The Ecology of Experimental
Music Performance in Canada
The Ecology of Experimental
Music Performance in Canada

Martin Tétreault, Minibloc,
and Andrew Lile

Ace Art Gallery, April 12, 2007
Send and Receive, Winnipeg

Established in 1998, Send and Receive “investigates the disciplines of experimental music and sound art” ( and uses a variety of venues in which to present their curated events.  The concert documented on this video took place at Ace Art Gallery in Winnipeg. Minibloc, a young electronic music duo from Montreal, performed along with two titans of the genre, Martin Tétreault (Montreal) and Andrew Lile (UK) in an evening curated by Eric Mattson (Montreal, founder of ORAL Records). The audience was partially seated and partially mobile, and were invited to experience the performances up-close and personal. The following excerpts from my field notes describe some of the elements of electronic music performance practice and reception that I witnessed at Send and Receive. 

Field Notes April 13, 2007 (excerpt)
By Ellen Waterman

The concert that I documented last night was curated by Eric Mattson, as a "sound curator" from Montreal, who became very much a performative element in these performances throughout the festival leading up to his own event. He made several announcements and was somebody who, when he sat and listened to music, was much more physically engaged in the listening than anyone else I could see around me: swaying and bobbing with extreme kinds of physical responses, leaning over in his chair, and swaying his head back and forth in a kind of trance.

…The show was advertised to start at 8:00, and there was almost no one there at 8:00. In truth, it started at 9:15. The audience seemed to somehow know that this was the right time for a show to start because it built: from around 8:15 up until about 9:00, the people were arriving for the show. There were several people documenting the show last night, including…a woman who had been hired by Eric Mattson to document the events of last night specifically for his archive. I was allowed to videotape Minibloc and also a late night (very late night: about 1:00 a.m.) jam: a short improvisation of about seven minutes amongst all the performers of that evening including Martin Tétreault, and also Andrew Lile, who was the headlining artist from the UK for the evening.

…Most of the audience was between 20 and 30: not super-young kids, and not middle-aged or older audience members. I would say that it was overwhelmingly Caucasian, and that the mix between men and women--there might be more men, but not overwhelmingly so: maybe 60 per cent men and 40 per cent women. One of the producers of the festival, Ted Turner, told me that there are people he sees for Send and Receive every year that he doesn't know; they're not members of the artistic community in Winnipeg that he would normally encounter, but he sees them every year at the festival.