Tag Archives: Suoni Per il Popolo

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Concert Review: Alan Licht at Suoni Per Il Popolo

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Alan Licht is one of those extremely prolific avant-garde musicians who keeps re-emerging in different musical contexts. Since the beginning of his career, Licht has explored large tracts of musical territory with endless collaborators and a consistently refined yet elusive style, one that resists description – ephemeral might be the best word for it. Whether he’s atonally plucking a subdued guitar with Loren Connors on Two Nights, or diverging into drone remixes of disco anthems on Plays Well, all of his output is confident and fascinating. Given this diverse discography, I was quite curious to see what Licht would play when I arrived at La Vitrola on June 3rd for his Suoni Per Il Popolo show.

The evening began with two strong performances from two very different guitarists. The first was local solo guitarist Vicky Mettler, who I’d never seen before. Mettler got the crowd’s attention with her loud, distorted acoustic guitar; any other sound in the audience was barely audible amidst the heavy tones she produced. Playing an assortment of atonal chords, Mettler sung and wailed alongside the creeping tones of her instrument, harmonizing in a foreboding and ominous way – a promising start for the night.

The second opener was an Icelandic guitarist by the name of Kristin Haraldsdottir. Her music, in direct contrast with Mettler’s, was hushed and lingering; Haraldsdottir let her instrument breathe in between notes, the guitar exhaling over empty air or a backing track of oceans, rivers, and various other hydrologic manifestations. Unfortunately, some of the effect was lost due to (in Licht’s words) a particularly noisy ‘polka-disco’ party underway downstairs. But despite the potential distractions, Haraldsdottir’s performance was captivating, and I hope she makes her way back to North America sometime soon.

By the time Licht went on, the room was quiet, the music from downstairs finally having subsided. Licht entered the stage quite unceremoniously, acoustic guitar in hand, and without skipping a beat he sat down on a chair centre-stage and began playing.

Licht’s guitar tone was clean and bright; you could hear each note reverberate as if it was a bell chime. He strummed his guitar, up and down, in a straightforward rhythm, and kept fingerpicking techniques to a minimum. There was no dissonance, no distortion – Licht was simply playing his guitar in the same way someone might play in their room at home, strumming chord after chord, thinking that maybe this progression would hypothetically sound good in a band someday.

Despite these rudimentary tools and straight ahead style, Licht did not fail to deeply impress. Throughout the show, he continuously convinced me that he knew exactly what he was doing, and that he was doing it well. Early on in the set Licht confided that, after reading Keith Richards’ biography, he was inspired to write a lot of these songs in open G. The tuning allowed him to hit all six strings of his guitar with every stroke of his hand, creating a real fullness and depth to the sound.

The songs themselves were like hurried meditations on hypothetical childhood memories, not nostalgic, but rather invoking in me the same sense of solipsistic optimism that I used to feel when I was a kid. Rather than leaving me with the chills, Licht’s gave me a warm feeling, like the one you get in your stomach when seeing a friend after many months apart. In a way, it felt as if Licht had turned La Vitrola into his own living room, and the audience members were his welcomed guests as we sat there and watched him play.

Licht didn’t linger on stage once he finished, instead hurrying over to the merch table, leaving his audience to find our way back to reality. The concert had been an exclusive peek into another world, Licht’s performances like bedroom renditions of the best rock songs never written. Eventually, I begrudgingly got on my feet to leave, feeling as though I was arriving home from a vacation, the sound of Licht’s guitar still repeating over and over in my head.

– Review by Rudy Quinn

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TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: June 13, 2017

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Hi folks,

Keeping this short as it’s a really busy week here at the station – we are still eyeballs-deep in Suoni goodness, and there’s a ton going on in terms of our coverage, special programming, and remote broadcasts. Over the past week I got to check out local free-jazz-gone-noise upstarts Nyon (above) open for Peter Brotzmann & Heather Leigh, Montreal/Berlin duo Pelada, improv heavyweights Nace/Flaherty/Meginsky, and so much more… Gimme a shout during tracking hours on Thursday if you wanna hear about my personal faves thus far.

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Tune into Jazz Euphorium tomorrow night from 8-10pm EST and hear us broadcast live from Casa del Popolo as jazz trio Icepick (Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten/Chris Corsano/Nate Wooley) take over the airwaves. We’re lucky to broadcast this special performance to the masses, and if you can’t be there for the show then tune in and catch our feed straight from the soundboard. Essential listening! Stream it all viackut.ca.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – june 13, 2017

1. do make say think – stubborn persistent illusions – constellation CC *
2. le fruit vert – paon perdu – three:four CC *
3. jessica moss – pools of light – constellation CC *
4. dixie’s death pool – twilight, sound mountain – leisure thief CC
5. katie moore & andrew horton – six more miles – self-released CC * Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: June 6, 2017

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Hi folks,

We’re in the midst of Suoni Per Il Popolo right now and there’s soooo much live music to take in — over the past few days I’ve managed to catch Nailbiter, Group A, Un Blonde, Dorothea Paas, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Steve Hauschildt, and more that I am currently forgetting. Tonight I’m gearing up for the sonic onslaught of Peter Brotzmann & Heather Leigh; check in with me tomorrow and see if my eardrums are still intact.

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Tune into the Montreal Sessions today from 3-5pm EST for a recap of Suoni highlights thus far and a look ahead at what’s in store for the coming week. Special guest hosts Tristan & Alex Giardini give the inside scoop, tipping you lucky listeners off to the true gems of this excellent festival. Our Suoni extravaganza continuestomorrow as stunning local duo Sound Of The Mountain host our residency program If You Got Ears, honing in on the free jazz and experimental highlights of Suoni’s programming. Stream that one live from 12-2pm on Wednesday, or download the full archives of both shows via ckut.ca.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – june 6, 2017

1. fiver – audible songs from rockwood – idée fixe CC
2. couleur dessin – s/t – fixture records CC *
3. katie moore & andrew horton – six more miles – self
released CC *
4. arto lindsay – cuidado madame – northern spy
5. hooded fang – dynasty house – daps records CC Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: May 30, 2017

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Hello friends,

The annual Suoni Per Il Popolo festival is right around the corner and we’re all pretty psyched for the insane lineup of artists who are rolling through Montreal this June. Personally, I’m really looking forward to Pharmakon, Peter Brotzmann & Heather Leigh, Princess Nokia, Pelada, Moor Mother, and Les Filles de Illighadad — but there’s so much more, it’s honestly a bit hard to keep track of. Stay tuned for plenty of CKUT coverage as the festival progresses!

Last week’s garbage-feasting raccoon was a big hit, so as a followup here’s a squirrel I spotted in my front yard last week with an entire St. Viateur bagel in its mouth. I wasn’t kidding about our wildlife being gluttonous.

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Suoni, that’s what’s up! We’re dedicating a lot of our programming, including both ourMontreal Sessions and If You Got Ears residency programs, to the famously ear-bending festival for the month of June. Keep an eye on the blog for artist interviews, concert reviews, and other special features over the next three weeks — we’re going all out on this one and you’re invited along for the ride.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – may 30, 2017

1. jessica moss – pools of light – constellation CC *
2. le fruit vert – paon perdu – three:four CC *
3. saltland – a common truth – constellation CC *
4. omar souleyman – to syria, with love – mad decent
5. aim low – scratched out – amplitude ambitions CC * Continue reading

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Suoni Per Il Popolo: Local Heroes

After writing a review of the fantastic Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival opening concert featuring the likes of Wadada Leo Smith and Kai Kellough, I was graced with the opportunity to witness a slew of Suoni festival concerts throughout their two week line-up.  As usual, Suoni delivered a mind bending take on music.  From spoken word to art-punk to free jazz, all things underground seemed to be represented in one way or another.  Through and through Montreal was well represented.  At the end of the day, the festival is really about this beautiful city we live in so, I thought it would be best to spend some time writing about some of my favorite local acts.  Check it out:

Jean Derome and Joane Hétu @ Sala Rossa

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Jean Derome has been an important figure in Quebec’s Musique Actuelle scene for 45 years.  For this year’s festival, Derome put on a career spanning concert event featuring various ensembles and musicians from different eras in his life.  From beginning to end the audience witnessed extraordinary feats as each and every musician tested the capabilities of their selected musical instruments.  The set that I remember most fondly was Derome’s first with alto saxophone player and vocalist Joane Hétu.  Although Derome has an impressive arsenal of instruments including Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Alto Flute, Soprano Flute as well as various extended wind instruments, Hétu still matched Derome’s level of contrast with her outstanding ability to use everything at her disposal.  From screeching high notes and intense vocal clicking to airy sax playing, Hétu successfully held her ground when faced with the spectrum of noise of Derome.  The set began with textural devices.  Puffs of air and rhythmic scratching evolved into huge walls of sound as Hétu and Derome developed extensive motivic ideas side by side.  The quick-hitting contrast and shocking sound effects maintained excitement throughout, truly epitomizing the wonder of live improvised music. Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: June 21, 2016

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Greetings radio,
We survived another epic year of Suoni Per Il Popolo and now it’s back to the usual summer routine of park hangs, picnics, and bike rides. Suoni brought a lot of great folks into Montreal, including our dear friend (& former CKUT music coordinator) AJ Cornell to perform in an excellent duo with fellow CKUT music dept alum Tim Darcy — we were lucky enough to have them in for a live interview during last week’s Montreal Sessions, and it felt so good to have a mini reunion right there in the studio.
xo
joni

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – june 21, 2016

1. jef elise barbara – sexe machin/sex machine – fixture records CC *
2. kaytranada – 99.9% – xl CC *
3. aj cornell & tim darcy – too significant to ignore – nna tapes CC *
4. anohni – hopelessness – secretly canadian
5. un blonde – good will come to you – egg paper factory CC * Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: June 14, 2016

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Hi friends,
I had a brain-melting Suoni weekend that involved serious physical vibrations from SunnO))) directly followed by an amazing afterparty featuring Marie Davidson, Croatian Amor, and others… Walking home as the sun came up, my guts still shaking from the deep waves of sound, it felt like a pretty good time to be alive in Montreal.
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Our audio-bending residency program If You Got Ears is going global! Eli Levinson, aka Oonga, is a producer/DJ Montreal who creates house/techno dubstep and tropical music. He has worked with Vox Sambou, Alquimia Verbal and AraLune and with the Mundial Festival. During his If You Got Ears residency, he will be exploring different strains of cutting-edge music from around the world. As a producer who has traveled far & wide in search of interesting new sounds, and through his work at Mundial Montreal, Oonga has been exposed to a huge variety of really weird music, and – lucky you! – he wants to share with CKUT’s open-minded listeners. Expect an adventure deep into the esoteric funkalicious heartbeats of the world every Wednesday in June from noon till 2pm.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – june 14, 2016

1. un blonde – good will come to you – egg paper factory CC *
2. aj cornell & tim darcy – too significant to ignore – nna tapes CC *
3. jessy lanza – oh no – hyperdub CC
4. jef elise barbara – sexe machin/sex machine – fixture records CC *
5. anohni – hopelessness – secretly canadian Continue reading

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: June 7, 2016

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Hey radio,
Here’s a big ol’ chart representing our past two weeks of freeform airplay. I had a great time out in Halifax for the almighty OBEY Convention (seriously, you should go, it’s sooooo good) then took a little stay-cation to hang with visiting family members. I came back to a very full inbox and plenty of happenings around the station — it might take me another day or two to catch up on stuff, so please be patient w/ my tardy emails. :)

xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Suoni Per Il Popolo has begun! This long-running festival brings everything from free jazz to punk to experimental noise to the stages of our fair city, and we’re abuzz trying to cover as much of it as we can. To get a taste of what’s up, yr best bet is to catch the Montreal Sessions every Tuesday in June from 3-5pm — it’s hosted by the Suoni masterminds themselves, so consider it a true inside scoop on the best of the fest. Today is gonna be extra special since we’re ditching the studio to broadcast live from Casa del Popolo, and the show is jam packed with live performances, interviews, and much more. Tune in or swing by Casa this afternoon to say hi and hang with the CKUT/Suoni crew in person, and catch the rest of the series over the next few weeks for all the weird & wonderful sounds yr ears can handle.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – june 7, 2016

1. jef elise barbara – sexe machin/sex machine – fixture records CC *
2. jessy lanza – oh no – hyperdub CC
3. brave radar – lion head – fixture records CC *
4. steve gunn – eyes on the lines – matador
5. kaytranada – 99.9% – xl CC * Continue reading

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Concert Review: Wadada Leo Smith – Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival

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Wadada Leo Smith has lived and breathed the message of Suoni Per Il Popolo from the moment he began recording music.  His risk taking, forward thinking approach to composition has kept him fresh and new for decades and his ability to embed meaning within avant-garde sound is nearly unmatchable making him the ideal choice to open this year’s festival.  Seeing Wadada Leo Smith is stepping into a stream of consciousness.  From the moment the music begins to the end of the performance the room is fully under the control of Smith.  The musicians surrounding him avidly watch his hands flail around, directing the spirit of the music through the appropriate developments.  The crowd is blown away both by Smith’s unbelievable trumpet playing power and his stunning ability to play with tension in slower moving moments.  Smith’s spirit envelops all who bear witness, bringing them to specific events in his life and teaching lessons of perseverance and strength. Continue reading

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Last of This Month’s Montreal Sessions from Suoni: June 29th 2015

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Alas, the day has arrived…the last of an epic month of The Montreal Sessions freshly served by Suoni Per Il Popolo. A sad occasion indeed, but our hosts Paula and Pablo have many musical treats in store for us to make up for that. Over the past ~30 days, we’ve heard a selection of experimental jazz, rock, and classical music that explore the boundaries of modern music. We’ve also had numerous interviews and live performances from talented musicians taking part in the 2015 Suoni Per Il Popolo festival.

If you are keen to catch any of those passed episodes, check out our archives, and you can catch the last of June’s MTL Sessions this Wednesday from 3-5pm. Stay tuned for July’s show hosted by Saturn Returns, which you can read more about right here. These are exciting times, guys. Keep it locked~~