Soul Whisper, put forth by the Haitian-Quebecoise singer, author, and composer Cyndi Charlemagne, is a soul-jazz musical performance where poetry and song share notes. For Charlemagne, this soul whisper evokes our innermost thoughts, the intuition that allows us to stay connected to ourselves through both joyful and trying times. The spoken poems help set the stage for songs that dig deep into the expressive richness of jazz and soul. Swinging between complexity and stripped-down sounds, unleashing musical riffs, vocal agility and improvisation, Cyndi Charlemagne’s music features playful vocals charged with sincerity, backed by skilled musicians.
American Cuck is a multimedia video and environmental installation and musical performance exploring the maintenance of white supremacy in the pornographic imagination and psyche of the U.S. nation-state, and its effects on every aspect of American Life. M. Lamar specifically explores the construction of the white male cuckold, the black male object of his obsession, and the relation of both to a plantation culture of race, desire, and violence. Indeed, it is Lamar’s argument that the construction of the hyper-sexual black person in the white imagination continues to lead to black death in a white supremacist society. The hyper-sexual, hyper-physical black person in the white supremacist mind offers virtuosic pleasure and threat. This is core to nation identity.
ANACHNID is a Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist of Oji-Cree and Mi’kmaq First Nations. She explores very different musical styles from soul to electro-pop to indie trap and is the first winner of the Indigenous Songwriter Award from SOCAN. We can hear her animal totem, the spider, as she interweaves bitingly accurate political response with straight up sass in her dance floor hits before sliding into soft aching romantic tracks. ANACHNID presents an intimate concert in tandem with a DJ and VJ. Circle up and get caught in this spider’s gorgeous web.
Berlin-based Kuwaiti composer and artist Fatima Al Qadiri performs her new EP Shaneera with live audio visuals. A love letter to Arab queer icons in five energetic club tracks, the album deals with gender identity and performance in the Gulf. The titular “Shaneera” is the English mispronunciation of the Arabic word “shanee’a” (شنيعة) which literally means “outrageous, nefarious, hideous, major and foul.” But as queer slang now used in Kuwait and some Arab countries, Shaneera refers to the positive figure or act of a gender-defying persona, of being an evil queen. You know a Shaneera when you behold one.
Ellise Barbara means to create a “black space” free from physical or mental racialization. While Barbara’s earlier work ranged across synth, pop, R&B and funk, her new band project, fittingly called Elle’s Black Space Mission: An Afrodiasporic Odyssey, features solely musicians of Sub-Saharan African descent. *Elle’s Black Space Mission: An Afrodiasporic Odyssey*_ hearkens back to Afrofuturism, a movement pioneered by Sun Ra in the 1950s that wove together Black culture with futuristic or sci-fi themes.
Barbara’s music is rooted in her experience as a queer, transgender person of colour. She has toured, recorded and made music for the past eight years, with several releases notably Sexe Machin / Sex Machine (Fixture Records).
Dynasty, created by Hua Li (a.k.a. Peggy Hogan), is a live multimedia experience accompanying her debut studio album of the same name. Supported by video projections by Tyler Reekie, Dynasty tells of Hua Li’s journey as a first-generation Chinese-Canadian and deals with topics like deceitful love, family power dynamics, and serious booty-shaking.
Hogan took on the nom de guerre Hua Li in response to pressures to conform to traditional gender roles as a woman in jazz, allowing her to express her femininity, sexuality and politics. Well-known for her feminist hip-hop, Hua Li, has released The Bound Feat, a 2013 mixtape, and the 2015 EP Za Zhong.
Elysia Crampton’s unrestrained electronic music is the flashpoint of a myriad influences opening upon the complexity and multifacetedness of Aymara becoming. Underscored by radical and queer politics, Crampton’s experimental work gives sonorous form to contemporary expressions of Aymara resistance and survival: a project of “becoming-with,” in the shades given this term by Donna Haraway via prison abolitionist Che Gossett.
Her album Demon City, composed in honour of the revolutionary Bartolina Sisa, was deemed a “masterwork” by Rolling Stone and was one of Pitchfork’s 20 best experimental albums of 2016. Her latest release, Spots y Escupitajo, leads the listener into “a dizzying, hyper-conceptual collection of miniatures.”
Voyage from Rio de la Plata to The Altiplano… is an invitation to discover contemporary music from Argentina and Bolivia, offering a repertoire rooted in the history of these two South American countries, which have been shaped by dictatorships and rich indigenous traditions. This musical journey is performed by three instrumentalists – the Wapiti ensemble (Geneviève Liboiron on violin, and Daniel Áñez Garcia on piano) and Émilie Girard‐Charest (cello) – with Andrés Salas’s video installations lighting up the ambulatory experience.
Wapiti’s work has been presented, notably, at the Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico and, in Montréal, at the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec’s Montreal/New Musics Festival.
Eclectik 2018 brings to a head MAI’s four year focus on the older artist and which draws inspiration from Older & Reckless, an acclaimed dance series of mature dance produced by Toronto’s MOonhORsE Dance Theatre. Âgés et déjantés featuring artists 55 years old and older of cultural and racial diversity, advocates for an increased awareness of the challenges faced by older artists. It addresses the language currently used to discuss old age and generational relevancy and/or redundancy as it relates to art, to life.
At the very centre of this initiative is, to borrow a term, lastingness, a means of resistance, of maintaining or regaining visibility. Of celebration.
Sous le nom de scène de Hazy Montagne Mystique, Chittakone Baccam livre des performances surprenantes et plonge l’auditeur dans des ambiances lunaires, méditatives et bruitistes. Avec Tu ne te retourneras pas, l’artiste sonore explore ses racines laotiennes et la pratique expérimentale qu’il a développée au Québec. À la faveur de distorsions, transformations et échantillonnages, la performance audiovisuelle puise dans les archives familiales : cassettes enregistrées par ses grands-parents et compilations de musique molam traditionnelle. Tu ne te retourneras pas,évoque les souvenirs du pays laissé derrière soi, dont les images finissent inévitablement par se brouiller au fil du temps.
Cofondateur de l’étiquette Jeunesse cosmique Baccam est très actif sur la scène musicale expérimentale avec plus d’une centaine de productions.