One of the things on my agenda during my recent trip to Canada was to visit Montreal and scout it as a place for a potential future Kitty and Cadaver story. Montreal has a great tradition of music and performance, and several places and ideas came together to make a future story viable. I have notes and the start of a future book set there.
There are a lot of musical moments to choose from in Montreal – and I intend to incorporate as many of them as possible when the time comes.
For example, one night we were going to Les Foufounes Electriques, we stumbled across a festival for emerging music, so we stopped to listen to the DJ and dance for a bit.
We went on after that to Les FouFounes as planned (its name means ‘electric buttocks’). No live music that night, but I listened to the DJs and reflected how it reminded me of a place called The Atomic Cafe I used to frequent in Perth in the 80s.
On the Sunday, we went to two great regular Montreal events: the Tam Tams and the Piknic Electronik. The Tam Tams are a drum circle that sprang up spontaneously at the base of Mont Royal park in the late 70s. A drumming circle will be right up Yuka’s alley.
The Piknic is a summer music festival that has weekly sessions on St Helen’s Island, underneath a giant, spindly sculpture that looks like an alien insect to me. Plenty of potential in both that and the festival, which encourages people of all ages to come and dance.
One thing I loved about Montreal was its summer arts idea of putting pianos in random places around the city. I came across this gentleman playing and asked if I could film him. He gave me permission and after a while, started to sing. It was just lovely.
Montreal also has an underground city, where people can still shop and get around during the snowy winter months as well as reaching the subway trains. One intersection turned out to be a perfect little echo chamber. I sang a little of a song I wrote a while back called This Ghost.(15 second MP3 file)
The corridors near the train stations also have these signs showing the designated spots for buskers.
I’m not sure yet how all of these elements will come together for a Kitty story set in Montreal, but they are all percolating away.
But first, I need to finish Not the Zombie Apocalypse, and the second planned story (tentatively about the London underground and maybe ghosts).