2009 montreal jazz festival – day two (afternoon)

It’s not only about music at the 30th annual Montreal Jazz Festival, just mostly. In this afternoon’s feature at the Cinémathèque québécoise, it was about music matched with some of the classics of American animation from the silent film era: Felix the Cat, the Katzenjammer Kids, Mutt & Jeff, and others.

The music was performed live and spontaneously by avant-garde vanguards Jean Derome and Bernard Falaise on instruments like ocarinas (of every size and composition: clay, wood, plastic), whistles, bells, shakers, and “prepared” instruments like Dermone’s valved trumpet, outfitted with a bari sax mouthpiece. Derome called the result “a cheap bass clarinet”.

Looking over their instrument tables after the show confirmed everything I believe about music: it doesn’t take anything fancy to make it, a little creativity and imagination will get you much of the way there. No formal education and training can take the place of that.

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