Look who’s playing Red Bull Music Academy Montreal

Iggy Pop, Pauline Oliveros, Suzanne Ciani and Tiga appear at this year’s Red Bull Music Academy.
© Aaron Rogosin / Red Bull Sound Select / Content Pool
By Sammy Lee

The line-of performers and speakers at Red Bull Music Academy's annual main event is never less than brilliant, but this year's bill is something else. From September 24 to October 28, the globe-hopping music institution is bringing a lorry-load of artists to Montreal for a series of boundary-pushing live events, workshops, lectures and installations.

Seventy participants from 38 countries will hole up in the city's arts hub the Phi Centre where they'll work in state-of-the-art recording facilities with tutors Just Blaze, Deradoorian, Matias Aguayo and Lucrecia Dalt. They'll also be the recipients of some sage advice courtesy of a series of private lectures from musical icons. These will be recorded for the rest of us to watch after the event.

Iceland's most innovative pop icon performs with Tri Angle Records at the Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York in 2015.
Björk © Maria Jose Govea / Red Bull Content Pool

In a series of ticketed events, Stooges frontman Iggy Pop will give a talk at Canada’s oldest theatre, Ludger-Duvernay; hardcore punks F**ked Up collaborate with throat singer Tanya Tagaq; electronic music maverick Pauline Oliveros leads an exploration in sound at the city's Planetarium; the Academy's Round Robin concept returns with more improvised duets; and there's a night of analogue electronica featuring pioneer Suzanne Ciani, plus new leading lights Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Veronica Vasicka.

The Academy will pay tribute to Canada's music scenes, too, with homegrown acts and clubs underpinning the month-long event. French-Canadian pianist Jean-Michel Blais and Montreal electronics man CFCF debut a collaborative project; Chilly Gonzales leads a group of Academy participants in a live performance; the Turbo Crunk night is revived by Jacques Greene, Prison Garde and Lunice; and Drone Activity In Progress celebrates Québéc and Montreal's metal and noise scenes, with Pierre-Marc Tremblay (Akitsa), Voivod's Away and Tim Hecker, among others, delivering special performances.

There are also club nights aplenty, with Rrose, Mathew Jonson, Theo Parrish, Canadian tape and digital label 1080p, and Tiga all set to rock rooms across Montreal.

It's not just straight-up live performances. There's an underwater listening experience, an ice-skating disco, and Björk has been commissioned to create a new virtual reality film. From October 15 at the DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, visitors can immerse themselves in an exhibition featuring the Icelandic artist's five VR videos, her interactive Biophilia app and screenings of her music videos. She's also DJing through the month.

Tim Hecker © Drew Gurian / Red Bull Content Pool

While all this is going on, daily.redbullmusicacademy.com will be presenting long-form music journalism about Canada's music scenes as well as a six-part animated series featuring Montreal artists. And RBMA Radio will be broadcasting highlights throughout.

For more information, visit mtl.redbullmusicacademy.com.

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