Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Genres||Experimental music, contemporary classical|
|Years active||mid-1970s – present|
|Associated acts||Conventum, Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar, Locomotive|
André Duchesne (born 1949) is a Canadian experimental music guitarist and composer. He was a co-founder of Ambiances Magnétiques, a Canadian musical collective and record label, and formed several experimental music bands, including Conventum, Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar and Locomotive. Duchesne has also released five solo albums.
Experimental music is a general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions. Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilites radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutionalized compositional, performing, and aesthetic conventions in music. Elements of experimental music include indeterminate music, in which the composer introduces the elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. Artists may also approach a hybrid of disparate styles or incorporate unorthodox and unique elements.
Ambiances Magnétiques is a Canadian record company and label started by Jean Derome, René Lussier, and others.
Musical collective is a phrase used to describe a group of musicians in which membership is flexible and creative control is shared. The concept is distinct from that of a traditional band in that musical collectives allow for flexibility in their rosters, and members are free to rotate in and out of the line-up. Collectives may exist in almost any genre of music, although they have been especially prominent in indie rock and hip hop.
André Duchesne was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1949. As a teenager he learnt acoustic guitar, but was not satisfied with the popular rock music being played at the time. In the mid-1970s he formed an avant-garde folk-rock group called Conventum with René Lussier, Jean Derome, Jean-Pierre Bouchard, Jacques Laurin, Bernard Cormier and poet Alain-Arthur Painchaud. Conventum was described by AllMusic as a mixture of "Quebec's folk roots with absurd poetry and progressive arrangements".They released two albums, À l'Affût d'un Complot in 1977 and Le Bureau Central des Utopies in 1979.
Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
Avant-garde music is music that is considered to be at the forefront of experimentation or innovation in its field, with the term "avant-garde" implying a critique of existing aesthetic conventions, rejection of the status quo in favor of unique or original elements, and the idea of deliberately challenging or alienating audiences.
René Lussier is a jazz guitarist based in Quebec, Canada. He is a composer, guitarist, bass guitarist, percussionist, bass clarinetist, and singer. Lussier has collaborated with Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Jean Derome, and Robert M. Lepage. He combines elements from several genres and is often referred to within the discourse of contemporary classical music or Musiques Actuelles in French.
In 1983 Duchesne, Lussier, Derome and Robert M. Lepage formed Ambiances Magnétiques, a musical collective and artist-run record label specialising in avant-garde music. Duchesne released his first solo album, Le Temps des Bombes on the new label in 1984.Then he began writing contrapuntal compositions for a guitar quartet, and formed Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar (The 4 Guitarists of the Apocalypso-Bar) with Lussier, Bouchard and Roger Boudreault to perform the pieces. Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar was a concept band that Duchesne said was from post-apocalypse Canada "inspired by the ghost of Jimi Hendrix". They premiered at the 4th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV) at Victoriaville, Quebec in October 1986, and continued until 1989, touring Canada, the United States and Europe. They also released two albums in 1987 and 1989.
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between voices that are harmonically interdependent (polyphony) yet independent in rhythm and contour. It has been most commonly identified in the European classical tradition, strongly developing during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period, especially in the Baroque. The term originates from the Latin punctus contra punctum meaning "point against point", i.e. "note against note".
Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar, also known as Les Quatre Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar was an electric guitar quartet founded by André Duchesne in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1986. It was one of the first electric guitar quartets and was billed as a band from post-apocalypse Canada "inspired by the ghost of Jimi Hendrix".
Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction is a subgenre of science fiction, science fantasy, dystopian or horror in which the Earth's technological civilization is collapsing or has collapsed. The apocalypse event may be climatic, such as runaway climate change; natural, such as an impact event; man-made, such as nuclear holocaust or resource depletion; medical, such as a pandemic, whether natural or man-made; eschatological, such as the Last Judgment, Second Coming or Ragnarök; or imaginative, such as a zombie apocalypse, cybernetic revolt, technological singularity, dysgenics or alien invasion.
After the success of Les 4 Guitaristes de l'Apocalypso-Bar,Duchesne returned to FIMAV in 1989 to premier "his most ambitious work ever", L' Ou 'L, a composition that explored different styles of chamber music. In 1991, he formed Locomotive with Claude Fradette and Rémi Leclerc, which also performed at FIMAV in 1991. Locomotive recorded an album of the same name in 1992, which AllMusic called "the pinnacle of André Duchesne's discography".
Chamber music is a form of classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or a large room. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers, with one performer to a part. However, by convention, it usually does not include solo instrument performances.
During the mid- to late-1990s, Duchesne formed several rock bands, but they never recorded. In 1999 he released Réflexions, an album of classical guitar solos,and in 2001, Polaroïde, a free improvisation session for guitar, viola and percussion. Duchesne returned to FIMAV for its 21st edition in 2004 to premier Cordes à danser, a new project of his featuring a string quartet and a "power trio" of guitar, bass and drums.
Free improvisation or free music is improvised music without any rules beyond the logic or inclination of the musician(s) involved. The term can refer to both a technique and as a recognizable genre in its own right.
Art Bears were an English avant-rock group formed during the disassembly of Henry Cow in 1978 by three of its members, Chris Cutler, Fred Frith and Dagmar Krause. The group released three studio albums between 1978 and 1981, and toured Europe in 1979.
Le trésor de la langue is an album of music released by the guitarist René Lussier on the Ambiances Magnétiques label in 1989. Many consider it to be Lussier's greatest album.
Richard Desjardins is a Québécois folk singer and film director. He and his friends formed the country rock ensemble Abbitibbi in the 1970s. Desjardins played piano, guitar, and sang. When the group disbanded in 1982, Desjardins pursued a solo career. He also found work scoring films, especially documentaries. This involvement in the Quebec film industry even led him to co-direct a number of feature-length documentaries. As well as his singing career, he is well known for his environmental activism, especially with regards to protecting forests from over-exploitation.
The Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville is an annual international music festival held in Victoriaville, Quebec that showcases contemporary music.
Keep the Dog was a United States-based experimental rock touring band from New York City formed in 1989 by English multi-instrumentalist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith. The sextet was conceived as a review band for performing selections of Frith's extensive repertoire of compositions from the previous 15 years.
The Fred Frith Guitar Quartet was a United States-based contemporary classical and experimental music guitar quartet comprising Fred Frith, René Lussier, Nick Didkovsky and Mark Stewart. The group was formed in 1989 by Frith and they performed extensively across North America and Europe for the next ten years, including at the 14th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada in May 1997. They recorded their first album, Ayaya Moses in 1996 and released a live album, Upbeat in 1999.
Jean Derome is a French Canadian avant-garde saxophonist, flautist, and composer. A prominent figure in the Montreal musique actuelle scene, Derome has been a member of experimental, jazz, and rock groups, and has appeared on over 30 albums, including seven solo albums. He has written scores for over 30 films and co-founded Ambiances Magnétiques, a Canadian musical collective and independent record label.
Quartets is a 1994 studio album by English guitarist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith. It consists of two compositions by Frith, "Lelekovice, String Quartet #1", performed by the Violet Wires String Quartet, and "The As Usual Dance Towards the Other Flight to What is Not", performed by an electric guitar quartet. Frith performs with the guitar quartet, but not with the string quartet.
Stone, Brick, Glass, Wood, Wire is a double live album by English guitarist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith. It comprises a series of graphic scores Frith composed in 1992 "for any number of players". It was performed live by Frith, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins and the International Occasional Ensemble at five concerts in Canada, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. Frith also conducted and directed the performances.
Timothy Wesley John Brady is a Canadian composer, electric guitarist, improvising musician, concert producer, record producer and cultural activist. Working in the field of contemporary classical music, experimental music, and musique actuelle, his compositions utilize a variety of styles from serialism to minimalism and often incorporate modern instruments such as electric guitars and other electroacoustic instruments. His music is marked by a synthesis of musical languages, having developed an ability to use elements of many musical styles while retaining a strong sense of personal expression. Some of his early recognized works are the 1982 orchestral pieces Variants and Visions, his Chamber Concerto (1985), the chamber trio ...in the Wake..., and his song cycle Revolutionary Songs (1994).
Hervé Richard, better known as Ferdinand Richard, is a French avant-rock bass guitarist and composer.
Nous Autres is a live album by Fred Frith and René Lussier recorded in October 1986 at the 4th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada. The live mixes were later enhanced with additional material recorded by Frith and Lussier in December 1986 at a studio in Montreal, Quebec, and the resulting album was released on LP in 1987. The album was released on CD in 1992 with four additional studio tracks recorded by Frith and Lussier in January 1992 in New York City.
Cosa Brava is an experimental rock and free improvisation group formed in March 2008 in Oakland, California by multi-instrumentalist and composer Fred Frith. The band comprises Frith on guitar, Zeena Parkins on keyboards and accordion, Carla Kihlstedt on violin, Matthias Bossi on drums, and The Norman Conquest on sound manipulation. All About Jazz described their music as "somewhere between folk, Celtic, modern chamber, Latin, funk, Eastern, and prog-rock".
Fond of Tigers is a Canadian seven-piece post-rock instrumental band from Vancouver. An article in Exclaim! describes the band's sound: "with cacophonous explosions of percussion and guitar underlying wild strains of trumpet and violin, only to drop out for unexpected, ambient glimmers of a once-roaring piece."
Trio (Victoriaville) 2007 is a live album by American composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton recorded in 2007 and released on the Victo label.
The Ratchet Orchestra is an avant garde jazz musical group based in Montreal, Canada. The band was started in the early 1990s, when musical director Nicolas Caloia began experimenting with improvised chamber jazz. Members such as Tom Walsh, Jean Derome, Lori Freedman, Sam Shalabi, and Christopher Cauley soon joined. Four members played on their 1994 eponymous debut.
Duo (Victoriaville) 2005 is a 2006 live album of improvised music by Anthony Braxton and Fred Frith. It was recorded on May 20, 2005 at the 22nd Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville in Quebec, Canada, and released in May 2006 by Les Disques Victo, the festival's record label.