Rien a Voir

Subject: Rien a Voir
From: Ian Chuprun (ianc@alcor.concordia.ca)
Date: Thu Dec 09 1999 - 11:38:21 EST

Last night Montreal got treated to the first two concerts in a series of nine,
at the new media complex Ex-Centris. Plenty to rave on about, but I'll be brief
for now as there are three more days of concerts to attend.

Marc Tremblay was the special guest for the evening. The first concert was carte
blanche (meaning he selected the pieces to be played, including one of his own
which was a Reseaux commission) and the second concert was a 'solo' show where
Marc projected six pieces from his oeuvre from the past 10 years.

The pieces were chosen around the theme of 'noise as source', and were high
level works demonstrating his own progress and humor in thinking about
composition and dealing with referential vs abstracted sounds and processes. He
ended the second concert with his award winning L'argent toujours l'argent
(1990), which retrospectively (and poetically) encapsulated the entire nights'

The pieces from other composers which appeared in the earlier concert were:

Yves Daoust - Children's Corner (2e mouvement)
Jocelyn Robert - A typical afternoon in the backyard in Phoenix, Arizona
David Michaud - La vitesse du bruit
Pierre Henry - Klaxons/Pendules (La ville)
Francois Bayle - Match nul-Solitioude (L'Experience acoustique)

Each piece, very finely crafted, supported the chosen theme in one way or
another while creating a time, space and place of its own in this listeners
sonic imagination.

The 'concert hall' was in fact one of the new cinemas recently built by Daniel
Langlois (of Soft Image fame) in the Ex-Centris New Media complex. While the
Ex-Centris architecture is a lightening rod for comment and opinion here in
Montreal (similar to the glass pyramid at the Louvre), dividing opinion into
distinct camps, the sound inside the 'hall' was roundly supported by everyone I
spoke with as being amongst the best they had heard. The relatively dead space
(but not too much) meant the sound was crisp and not laden with multiple
reflections, making localization a joy to experience. Tiny gentle gestures were
able to be perceived with larger brash ones (which was particularly evident in
the three middle pieces of the first show). The almost flat grade of the sitting
arrangement and the surrounding speakers allowed for an even dispersal which I
haven't heard before, and was of a quality which would be difficult to access

I am really looking forward to the remaining seven concerts.


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