Archive for March, 2018

Spring miniTour 2018: Day 4

March 26, 2018

I’m up at 7am, coffee with Ballentine who is off to work. Bal leaves, Zal appears, starts working on breakfast, eventually Al and Dei appear. Al and Zal talk business and politics, Dei and I break out our computers. Once online I’m able to check in with Mary Ann.

Spend an hour or more answering email and updating my blog. Shortly before noon we head out for brunch with Zal, Bal and Safina at Pressed as in, sandwiches.

Bal & Daisy



Bal & Safina

After brunch we say goodbye, hop on 417E back to Montreal. We creep along Rte 40E to boul Saint-Laurent. Time to walk around, for dinner at Aux Vivre, and a beer at Dieu Du Ciel before a show at La Sala Rossa, two esses, with –

Sound of the Mountain:
Elizabeth Millar – clarinet, objects, mics
Craig Pedersen – trumpet, mics, lights
Anoush Moazzeni – prepared piano, robotic devices

La Sala Rossa

Anoush’s piano

A very, very good show, great sound, nice venue. We stayed after the show and talked with Anoush, Craig and Elizabeth, then dropped Dei at Alex’s and headed over to Emilie’s. Talked with Em until 1:30am before calling it a day (a good day).

Painting #3302

March 26, 2018

painting #3302

Spring minTour 2018: Day 3

March 25, 2018

Up late, we roust Em then walk to La Belle Place where we meet Alex & Dei.

Back to Em’s, we pack up, off to Ottawa, Rte 40 across town stop & go, eventually we’re clear of the city. 417N to Ottawa. We arrive in time for dinner. park at the venue, ??? street is coffee houses end to end. Dei spots a pub, beer, local, and oysters from Nova Scotia. Back to the venue, a large garage behind the house at 5 Fairmont St, home of IMOO [Improvising Musicians Of Ottawa].


Em’s stair

Dei orders oysters

Ballentine, Safina and Paul are already there. We load in, tonight’s lineup –

8:00pm – Accordion Conspiracy
9:00pm – DeiX
9:30pm – Elka Bong

Safina has invited 4 friends, they’re all sitting together in the last row. Maybe thirty people in the audience. Accordion Conspiracy play first, eclectic. A short intermission, we set up. Dei is in story-telling mode. Smaller space, smaller crowd, a broader dynamic range, and a big white wall for video. Elka Bong plays a good set.

Safina & friends

Bal’s house

We hang out for a bit, load out and follow Ballentine home, we turn in, it’s 11pm.

Painting #3301

March 25, 2018

painting #3301

Spring miniTour 2018: Day 2

March 24, 2018

We hit the road at 10am, Lowell to Montreal, Rte3 to Manchester NH to pick up Deidre. I93 to I89 to Burlington VT where we stop for lunch. From Burlington to the Canadian border where we stop for Customs & Immigration.

Marc Bisson

DeiX packing up

Welcome to VT

DeiX at Junior’s, Burlington VT

They wave us in, questions for Dei about trying to bring a taser into Canada. Cleared, up Rte 133 to 10 and across the Champlain Bridge. We miss the turnoff to downtown, detour back through the downtown, past McGill U, up Avenue du Parc, over to St Laurent, and we arrive at Brasserie Beaubien early.

Alex and Matt arrive at 6:30pm followed by a trickle of musicians, in total 20+ will be playing with Ensemble Habitant. We set up for a rehearsal. Dinner break, tonight’s lineup is –

  9:00pm – Ensemble Habitant
    recorder score by Matt Robidoux
  9:30pm – Michel Meunier – solo electronics, plumbing
10:30pm – DeiX – pocket opera
10:00pm – Ensemble Habitant
    “Ear Score”, Hildegard Westerkamp led by Eric Lewis
    a graphic score by Matt Robidoux
11:00pm – Elka Bong – noise & video

Brasserie Beaubien, Montreal QC

David Dugas Dion

The flute/recorder score is performed on the sidewalk outside the venue. We play either B or F, two ‘continuous’ tones. It’s cold, after 15min we single-file indoors, still playing, lining up the length of the venue, and end. Next up Michel Meunier, Dei, the Ensemble encore and, finally, Elka Bong. Great venue, dive bar ‘surrealiste’.

Michel Meunier

Dei Xhrist


Michel and Dei complemented each other. The sound engineer did a great job with Dei. The ensemble was very, very good, playing well and ending ‘on a dime’. Elka Bong wrapped it up!

We hang out for a bit, load out, drop Dei at Alex’s, stop for pizza at 1:00am, Al & I crash at Emilie’s.

Painting #3300

March 24, 2018

painting #3300

Spring miniTour 2018: Day 1

March 23, 2018

An early Spring miniTour

ELKA BONG: [Chester NY, Lowell MA]
Al Margolis – clarinet, violin, objects, contact mics
Walter Wright – AVSynth
Dei Xhrist – voice, electronics
Alex Pelchat, Matt Robidoux and many, many more!

9am pick the rent-a-car, drive to pick up Al. I make it all the way to Chester NY before my phone’s mapping app fails, “can’t find a route to your destination from here.” Circling briefly until I recognize a couple of landmarks, I make it Al’s house. Lunch with Al and Deb, then back in the car.. Unfortunately it’s Friday, traffic sucks on I84. Takes almost twice as long to get back to Lowell, we arrive home at 7pm, show at OK House at 8pm, luckily only a couple of block away.

We arrive at the venue in plenty of time, load in. Deidre is already there, set up, ready to go. House residents and ex students Alexandra, Vicky, Steph, Liv, Rachel and Justin are gathered in the kitchen. A nice venue, sort of a livingroom/large den at the back of the house. High ceiling, couches, plenty of space, a good crowd.

Dei Xhrist

Alexandra Derderian

Vicky Belakhov

The room

The room

The lineup is –

  8:30pm – DeiX
  9:00pm – Wild Painting
  9:30pm – Tiki Drinks
10:00pm – Daisybones
10:30pm – Elka Bong


Everything goes according to plan, more people arrive as the evening goes on, we have a full house for our set! It was a good set, unfortunately no recording. We hang out for a bit, load out, and are home by midnight.

Painting #3299

March 23, 2018

painting #3299

Painting #3298

March 22, 2018

painting #3298

Painting #3297

March 21, 2018

painting #3297