#25 Antoine Bustros, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ)
50 opportunities for 50 years
“For a mid-career artist who has managed to hone a discipline of creating amidst a precarious existence, the opportunity to momentarily escape this anxiety-laden reality is unfathomably precious.”
Antoine Bustros is a Montreal-based composer-pianist. In the year 2000, Antoine founded the Ensemble Ulysse (Montreal) for which he composed new chamber music for more than a decade, performed several times at the Montreal Jazz festival and released a couple of albums, including an homage to Bernard Herrmann. More recently, he composes for Confluence, an ensemble specializing in mixing genres and musical cultures, integrating non-western instrumentation.
Antoine is a recipient of Conseil des arts et des lettres (CALQ)’s residencies in London. In 2008-2009, in partnership with Québec's Ministry of Culture and Communications and the Ministry of International Relations and the Francophonie, and on the recommendation of Arts Council England, Conseil des arts et des lettres (CALQ) approached Acme to establish the Québec Studio in London. The residency provides two six-month long residencies per year in Bow for artists who have at least 10 years' experience of professional practice.
“Having the privilege of the CALQ residency in London has been incredibly inspiring and has helped fulfil my constant quest for renewal. It means being able to escape the daily life of creating for a living. It allows me to deepen the artistic conscience in my work as opposed to responding to the imperatives of commissioned work.”
Antoine’s plans are to divide his time between composing pieces of instrumental music, finishing a first draft of a novel, and exploring London – particularly the museums and galleries. He describes delight at the size and location of the studio, and exhilaration at the weeks and months available to concentrate on his own creative projects.
“The liberty to structure one's time freely, whether it be waking in the middle of the night, walking deserted streets, working at dawn, fosters an environment conducive to scrutinising one’s dreams, expanding inner horizons, and thus exploring practices that are normally inaccessible in one’s daily routine.”