PHI FOUNDATION LISTENING SESSIONS by MÉLISSA SIMARD AND LAURIE PAQUET

The authors, Laurie Paquet and Mélissa Simard from the Taste of Music / Le goût de la musique, a new show on CKUT,  are covering the PHI Foundation’s Listening Sessions on February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and March 7, where two Montreal albums are played from beginning to end each week. The Taste of Music explores the intersection of food and music and is a mix of interviews and the playlists of people that have a foot in both the food and music worlds. 

The exhibit JOUEZ/PLAY on until March 10th at the PHI Foundation, is a solo exhibition of Rirkrit Tiravanija curated by Melissa Karman Lee, invites visitors to engage with the exhibit, instead of looking at static objects. At its centre is a rehearsal studio that is like a large-scale wooden box that Montreal musicians can book to jam or there are times they can simply show up and play in, complete with instruments. This was inspired by an Avenue A jam-space in New York that was used by Tiravanija and his collaborators. 

Rirkrit Tiravanija, is a world-class international artist, born in Buenos Aires, raised in Thailand, Ethiopia and Canada. Curation, creation of objects and private and public performance, Tiravanija is a recipient of numerous awards. He has also brought in elements of cooking: curry, flame, oil and spattering are interesting to him and their contextual references. He does collective cooking and food-sharing activities as well. Tiravanija is a faculty member at Columbia University and is a founding member and curator of Utopia Station, a collective project of artists, art historians, and curators. Tiravanija is also co-founder of an educational-ecological project known as the Land Foundation, located in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The PHI Foundation, which has a mandate to make art accessible and to create learning and play around art has a room untitled 2017 (skip the bruising…),  with a bar and games that invites Montrealers to play in. On February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and March 7 the space becomes filled with the music of obscure, yet iconic Montreal albums and calls Montrealers there to listen. These listening sessions are curated by Patti Schmidt, Marilou Lyonnais Archambault and Marie-Douce St-Jacques who have worked with music throughout their careers. You can find their bios here. We will explore their stories and thoughts behind their selection more during our series of episodes on the Listening Sessions for the Taste of Music. 

We attended the launch, and for those of us from the analog age, who actually listened to music in booths at the record store or at the Phonotèque and listened to albums from cover to cover, this was deeply nostalgic. Listening parties are a trend that has taken off in New York, Tokyo, and Paris, but are relatively sparse in Montreal. There was something cozy in the dimly lit room and it channeled Montreal’s unique music scene and underground parties. he record player front and centre on a podium at the front, elevated the music as the main event. This also reminded us of being kids and sitting down next to the record player and listening while looking at an album cover. The bar decor was devoid of screens, but also of food. In a way, the music was the meal, instead of being an ambient background accessory to a meal. This gave us a lot to think about… and to taste… we listened to and devoured the playlist over several days that you can find on Spotify . The playlist is broader than the nine selected albums. 

Rirkrit Tiravanija talks about play inviting us beyond doubt, worry and shyness. Food and eating also invites us beyond those inhibitions, often to connection, sustenance and to pleasure. A listening session invites us to listen, experience and sometimes remember and often experience the music in an interior landscape. Less social than eating or jamming, a listening session invites us to our personal experience of the music. There is also a bit of digestion where sometimes you really remember how delicious a dish was, in this case the music you hear sticks with you and might come back to you even after leaving for several days. You are also entering the realm of albums that are deeply personal to those who have chosen them. Each session, you can hear two full albums. 

The Taste of Music / Le goût de la musique will use the playlist and albums chosen by the three curators: Patti, Marilou, and Marie-Douce to immortalize these sessions and make them available to listen to again. We want to explore the thought and lived experiences behind choosing these albums and being the curator of a listening session. They will be a mix of interviews as well as the chance to hear the albums and the playlist they put together. The episodes will be put up in this post as they are released. We are hoping to make a Rirkrit Tiravanija episode as a grande finale! 

The listening sessions are on February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and March 7 at the 
Phi Foundation at 451 & 465 Saint-Jean Street, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2R5. 
They are from 5-8pm and free of charge. 

You may also contact them about the music rehearsal space in the exhibit 
514 849-3742
1 888 934-2278
info.foundation@phi.ca

Education
514 866-6767 ext. 4219
education.foundation@phi.ca

For more information on the listening sessions, you can click here