Weapons exhibition kills it at making violence fun

Exhibit provides a not-too-serious look at some very serious people

From the get-go, the playful atmosphere is set. Before the tour even begins, you are given the one and only pamphlet of the showcase, a two-page flyer that solely contains quizzes and riddles, making it difficult not to have fun.

Photo by Roa Abel-Gawad.

It’s not that a museum exhibit can’t be fun, but the jovial atmosphere at the Stewart Museum is a pleasant surprise considering the topic is weapons. D’Artagnan, Al Capone and the Others – Weapons and Legends is a collection of weapons and replicas that belong to famous characters, real and fictional, from history, literature and film.

The exhibit demands a playful attitude at every turn. Stepping into the narrow hall, the visitors’ ears are treated with the iconic James Bond theme, ditties from the wild west, and what seems to be the soundtrack from a Scorsese gangster film that causes both mild anxiety and a spring in the step.

The lively mood is further amplified by the abundant amount of colourful illustrations. Often, people and characters are photographed or sketched and blown up onto large-scale posters. This ambiance is imposing enough to downplay the seriousness of the dozens of displays of deadly weapons, yet not childish enough to detract from its focus.

The weapons are, of course, the main attraction here. And yet, they’re kind of not. Each historical or fictional figure is allotted a glass display case that houses their characteristic weapons. But very near these weapons is media from popular culture you can watch, hear and touch.

The tactile quality of the exhibit, coupled with the vibrant colours and exaggerated illustrations, including speech bubbles and panels, feels like an explosion at a comic book factory. In fact, next to the Lucky Luke display, a couple of editions of the publication are sitting out for visitors to look at.

Photo by Roa Abel-Gawad.

While you can flip through pages or put headphones on to hear audio clips, you cannot, in fact, handle rifles and swords. However, should the mood for play strike, the exhibit houses an epic, gigantic Battleship game board complete with miniature ships and the promise of glorious victory against any foes.

This is where this exhibition excels. It is indeed an educational journey through the universe of weapons; you will come out savvy in regard to the rifles of Che Guevara, the pistol preferences of Butch Cassidy and the sword and shield metals of William Tell. Yet despite such an intimidating arsenal, this exhibition of deadly weapons doesn’t take itself too seriously.

A few feet away from Al Capone and his menacing face are Jack Sparrow’s knife and dagger collection accompanied by a monitor through which we get to watch Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise. Next to a display dedicated to Annie Oakley are the rapiers Zorro would have used to defeat his enemies.

This joviality is carried through the two-storey display of famous cowboys, spies, pirates, knights, gangsters and revolutionaries. It is quite an achievement to turn national insurgents and dangerous criminals into a light-hearted affair.

The exhibition is part of a celebration to commemorate the museum’s 60th anniversary this year, but from the looks of it, the museum doesn’t feel a day over 10.

D’Artagnan, Al Capone and the Others – Weapons and Legends runs at the Stewart Museum until Nov. 1.

Student Life

From writer to author – how words bloom

Flower Publishing will get your name in print

Almost all members of the Kardashian-Jenner household have one. Snookie’s got four. Lauren Conrad, inexplicably, has eight of them. A counterintuitive trend is clear: celebrity begets book deals.

If you’ve ever had hopes of publishing a book, you must have heard that you should make yourself at least somewhat famous. Start a blog and gather a following, pull a public stunt, or just do something newsworthy. First create your celebrity, and publications — with guaranteed sales from your fan-base — will follow.

This makes sense to publishers; not all publishers are created equal, however. Flower Publishing Press operates with a refreshing, almost idealistic, philosophy.

Photo by Maryann Hayatian.

“It’s not about how much you will be paid, it’s about people reading your art,” explained Maryann Hayatian. A Concordia creative writing graduate, Hayatian grew frustrated with publishing houses and the typical wave of rejections that first-time authors usually ride.

“I’m a Montrealer; imagine being rejected from the place you were born and raised in. I [even] wanted to work at a publishing company. They didn’t hire me, even [though] I have the education and experience. So I told myself ‘who needs people that are like this. I will open my own publishing company.’”

Hayatian did just that. In 2011 she started Flower Publishing, and started printing. “[The] first book I published … I stayed up late at nights … It was a children’s Christmas book and ready for Christmas. It was successful. The authors [Pierre Fiset and Damiano Ferraro] were on CTV with Mitsumi Takahashi. They were at Chapters, at school readings … Everyone wanted to know who Flower Publishing was.”

This publishing house doesn’t concern itself with who the writer is, nor what language they write in, just as long as they believe in their art. Additionally, Hayatian’s arms are open to any writer that wants to hone their craft.

“[As a] writer myself, I understand what we go through to publish our writing … I opened my publishing company because I want to help writers out there get their writings published. I want to mentor them.”

Hayatian has taken it upon herself to do her utmost to see things through from beginning to end. She reiterates, impassioned with conviction: “I want to mentor my writers … They need support … [I want] to show them the right way to [evolve] from a writer to an author.”

Flower Publishing doesn’t turn first-time, inexperienced authors away, for Hayatian does not believe that any writer’s voice should be quelled. Instead, she fosters their talents. “When I see a … manuscript [with] so much potential but still needs more work to publish, I don’t reject them. I tell them what … to correct,” said Hayatian. “I make sure they learn … and when their manuscript is ready, I publish. I don’t reject … I know how it feels.”

To know more about Flower Publishing, visit or



In celebration of Concordia’s artists

Press photo

There exists a place where student-created art is recognized in all its multidisciplinary glory and this place is in our very own EV building. For the 28th year, Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts (FOFA) is holding an exhibition of the works of their undergraduates, entitled Combine 2013. The exhibition comprises various art mediums, including photography, sculpture, drawing, and video.

110 submissions were considered this year, only 10 per cent of which were selected by a jury of student leaders from the Fine Arts Students Alliance (FASA), the VAV Gallery and other practicing artists. The aim of the exhibit is to showcase the diversity of practices within the faculty, as well as to prepare the participating students for future professional endeavours.

“[There is] an impulse for the gallery to really showcase all of fine arts, all the departments,” said Mark Sussman, Associate Dean of Academic and Student affairs.

This year, the exhibition is paired with a catalogue written and curated by undergraduate students from the Department of Art History.

“This is a really big deal. The idea of recognizing sites of publication, not just to be [part of] the gallery where we make public the production of fine art, but looking at the catalogue [is] something that extends beyond the temporal opportunity of exhibition,” said jake moore, director of FOFA Gallery.

“It’s very exciting to see that combination,” added Sussman.

Standing out in scope and impact is April Martin’s “Pink Cloud I”, located in the FOFA Gallery vitrine and composed of five pink plasticine ball-like structures. Martin conceptualized the installation while abroad in Finland, where, for two weeks each December, “the Arctic North begins to sink into a polar night”; the sun no longer rises above the horizon, leaving behind pink clouds in the sky, the inspiration for Martin’s work.

Next, upon entering the gallery itself, you are greeted with “The Authors Narrative” by Camille Barrière-Brunet, a collection of interactive hand-bound books. Inside these books, there are no words, rather, the emphasis is on putting a face to the usually face-less authors in order to create the full portraits of Virginia Woolf, Sinclair Lewis and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The writers, presented in this way, are made whole and human.

Another visually commanding work, “Adonis Complex” by Edwin Isford, lines an entire wall of the FOFA Gallery, and consists of 16 photographs. This work delves into the subject of muscle dysmorphia, a medical condition that causes the afflicted to be obsessed with their body image. All photographs feature two males, one slender, and another large and muscular. Isford explores the disorder by using these two figures as opposing identities, in a constant corporeal power struggle, despite them being physically united within the frames.

On an equally striking note is “Diane’s Garden” by Steffie Bélanger. Covering the gallery’s floor are sculptures of wood and metal beams standing upright from the ground up, all facing an eight-foot high loudspeaker, which quizzically, casts a shadow of a camera against the wall behind it. The installation is minimalist in composition, and the visitor is encouraged to walk through this garden of timber logs, pausing to ‘hear’ the silent sound of the overwhelming speaker.

Finally, tucked away in a hidden corner of the gallery space is a small black room, that before even entering it, you are warned of the strobe-powered visuals you are about to encounter. “Holy Trannity” by J’VLYN, is a looping video of the artist.

“It’s a three part video and it’s basically my cathartic journey through self-acceptance, and through the lens of being a trans-feminine person […] a fuck you to people that don’t appreciate it, and a pat on the back to myself,” explained J’VLYN.

The celebration of the sensory experiences of sight and touch brings forth a sense of wonderment; Combine 2013 isn’t just a great student show. It is a great show. Period.

Combine 2013 takes place at FOFA Gallery located in EV Building — 1515 st. Catherine W. and runs until Dec. 6.

 For a complete list of participating artists and writers, visit:



Happy birthday, Lemon Hound

Though the online magazine gives special attention to women’s writing, Lemon Hound publishes conversations with writers such as Ken Babstock, Jim Smith and Michael Crummey, and explores diverse mediums such as the graphic novel, film and television. Photo by Roa Abdel-Gawad.

Wine and words flowed when Lemon Hound celebrated its one year anniversary last Friday at Drawn & Quarterly Library, marking a year since the journal’s migration from blog format to a fully blooming website.

Founded in 2005 by Concordia creative writing professor Sina Queyras, Lemon Hound initially functioned as Queyras’ personal blog until 2009. She now holds the position of Editor-in-Chief to what has evolved into an online literary journal, where poetry, reviews, interviews and more are published. Its impressive masthead includes Concordia professors Stephanie Bolster and Darren Wershler, and award winning writers such as Christian Bök (Eunoia) and Zoe Whittall (Holding Still for as Long as Possible).

The celebration involved readings from six authors. Amongst them was Concordia creative writing professor Josip Novakovich, who was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize earlier this year. Novakovich read from a new story entitled “Crossbar”, and proceeded to send the guests into fits of laughter as he told the offbeat tale of soccer and zoos, beginning the story with, “this happened a few years back, in 2016.”

Concordia creative writing graduate student Nicholas Papaxanthos and translation student Clara Aimee Wall were also amongst those reading on Friday. They shared selections from their respective poetry which can be described as gritty and experimental, qualities that are in-line with the kind of aesthetic Lemon Hound promotes.

Other readers included award winning Canadian author Anita Lahey (Out to Dry in Cape Breton), and poets Dani Couture and Robin Richardson.

Though the online magazine gives special attention to women’s writing, Lemon Hound publishes conversations with writers such as Ken Babstock, Jim Smith and Michael Crummey, and explores diverse mediums such as the graphic novel, film and television.

“It is our commitment to staying relevant, to seeing literature as organic and local, mechanistic and ludic, international and in translations, conceptual and classic, staring us straight in the eyes and kicking dirt in our face, as diverse and complicated as the host of hands that helps make Lemon Hound happen over and over again,” writes Queyras and Genevieve Robichaud in the introduction to the journal’s 6th volume.

Lemon Hound keeps its doors open to writers’ creations, critical essays and other ideas, including those that are unsolicited. “We will always, always read what you send us,” said Queyras.

Visit to read the latest issue and to learn more about Lemon Hound’s submission criteria.


Building connections, one country at a time

After years spent living abroad in Ethiopia and England, Salima Punjani now resides in Montreal as a Concordia student, working on a graduate diploma in journalism. The Concordian sat down with the 26-year-old to talk about her local and international endeavours.

How’s life in Montreal?

I love Montreal. [It’s] the one city in Canada I can see myself living in. Although with this whole charter of values thing, I really don’t know…The thing is, I tried to stop being angry and think about solutions of how to create a better sense of understanding. I worked at the ministry of education here for a couple of years for the Odyssey program. I was the promotion agent, which means I had to travel all around Quebec. Odyssey is the official languages program where French and English Canadians go to other [Canadian] cities to play informal language activities with young people in elementary or secondary school or CEGEP. It’s a good work experience but also a really good intercultural learning experience as well.


How did your love for photography develop?

I have always been creatively inclined, but never really supported in that creativity [until] I started with Oxfam in Canada and in Ethiopia. My boss was like, you’ve been talking about development communications for so long, why don’t you come in the field, take some photos and if they, [the head office], like them, they’ll use them. I felt really scared. But they [said], oh my god, some of these photos are amazing; you should really try and focus on that. It’s difficult to do [photography] full time, because I have more of an artistic eye than a technical eye. So for instance, at a conference, if I am bored, I’m really bad. Like, my photos are not good [laughs].


What were you doing in Ethiopia?

I did an internship at Oxfam Canada in Ethiopia. The internship was six months. But then I started working with artists, and I ended up staying for two years. I think it’s really important to report on arts and cultural types of events and movements actually coming out of Addis [Ababa]. People think of Africa and go, ‘oh yeah, people are just poor and starving’. Honestly, there is every NGO, based there [in Addis Ababa]. As a result, there is a market for art. There is an arts school, there’s a photography centre [and] there are a whole bunch of Ethiopian artists that are getting recognized at an international level. I think it’s great, because it helps build more connections between people. These are artists that have universal values of creativity and openness.


Your career keeps taking you towards humanitarian pursuits. Is this a deliberate choice?

Yeah. Journalism has always been something I knew I wanted to do. It [later] kind of developed to wanting to work in conflict zones to show more human elements to what’s going on, rather than just sensational recording. Local artists [in Ethiopia] really appreciated that a foreigner was not [solely] aiming for touristy photos. They were happy that someone wanted to show what daily life was like.


What kind of projects have you been involved in locally?

Last year I was working for this peer-to-peer learning organization called E-180. At their launch event, I exhibited gigantic photographs of people that were basically acting out their dreams as a reflection of their potential. I was inspired [at the time] by Jo Spence, an English photographer who used photography as a form of therapy while she was going through breast cancer and she would photograph her process of healing. I decided to photograph people acting out their dreams. So Greg, [who] wanted to be a pilot, was running out of cash because it’s really expensive [to get a license]. I photographed him in a plane, so when he looks at it, it’s a reflection of what he’s capable of doing. Another person I photographed was a filmmaker. She had a flyer for a film she hadn’t made yet, so we had it put up, and I photographed her looking at the film she hadn’t made yet. [And hence] it was “Portraits of Potential” series.


What’s your photography philosophy?

I really believe that participatory photography is important: training people to take their own photos so that they’re on their own terms, not depending on foreigners to come in and [tell] their own stories for them. I would say my philosophy is to make sure I show the dignity in people and not feed into stereotypical or sensational reporting because it will pay the bills. Lately also, I’ve been hearing a lot of about AnthropoGraphia – a blending of anthropology and photography. It often includes really spending time to actually get to know where you are and to show people in a dignified way. Matthieu Rytz, [Montreal-based photographer] coined the term; he is the one organizing the World Press Photo [exhibition] going on right now.


Speaking of, what did you think of the World Press Photo Exhibit?

It’s really raw. [In particular], the photo of the lady that got burned because she wanted a divorce from her husband – [“Victims of Forced Love”, Ebrahim Noroozi]. There is a struggle and there needs to be more voices shown from these women that are fighting for their life. You know, I worked with an organization in Ethiopia where there were rotating savings and credit groups that Oxfam helped to establish. The women would come together once a week, and participate in a traditional savings scheme, where people would put in, say 10 dollars a week, and every week someone wins the group’s money. The next week someone else wins. Then you can invest in something a bit bigger, maybe start their own business.

A really inspiring story [however], is that these women started [a] separate savings for women that were affected by violence. And so, as a group, they would confront the [abusive] husband and be like: ‘if you beat her one more time, we’re taking you to court.’ That would have never happened if they weren’t working together. And I wonder if I was to share those stories with other women struggling for their rights, it can be something inspiring, you know? As a journalist, it’s kind of what I think. It’s cross cultural sharing, and photography is a powerful medium to do that [with].



All tangled up in some not-straight lines

Have you seen the lines and squiggles housed in a grid of 12-inch squares in the EV building’s corridor recently? It’s not a glorious game of Sudoku. This is wall drawing #394, originally by Sol LeWitt, and now being recreated by Concordia’s fine arts students.

Photos by Guillaume Valée and Sonya Stephan

This all started when Eric Simon, chair of the studio arts department, traveled to France to see an exhibit of LeWitt’s wall drawings. After speaking with François Morelli, professor of studio arts at Concordia, the two decided that they needed to bring LeWitt’s work, and the opportunity to reproduce it, to Concordia’s students. They arranged for permission from Sofia, LeWitt’s daughter and his estate manager, choose four drawings from the series, and co-ordinated exhibition locations with the Faculty Of Fine Arts (FOFA) Gallery.

“There are over 160 wall drawings … there is always a lot of demand, especially for Sol,” explained artist and LeWitt’s assistant since 1980, Anthony Sansotta. Initially, Simon and Morelli’s plan was for Sansotta to write up instructions of what was needed for the drawings to be done by students. “[Then] they said ‘what if you came up here and did a tutorial?’ So I said sure, that would be fine. And that’s what happened,” said Sansotta.

Photos by Guillaume Valée and Sonya Stephan.

Sansotta’s arrival in Montreal meant that he was able to personally work with students, guiding them in the preparation and reproduction of LeWitt’s work. “I know his work quite well and what he had in mind in a way, even if it is not expressed,” said Sansotta.

LeWitt’s wall drawings have prescribed physical parameters, predetermined types of lines, and specific mediums which lines should be constructed out of. So while there is some wiggle room for personal choice, there is only one correct way of interpretation, making it a delicately laborious endeavor for the students. Therefore it was advantageous to have had Sansotta there to mentor the undergraduate and graduate fine arts students who had been selected for this project.

“When all the students arrived on Monday morning, I remember vividly the first thing that Anthony [Sansotta] made clear to them was that the first action they take is [measuring] the wall,” recalls Morelli. Standing at over 33 meters long and 4 feet high, the piece, encased in the FOFA Gallery vitrine, will no doubt be a showstopper upon completion.

“When all the students arrived on Monday morning, I remember vividly the first thing that Anthony [Sansotta] made clear to them was that the first action they take is [measuring] the wall,” recalls Morelli. Photos by Guillaume Valée and Sonya Stephan.

Such is the case with wall drawing #1099, completed and proudly displayed on the Ste-Catherine St. vitrine of the FOFA Gallery. wall drawing #1099 consists of 10,000 lines. To be more exact, 10,000 not-straight lines. Of this work, FOFA director jake moore explains that “two artists in particular were chosen for [the] project because they have performative and durational drawing practices. But it’s not because they can then best interpret Sol’s work, it’s not about that interpretation. They have the skill set to draw 10,000 not straight lines of equal weight within a milieu. There is a remarkable embodied knowledge that’s present here.”

The two other recreations of LeWitt’s wall drawings can be found in the VA building hallways. Together with the two showcased at FOFA gallery, the drawings stand as a testament to the planning and onerous execution of Concordia’s fine arts faculty and students.

Sol LeWitt wall drawings: Facilitated by Anthony Sansotta runs from Sept. 3 until Oct. 25 at the FOFA Gallery and in the VA building.


ARTiculate: Literature of the campus

Did you know that there is such a literary genre as the ‘campus novel’? The novels in this category tend to take place in academic institutions, with the focalization on either faculty or students. They were a major trend in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and while the genre went through a slump for a few decades, it’s been experiencing a steady rise within the last two, popularized by heavyweight authors such as Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates. The following list includes campus novel classics, as well as some exciting recent additions to the literary school.

The Big U by Neal Stephenson

This underrated book may very well change your life. Or at least your perspective on it. Set in the fictional American Megaversity, this novel sails the reader through gaming clubs, political societies, and religious associations. It offers glimpses into the lives of every kind of student, including ones we would never have looked into otherwise. A satire, a drama, and an adventure novel all rolled into one, the book is as funny as it is sentimental. And while Concordia may have dodged a bullet last year, in this story the faculty and staff do indeed go on strike.

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

One of the most lauded works of the twentieth century, this novel remains as misanthropic and insightful as it did when it first appeared in 1954. Jim Dixon, the protagonist, is a hapless professor of medieval history and one in love at that. Dealing with one bureaucratic colleague after another, he does his best to retain his cushy job and win the affections of the girl. Lucky Jim contains hilarious scenes as our hero navigates through the artifices and pretensions of a university establishment.

Giles Goat-Boy
by John Barth

Read this book only so that you can say you’ve read postmodern Fabulism. The novel takes place on earth…only the entire earth is a single university, with deans instead of kings and queens. Before you get excited immersing yourself in a world where the pope becomes your THEO 101 professor, know that even a campus is not immune to feuds. Published in 1966, the story is an allegory for the Cold War, where the West Campus is at odds with the East Campus, and rioting takes place instead of military tension.

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me by Richard Fariña

In The Doors’ L.A Woman album, Jim Morrison based the song “Been Down So Long” on this very book. The story revolves around a trouble-making college student during the turbulent 1960s America of the Beat and Love generation, who goes on a journey riddled with police chases, drug dealers, and Cuban revolutionists to find love and meaning. The book has posthumously garnered a cult status among the literary community, namely for its rough-edged style yet profound subject matter.

Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

Published after Lolita and definitely standing in safer waters, Pnin is the story of a professor that has immigrated from Russia to the United States in the 1950s and struggles, comically and endearingly, to maintain his dignity through a series of misunderstandings, academic conspiracies, and manipulation from an unreliable narrator – a Nabokovian trademark.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Set in a fictional liberal arts college, this novel centers around Harpooners, the college’s baseball team. The protagonist, Henry Skrimshander, is a gifted infielder, scouted by major leagues as a top draft prospect. But of course, Skrimshander experiences losses when he unexpectedly sinks into a funk. But this is not a story about baseball entirely. This 2011 novel examines the human condition through the bromances, and gay relationships of the team members.

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis

A wild literary ride, this novel is mostly narrated by three characters, Sean, Paul and Lauren. The three upper middle class bohemian college students experiment with their sexuality and their attractions to one another. There is a lot of sex, drugs and booze in this book. But mostly sex. However, it is through the examination of the debauchery of these characters that we gain an understanding of the emptiness that we are all susceptible to.

Moo by Jane Smiley

Though it’s set in an American agricultural college, the story’s central figure is a large white hog. But wait. Around this hog is a collection of odd characters, corrupt professors, and students who want academic excellence. Some want fame, and others that sex. But it is this hog that stands as a symbol of uninterrupted purity upon which the college experiment happens in this satirical story of greed and politics on campus.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Narrated by the gawky and insecure Richard Papen, this murder mystery is set in a Vermont college and revolves around six classics majors. In contrast to the usual rowdy characters of the campus novel, these students abhor the party lifestyle. The story opens with the murder of one of the students on campus, and the reader becomes absorbed in solving the case. In the process, they grow to learn more about themselves, and begin to dissolve their pretensions.


Making History by Stephen Fry

Everybody’s favourite polymath, Stephen Fry, writes a novel wherein a history graduate student and a physics professor, team up to prevent Adolf Hitler from ever being born. The first half of the book chronicles the young life of Hitler, his mother, and her abusive husband, along with Hitler’s time as a soldier in World War I. In the second half, the characters realize that the world they have now created, one without Hitler in its history, is far from well. Europe is subjugated by a more ruthless Führer, America is in a cold war with Nazi Europe, and the civil rights movement never took place. The novel is thoroughly charming and engaging, just like its author.


Examining Montreal’s electronic scene

Photo by Keith Race

The Concordian sat down with 20-year-old journalism student Joel Abrahams who has, since his first year at Concordia, been regularly involved at the university’s radio station, CJLO, DJing around campus, as well creating his own music and producing albums.

The Concordian: So how did you get started at CJLO?

Abrahams: I started in [the] winter of my first year, in 2011. When I first started out, I was playing more mainstream electronic music and now I have moved into music that is, still electronic, but more closer to what I like to listen to.

C: What’s the atmosphere like there?

It’s a lot of fun. It’s cool ‘cause, for a university radio station, it’s well known and reputable. CJLO is highly regarded, yet it’s also very relaxed. You can more or less play whatever you want, in terms of music.

C: You were the DJ for the CSU’s Orientation BBQ event last year and you have the gig again this week. How did this come about?

The first time, they just put out a message [calling for DJ’s] and I responded to it. They came over and listened to my mix. And that’s it. This time, a person that I was in residence with is involved with them and put my name in, and I got it, since they knew me from last year.

 C: How did you get started in DJing and making music in the first place?

I think people probably underestimate how difficult it is to make electronic music. I have been working on it for three years. It was a good full year before I made an actual song. Not a song you’d wanna listen to but a song nonetheless with all of the parts, sounding proper. I was definitely not enjoying that. But after a year and a half or two, it became really fun. Like, I woke up at 8 a.m. and worked on this song right up until you came here.

 C: Whoa. I arrived at 5 p.m..

I know.

C: What kind of music do you make?

You know house music, right? House is 128 bpms. What I make is like 160 bpms. So it’s like a drum pattern but at a lot faster rhythm. It’s not as fast as drum bass but a little slower. It’s called footwork or juke. It started a long time ago, 20 or 30 years back, and it predates a lot of the electronic music that started to become a lot more popular. Yet it hasn’t hit the point at which people caught on to producing it to the level that it becomes sold and commercialized. What I think happened with dubstep and house music is that people were just so entrenched and focused in the one or two genres and all other ideas just completely got flushed out. For footwork and juke, it was local in its native city, Chicago, up until the ‘90s and then it spread out to other random pockets in the world. It became really popular in Japan and in parts of Eastern Europe and then, especially in the last few years, it started growing again exponentially.

C: What’s the scene for footwork and for juke in Montreal?

If you wanna focus in on that specific niche genre, Montreal is missing out, I guess. But in terms of electronic music, in Montreal or elsewhere, this is not an issue. The music I listen to, and the people listen to, tends to get passed around much more than other genres because it’s such a niche. So the scene right now is made up of people that are into the same kind of music and closely connected with the music they make, sharing it and giving me feedback on music I’ve produced. And I have become more open about giving others feedback on theirs. I think there are avenues that haven’t been tapped as well as they could have. I mean, there is one other person here [Montreal] who I was really inspired by to start focusing on this kind of music. His name is Hesk. But I think he moved to Toronto now. Nobody here really produces it and plays it live anymore.

 C: That’s disheartening. Have you tried reaching out to other students on campus to collaborate?

I haven’t’ found that many people [at Concordia]. I haven’t seen anybody that makes this kind of music. Not even Trap, [which is] hip hop beats made into electronic music, which is closely related to my music but much more popular. I’m sure I am wrong, though. But hopefully [if there is] someone reading this and wants to work together, [they] can reach me.

 C: For the curious, what kind of equipment are you using?

I use a digital DJ controller, right now. It’s a Numark NS6. I also use a Native Instruments Maschine. My keyboard that controls most of this stuff is the Akai Pro MPK49. And this Korg FX Pad is for effects and stuff.

C: And when you are not making your own music, where do you like to go in the city to hear music?

There are not that many places that I would like, really. If there is one place I would go to, it’s the Belmont.

C: So you are essentially saying that the best place for you to hear music, is your own home.

Yeah. I’ve got a pretty good set-up here [laughs].

Be sure to catch Joel Abrahams every Friday at 3 p.m., hosting the Death Metal Disco Show, starting next week on CJLO. You can also watch him DJing live at the CSU BBQ, Sept. 4 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Loyola Campus.


That other kind of club

Under the Concordia Student Union’s umbrella, more than 50 clubs and associations are given license to create subcommunities for students, cultivating a more rewarding, and certainly a more fun, university experience. Many of these clubs focus on the arts so be on the lookout for these booths during the Clubs Fair on Sept. 12.
Concordia Music Club: You need not be part of the music department to get tuned in this year. Take part in their organized jam sessions, open mics and other forms of musical endeavours with fellow student musicians.

Concordia Starcraft Community: Let’s get rid of the gamer stereotype, shall we? This club is front and centre when it comes to promoting the university’s and Montreal’s e-sport culture, so get ready for competition and real-time strategy.

Journalists for Human Rights: Use your pen for good this year as a member of JHR, and promote social awareness. Write articles and editorials addressing local and international issues and give voice to those who have none.

Uberculture Concordia: Ever leafed through Adbusters and appreciated their in-your-face stance? Uberculture Concordia is your local answer to the magazine and to the movement. Get involved in campaigns, guerilla theatrics and promote independent art and media.

Concordia Mechanicals: Thespians, gather round. Write, produce or perform with the Mechanicals and bring your collective creations to life on stage.
Otaku Anime of Concordia University: Whether you know what an otaku is or not, this group welcomes all. Attend their free bi-weekly anime film screenings, browse through their extensive Manga collection and take part in Otakuthon and Anime North.


Get creative at Concordia — for credit

Concordia has one of the largest Fine Arts faculties in the country, and it would be remiss not to take advantage of some of what it has to offer. This year, instructors for courses include theatre directors, music producers, visual artists, and a Hip Hop MC. So if you’ve got room in your schedule, register for one of their courses and infuse your semester with inspiration. Here are some samples:

This year, instructors for Concordia courses are theatre directors, music producers, visual artists, and a Hip Hop MC. Graphic Jenny Kwan

FFAR 298J Art Forms Of Bollywood
Ah. The culture, the colour, the song and dance of Bollywood’s film history. In fact, emphasis on this course will be given on film music.
FFAR 298V The Art Of Cool
What’s cool, you ask? Concordia has an answer for that. In this course, taught by Montréal’s own Hip Hop MC, The Narcicyst, you’ll be dealing with the concept of ‘cool’ and its appropriation in media. Now that’s cool.

MPER 201 Orchestra I
Play an instrument? A musical instrument? Then you should join Concordia’s Orchestra. Auditions are held in the first day of class, and you can withdraw by the regular DNE deadline if you don’t make the cut.
PROD 211 Introduction to Theatre Production – open to all
Only for this upcoming year, this course, teaching students the components of professional theatrical operations, will be open to students in all faculties. Sign up now while you have the chance.
TPER 201 Introduction to Acting
Spend four hours each week expanding your physical language and expression, learn the art of improvisation, and put it all together for a performance at the end of the semester.


Why rest, O wicked? There’s more to Concordia than classes and Reggie’s

What will your university experience look like? As most of us are just starting to recover from Frosh-week debaucheries, we may find ourselves with some time to make sure advisors are met with, classes registered for and (sinfully priced) textbooks bought. And now that that’s over with, this is the time to choose the ways with which you can foster your creativity, the assortment of families to be a member of and how to supplement your overall time spent here at Concordia.

* For the visually-inclined amongst you, Concordia University Television (CUTV) is an obvious outlet. CUTV is the oldest student-run TV station in the country and is fully stocked with editing equipment and a production studio. As a member they will train you during production workshops or send you out to cover campus events, depending on what you’re into.

If you’re interested in participating in something bigger, Art Matters is Concordia’s annual student-run festival that celebrates the university’s diverse art forms. Graphic by Jenny Kwan.

* If, instead, your interests lie in the auditory arts, then you may consider joining the award-winning CJLO, Concordia’s official radio station. From rock ‘n’ roll to sports talk, this station offers content for all students, and you can join its staff of volunteers to make it happen.

* Concordia’s Fine Arts Student Alliance (FASA) also offers students the chance to showcase their artistic talents: FASA-run Café X and Gallery X— marking their spot in the EV and VA buildings, respectively, — accept artwork in various mediums.

* Placing their own mark in universities and colleges across North America and Europe is Montreal-based Cinema Politica, a film series focused on bringing world issues and global problems to campuses. Volunteering opportunities are plenty and their screenings are always free and are held each week in the Hall building at 7 p.m.

* Each year faculty members, staff, and students (Music majors and non-Music majors alike) bring their singing voices together for the University Choir — also known as MPER 231A in the Undergraduate Calendar. Yes, you are reading this correctly, this is for university credit. Auditions are held on the first day of class, and a year of rehearsals culminates in a solid ensemble ready for concert performances.

* In case you are interested in participating in something bigger, Art Matters is Concordia’s annual student-run festival that celebrates the university’s diverse art forms. Running for over a decade, the festival relies on volunteers to set up exhibitions, run screenings, and organize concerts and workshops — all created exclusively by Concordia students. For information on how to get involved or submission criteria visit


Explore the city’s best art this summer

Image via Wikipedia

Musée d’art Contemporain

The Musée d’art contemporain is actually Montreal’s ideal summer venue for a variety of reasons. Truth be told, we all know that our idea of our summer outings does not include being cooped up indoors. To remedy this instinctive need for vitamin D that spreads amongst Montrealers the second that our temperature hits 10 degrees, the museum is located in the ideal district for downtown strollers. In the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, right next to the venue for major summer events like the Jazz Festival, the MAC becomes an ideal solution for Montreal’s temperamental heat waves.

It also offers a variety of late night conferences or workshops, which make it the place to be before hitting a bar or a restaurant with friends. Often filled with controversial artistic material that will render dinner conversation all the more interesting, the MAC is definitely a great stop to hit up with company. The museum’s current exhibition, Laurent Grasso: Uraniborg, which runs till the end of April, is a sculptural installation for the most part, playing on interactivity in the arts as one of its key concepts.

The MAC is located at 185 Ste-Catherine St. W. Open Tuesday to Sunday. Admission is $8 for students.

-Ariana Trigueros-Corbo

The Canadian Centre for Architecture

A lot of people go to the CCA for the comprehensive research archives, educational seminars, and world-class exhibits; I like to go in the summer because it’s air conditioned and allows me to surround myself with beautiful model buildings. Founded in 1979, the CCA houses continually changing collections of plans, photographs and other architectural artifacts, dating all the way back to the renaissance.

The Canadian Centre for Architecture. Image via Flickr

You don’t have to be an expert in the field. The masterfully curated galleries feature notes that a layman can understand. Additionally, the integration of other disciples such as design history, sociology as well as community development makes for an engaging experience. If by the end of the tour your curiosity is piqued by the collections, head over to the fantastic bookstore that holds literature to meet all your architectural needs.

The CCA building itself is a Montreal landmark. Designed by Montrealer Peter Rose, the aesthetically modern grey limestone structure is a sight to behold behind its vast green lawn if you stand on the south side of René-Lévesque Blvd. Turn your head to the other side of the street and you can see and enter an open air museum: a public urban garden of sculptural heaven.

The Canadian Centre for Architecture is located at 1920 Baile St. Free admission for students. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m..

-Roa Abdel-Gawad

George-Étienne Cartier Monument

Canadian summer is the shortest time of year, so it’s important to soak up every minute of the precious sun and warmth. My favourite place to do that and enjoy art at the same time is under the watchful, beautifully sculpted figures of the George-Étienne Cartier monument in blissful Mount Royal Park. The statue itself provides shade and places to sit but you can also sit on the grassy knolls that surround it. It’s free and it’s beautiful and it’s also a huge part of the Montreal scenery. Unfortunately it’s right next to a busy road, but that also means its easy to get to.

The monument is located at the corner of Parc St. and Rachel St.

-Amanda L. Shore

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