Red Bull Music Festival is firing up this week’s radar, as they continue to venture across musical worlds, accompanied by vibrant visual productions. For the first time in Montreal and Toronto, the festival graces us with a flurry of thought-provoking events that shine light and stimulation onto the local scene. On the menu for this coming week: 463 Carats (September 25th), a welcomed celebration of the burgeoning Montreal R&B scene, Oneohtrix Point Never: Myriad (September 26th), a sonic, theatrical and artistic exploration from the emotionally dense and musically rich Age Of album [Warp Records] and Sophie (September 27th), a riveting live show with exciting opening acts, in collaboration with Pop Montreal.
For last week’s festival kick off, Triptyque, a night of glistening experimentalism unfolded within the evocative walls of Eglise du Gesù, in the company of three Canadian composers.
Within these saintly walls, we were welcomed by the gentle symmetry of subtle white spotlights forming a corridor towards three floors of creativity, with the organ majestically towering over the assembly. A varied roster of artists filled the vast interior, decked out with greenery for the occasion.
Alex Zhang Hungtai [Non Worldwide] and Sarah Davachi made full use of the majestic space, their compositions magnified through church acoustics. The former presented his latest project, the ambient Divine Weight album, with a string quartet, a booming choir, and visuals climbing along the first floor’s curtains. The latter employed a cellist, an ethereal vocalist and a french horn player to bring life to her work Gave in Rest [Ba Da Bing Records].
They composed a visually gripping threefold tableau, embodying the night’s theme in an intelligent use of space that paired harmonic performances with alluring yet minimal visual appeal – contemplative and unique.
Kara-Lis Coverdale‘s multi-episodic performance “Grand Exorcism” sailed and halted across various experimental constructions. She mixed the traditionality of the organ with modern digital sound effects, from a creaky intro in the darkness to glitch and drone sonic flow, from a resounding bass that rumbled into surprising trip-hop style beats to a crescendo finale filling the space with melodies.
Red Bull Music Festival continues to succeed in adapting to the art scenes of each city it pitches its tent in, gift wrapping local artists with international perspectives and out of the box productions. We look forward to another week of discoveries, starting with a spotlight onto our local R&B scene tonight.
Article: Lola Baraldi
Photos: Dexter Crowe