Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) presents

A Symphonic Experience: From The Firebird to the Bell Orchestre

Bell Orchestre, an ensemble of six musicians at the cutting edge of classical and electronic, are joined by the OSM in presenting their new project, House Music, a continuous ten movement suite that explores immersive textures, colours, and sounds. Owen Pallett’s arrangement for symphony orchestra is directed by German conductor André de Ridder, who opens the concert with Stravinsky’s dazzling Firebird Suite.

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

André de Ridder, conductor

Bell Orchestre

Bell Orchestre is a collaborative instrumental group based in Montreal. Its six members come from wildly divergent musical backgrounds, and the unlikely chemistry that results from their collaboration is the very thing that sustains their connection. It’s as if the group as a whole has tapped into a very particular, very distinct energy: like that of an approaching storm. In many ways, Bell Orchestre is the sum of not only its parts, but the sum of its influences and inspirations.

Bell Orchestre has been known to retreat into the woods to make and write music: from a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, to the forests of Quebec and Vermont, and back to their hometown of Montreal. The specifics of time and place, the elemental forces at work outside, and those forces that exist inside, all come into play within Bell Orchestre’s musical process. This particular music could be made by no one else at no other time in history.

The experience of listening to Bell Orchestre, whether live or recorded, is almost that of experiencing a form of synaesthesia: the result is a collage-like construction of not just sound, but visual elements as well.

The band signed to UK avant-garde label Erased Tapes in late 2020, followed by the announcement of their first full-length album in over a decade: House Music. House Music unfolds as one long piece, a recorded-then-sculpted improvisation that vastly expands their work, coalescing classical and electronic instrumentation in the creation of genre-defying musical worlds. In the album’s liner notes, the group recalls countless moments when, in kinetic moments of improvisation, “a nuanced piece of music would emerge organically, completely formed, without any plan or discussion or rational thought” — and then be lost because it wasn’t recorded. In conceiving a new album, they decided to celebrate the spontaneous and accidental, to centrally situate the act of collaborative, democratic creation in their finished work.

Pietro Amato, French horn, keyboards, electronics
Michael Feuerstack, Pedal steel guitar, keyboards, vocals
Kaveh Nabatian, Trumpet, gongoma, keyboards, vocals
Sarah Neufeld, Violin, vocals, member of Arcade Fire
Richard Reed Parry, Bass, vocals, member of Arcade Fire
Stefan Schneider, Drums

Stravinsky, The Firebird, Suite (1919, 23 min)
Bell Orchestre, House Music Album (arr. for orchestra by O. Pallett, 45 min)

Thursday, November 25, 2021 at 7:30pm
To purchase your tickets visit: www.osm.ca