Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie make music for far off lands. So far you can’t find them on any map. They come originally from western Canada (though Honda was raised in Osaka before moving to Vancouver) and they now have apartments and perform in Montreal, but all these places and names don’t describe where they live. The best description of where they live is in their music, and in the landscapes of their other artwork. Yes, they have actually created these worlds in which their songs are born, and travel, and softly die out, generation after another.
Emi Honda is a prominent assemblage artist; she, with the help of McKenzie and others, creates elaborate growing installations (from plants, plastics, metals, earth, and electronics) that literally live and breathe. In these, you see our own world, you see a new world, and you can hear the sounds of life within (they are equipped with speakers). These places, empty of people and roaming creatures, are where Elfin Saddle’s songs are left wandering, to explore and survive in this strange terrain.
I feel enthralled in these songs, they evoke a kind of “out-on-the-range” western feel of a pioneer in a harsh land, mixed with a kind of Dungeons & Dragons-style puzzle-solving inner monologue:
The sun rises pink and your nine-legged steer ambles slowly, rocking you back and forth as you edge up the hillside of a flower petal. You stop at high noon, the sun now fully blue peeking from behind a cloud of crinoline, for water from the stalk of a cellphone antenna and you need the password to get it clean. High in the distance twinkles a christmas-light castle, your destination, and hopefully there will be enough dandelion spores and orchid sap to get you there.
Casa Del Popolo
4873 Boul St.-Laurent Montreal, QC H2T 1R6
Saturday, December 1st
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about new music in cities.