Beyond the Alley

As an experimental and collaborative music collective, risk-taking has always been at the heart of the Kolabacats’ vision. In this spirit, as part of the Network Music Festival’s 4th edition, we challenged ourselves with our most ambitious experiment yet: creating the longest relay composition chain in the world.

We first kicked things off with a series of live video streams from each of our seven members. First, a new composition was started from scratch, within 60-minutes time limit. Then, a second composer remixed, fleshed out and expanded the ideas and textures contained in the first iteration, again with only 60 minutes on the clock. The process repeated itself a third, fourth and fifth time, until all of the seven composers had the chance to add something to the work of the others.

Then, anyone (yes, anyone) willing to take part was added to a global list of composers who carried on the work initiated by the collective and produced their very own variation of the composition. We hoped to create the biggest, longest composition chain in the world, uniting people of all nationalities, genders, beliefs and backgrounds around one common value: music.

The endeavor was a success: we ended up recruiting 30 other composers from France, Canada, the UK and the US, including high-profile artists such as Roxanne Turcotte, John Oliver, Léa Boudreau and David Ledoux, among others.

All in all, a total of 37 variations were created, all available on the Kolabacats’ Bandcamp page. As they are all published under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license, anyone is also free to download and remix any of them. Buckle your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride!