Word from the Artistic Director

As it unfolds under the banner of “Myths and Legends”, this fourth edition of the Montreal/New Music Festival will become a grand celebration of new musical creativity — from here and elsewhere — through a series of events, symposia, lectures, master classes, recitals, a happening, and concerts that will bring together some of its most committed artisans and torch bearers. In these difficult times of economic crisis and cuts to artist funding, it seemed essential that we “adjust our timepieces” by reflecting on the place that new music occupies in our society, as well as its effects, sources, and future possibilities.

To counter popular views of contemporary music as the product of a laboratory, produced by a “spontaneous generation” with no real ties to “tradition,” during MNM 2009 we will explore the many artistic threads and referents that mark this music as MUSIC in the broadest sense, in all its “Mythical” and “Legendary” forms.

And there are plenty of myths and legends!

Some are closer to us (Cage, Xenakis, Feldman, and of course “our own” myths and legends, Claude Vivier, Raôul Duguay, and Gilles Tremblay). And though others sound from a further “past” (Monteverdi, Debussy, and Ravel), they are “present” in the power and relevance of a musical discourse that still has “currency,” transcending trends and/or warring aesthetic camps. Our references extend to great rock legends of the 60s and 70s, to the Beatles and “progressive” rock groups whose wild virtuosic feats and inventions — particularly in rhythm — influenced an entire generation of “serious” composers.

Several single subject concerts are inspired by First Nations legends (Hozhro, Tshakapesh), “heroes” (Vivier, Romitelli), and myths (Love Songs, Confitures de gagaku), with programming that gives pride of place to the voice — over 11 concerts that will present the instrument in all its guises —, visual art and dance included! It is thus — one more time — to a musical adventure that MNM 2009 beckons, and where there is adventure there is bound to be risk taking… Adventure is never risk free! But it stimulates, excites, exhilarates, provokes, disturbs, seduces, and a lot more!

It is deeply inscribed in a human nature that was once pressed by insatiable curiosity to descend from the trees, to build great cities and civilizations, and soon to find its way to the stars.

While we wait for future explorations of the galaxies, MNM 2009 can allow audiences to experience some of the rapture in advance, by taking a part of the journey — comfortably seated. Leave the navigating in the hands of expert musicians, singers, soloists, and ensembles, to guide you through music that has an infinite number of virtual landscapes. If a picture is worth a thousand words… can music be worth a thousand pictures? Have a terrific festival!

Walter Boudreau, Artistic Director

Word from the General Manager

Internal Expansion!

Inner imagination can be neither learned nor bought. Some situations encourage it more than others; some undertakings are better equipped or better guided than others. Essentially, inner imagination stems from childlike impulses, emerging from darkness in search of treasure. What it seeks and where its search will end are open questions. With the arrival of technology, it has become much easier to “shape” sound, and this has brought about the “democratization” of creativity. Globalization has opened the door to wider exposure, hybridization, and the meshing of cultures for often stunning convergences of sound. But who can judge the quality of these treasures? You! And more easily than ever. Because beneath the surface, our inner imaginations resonate, vibrate, and summon an even deeper inwardness. Its sound allows us to recognize it — but we have to listen to it!

MNM 2009 is 10 days of multiple treasures: 25 concerts rallying 57composers, 18 ensembles, 13 conductors, 27 soloists, and over 400 musicians; 1 two-day symposium featuring some 20 speakers from here and elsewhere; 7 composer encounters; 2 open rehearsals; 1 exhibition; 1 “Salon MNM” to meet the artists. Bringing together some twenty partners from here and elsewhere, MNM 2009 once again testifies to the artistic force and vitality of the new music community — one firmly tied to the wider music scene at both the national and international levels that should make us proud!

Don’t miss the Montreal/New Music Festival! Come and discover your very own treasures!!!

Pierrette Gingras, General Manager