Twelve guitars, two basses, a blend of contemporary and historical themes, topped off by a sampling of Native American food. It’s a fitting evening to preview the Montreal First Peoples’ Festival, which kicks off tonight, August 1, with a benefit concert to raise funds for those who have traveled from remote communities to participate in the festival that officially starts on August 2.
Under the theme “in praise of Amerindian Resistance,” the ensemble Forestare will present the Canadian premiere of Arauco por Fuerte, Principal y Poderosa, by Chilean composer Javier Farías, a work in eight movements for guitars and double bass that was inspired by an epic poem by Alonso de Ercilla (1533–1594), a tribute to the Mapuche people’s resistance during the Conquest. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show at the Auditorium of the Grande Bibliothèque are $50 and $100 and will help defray expenses for artists who have traveled far, with few resources.
This will be followed by a selection of works that Atikamekw composer Pascal Koukouchi Sasseville has composed specifically for Forestare. A Path to the Wood, by Raphael Reed, will round out the musical portion of the evening, the festival organizers say. Concertgoers will then be invited to dine on Native American food whipped up by Veronique Thusky.
More festival info, with links to the site is here.
And see this video (in French) about Forestare for a musical sampling.