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Feature ArticleMontreal Sound Matter / Montréal matières sonore (Vital)

Montreal Sound Matter / Montréal matières sonoreMontreal is a nice city, at least the two streets I saw when I stayed there a whole week (my mistake, I know). It has been also the second home of Francisco López for the last six years, playing lots of concerts there and from there it’s a small step to Montreal Sound Matter / Montréal matière sonore, a workshop on environmental sound by Senor Lopez of which there is in the end this CD, an installation and a concert. Various musicians from Montreal attended this workshop, which deals with collecting sounds from Montreal. Not to make an audio postcard of the city, but rather a more abstract and personal view of the city, by people who already lived there much longer than Lopez. So it’s not a matter of saying, ‘oh this is that street, or this nice restaurant (‘Schwarz’, anyone?)’, but to sit back and take it in as a long soundscape of the city. Rather than seeing this as eight separate pieces of music, I see it as one city seen through eight microphones and some of them present their work in their most pure form, like an unaltered recording, some as a cut-up and with some it’s hard to recognize any sort of field recording at all, such is the case with Tomas Phillips. But all the tracks are thus placed on the CD that they make their trip through the city, from busyness to quietness and back again. Only towards the very end of the CD, in the piece by Mathieu Lévesque, there is a bit of music sipping through: a computerized game music thingy. In the end we know nothing more about Montreal, but we do experienced a beautiful trip through a very nice city. It also includes pieces by Hélène Prévost, Steve Heimbecker, Louis Dufort, Chantal Dumas, A_dontigny and of course Lopez himself. (FdW)

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