The Montréal Contemporary Music Lab (MCML) is a 12-day performance and creation workshop exploring, celebrating, and creating bonds between performers, composers, sound artists, improvisers and mixed/multi media artists engaged in the act of creating new music. Formed in 2011 by seven emerging musicians, we are a collective run entirely by and for young artists in Montréal.
In addition to the main thoroughfare of rehearsing and producing new music, participants will take part in workshops, lectures, masterclasses, concerts, social outings, collective meals, and spontaneous events. Our invited guest artists are present throughout the lab, presenting workshops, providing coachings during rehearsal and studio times, attending concerts and exhibitions, and providing feedback during our many open forums for discussion. The event concludes in a concert showcasing the collaborative efforts of everyone involved.
MCML is a workshop for emerging musicians with an open mind. It is not a competition, nor is it a festival. For some, it is a first foray into contemporary music making; while for others, it is a chance to meet new people and forge connections with others in the community. The Lab is a supportive environment in which to experiment, learn, and most importantly, collaborate in music making.
The MCML’s mandate is twofold: to foster healthy relationships and build bridges between young student and/or emerging composers and performers by putting them in close collaborative relationships, encouraging dialogue, creation, and experimentation; and to provide these emerging artists with valuable professional development experiences in the form of open rehearsals, workshops, and public performance opportunities.
We aim to foster a sense of shared authorship and mutual creative respect between composers and performers. We believe that embracing stylistic or idealistic incongruities can lead to the development of new vocabularies, working methods and approaches to music making.
Our lab is a place to get out of your comfort zone! We encourage participants to boldly go places in their artistic practice that they have never gone before.
We celebrate differences in values and artistic approaches, and we do not value one aesthetic over another. We create a space where artists feel free to share their unique practice.
We aim to connect artists of various disciplines from within and outside of Montréal, creating lasting friendships and future partnerships.
We are an inclusive organisation and welcome everyone, regardless of their academic experience, cultural or ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, and disability.
We believe that money should not be a barrier to participation in our event. We aim to keep our participant fee low, provide meals during the event and facilitate opportunities for participants living in Montréal to host visiting participants.
We live and work in a community of both Francophones and Anglophones. Therefore, our event is bilingual and participants are always free to communicate in either French or English.
The Montreal Contemporary Music Lab acknowledges that we are on the traditional unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka. The Kanien’kehá:ka are the keepers of the Eastern Door of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The island called “Montreal” is known as Tiohtià:ke in the language of the Kanien’kehá:ka, and it has historically been a meeting place for other Indigenous nations, including the Algonquin peoples.
It is important to consider the history of state policy that, among other things, criminalized Indigenous cultural expression, and sought to eradicate Indigenous languages and communities. These forms of racism and paternalism also shaped wider cultural policy, privileging and resourcing certain traditions over others—we are keenly aware of this within music-making.
For us, there is not one music, there is not one way to make music, there is not one way to share music.
As we acknowledge the Indigenous communities that have lived here for thousands of years, and their generosity in letting us stay here as uninvited guests, let us consider how we can be generous to one another during MCML. Let's work together to create a respectful and welcoming space.
Adapted from the Toronto Creative Music Lab
Tiohtià:ke (Jo-JOG-Ay) and Kanien’kehá:ka (Gawn-yay-gaw-HAH-gaw) and the Salon du Livre Anarchiste de Montréal.