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Listening Sessions – A Selection of Iconic Montréal Albums

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PHI Foundation 465 Saint-Jean Street
Room G6

Series Launch Event:
Thursday, February 1, 2024
From 5 PM to 8 PM

Open decks
For the second part of the launch event, we invite you to bring your own favourite Montréal-related tracks (on vinyl, CD, USB key, or music on your phone) to share with us.

Listening Sessions:
Thursdays February 8, 15, 22, 29, and March 7, 2024
From 5 PM to 7 PM

Free admission
Limited capacity: first come, first served.

Curators:
Marilou Lyonnais Archambault
Patti Schmidt
Marie-Douce St-Jacques

The event, Listening Sessions: A Selection of Iconic Montréal Albums, is anchored in two artworks by Rirkrit Tiravanija that are currently on view at the PHI Foundation.

untitled 1996 (rehearsal studio no. 6) (2023) celebrates music’s ability to bring people together. The installation invites the local contemporary music scene to activate the space, while also presenting an opportunity to recall the rich history of Montréal music.

Through these Listening Sessions, the installation untitled 2017 (skip the bruising) (2017), a functional bar space, as well as a space of conviviality and exchange, becomes the ideal setting for a selection of Montréal albums that belong to a little-known part of music history, to resonate.

A selection of influential albums from Montréal will be curated by three special guests: Marilou Lyonnais Archambault, multidisciplinary artist and educator at the PHI Foundation, Patti Schmidt, broadcaster and creative producer, and Marie-Douce St-Jacques, multidisciplinary artist. 

Launching on Thursday, February 1, 2024, the series will be hosted by all three curators. Every Thursday thereafter, for five weeks, the chosen records will be played in the installation untitled 2017 (skip the bruising...) (2017) by Rirkrit Tiravanija. The public will be invited to come and listen to the albums, have a drink, play board games and chat to the sounds of this Montréal musical history.

Sessions Schedule

001 akufen

February 8, 2024

Akufen
My Way

Force Inc.
2002

Creative house music producer Marc Leclair’s album is a living vector between Montréal’s decadent, renowned disco scene of the 1970s, and the cutting-edge of its contemporary electronic dance cultures. Composed in the Québec woods and built from over 2000 micro-samples of radio, it exudes sneaky, meticulous grooves while dabbling in the fromage and self-conscious, cheeky humour I call “avant-quétaine.”

— Patti Schmidt

002 martin tetreault

February 8, 2024

Martin Tétreault
Snipettes!

Ambiances Magnétiques
1992

Mischievous, undersung stalwart and improvisor, bridging the worlds of electroacoustics, vinyl collage, turnable sonification, and visual art, Martin Tétreault is an associate of Montréal’s incomparable musique actuelle scene and practice. The importance of the Ambiances Magnétiques label in nurturing and chronicling the freewheeling spirit of experimental Québec cannot be overstated. Tétreault’s contributions ring beyond borders.

— Patti Schmidt

003 deja voodoo

February 15, 2024

Deja Voodoo
Too Cool To Live, Too Smart To Die

OG / Midnight
1985

This anglophone “sludgeabilly” duo embodied the dada punk, DIY spirit, and absurdist aesthetics that are rooted in the surrealist underpinnings of the province’s defiant artistic manifesto. A scene coalesced around their label OG and their carnivalesque BBQ happenings, helping to establish precedents for the city’s independent music communities. Their ghost legacy haunts later Montréal bands like Les Georges Leningrad.

— Patti Schmidt

004 Feu therese

February 15, 2024

Feu Thérèse
Ça va cogner

Constellation
2007

It took only 37 minutes and 24 seconds to bury alive the post-rockthat was so dear to Montréal in the years 1990-2000. Feu Thérèse did it, with irreverence, lechery, a slapping bass, and synth pads. A complex album: at once sincere, smooth, and tense.

— Marie-Douce St-Jacques

005 les poules

February 22, 2024

Les Poules
Les contes de l’amère loi

Ambiances Magnétiques
1986

This outsider-experimental female trio offers a hijacked fairy tale, haunted by a strength and singularity that evokes the New York no wave genre, with an undeniable Montréal dimension. Isn’t there a piece titled “J’habite à Montréal,” and another that (perhaps prophetically?) is entitled “Attention !!! Travaux.”

— Marie-Douce St-Jacques

006 Infonie

February 22, 2024

L’infonie
Vol 33 - Mantra

Polydor
1970

Here’s a sparkling punk adaptation of In C, by minimalist composer Terry Riley! Some twenty musicians—including several members of the legendary Quatuor de jazz libre du Québec—play a plethora of brass, percussion, and other rather surprising instruments. The openness to the world engendered by the 1967 International and Universal Exposition is palpable.

— Marie-Douce St-Jacques

007 organisation c

February 29, 2024

Organisation C
Viens tourner

Clau-Ver
1978

Ode to the dancefloor of the late 1970s, the electrifying soundtrack of an amusement park, perhaps that of Belmont Park? With its arrangements of rhythms (Roger Simard), brass, and vocals, Organisation C’s Viens Tourner offers us an album infused with shimmering sounds reminiscent of Rotary Connection, and certain proto-Stereolab-esque motifs.

— Marilou Lyonnais Archambault

008 billy robinson

February 29, 2024

Billy Robinson
Evolution’s Blend

Radio Canada International
1972

Hailing from Texas, the tenor saxophonist released his first opus Evolution’s Blend (1972) on Radio Canada International, featuring six original compositions orbiting from elegy to break anthem. The same year, he took part in Archie Shepp’s illustrious Attica Blues album. Robinson brings to Montréal the serious sensibility of a musician who has worked with some of the most memorable jazz musicians of the era: Coleman, Mingus, Rollins.

— Marilou Lyonnais Archambault

009 kadef

March 7, 2024

KADEF
KADEF

RR Gems
2023

KADEF offers us music infused with the sounds of gnawa, jazz and krautrock, an unlikely mix that has found a home in Montréal. Invited by Devin Brahja Waldman, an ensemble made up of reverberating figures from today’s music scene: Sam Shalabi, Ziad Qoulaii (De.ville), Anas Jellouf, Vicky Mettler (Kee Avil), Mathieu Pelletier-Gagnon (Klô Pelgag), and more. In my opinion, this congregational album is a powerful symbol of Montréal music.

— Marilou Lyonnais Archambault

Biographies

Marilou Lyonnais Archambault

Marilou Lyonnais Archambault is a multidisciplinary artist and educator with a bachelor's degree in visual and media arts education from UQAM, and is currently completing an MFA in Intermedia at Concordia University. Her artistic practice offers reflective work on subjects such as memory, the digital condition, the living, and liminal spaces. Her approach brings together sound, music, installation, still and moving images. 

A musician with the duo Saudade, she has given several performances on boreal soil and, for over half a decade, has hosted a radio show (n10.as) based on a blend of abstract rhythms, nostalgic dance music and hazy atmospheres. She is a frequent DJ at various city events. 

The artist has performed at festivals such as Suoni Per il Popolo, MUTEK, FIMAV, Piknic Electronik, Sight & Sound, and exhibited at Montréal cultural institutions; PHI Centre, Eastern Bloc, Never Apart. Her work has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Patti Schmidt

Immersed in Canada’s independent, underground music and contemporary art communities for more than 30 years, Patti has been making radio, programming and producing events, running labels, creating music and performing—and collaborating and working with artists and creatives across many different disciplines. 

During her 20 years at CBC Radio she is best known for her tenure as the host and executive producer of Brave New Waves (1991-2007), a national, nightly program specialized in music and culture from the fringes and the future. Until 2012 she also fronted several other arts, culture and music shows across the network. She programmed 10 editions of the MUTEK Montreal festival (2009-2019) as curator, producer and editor, while also spearheading its gender and diversity initiatives. In 2016, as Artistic Director and Lead Faculty she developed the first of its kind—the Convergence Electronic Music + Visual Arts Residency at the Banff Centre. Joining the British Council in 2019, she worked as an advisor, programmer and mentor for the AMPLIFY Digital Arts Initiative, connecting women artists across the Americas and UK. For the last 4 years she has been working with Envision Management & Production as a digital consultant, project developer, and creative producer across a multitude of artistic practices including music, multimedia, audiovisual, dome and installation works; while also co-designing and delivering the ongoing Pathwaves Digital Literacy Incubator for musicians. She has contributed narration to podcasts, multi-disciplinary art projects and several documentary films, including the modular synth, cult film, I Dream of Wires. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film & Communications and a master’s degree in Art History & Communications, both from McGill University. 

Marie-Douce St-Jacques

Marie-Douce St-Jacques got into music at a young age.

 At 17, she co-founded aMAZEzine! (1995-2001), a fanzine dedicated to experimental music that was distributed worldwide. She went on to work as a record dealer (L’Oblique, Primitive), community radio host (CISM, CIBL, CKUT), and DJ for 10 years at Casa Del Popolo. Her mixtapes can be heard on the mixcloud platform, under the moniker “Xenakiss.”

Keyboardist and singer Marie-Douce has contributed to several albums. In 2004, she co-founded the group Pas chic chic, then in 2011 the duo Le fruit vert, with Andrea-Jane Cornell. She regularly collaborates with composers Will Eizlini, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and Eric Gingras.

At the same time, she is developing a visual art practice inspired by avant-garde artistic and musical movements. She has hand-crafted numerous posters and record sleeves for local and international groups and, more recently, created a series of sound installations, a version of which was presented at the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in 2022.

At the same time, she pursues her publishing activities through her small press Le Laps, dedicated to artists’ writings.

She occasionally co-writes feature-length fiction films, including Karl Lemieux’s Maudite poutine, selected in competition in the Orizzonti category at the Mostra internazionale d'arte cinematografica di Venezia.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary art, and her master’s thesis (in Littératures francophones et résonances médiatiques) won the Prix Pierre-et-Yolande-Perrault.

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