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For the Love of Music

by Archives November 9, 2005

The First Annual Montreal Music Show will be held at Place Bonaventure from November 11 to the 13, in an effort to bring together artists, fans, teachers, auditory health professionals, and more to promote and support public musical awareness.

Conceived by Serge Gamache and Ralph Angellilo, the men behind the Montreal Drum Fest, the Montreal Music Show has long been in the works but remains significant. Quebec jazz pianist and spokeswoman for the event, Julie Lamontagne, said that with “everything going crazy right now in the world [such as] people putting bombs everywhere, the one thing that brings people together is music and art [because they’re so] accessible to everybody.”

The Montreal Music Show will not only enable the sharing of our mutual love for this art form and increase knowledge about various music-related areas, but will also enrich us with workshops on playing, practicing, and production, master classes and special guest performances. According to Lamontagne, “it’s very important that we get together and have options” to explore music’s different avenues, regardless of whether we plan on being professional musicians or not.

Music’s presence in our lives is essential because of its intensity, emotion and its ability to “bring people together [without having to] pay thousands of dollars to do it, [since] you can just get a guitar, and learn on your own to sing,” in addition to everything else music offers, she said

Lamontagne believes that being a professional isn’t necessary to reap music’s benefits or even to enjoy the music making process. On Sunday, she will conduct a workshop on practicing, and she says that even “if you’re five years old and playing a sport like soccer, [practicing] is something you have to go through.” So once you’re comfortable with playing music, it can be an effective tool both as a means of expression as well as a form of mental and physical healing.

A distinctive feature of the Montreal Music Show is the abundance of workshops about the body and music therapy. While the restorative powers of music have been known for a long time, research into developing studies on this ancient practice has been recent and scarce. Music listening can be a blessing for those who don’t want to or are unable to perform music, such as the elderly. “Music is warmth to their hearts…[and so music therapy] is another area that you can go into see how music can affect [us],” Lamontagne said.

Lamontagne confessed that being a musician isn’t always about glitz and glamour, and a lot of tension does exist in their lives. “I started super young doing classical piano and I never really talked about this with my teachers [but] I think it’s really important,” she said. “It’s like a sport, it’s the same thing, you use your body, [and with music therapy] they give us some tools to be able to relax and be relaxed when you play.”

Having recently released the album Facing the Truth with her band the Julie Lamontagne Trio, Julie is very excited about the Music Show as well as her concert in December at the Corona Theatre. “It’s a great treasure to be able to live as a musician,” she says. Hopefully the Montreal Music Show will give the public the chance to experience music in all its forms, and so much more.

Guests include drummers who have worked with Sting, Stevie Wonder and Prince, and Lamontagne herself will be playing the Yamaha showcase with some of the best drummers from Montreal CEGEPs. All shows, conferences and workshops are free for students, but classes are $8 with student identification and $10 for adults.

For more information, including program schedules and admission fees check out http://www.montrealmusicshow.com and http://www.montrealdrumfest.com. For more on Julie Lamontagne, go to http://www.julielamontagne.com

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