you might recognize the album artwork from a feature i put together with paris-based artist andrea many moons ago — now the producer teams up with fellow parisian julia losfelt on this dreamy number called “early bird.”
“i’ve been doing rodeo on broncos since i was 17.”
“When did you get the most scared on a horse?”
“last year. i fell down and the horse stomped on me. but it didn’t stop me from riding.”
“god asked me to be a pope.
by now you’ve undoubtedly heard of humans of new york, the photography blog that has quite literally taken the world by storm. through his matter of fact photos and the simple, poignant quotes that go along with them, brandon stanton has captured hearts both with his camera, and with his unique blog, a mix of street style and story telling. HONY has inspired dozens of like-minded blogs and communities around the world from berlin, leuvan and paris to islamabad, tehran, brisbane, and karachi — it’s more than likely that you’ll find a version of the “humans of” concept in your own city. such is how i came upon portraits de montreal, the version montrealaise of humans of new york run by thibault carron, samuel rocheleau, and mikael theimer.
“i’m a freelance artistic director, but i’m getting bored of advertising…i’m starting to establish myself as an artist. i describe myself more as a sculptor than a drawing artist. i doodle, and then structure the chaos. i’m always the first to be surprised by what comes out.”
“who’s winning?” no hat: “it’s tight but I’d say I’m a little bit ahead.” hat: “yeah but like a tiny bit…”
“i stopped cutting my hair 35 years ago.”
“was there a particular reason?”
“yeah, i’m a rasta!”
“well here we are, looks like we’re officially a couple!” “you guys got together recently?” “actually we dated a couple years ago, right now he’s on probation!”
much like my own work with littlecity, portraits de montreal aims to give a voice to the people of montreal and to encourage communication within our community. thibault calls it breaking barriers between strangers. “we want to show people that it’s easy to engage a conversation with anyone, and that everybody has a great story to share,” thibault explains when i ask about their goals for the project. they’ve only been working on the portraits de montreal concept for a little over three months, but the idea is clearly well-loved already. their facebook page has amassed more than 13 000 followers in its short life.
“it’s fathers’ day today! we spent the day out all together for the occasion.”
“i love montreal but i do so many things, and things happen so fast that every year i need to get away to have a better return. so tomorrow i’m leaving to India for three months, on my own. i have butterflies in my stomach.”
“what did life teach you?”
“you have to be patient.”
“when were you the most patient?”
“when i was married.”
none of the portraits de montreal founders was formally trained in photography. “all three of us have a different background. i used to work in finance (watching over stock brokers), mikaël in advertising, and samuel in a small production company as a cinematographer,” thibault continues, “we quit our jobs at the same time to follow our own creativity.” their story is inspiring to say the least, but it’s the stories they capture through their photographs that embolden and provoke. the process itself is (as thibault describes it) completely random: working separately, thibault, samuel and mikael choose their subjects and ask questions that quickly develop into interesting conversations. “tt’s all about being curious,” says thibault, “the key is really to approach them with our most beautiful smile, and show them that we’re just here to listen and talk; nothing else.” it works — their subjects have reflected on everything from the moment they’ve laughed the most in their lives, to the thing they’re most proud of, or something they’re struggling with. like with HONY, the most poignant part of the project is perhaps not the photographs, but the stories they tell and the moments they capture.
“someone that really made an impression on us recently was a guy who told us about the two times god talked to him,” thibault replies thoughtfully when i ask him who has been the most interesting human so far. “he said that god asked him to relay a message to humanity.”
“i’m a veteran, i was a bomber during world war II. i don’t know for sure but i think i killed some nazis. the air force was strictly voluntary. i read the papers and i learned what was happening in germany. i was 18 years old and mad like hell at the nazis so i enlisted. i said ‘i have to get back at them.’ i fought until i was 22, i lost the best years of my life.”
“what is your most vivid memory from the war?”
“a month after we won, once we had pushed the nazis back to germany, i visited dachau, the concentration camp. i entered a gas chamber. it was empty, but i stood there and i cried. i will never forgive them for what they did.”
“you guys make a nice gang of friends.”
“oh you haven’t seen anything yet, you haven’t seen half of us! but we’re not friends, we’re family.”
“this guitar is so tiny, what is it?”
“a washburn rover. i’m traveling soon and i want to be able to play with people wherever i go!”
“my philosophy is to follow the drums, follow the beat. because we all have a beating drum inside of us [she puts her hand onto my heart]. there. you need to follow that.”
“he likes to hide stuff. when i play with him from my bed he’ll grab my finger and try to hide my arm under the bed. it doesn’t really work out for him.”
“there was also a 92 year old war veteran who, disgusted by what the nazis were doing in europe, decided to participate in the operation overlord during world war II as a bomber,” he continues. the photo (above) is decidedly stoic. although the man in question didn’t want his picture taken, the photo is the perfect representation to go along with his moving story.
finally, in the words of brandon stanton, i ask thibault what he, samuel, and mikael want to be when they grow up. thibault’s answer could be its own portrait of montreal: “we’ll try to become the best human beings we can be.”
follow portraits de montreal / facebook / instagram / tumblr ++ all photos used with permission via portraits de montreal
little lens 00
by now you’ve undoubtedly heard of humans of new york, the photography blog that has quite literally taken the world by storm.
“music that moves you has a lot of different contexts. i can be moved at home, i can be moved on the dancefloor,” sarah lamb is explaining the philosophy behind the hushlamb productionsmantra, “ the natural reaction to music is to shake and move your body. it brings community together. we all become a part of it.” certainly we do, particularly when it comes to the kind of music delivered by the…
i hadn’t planned on writing anything about my trip to worldpride last weekend, intending to let the photos speak for themselves (read: i am lazy). but about halfway through the dyke march, i knew i wanted to put the experience into words, already conjuring up the right ones to describe the weekend. magic, however mushy and sentimental, came up more than once, and not just from me (the queen of wordly mush and sentiment). the dyke march was particularly special — throngs of smiling people taking photos, cheering, and throwing confetti, and that was just the spectators. the march itself was thousands strong, and everyone was dancing, singing, cheering, sweating, hugging, sweating, more sweating. i could have burst with pride, not just for my friends, but for everyone, and that emotion was echoed in every single person. there was a lot of love in toronto last weekend.
we made regular stops at the 519 green space at church and wellesley, where on saturday, francesca lombardo got down for four solid hours of deep house. sunday, though, is the day that sticks out in memory: after dragging myself around town for the entire morning in what felt like satan’s asshole, we were praying for rain. i mean, i offered up my entire family and first born child as a sacrifice to the rain gods, it was that hot. finally, it started to drizzle. then out of nowhere, it was a torrential downpour but the crowd loved it and the energy was high. eventually, a freaking RAINBOW burst out across the sky. guys, a RAINBOW. it was a very special moment. everyone cheered. some cried. and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, out stepped shangela and alyssa edwards to perform it’s raining men under umbrellas and ponchos, and i swear it was so perfect that there’s no way it could be real. if that’s not magic, i don’t know what is.
walking the rainbow
check ya weave.
iowa city drag kings performing greased lightning.
primp yo featherz
post 519 sweat life.
francesca lombardo at 519
dee dee starr
obligatory dance routine
on the streets
walking the rainbow
prom dates for lyfe
sketch sunday at 519
the reason my mom had the “are you sure you’re not gay” talk with me on sunday.
sweating my life away
worldpride 2014 review / in photos
i hadn’t planned on writing anything about my trip to worldpride last weekend, intending to let the photos speak for themselves (read: i am lazy).
i read a feature about singer/songwriter tinashe kachingwe in dazed the other week. she’s a self made girl — started from the bottom, or whatever that horrendous expression is that drake did not make up but that people attribute to him — and the article talks a lot about her roots, and her rise to fame. when she made that hard as nails video for “boss” from her debut mixtape in case we die, she,…
“where did everybody get donuts?” i wonder aloud to the other loner flying solo at al lafrance’s one-man show, the quitter. the guy doesn’t hear me, or pretends not to. it’s quiet save for the sam cooke track playing in the small show room at montreal’s improv theatre. i sit down, watching everyone around me chew their honey cruellers and boston cremes. “could go for an old fashioned plain about…
“claing-sh-eye-bin. clang-sch-high-ben,” i stumble over the words, trying to tell a friend the name of the german record label i’ve been writing for. behind me, i can hear thomas baz, the label’s founder, laughing. “was that wrong?” i venture another attempt at the pronunciation, “klang-schybbin!” not even close. i met thomas last summer at toronto’s sound in motion festival. we became fast…
standing immediately in front of the stage at metropolis on friday night, the bass was so loud that you could feel it in your bones, your head, your heart. and yet, behind me, a girl and her buddy are in the middle of a conversation about what show they saw last night, speaking loudly enough so as to be heard over the music. i shush them, pointedly, asking that they take it elsewhere. although…
what does haze sound like? it might sound like a foggy bassline coloured purple with reverb. it might sound like an acid-trip ambience. it might sound like a smokey synth or a trippy, futurist vocal. but it’s more than likely that it sounds like the bass-filled R&B soaked production from new jersey mystery man, hazy.
headed to detroit for this year’s movement festival? me too. this will be my second year hitting the dancefloor at hart plaza, and although 2013′s DEMF was a really life changing experience, there are a few things i wish i had known before taking to the pavement in motor city. read on for my breadth of knowledge and wisdom.
the last time i saw roly broere, we were 12. we went to summer camp together as kids. the staff there gave out “moose dollars” (or “mooney”) to campers for achievements and good deeds, and at the end of the summer, kids could spend their mooney at a camp-wide carnival that took place in front of the main lodge. roly and a couple other troublemakers had stolen a batch of moose dollars, and my…
it’s a rare thing that gets everyone in the montreal dance music scene excited. solid bookings are, more often than not, met with scepticism, indifference, or mild bemusement. maybe it’s because in this scene, everyone is a critic, and the standards are high. maybe it’s because we’re jaded. but when the em15 (that’s mutek x elektra) team announced their minilogueheaded avant-mutek event, a…
after what has been a pretty insane easter weekend, i thought about not posting today. it’s monday. it’s the day of…you know…jesus and whatever, so i figured i could give myself a break. but, seeing as i skipped out on music monday last week, here’s a little easter egg for you guys, in the form of this track from vancouver sleep clinic.
we’re already late. i had promised friends that we’d be heading down to 99 sudbury street in toronto for the last foundry event of 2014 at around 10:30 pm. it’s midnight and we’re still drinking at my friend’s place near kensington market. we’re chatting about carl craig– the night’s headliner – swapping stories about the times we’ve heard him play, when someone timidly asks “what…
the 90s called / making throwback style work in 2014
the nineties called – they want their style back. not only are the 90s making a triumphant return in fashion but we’re welcoming back the sounds and styles of decades past in music as well. and who could blame us? in a time when technology is at its most advanced and oversaturation of DJs and producers is at its peak, it’s not surprising that we’re nostalgic for a simpler time. when rave culture…
i am a sucker for a good rework of a cheesy 00s classic (as evidenced by the fact that i am still listening to cyril hahn’s say my name remix. it’s been almost 2 years, guys) – so, of course, sango’s “bb don’t cry” has been on heavy rotation of late. anything that pairs justin timberlake samples with aaliyah vocals is okay by me.
“to be honest, we hate interviews,” eddie krilov and sasha kaline, new york-by-way-of-moscow producers known by their stage name, alka rex, laugh wholeheartedly. it’s around 1 pm on a grey sunday, and the three of us have been chatting over skype for a half hour before the pair confess that interviews make them uncomfortable. not that you could tell. after more than a decade of friendship, and…
black is more than just a colour. it’s a state of mind. in fashion, black is effortless chic, inimitable edge – it’s classic but it’s of the moment. there are few brands that embody that state of mind better than flor serani’s italian label, blackblessed. a lifelong interest in fashion that started with a love of drawing and art, serani’s curiosity quickly grew into what has become one of the…
i’ve been having an affair with electronic music for almost a decade now, cheating on my first true love, folk music. it doesn’t feel wrong though – electronic music is the younger, hotter babe i take out on the dancefloor, but folk music is who i’ll always come home to. folk, indie, bluegrass, country, gospel; i probably shouldn’t lump them all together, but all have been a part of my life in…
in 2012, brooklyn-based composer rebecca brandt released a 14-track album called numbers & shapes. composed and orchestrated for 30+ instruments, the album is beautifully, astoundingly multi-layered. if part of the magic of music is taking the listener on a journey, brandt is a shaman. “i’m generally inspired by the people around me, who are doing some amazing things and producing all this…
“i believe most people are inherently good. they just need an opportunity to show that goodness.” colm wilkinson is standing at the edge of the stage in toronto’s princess of wales theatre. still in costume, wilkinson has just finished a one-off charity performance as the bishop in new rendition of les miserables. the crowd is silent, listening.
it’s 11 pm on january 14th 2014. in one hour, littlecity, the online platform for my personal, professional and altogether entirely obnoxious adventures, will turn two. sometime in 2011, i decided i wanted to start a blog. it was a simpler time. i had…
damn, there is some serious music on the horizon for 2014. the new year is shaping up to be a good one, and with so many artists coming out of the woodwork, it’s always a bit of a task to keep up. so, for those of you that are looking to expand your…