Friday, June 14th, 2013
La Sala Rossa
Rebecca Foon is a Montreal-based cellist, best known as co-founder of contemporary chamber group Esmerine and member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Set Fire To Flames, The Mile End Ladies String Auxiliary, Fifths Of Seven and most recently Saltland. Foon began composing solo work in 2010, featuring multi-layered cello and hushed, stark vocals that explored the intersection of drone, no-wave, improv, dream-pop and minimalism. Joined by Jamie Thompson (Unicorns, Esmerine) on percussion, programming and signal processing, Foon’s live performances in Montreal and abroad over the past two years have seen her sound progress towards gently rhythmic and electronic territory as well. She has transfixed audiences with this new music while sharing the stage with Mary Margaret O’Hara, Julia Kent, Nat Baldwin and Sam Amidon, among others. As her largely home-recorded debut album began taking shape throughout 2011, with numerous guests contributing to various pieces, Foon adopted the Saltland moniker for this work.
Rebecca Foon has called Montreal home since moving from Vancouver at age 17 in 1996 and has been a fixture of Montreal’s DIY music scene ever since, playing with countless local ensembles in a wide range of contexts and on albums by Vic Chesnutt, Islands, British Sea Power, Carla Bozulich, Land Of Kush and Hrsta among others. She has collaborated in concert with Patti Smith and Warren Ellis (separately), composes work for short film with the National Film Board Of Canada, was a core participant in the National Parks Project music and film documentary initiative, has performed with Tanya Tagaq and as a support player for other Inuit musicians, and scored the documentary H2Oil about Alberta’s tar sands oil extraction. Foon pursues all this musical activity alongside her role as a member of Sustainability Solutions Group, a national Canadian urban sustainability cooperative.
Eric Chenaux experiments with ballads, songs, tunes, improvisations, guitars, very small speakers, The Reveries, The Draperies, Drumheller, Nightjars, The Guayaveras, The Allison Cameron Band, Eloïse Decazes, John Oswald, Michelle McAdorey, Aimée Dawn Robinson, Marla Hlady and the curation of the Toronto based recording label, Rat-drifting, co- founded with Martin Arnold in 2002. In the 1980’s and 1990’s Chenaux played in the hoary post-punk band Phleg Camp.
About Chenaux’s guitar playing, Carl Wilson writes, “Ornette Coleman might call it harmolodic. Chenaux might call it an amazing background. His strings chime with all those thoughts at once. I adore the way he teases out a melody, never beginn
Radwan Ghazi Moumneh is a Lebanese musician, audio engineer/producer, and co-owner of the Hotel2Tango recording studio in Montréal, where he also resides. He also is the founder of Jerusalem In My Heart, a contemporary Arabic music and multiple 16mm film projector performance project on Constellation Records.
One would not expect a performance consisting of live drawing and guitar soloing to be so physical. Sharif Sehnaoui is bent over his acoustic guitar, placed horizontally on his knees, his body contorting at times, erect at others, eyes closed in extreme concentration, while he strikes, pounds and hammers the instrument with mallets and sticks. Mazen Kerbaj, on the other hand (or side, in this instance), is surrounded by a panoply of paint tubes, bottles of suspicious-looking liquids, saucers, brushes, window wipers, and other less identifiable apparatus. One wonders how he is able to pass these objects through airport customs, given the state of high vigilance enforced in these charmless places nowadays. At the end of the performance, he will inevitably be covered head to toe with blotches of paint, ink and solvent.
Wormholes is an ongoing audio-visual project by Mazen Kerbaj and Sharif Sehnaoui, two Lebanese free improvising musicians who have been working and playing together since the late 1990’s. In 2008, Kerbaj devised an ingenious set-up which allows him to draw in a live setting, using a luminous glass panel coated with acetate, an overhead projector, and a reversed camera. While he draws miscellaneous shapes and forms, sometimes precise, oftentimes blurred, and augments them with plastic add-ons and random effects (such as blowing on the panel with a pipe), Sehnaoui operates his guitar percussively, with lines that are heavy and forceful in places, and sparse and muted in others. Although the two men start the piece in unison, not much correspondence occurs at later stages of the performance, between the music and the drawing. Points of interference are accidental, and much is left to the audience’s imagination.