1. Arrival: Inspired by the transition from the Maritimes to Montréal, the piece imagines the drive to Montréal the first time, moving into the city back in 2008, driving through the South Shore with anticipation. The city appears in the distance upon approach and the piece describes the first impression of the city on an outsider. With the entry of the full ensemble, the city begins to take shape and becomes overwhelming, yet exciting and full of artistic and growth opportunities. The hip- hop groove in which a trumpet solo is featured in alternating odd metre groove and rapid transitions in colour and timbre illustrates the adjustment to Montreal’s unique culture, diversity as well as a very vibrant and lively city life.
The work then adjusts in changing gears to a simpler groove with woodwind and piano textures, featuring a tenor sax solo, while settling in and adjusting in the city, a post-arrival full of optimism and excitement which builds to the climax of the movement. This symbolizes a new beginning, adaptation to living in and reflecting on Montréal as a new home. Beth begins to explore the city, what it has to offer and as the band builds in together on hits and shots behind a few lead instruments holding the melody. The focus on the city zooms out to become a larger picture, transitioning to the second place on this suite, the Old Port.
Home: Montreal #4. Downtown:
An illustration based on the chaos, grandiosity, excitement and largely booming downtown core of Montreal, the movement rapidly changes ideas, structures and motifs throughout the piece. The start of the piece reflects on sitting in a downtown park, near Parc Mont-Royal, looking out at the city from above. As things get started, the piece continues into the downtown core, which around the Quartier des Spectacles and core, is busy but scenic with festivities and events going on nearly year-round.
The piece takes darker turns into clashing harmonies and intensities as rush hour traffic on Rene-Levesque picks up rapidly as frustration and traffic sets in. Beth also reflects on the constant construction and development going on throughout the city, traffic snarls, disputes, political demonstrations and conflict, which can also occur in such a diverse place as Montreal. From the harsh colours and intensities, resolution occurs, and Beth continues to explore and illustrate the beautiful downtown core of Montreal, ending where she began, heading towards the Plateau and Parc Mont- Royal.
Home: Montreal #7 -. Lachine Canal/St. Henri:
Starting with walking along the Atwater canal near Lionel-Groulx metro, Beth reflects on an earlier St. Henri/Lachine Canal area. A formerly industrialized and poorer area of Montreal with poverty and social issues, it has now grown and developed into one of the most popular, gentrified, in-demand and hip neighbourhoods of the city, often referred to as the “new Plateau”. The approximate area in which Beth lives in Montreal and the most recent movement to be written for “Home: Montréal”, throughout the piece,
Beth illustrates the gentrification of the area in her music, with colour changes from dark, solemn to upbeat, hip rock textures. Even though the area around the canal continues to develop and build (illustrated by the piano solo leading into a two- trumpet trading solo featuring Therrien and Kovalchuk), the Lachine Canal remains as it is, a quiet, reflective space in the city, leading right into the downtown core. The end of the piece transitions into a cinematic-genre orchestral section illustrating an overview of the area today, as if zooming out of fine details in the texture, into more of an overview/larger perspective of Montreal, and preparing the transition into departure, leaving Montreal in the final movement.