expérimental / contemporain

Suoni, June 17 | Reverberations, voices and multiple reflections

by Michel Labrecque

As the Montreal heatwave began, the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival offered us an intriguing concert at the Sala Rossa…with air conditioning.As the Montreal heatwave began, the Suoni Per Il Popolo festival offered us an intriguing concert at the Sala Rossa…with air conditioning.

This triple bill was surprisingly complementary: a young Kanien’keháka / Mohawk in search of a contemporary identity, a multidisciplinary artist on an ancestral quest, and a musician-poet trying to manage her multiple voices.

Kahero:ton opened this experimental ball, accompanied by guitarist Grim Beverage. We are immersed in an ocean of reverberation, with guitar, bass and synthesizer. We also hear numerous excerpts from interviews evoking past crises experienced by the Kanien’keháka / Mohawk communities of Quebec and Ontario. 

We sense that Kahero: ton is seeking a more experimental and contemporary voice to express its identities. It’s not all there yet, but it’s safe to assume that, before long, the artist, keyboardist and bassist will come up with a more refined creation. Stay tuned.

In the second half, Montreal musician, singer and multidisciplinary artist Sarah Rossy took to the stage alone, with a suitcase. It was the starting point for a journey in search of her ancestors. Sarah is of Lebanese origin on her mother’s side, and with this performance she metaphorically explores the arrival of certain communities here.

To accompany it, there’s a magnificent soundtrack, designed by Sarah, with voices, keyboards and multiple soundscapes embodying the journey. She also sings live, dances, mimes and speaks. Visual elements, also created by the lady, are added.

This show stands in stark contrast to Sarah Rossy’s recent releases, notably Seemingly Insatiable Waves and The Conclusion, which were closer to jazz and ethereal folk. Here, Sarah’s Arab influences are more in evidence. She has never concealed the great influence of the Lebanese legendary singer Fairuz.

It all adds up to a truly compelling show. Sarah Rossy’s voice is rich and versatile. The combination of sound and vision is complex and touching. Once again, the artist shows us the extent of her talent and artistic versatility;

Sarah was my favorite part of the concert.

To close the evening on a high note, Montreal-based Swede Erika Angell took to the stage to perform a large part of her debut solo album, The Obsession With Her Voice, released in March. 

Surrounded by an array of machines, sequencers, synths and effects pedals, Erica brought us into an infinite dialogue between her voice and her instruments. The machines multiply the sound of her voices, transformed by the machines. The sound of a bell reverberates endlessly. The symbiosis between woman and machine works;

Then along comes another woman, the fabulous drummer Millie Hong, well known on the Montreal alternative and jazz scene. A new three-way symbiosis is born. Millie Hong, who was a discreet presence on An Obsession With Her Voice, goes wild on stage, improvising around Erika’s voice and machine-generated harmonizations. At times, we verge on the delirious, then calm returns. 

In the background, if you’ll pardon the pun, are the visual works of artist Maxime Corbeil-Perron.

In short, it was a torrid and fascinating evening of music, demonstrating once again the great plurality of Montreal’s musical tenant.

Publicité panam

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