March 28

Alex Zhang Hungtai

Concert in the Rotunda, with free wandering.  The Bourse de Commerce is inviting Alex Zhang Hungtai, a Taiwanese musician who emigrated to Canada, to perform a solo concert for saxophone and keyboard in the Museum Rotunda.

For the exhibition “Before the Storm”, visual artist Danh Vo has created a new installation in the Rotunda: Tropeaolum, which has taken root under the glass and metal dome, as if it were a greenhouse, depicting a mutant territory of intermingling narratives. Several musicians have been invited to weave their own stories into this piece during the exhibition. It will be in this dark garden that Alex Zhang Hungtai will give his new live performance, as he switches between instruments to open up new horizons. He has written: “The samsara and seeds that we plant will always come back to us. Climate heating and its future manifestations are the result of humanity’s actions. My work is about responsibility and freedom”.

Alex Zhang Hungtai is a Taiwanese musician and composer who has lived in Toronto, Hawaii, and Queens, all uprootings that he underwent as an adult. In 2016, he left the United States for personal and political reasons. Alex Zhang Hungtai’s musical career began in Montreal in the early 2000s under the name Dirty Beaches, mixing post-rockabilly, lo-fi, and ambient, and drawing as much from Roy Orbison’s crooning as from Suicide’s beat boxes. In 2011, Badlands was released to critical acclaim, mixing musical time signatures amidst a distorted, hallucinatory ambiance. In 2014 he changed aliases, reappearing under the name Last Lizard, after which he formed the experimental free jazz trio Love Theme. As a solo artist, he composed Divine Weight (2018), a remix of rejected saxophone tracks that he had accumulated over the years. He manipulated their sound to create new forms that he modulated into synthetic textures and ambient beaches, revealing their beauty ultimately by disfiguring them. Alex Zhang Hungtai appeared in the fifth episode of the last season of David Lynch’s series Twin Peaks as a member of the fictional band Trouble, which played at the Roadhouse, the bar located in the city’s southern neighbourhoods. In 2022, he wrote the original soundtrack for the film Godland by Icelandic director Hlynur Palmason.