Wednesday was night # 4 of the Substrat musical series, season 2, at SAT in Montreal. The series is dedicated to 360° spectral sound using, while plunge in the dark, SATosphere’s 157 Speakers. What happened to 158th is still unexplained…

This time master mind programmer Mourad Bennacer cooked us a meditative double bill of the infinitely small scale (part 1) versus the infinite large scale (Part 2).

First Ana Dall’Ara-Majek‘s Nano-Cosmos offerings were performed as two electronic pieces, Ahketa’s Blues and Xylocopa Ransbecka, made of sounds taken into the immersive lives of insects. The insects becoming an avant-garde orchestra reminded me of NZ composer Graem Revell, prior to his Hollywood soundtrack scoring career, with his album The Insects musicians (1985). As experimental as it was, it appealed to the surprising high number of young kids in the audience, curious and stimulated. Some crackling sounds were even a bit on the dark side. I’m still scratching myself like the first time I saw the cockroach sequence in Damnation Alley (1978). And it was just the sound… Murphy’s law: I had to sit right in front of the speaker where the creepiest bug was. Bring the easy off!

Following, was Martin Rodriguez improvisation of live radio waves-made extravaganza, creating a musical landscape of resonance and noise bits. Again in that second set I was thinking of some personal references, of UK’S own Scanner (Robin Rimbaud), as rhythms, harmonies and melodies found their way unto the rifts of the radio wavelengths, slowly creating a beautiful and relevant musical whole with engaging use of the Dome’s resonance.

The pairing of both artists to the opposite range of the spectrum was definitely an appealing and inspired idea for this Substrat #4. Bring some more, Mr Bennacer, the kids can take it!