Posted by: kaleidophonic | November 25, 2011

Occupy Montreal & Improvised Street Choir

In Montreal this morning police came to remove the Occupy camp in Victoria Square. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around how to blog about the Occupy phenomenon. It’s hard sometimes to get a good sense of what it’s all about, what all those voices, together, are really saying.

I was happy to see that a good friend of mine, over at GloSpot, recently tackled Occupy Montréal from much the same kind of sonic perspective that I would (she is, after all, an ethno-musicologist and music therapist!).  That why today I’m letting Gloria do the talking for me.

Take it away, Glo!

“17:30 Chorale de rue improvisée”

Dear future PhD thesis, I’m sorry I’m so slow at catching on.  Sound occupies space like nothing else.  And Occupy is sounding… and singing.

Abandoning (for now) a couple previous blog drafts to begin obsessing over a new topic: Occupy Chanté.

Situated 6th in an Activities Agenda for November 19th, at Occupy Montreal, reads “17:30 Chorale de rue improvisée/Improvised street choir”.  “Ah oui?”  My interest is piqued.  I’ve been down to La place des peuples one time, to check it out and feel the spirit, and sure enough, didn’t go back until I saw the agenda item about people singing on the site.  I think I’ve been dying for something to push me back there, and this was it.

‘Maybe I’ll just bike past there, and take a peak.’  Shy.  But it’s so easy to just roll up and sit at the base of the statue.  It’s just like doing other normal things you do, like going to a rock show or getting a coffee; no one’s going to come up to you and say, “what are you doing here?”  And with experience in both drum circle communities and social justice choirs, I felt right at home.

There were maybe ten ‘voicers’.  In a circle.  One drum.  Simple chants.  Improv melody snippets.  Fill-in-the-blank type participatory phrases.  “We are the change we want to see.”  We are the joy.  Touching each other, and touching the whole space with their voices.

There is so much to talk about.

Start with one who knows how to get some singing done: Peter Yarrow at Occupy Wall Street!!


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