Guy Giard is a multidisciplinary artist who has been active in the arts scene in Montréal and beyond for 30 years. He has exhibited multimedia installations across Canada and works as a video artist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and choir leader. Giard is a graduate of Concordia University and the National Academy of Fine Arts in the Netherlands. He has received numerous grants and frequently been invited as resident artist and lecturer. His workshop experience includes the Louvre Museum (Paris), and workshops for schoolchildren at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, which he has given since 1996. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience as a singing teacher, songwriter, and improviser/noisemaker, and 15 years performing as a chorister, he founded les Chants Marins de Montréal, an ensemble he also conducts.
Guy Giard’s work plays with objects drawn from daily life, warping their usual meaning to give them a new reading through installation, writing, music, or a combination of all these mediums with improvisation and performance. Versatile and dynamic, he experiments with randomness, invents instruments, and blurs the boundaries between musical styles and eras to create highly personal, moving, and often humorous performances. With a love of rhythm he merges various forms of music with choir harmonies, yielding unexpected performances. Over the years he has conducted hundreds of workshops with students from preschool to high school and regularly collaborated with people of all walks of life—musicians, writers, artists, and non-artists.
The Unexpected Concert: This workshop invites students to experience the various stages and techniques of contemporary music composition. Together we will create, perform, and record a new work. This activity contributes to the development and progression of learning skills training program in Quebec schools. Students gain an appreciation of the creative process along with an understanding of the language and structural elements of music. They learn to express themselves and discover their artistic sensibility and creative potential. The workshop begins by listening to music of different styles, eras, and cultures—Gregorian, Romantic, Eastern, Native American, and contemporary and concrete (adapted to the age group, and subject to prior arrangement with the teacher). Each child is then encouraged to find an object in the classroom and explore its musical possibilities. Structuring concepts such as silence, rhythm, words, contrast, harmony, time line, notation, melody, pitch, duration, intensity, and others are explored along with the many sounds we can produce using our voices. Students then learn how to create a graphic score and the symbols for conducting the concert. Finally, after several improvisations, a composition is chosen and recorded.
Other examples of activities
Several variations are possible depending on the age group, and themes the teacher wishes to explore can be accommodated. For example, we can create a piece using only words, changing their original meaning and exploring their sound qualities. A creation exploring onomatopoeia, voices, and the full range of sounds our mouths can make is another option. Or we can work with a specific message or content, asking students to write a personal text that is inserted into the overall work. The class can also be subdivided into smaller groups to play a game exploring different musical experiences of teamwork or contrast. Given enough physical space we can also improvise with movement and theatre. Once the work is recorded, we can edit the piece together, and once it is finished make it available on CD or MP3. Similarly, if several workshops are planned, we can do video-editing together and produce a DVD.
There is no charge for the concert activity in class. If the teacher wants to add in-class concert editing and producing a CD or MP3, there is a $50 fee. If teachers wish to add in-class video editing and DVD production as well, an additional $50 fee will be charged, for a total of up to $100.
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