The Ville Étrange Project

Gésu Arts Centre (Montréal)

October 10, 2015


Ensemble Constantinople & Sandeep Bhagwati

(with Kiya Tabassian, voice and setar; Didem Baṣar, kanun; Zal Sissokho, kora; Reza Abaee, gheychak; Gabriel Dharmoo, voice; Guy Pelletier, flutes; Shawn Mativetsky, Tabla& Harmonium; Navid Navab, live-audio art; Mehdi Nabdi, saxophone; Vincent Nsenguyimva, voice, inanga and rwandan drums)

In 1981, Quebec composer Claude Vivier wrote his most enigmatic work: Et je reverrai cette ville étrange is a dreamscape of free-floating, evocative melodies – no rhythm, no harmony. His music resonates with memories of his travels around the globe and the different musics he encountered in strange cities then. Today, many of these musical traditions already live here – Iranian, African, Indian, Turkish, musicians make up the sounds of Montréal as much as the Western traditions. For the musicians in this new project, Montréal is a musical city as wondrously strange as the ones Vivier remembered – and in this concert they wander, explore and comprovise through Vivier’s score with their own voices and instruments, finding mysteries, similarities, beauty and strangeness in each other’s unexpected musical turns – and, in the process, find a contemporary sound of Montréal that truly reflects its varied  musical riches and heritages.

This concert is part of a long-term international research-creation project of mine, exploring the globalized sound of three cities – Montréal, Berlin and Pune. In many workshops, try-outs and rehearsals, multi-traditional ensembles in each city take their time to discover each other’s music and, through collaborative creations, develop their own unique music. Partner Ensembles are the Ensemble Extrakte Berlin and the Sangeet Prayog Ensemble Pune.

Oct 1, 8pm  Gésu Arts Centre, Montréal