Performance Lab 

An adventurous ensemble led by artists in residence Dustin Finer, Esin Gunduz, Sarah Rossy, and Ben Zucker to workshop original compositions to be premiered in focus around this year's theme CREATING AN OPEN SYSTEM

Dustin Finer


Esin Gunduz


Sarah Rossy 

Dustin Finer (CA/USA) is a Montreal-based tenor saxophonist, composer, improviser, and teacher who is said to play with a “cosmic patience” (Earmilk) and “saxophone techniques [that] are brilliant and goosebump inducing” (Ride the Tempo). A frequent collaborator across genre boundaries, he plays in the audiovisual duo DF alongside interactive lighting designer Daniel Freder, leads the avant minimalist quintet Success Pistols, and improvises with electronic sound designer Patrick Haggart. Dustin has also performed with numerous indie acts including Fred Thomas, Common Holly, Raveen, Look Vibrant, The Lyonz, and Nick Schofield Ambient Ensemble. Dustin has given a TED Talk, performed throughout Canada and the United States, and received grant funding to produce original recordings. Dustin holds a Master’s from McGill University (‘19) where he studied Classical Saxophone Performance with a focus on contemporary repertoire and interdisciplinary performance practice. At McGill, he worked under the supervision of Marie-Chantal Leclair and was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Scholarship recipient. He completed a Bachelor’s in Music, also at McGill, in 2014. He graduated with Distinction for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Saxophone and was a recipient of the Angela C. Kramer Memorial Award in Music. Dustin works as a musician in the Canadian Army Reserve.

For composer, vocalist, and improviser Esin Gunduz sound originates in the body. She explores life’s energies as visceral sensory experience and sound, building landscapes of her own recorded-voice samples to surround acoustical instrumental textures, creating breathtaking acoustic vistas. Ms. Gunduz has performed her works at the Banff Centre, on So Percussion’s “Brooklyn-Bound” Series, and at the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab. Among the performers who have championed her work are Ensemble Linea and mandolinist Avi Avital, as well as members of the Talea Ensemble and ICE, the International Contemporary Ensemble. Current projects include an electroacoustic ensemble piece based on Sumerian tablets. Upcoming premieres include a work on alchemical processes for the NyCity based duo Ultrafizz, and a work for voice and electronics on texts by Enheduanna to be a part of Rosie Middleton’s Voice(less) project.

A researcher of vocal performance, Esin Gunduz is an adjunct professor of voice at Villa Maria College and holds a PhD in music composition from SUNY University at Buffalo. —


A recent finalist of the Ella Fitzgerald International Vocal Competition, the Montreal-based composer and multi-instrumentalist is rapidly creating a name for herself across the globe. As a composer, she has a keen interest in the performer/composer relationship through experiential processes which traverse through a feminist lens (Recollections [2019], To Be Silenced [2018], Prim(al) [2018]). Recent excursions include: study with Meredith Monk (New York), voice/movement research at The World is Sound (Berlin), composing for the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, and two residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts [(R)evolution and International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music]. She recently completed a Masters in Jazz Performance and Composition at McGill University in Montreal under the supervision of John Hollenbeck, and is working toward the release of a debut full-length album. More info here:

Ben Zucker 

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Interested in the possibilities of musical relationality amongst people, objects, and histories, Ben Zucker crosses and intentionally plays with genre, discipline, and creative roles. As a composer, sound artist, multi-instrumentalist, and performer, he has contributed to the experimental music scenes of the Bay Area, Connecticut, London, Chicago, and beyond, performing and presenting work in places including the Banff Centre, Vortex Jazz Club, Center for New Music, Trinity College Dublin, Chapel of The Chimes, Southbank Centre, New York Fringe Festival, Switchboard Music Festival, Experimental Sound Studio, and the Darmstadt Ferienkurse. He has been called a "master of improvisation" (IMPOSE Magazine), was recognized as a "New Composer Talent" by the International Audio Branding Academy, and his work has won awards and commissions from the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Nucleo Musica Nova, Constellation Men's Ensemble, C4 Collective, San Francisco Choral Artists, and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. His solo album releases combine brass, percussion, voice, and keyboards into adventeruour performances acclaimed s "a testament to the power of restraint and arrangement" (Decoder Magazine) "more than a little bit remarkable" (Free Jazz Blog). Ben studied music, performance, and philosophy at Wesleyan University, Brunel University London, and currently, as a doctoral student at Northwestern University.