Collectif9 finds the groove
December 4, 2015, 12:00 am
Collectif9 puts a different spin on making classical music.
The montreal-based group isn't shy about plugging in, playing unorthodox venues, running strobe lights and using the occasional fog machine to add a little more atmosphere to live dates.
"There's many, many ways, amazing ways, to present classical music," said cellist andrea stewart in a recent phone interview while on the road to st-Camille, Que. "i think we're living in a time where people are continually finding more variety of ways to present classical music. For us, what we found most special, was we really didn't want to lose the raw energy that we provide in our performance."
Collectif9 plays The machine shop on Friday at 7:30 p.m. as part of algoma Conservatory's concert series. For a group that's played concert halls, cabaret halls, underground artist collectives and bars, the sault ste. marie stop offers Collectif9 its first former industrial space presentation. The machine shop is on the grounds of the former st. marys Paper site.
stewart and company aren't shy about giving a nod to their rock influences, such as aC/dC, metallica, Nirvana and smashing Pumpkins, from their teen years. she contends many classical players are "at heart, are or want to be, rock stars."
"We want to have that feeling, that rock star feeling, when we're presenting a concert, or performance, and we want other people to feel what we feel," said stewart. "The music, it grooves. There is a rock star quality to the music. We want to make sure that people aren't missing that."
Collectif9 advanced to the semifinals of a battle of the band competition in montreal shortly after forming. The group was the only classical entry.
"a lot of times we're worried that we get stuck in our classical world and that no one else really likes the music," said stewart. "but we find when we just give people the opportunity to listen to (our music) in a place that they're comfortable the people that are playing death metal, they love classical music. They find the beat and the groove and the rock star qualities in that music."
Friday's show includes volksmobiles, a new work specifically written for Collectif9 by Canadian composer Geof Holbrook. The work's third movement includes performances that stewart doubts audiences have heard before.
"We play in a way that we don't play normally," she said.
Collectif9 plans to release its first Cd, featuring works by brahms, Wagner, bartok and Gagnon, in early 2016. Concertgoers can order the album at Friday's show for $15, shipping and tax included.
Collectif9's roster also includes roland arnassalon (violin), Thibault bertin-maghit (bass), scott Chancey (viola), Jeremie Cloutier (cello), yubin Kim (cello), Xavier lepage-brault (viola), Frederic moisan (violin) and Gregor monlun (violin). stewart is the group's lone female member.
"The only time we notice it is when we're talking about what to wear -then it's different," she said. "This is the way it worked out at the beginning and gender isn't really an issue for us."
Tickets, $30 adults and $15 students, are on sale at Community Theatre box office at station mall or online at www.kctc.ca