I’m always digging deeper and looking for new records, but I’m also careful to revisit the classics and understand the traditions surrounding them. It’s important to at least be aware of tradition in order to orient yourself better. Communities are organized around both a shared sense of tradition and commonalities of practice. This mix seamlessly weaves together a disparate cloud of influences, not unlike the ensemble behind it. Regards sur le 7e feu was founded to perform a work composed by Stefan Christoff (Howl Arts) and Xarah Dion (Les momies de palerme). The two brought together a varied group of musicians to bring their style to bear on the final work, a narrative work of modern composition that incorporates improvisation, dub, jazz, and Balkan/Turkish music. (Joseph Sannicandro)
Regards sur le 7e feu attempts to bring together a group of musicians, coming from very different creative contexts, to collaborate on performing and developing music that actively reflects on the contemporary colonial dynamics that impact these indigenous lands, shaped by borderlines called Québec and Canada. Our musical project is inspired by protest movements like Idle No More and the long standing struggles of indigenous communities for justice. Honestly this ensemble project hopes to become a cultural vehicle, for artists in Montréal, to directly address these important issues.
Musically this project includes an important component of improvisation, but is also broadly composed, including written music and a clear narrative arch. In developing Regards sur le 7e feu with my co-composer Xarah Dion, inspiration came from territorial landscapes, but also burning contemporary issues related to the land. The opening performance, presented in fall 2013 at La Sala Rossa concert hall, was inspired by both the wondrous beauty of the northern lights, an illustration of a spiritual identity to these lands that so clearly contrasts with neo-colonial, industrial projects like the tar sands in Alberta. Reflecting the diverse territorial landscapes referenced, the music is equally dynamic, some sections are more influenced by total improvisation, or free jazz traditions, while some aspects are composed and sounding lyrical or majestic, more inspired by classical music modes.
This mix was collectively compiled for A CLOSER LISTEN by the artists who participated in the first concert of Regards sur le 7e feu. In describing selections for this mix, saxophonist Fred Bazil writes that the choices reflect a “huge pool of various musical influences” shaping this project, a process where artists involved had to “reach inside” while playing, responding to each other as the music unfolds.
Also this mix is presented in the lead up to the next Regards sur le 7e feu performance, taking place at La Sala Rossa on Friday, April 25 as part of the Howl arts festival in Montréal. This is an evolving and inspiring project that is just getting started, a cultural initiative hoping to visit real possibilities for artistic engagement toward anti-colonial struggles for justice and dignity.
— Stefan Christoff, co-composer for Regards sur le 7e feu
1. Red Black & Green – Pharoah Sanders
2. The Great Learning Paragraph 2 – The Scratch Orchestra
3. Stamping Ground – Moondog
4. Everything’s fucked (live) – Dirty Three
5. Invocation To Mr. Parker – Archie Shepp
6. Maslo Castrol – Ork Kamenci
7. De Materialize – The Scientist
8. Sugar Blues – Count Basie
9. The Big Ship – Brian Eno
10. The Bird Song – Muhal Richard Abrams
11. You Know, You Know – Mahavishnu Orchestra
12. Forgiveness – Inword
13. Dame, Vostre Doulz Viaire – Guillaume De Machaut
14. Living Room – Grouper
Mixed by Xarah Dion
There are many musicians involved from different groups, including Kalmunity Vibe Collective, The Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble, and Ought.
Compiled by the Regards sur le 7e feu ensemble.
Claire Abraham (violoncelle)
Lubo Alexandrov (guitare)
Fred Bazil (saxophone)
Peter Burton (contrebasse)
Stefan Christoff (orgue, piano)
Xarah Dion (orgue, piano)
Ian Ferrier (guitare)
Mark Haynes (basse)
Tim Keen (violin)
Drey Sax (saxophone)
art designed by Nazik Dakkach