Elektra 16

By coincidence, I happened to arrive in Montréal at a great time for audio festivals.  Elektra 16Sight + Sound, and Mutek all take place in May.

There were a number of outstanding artists at Elektra.  Chatting with Thomas and Emmanuel from [The User] was one of my big highlights.  I’ve been shouting into their Silophone project since my first trip to MTL in 2011.  [The User] released a book during the festival that highlights their work from the past few decades.  In a brief chat, Emmanuel told me that the major catalyst for the book was to satiate their need for more discourse.  Coming from a world of endless discourse (at the expense of many other things), Elektra opened my eyes to a lack of communication between cultural scholarship and cultural practitioners.

One might assume that such discourse is happening before, during, and perhaps most importantly, immediately after performances, but I have my doubts.  When was the last time you felt the freedom to walk out of a performance as a form of protest?  When was the last time you felt the freedom to not clap at the end of a performance?  When was the last time you told an artist how you really felt?  Why are performance spaces so polite?  What does a standing ovation actually mean?

I’ve seen plenty of amazing things on YouTube, but never have I stood up and started clapping at the end of a great video.

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