Montréal, August 25, 2011 Marking 150 years of public transportation in Montréal, and in cooperation with Quartier latin and the OUMF Festival, the STM presents a concert featuring the men and women who liven up your daily commutes with their music, our métro musicians.
Caught up in their daily routine, people are usually in a hurry, sometimes barely hearing the musicians… This time, they have an opportunity to enjoy the moment and the music… and it’s free! Station Métro takes place Thursday, September 8, at 6:30 p.m., at Berri-UQAM station (outdoors, in front of the Saint-Denis St. exit).
Come hear some great musicians, as well as comedian Jean-François Leclaire, who has a few words to say about Montréal’s métro stations. Complete programming details are available at www.150stm.info.
For a preview of the concert, go to Berri-UQAM station on August 31 and September 7, or to Place-des-Arts station on September 2. Each show takes place from 4 to 4:30 p.m. and features six groups:
Inspired by country music and French musical styles, this guitar trio will get your toes tapping.
Mélanie Charrier performs soulful songs taken from her vast musical repertoire.
Les 24 Cordes originales
Discover celtic music thanks to this surprising guitar duo.
Cellist Philippe Mius d’Entremont
A pioneer among métro musicians.
Trad and Blues
A duo inspired by the blues and Gypsy styles.
From the Beatles to the Colocs ! Recently arrived in Montreal, Daniel Lalonde showcases his various musical styles, accompanied by his son.
THE STORY BEHIND THE MÉTRO’S MUSICIANS
In December 1969, the Montreal Transportation Commission, or MTC, uses the loudspeakers in Berri-De Montigny station to broadcast music over the holidays. The public’s response is so positive that in early April 1970, the métro’s public address system is modified to broadcast music inside the network’s 26 stations. An article in the May 1970 issue of the company newsletter Promenade declares that music in the métro is an achievement that makes public transit even more attractive, one that brings beauty and necessity together, in harmony.
In the early 1980s, a few young buskers venture into the métro’s corridors to play their music. They are quickly expelled under section 10 of the by-law governing the conduct of transit users, which states that playing the radio or a musical instrument is prohibited.
The musicians, however, never give up the fight. After a few legal proceedings, the buskers get organized and the first métro musicians’ collective is born February 27, 1983.
Through sheer stubbornness, and not a few arrests, fines and appearances in municipal court, the buskers manage to find a loophole in the by-law. The transit authority takes another tack and regulates the presence of musicians in the métro, inviting them to perform in designated areas only, identified by a harp, limiting them to specific times and 80 decibels.
In the early 1990s, the MUCTC holds an increasing number of special events in the underground network, with its «Métro, boulot, show» series of concerts featuring some of Québec’s most popular singers and bands.
Today, the métro’s many musicians add a friendly note to the network’s various stations.
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