Tess Roby M For Montreal, Montreal QC, November 16

Tess Roby M For Montreal, Montreal QC, November 16
Photo: Nadia Davoli
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Tess Roby's voice sprouted like tentative spring: first the daffodils, then the tulips. Her keyboard wandered behind, curious. "Ringing in the air, ringing in the air, ringing in the air," she hummed, words twirling like a little twister.
 
But the sound setup meant that often she barely made it over her brother's guitar, the drum loops and her keys. Worse still was the audience — the promise of the first snowy Friday seemed too much to contain; an organizer had to jump onstage to chastise them for their incessant chirping. "Respect the art. Respect the artists." And then they just started up again. Like the spotlight-rays filled with smoke, Roby's voice couldn't cut through. It only illuminated its obstacles.
 
But let's ignore the crowd, because that's ultimately what she did — after shushing them herself, because she knew her worth. Tess Roby closed her eyes to the ugly disrespect, her face blissful, her free hand flickering with her inner wind.