[Entrevue] Maara wishes us euphoria for the New Year

The Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) has created its own New Year’s Eve tradition by throwing an electronic party showcasing local and international talent. The all-star poster for December 31 (10 p.m.) — and all feminine — of this 15e edition is already a guarantee of success. Behind the decks: New York composer and DJ Aurora Halal, a regular guest at the prestigious Berghain club in Berlin; Montreal softcoresoft composer, co-founder of Humidex Records; and young trance sensation Maara, who will start the new year as she spent 2022: inviting us to ecstasy.

In barely two years, Maara-Louisa Dunbar has gone fromunderground Montrealer to international recognition thanks to its eclectic and energetic productions. As for softcoresoft and several other representatives of this generation of electronic composers, the style of trance music acts as a common denominator of their grooves drawing as much on jungle/drum & bass, techno and progressive house.

Behind their sounds lurks the ideal of the heyday of raves almost thirty years ago, but without an ounce of nostalgia — how could there be, Maara is only 26, although she admits to being inspired by electronic music from the late 1990s and early 2000s. “But I’m not trying to reproduce the sound of that era and repeat what has already been done before,” she comments. I rely on the music of the past, but by bringing it a form of modernity”, which is expressed in the fusion, lively and ingenious, of the different trends of electronic dance music.

These young musicians are bringing the trance sound up to date and the nocturnal parties with which this musical genre is associated: « I like raves because it’s a place and a time that allow you to escape and be yourself. -even, abounds Maara. I like the maximum stimulation induced by dance music like trance, I like the strength of this music and the joy, the euphoria it brings me. It’s an experience that only raves can provide — I don’t get that feeling from going to a rock or hip-hop concert. And then, going dancing to the music played by a DJ is a collective experience, which can have a very intimate dimension: you can go to a club alone to go dancing and enter your zone. »

Maara has explored her area extensively this year, having been invited to perform all over the world. Returning from Europe in mid-September, she spent two weeks at home in Montreal, then returned to Australia, then honoring commitments in the United States. She will return to Europe as early as next January.

I like the raves because it’s a place and a time that allows you to escape and be yourself. I like the maximum stimulation induced by dance music like trance, I like the strength of this music and the joy, the euphoria it brings me. It’s an experience that only raves can provide.

“Yeah, 2022 was a big year for me,” Maara says, and the next one looks just as fertile. After releasing three EPs in the past eleven months (the most recent, Fancy Feast, was released last September on Dutch label Kalahari Oyster Cult), she is preparing for the March release of her first full-length album, an affair « designed for listening at home, with elements of downtempo and drum & bass”, like the tasty mix she concocted last August for the famous British web radio station NTS. live.

Born in Montreal, Maara grew up in the United States (mostly in Washington DC), lived in Toronto, but came home on the recommendation of her older sister. “She said to me: ‘You should come and study here, the city is special and the vie de Nuit, excellent. » My sister was right. The musician studied political science at Concordia University, but above all found a family with DJs and composers on the scene. underground, Priori (Francis Latreille), Dust-e-1, Ramzi and many others. “People creating exciting music and creating a real scene. They are the ones who encouraged me to start my turn. »

2023, the year of construction sites

The SAT may have to miss out on New Year’s Eve festivities next year due to major maintenance and infrastructure upgrades that are expected to begin next spring. Last June, during the celebrations of the 25e anniversary of the space for multimedia creation and dissemination, management announced investments of $17.2 million collected from the governments of Quebec and Canada, the City of Montreal and through the Company’s philanthropic activities to implement the works.

The original plan was to shut down the SAT completely by the start of the new year; delays in the planning of the works force the management to call for tenders in mid-January, with the hope that the works will start in April. In addition, says Jenny Thibault, General Manager of the SAT, the work will be carried out in phases, starting with the technological upgrade of the Dome: « We have already received our new projectors, but the haptic floor [permettant de ressentir des vibrations et des mouvements], still at the prototype stage, will not yet be ready for installation. »

« We don’t want to close Espace SAT [la grande salle du rez-de-chaussée] during the summer season, so that we will start the work after MUTEK », so somewhere next September, which should take three months. The basement and the office floor will also be refurbished during this year of major projects.

During the maneuvers, the SAT will seek to maintain its training activities by soliciting support outside its walls on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. « The idea is to organize events that we will take on tour, to the regions » , announces Jenny Thibault. During the summer, a room may be required to continue training and day camps, but the director is already considering collaborations with the PHI Center as well as other venues outside Montreal, such as the École of art from Sutton.

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