The 8th edition of the Festival Montréal/New Music Festival, or…
The Discovery Of Permanent Pleasure!

Interview with the MNM 2017 spokesperson

by Michel Joanny-Furtin

Journalist and host of the science and current events program “Les années-lumière” (Ici Radio-Canada Première), Yanick Villedieu easily finds the words to describe what contemporary music evokes in him. This year, enthused by his experience as spokesperson for the 7th edition, he is again lending his voice for the 8th edition of the Montréal/New Music Festival.

As he explains “It is wonderful what the SMCQ, under the leadership of Walter Boudreau, is accomplishing in terms of production, education and promotion of today’s composers.” To increase audience awareness of contemporary music, it is necessary to become involved in co-productions, shows, school projects, etc., which is exactly what the SMCQ has done for the past 50 years. Certainly, contemporary music is not my first universe, but what I hear at the various SMCQ concerts and events and at the MNM is highly original and exhilarating for me.”

“Moreover, I narrated an SMCQ work, John Rea’s Le petit livre des Ravalet, and found the musical approach to be very creative and stimulating.” With these experiences, my ensuing contacts in the musical world resulted in some extraordinary encounters, meeting wonderful people, imaginative personalities, and becoming exposed to a whole world of new creations, sounds and art forms which turned me on”, notes Villedieu.

Back to the Future

“The theme ’Back to the Future’ somewhat references science fiction. As a lover and collector of contemporary art, I am attracted by new approaches — thus, by the new musical creations as presented by the SMCQ and the MNM. Contemporary music opens audiences up to new fields of perception, to hearing and to seeing the world from a different perspective”, insists the journalist who admits that, while the eye accepts the contemporary art, when it comes to new music, the ear is more reticent.”Doubtless when it comes to sounds and images the brain works differently, with sounds serving from time immemorial to locate us within our daily environment, to protect us from danger and, when it comes down to it, to reassure us. Images are more used to explore and discover the world, in all its novelty. Doubtless the neuro-sciences could explain us all this in detail. But perhaps above all it is simply a cultural issue. From the time of the Impressionists, we all became more exposed to the pictorial evolution, to images and their representations rather than the faithfully representational.”

In search of emotion and beauty…

“Contemporary music willingly overturned the sound cues, the verses, the tunes, the ritornellos and the melodies, to an extent that at times seems puzzling. Even if the composer, as do all artists, makes some small use of mathematics in creating their work there is also an intense search of emotion and beauty…” As Villedieu concludes: “Our ears hear an invitation to discover contemporary music, rife with images, words, new sounds, as well as quite a lot of humour! This is also what the MNM Festival represents!