Red Bull Music Academy has traveled the world for nearly two decades, bringing a jam-packed program of events, exhibitions, workshops, talks and studio sessions wherever it goes. This weekend, the 18th edition of the Academy takes flight in Montréal. From September 24 to October 28, 70 aspiring music-makers from 38 countries come together in custom-designed spaces at Phi Centre, an acclaimed contemporary art hub in Old Montréal, to trade ideas on every facet of music making and learn alongside musical luminaries.
At the same time, Red Bull Music Academy will present a five-week festival of concerts, club nights and public talks exploring local musical heritage and shining a light on the modern musical landscape. Montréal has been at the epicenter of Canadian artistic experimentation for decades, which makes the city an ideal fit for the Red Bull Music Academy. With its multilingual makeup and multicultural vitality, Montréal supports a booming art scene that has nourished creativity of all shapes and sizes – from thriving metal and experimental music scenes to leading edge contributions in video game design and animation.
Highlights from this year’s wide-ranging events program include the world premiere of an eruptive collaboration between two Polaris Music Prize winners: experimental Toronto hardcore punk outfit Fucked Up and Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq and the debut Montréal edition of Drone Activity in Progress, Red Bull Music Academy’s signature touring format for all things dark – from metal to experimental, noise and drone music.
This year’s Academy also sees Red Bull Music Academy joining forces with local events partners such as Piknic Électronik, Montréal’s prime outdoor destination for electronic music in the summertime, which will host a Red Bull Music Academy Special on its closing weekend, headlined by esteemed Detroit selector Theo Parrish. Find the complete program here. The Academy’s editorial platforms will also be firing on all cylinders. Every day, thoughtfully researched articles and in-depth interviews, original short films and special digital projects will deliver insider access to what’s going on inside the Academy, create context around nightly events and offer fresh perspectives on creative scenes across Canada.
With its new animated series The Junction, Red Bull Music Academy pays tribute to Canada’s rich history of animation and the current explosion of talented young creators in Montréal. Six short films tell the funny and often unexpected stories of Canada-based artists, how they met and the music they created together, from Grammy winner and piano maestro Chilly Gonzales and rock provocateur Peaches’ first meeting to Polaris Music Prize winner Kaytranada and 2016 Academy participant River Tiber, Jessy Lanza and Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys, Fool’s Gold founders A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, Turbo Crunk trio Lunice, Ango and 247esp and Toronto four-piece BadBadNotGood with Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands.
Throughout the Academy, Red Bull Music Academy’s online hub for premium, long-form journalism RBMA Daily will uncover essential stories from Montréal’s past, present and future. Special attention will be paid to little-known stories of early Canadian electronic music and to spotlighting rising local scenes, including Montréal’s community of Haitian beatmakers. The Daily has also partnered with design crew Animagraffs to create interactive 3D models of a modular synthesizer and record player, breaking down just how this essential gear works. Broadcasting live from a custom-built studio at Phi Centre, RBMA Radio will provide inside access to the Academy experience and conduct an in-depth survey of Montréal’s diverse music scenes.
Tune in every weekday at 10AM and 3PM EDT for a diverse program featuring the best of Montréal: local scenes, Academy participant conversations and special guests. At night, select Red Bull Music Academy concerts and club nights will be livestreamed. Be sure to also check out Northern Lights, RBMA Radio’s road trip north. With all episodes available on-demand, the new show covers everything from Canadian punk to the unique habitat of live electronic music that is MUTEK festival. For all event livestreams from Montreal, head here. As always, photos from inside the Red Bull Music Academy and every event will be made available for media use a daily basis via the Red Bull Content Pool.