July 29, 2009

Outremont/Mile-End

I'm moving. Away from my beloved Pointe St. Charles (the beauty of this area is heartbreaking sometimes. It slows me in my walk).

On September 1st I'm moving to an area on the border of the neighbourhoods Outremont and Mile-End. I'll be living where the city's young artists congregate. Among many other things, I'll be around the corner from most of the best music venues in town, the famous Hotel2Tango studio, and down the road from the art collective Lab.Synthese -a communal studio space which has felt like a setting in Antonioni's Blow-Up whenever I've gone there in the past.

A friend of mine asked me last year, "Have you been to Lab.synthese?"

I said, "Yes."

He laughed. "Oh man. That place." One time when I was there they showed a four minute short film animation obviously made on microsoft paint by altering porn photos to make the mouths speak. When the film was over they turned on a Dolly Parton vinyl. You can smoke inside.

Welcome to Montreal, Anglo.
The political complexity of Montreal remains intimidating. I realize I don't belong. Until I learn French I'm only just a long-term visitor. Though people are generally very friendly to me. A quick je ne parle pas francais, desole and a look of humility usually smooths everything over.

My new street in Outremont/Mile-End is in the center of one of the world's few large Hasidic Jewish populations. From my balcony I see all these black, beautiful, stark clothes. On Sunday as I walked over to the place there were literally dozens of children on the street playing outside in groups. That's community. The men in their long jackets make a much older world seem closer-at-hand than I'd ever thought.

I really feel like a hick sometimes.

Also,

Most importantly and under-statedly,

I'm moving in with a lovely woman. Leah. Who doesn't visit this site often, so she remains a mystery to those of you not living in Montreal.Love, it turns out, is all it's made out to be. I'm like a teenage boy.

I think this is one of those 'important times.' I've been listening to Johnny Cash and Fiona Apple's version of 'Father and Son' again.

I've been working on music again. It's been off and on since coming out of a year of musical hiatus. The new stuff is bigger, bolder, and better than anything I've ever done before. The guitar is mostly absent. Certainly the acoustic guitar. It won't be singer/songwriter music; I can tell you that. That'll come again, but not right now.

I have no idea how long it'll be before these songs will see the light of day. Maybe a year; hopefully less. The working title for the new album is OrderoRderorDerordErordeR.

5 comments:

forrest said...

More to come, but:

Congratulations, living together is awesome.

Congratulations, neighbouroods are awesome.

Microsoft Paint is (still) awesome.

and also, I am relieved to hear that you are doing music again. These last three days at a REAL office job, I feel like art is more important than ever. ever. ever. ever. I listened to your old old stuff before I went in this morning and needed what it gave me. I assume you are doing something different these years later, and I will be an eager listener.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

You have a real office job?

Wow.

Thanks.

forrest said...

hm...Urbanphoto. I was once a daily visitor to that blog. and yes, real office job. I have my own computer, phone, desk, usb stick....i learned how to fax and print things....i wheeled a lap top/data projector trolly around...

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

The things we do for money...

forrest said...

Oh, God.