A Golden Wedding?

The theme for the fifth edition of Montréal/New Music Festival is “Music in Motions” to highlight the extreme dynamism of local musics as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Semaine internationale de musique actuelle — the founding event for Quebec’s new music scene organized by Pierre Mercure — and open a window on dance and pictures.

Mercure, championing a new kind of multidisciplinarity, had invited the crème de la crème of the global avant-garde. The event had been perceived more or less as the fleeting manifestation of a teenager in crisis — that it would pass. Well, it didn’t! By 1966, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) was founded and following up on this historic week, carrying the torch with a regular season of concerts.

50 years later, one cannot help but observe that the adventure bore extremely positive fruits. Today, the country counts over 200 active composers; Montréal counts around thirty organizations entirely devoted to music creation. And the “fusion” of disciplines initiated by Mercure in 1961 has continued and developed remarkably in recent years.

MNM 2011 features monuments of Québécois avantgarde music and their heirs, opening a door on fusions between disciplines (dance, video art) and tapping into the theatrical quality of sound itself. It highlights music — and especially “our” music — in what is most moving about it: its transformation through time (history) and space (the stage).

We are particularly proud to be able to rely on the collaboration of Place des Arts and Agora de la danse, the festival’s new major partners, and of actor Marc Béland, MNM 2011’s spokesman. They help up celebrate in grand fashion the golden wedding of these “luxuriant” and “milling” musics. 32 concerts (nine of which feature dance), a permanent new music Lounge and free performances at Place des Arts’s Grand Foyer culturel, 2 conventions over several days, 2 exhibitions, 42 composers and over 30 artistic partners will bring together over nine days to celebrate this special anniversary. What a tall order! Have a great festival!