as The Garrison, The Silver Dollar Room, Lee’s Place, as well as camps and festivals held in Centre Island.

Over the weekend, the Sheridan Sun attended a free workshop and live Q&A session held at the Markham House City Building Lab on Bloor St. W. where Wavelength, in collaboration with Exclaim! magazine, brought on local artist Josh Korody for a demo and discussion on studio sound production.

The organization started in 1999 from a growing dissatisfaction with the amount of celebration in the music community, according to Jonny Bunce, one of seven directors of Wavelength Music. He says there wasn’t enough solid support coming from labels for Toronto’s music scene and local talent.

“It was this super unsupported, totally DIY thing where the only people who where supporting the scene were the musicians and artists themselves,” said Bunce.

During that time, Bunce had been writing about music for magazines while playing in bands and saw that the music scene was more like a “touring stock for out-of-town bands”, with no celebration for what was taking place locally.

“With Wavelength, I wanted to create what wasn’t there when I was starting out and build something for the next generation. It’s kind of like a rite of passage for Toronto indie artists to pave their way.”

Korody has played for Wavelength through each of his dream-pop genre projects, Beliefs and Nailbiter. His musical focus is the modular synthesizer, an electronic instrument that produces sounds through a customizable combination of electric signals amplified through a series of cords and wiring.

Through the workshop and discussion panels they host, he stays involved in a community of aspiring artists like himself, who are also learning through the opportunities put together through Wavelength.

“Everyone’s going to use their system differently. I’m constantly learning,” said Korody.

“I’m slowly trying to interconnect what I’ve done on guitar before and what I’m doing now. I haven’t found the balance yet. It’s still a journey.”

Korody, now under the Hand Drawn Dracula label, is just one of about 1,500 artists and bands that have made Wavelength Music an outlet for their craft to grow and bring their work to a broader audience.

Wavelength has curated a gallery on the second floor of the Markham House City Building Lab entitled #ICYMI, to commemorate their on-going legacy which will stay open until Feb. 15.

“It’s very rewarding. This is what we wanted to see happen, to create more excitement around our local arts community and the public’s understanding of it,” said Bunce.

On Jan. 22, Wavelength will present Korody for a performance of his project Nailbiter at The Silver Dollar Room downtown. At the end of the month, Bunce and his team plan on putting together an artist panel discussion.

“This year will be very exciting, the plans for Wavelength Music Festival ’16 and Camp Wavelength are well on the way so we’re focusing on that as well.”

Funding for the non-profit organization’s multi-media platforms and live events come from public and private supporters including the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario and Toronto Arts Council, Steam Whistle Brewing and Ontario Music Fund.

Find out more at: wavelengthtoronto.com or visit their Facebook page.