All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2018, Part 1

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2018, Part 1
Mike Chamberlain By

Sign in to view read count
Part 1 | Part 2

Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville
Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada
May 17-18, 2018

Keeping a middle-aged festival such as the Festival International de Musique Actualle de Victoriaville fresh and relevant is a challenge, but the program for this year's 34th edition of FIMAV assembled by artistic director Michel Levasseur had something more of an avant-garde and international flavor than we have seen in recent years. Prominent in the schedule are Asian musicians and Asian-influenced music as well as a large number of female performers, making this year's edition one of the most highly anticipated of the last twenty years.

As usual, the opening evening's menu of three concerts featured musicians from Canada and Quebec, starting with a double concert of the music of Montreal-based composer Walter Boudreau, an icon in the world of contemporary classical movement for the last half century and the artistic director and principal conductor of the Ensemble de la Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) since 1988. The first part of the program was a performance of "Paix," one of Boudreau's first major compositions, by a group of young musicians called 333ToutArtBel, while the second featured Boudreau conducting the SMCQ in a performance of "Solaris (Incantations VIII-IXh), a composition from 2012-13 in the new concert hall of Victoriaville's cultural center. The first piece showed the obvious influence of Frank Zappa on the young Boudreau and his seminal group L'Infonie, while the second piece was very much in the line of Messaien and Boulez.

The second concert was a project by Taiwanese-Canadian musician and composer Lan Tung, who brought together a group of Taiwanese musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments with members of the Vancouver avant-garde scene such as Ron Samworth and J.P. Carter. Because Tung is deeply involved in both musical communities, the presentation of what she calls "The Giant Project" could have sounded like a forced marriage, but it did not, Tung having achieved a balance between the two musics. The music was fast-moving and dense, and if there was anything else I would have enjoyed hearing from them, it was more space for the Chinese instruments. But that is a small quibble.

The final big group show of Thursday was a midnight performance by the Montreal ensemble David and the Mountain, a project led by drummer, guitarist, composer, scene-maker David Douglas Dion. The performance started compellingly enough but the long middle section of guitar feedback tried the patience.

Friday's program began at the usual 1 p.m. in the beautiful Eglise St-Christophe d'Arthabaska with a solo voice and viola performance by the Swiss artist Charlotte Hug. Hug entered from the back of the nave, emitting vocal pops as she entered the space. The audience members were reverent (no pun intended), as Hug gradually took over the church space, playing with its acoustics, vocalizing while employing extended techniques on her instrument, including using a bow from which she could detach the strings. While Hug is neither Asian nor attempts to play Asian music, her performance practice was informed by her recent experience of studying in China. The performance was charming, captivating, and compelling. Most of the music was improvised, apart from the entrance and exit pieces, but somehow Hug created a kind of narrative arc that was full of drama and surprise. One of the best concerts I have ever seen at Victoriaville.

Friday afternoon's 5 p.m. concert in the Colisee B of Victoriaville's hockey arena was the world premiere of a trio comprised of Malcolm Goldstein on violin, Rainer Weins on guitar and thumb piano, and Liu Fang on pipa. Goldstein and Weins have collaborated off and on for many years, and Goldstein and Fang have been playing together in the past decade, but this was the first time that the trio had played publicly. This performance felt like an intimate encounter of close friends, delicately balanced, with Fang playing the foil between Goldstein and Weins.


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe Live Reviews
Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe
by Chris May
Published: September 15, 2018
Read 12 Points 2018 Live Reviews
12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory" Live Reviews We Jazz: Moveable Feast Fest Theory
by Josef Woodard
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "European Jazz Conference 2017" Live Reviews European Jazz Conference 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "James Mahone at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews James Mahone at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: November 26, 2017