Dispatches from Montreal 2023 (10): Celebrating ‘Notes on Montreal’ in Its Tenth Year

music montreal

A Masterpiece that Captured the Heart of the City

This article pays homage to the beautiful album, “Notes on Montreal” by Mike Rud, featuring the mesmerizing vocals of Sienna Dahlen. This album, which is now a decade old, represents a musical crush that has only grown stronger over the years. Our contributors, saxophonist Steve Kaldestad from Vancouver, and pianist and renowned Canadian jazz writer Peter Hum, share their appreciation for this masterpiece and its impact on their lives.

Peter Hum’s quote: “He made a glowing tribute to Montreal, one that ought to be put in time capsules.”

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Album Cover Image

The Album that Became a Companion

“Notes on Montreal” was recorded in 2013 and went on to win a JUNO award in 2014. It has been a companion and a source of inspiration for many, who have been drawn to the city, its culture, and its people. The album has become a beloved guide to Montreal, encouraging listeners to explore the city and see it through the eyes of Rud and Dahlen.

Both Rud and Dahlen have made Montreal their adoptive homes, embracing the city as their “Wahlheimat” or city of choice. Their love for the city shines through in their music, showcasing their deep connection and sincere admiration for their surroundings.

Mike Rud & Sienna Dahlen

A Testament to Artistry and Honesty

Steve Kaldestad shares his thoughts on the incredible depth, intent, and honesty of the artist behind “Notes on Montreal.” He praises the genuine connection Rud and Dahlen have with the people and the city, as well as the astonishing musicianship and honesty brought by Dahlen.

Kaldestad also draws comparisons to Randy Newman, another composer who excels at writing from different character perspectives. He hopes that the album will continue to be discovered and appreciated by future generations for its artistic brilliance and timeless quality.

A Glowing Tribute to Montreal

Peter Hum, who has been friends with Mike Rud since the late 1980s, shares his admiration for the album. He believes Rud’s ability to immerse himself in the texts that inspired the album shows true literary prowess. The lyrics of the album stand on their own as beautiful works of art, and Sienna Dahlen’s vocals elevate them even further.

Hum also commends Rud’s vision and ambition in incorporating strings into the project. Despite facing challenges in his personal life, Rud created an album that beautifully captures the essence of Montreal.

Sienna Dahlen & Peter Hum

A Timeless Musical Gift

“Notes on Montreal” features the talents of Sienna Dahlen (vocals), Mike Rud (guitar), Dave Gossage (flute), Adrian Vedady (bass), Dave Laing (drums), Chad Linsley (piano), Mélaine Vaugeois (violin), Ariane Lajoie (violin), Ligia Paquin (viola), and Annie Gadbois (cello).

For more information, visit Sienna Dahlen’s website and Mike Rud’s website and YouTube Channel.



About Me

I’m Dr. Miles Beaumont from the charming town of York in the UK. I’ve spent over three decades as a medical doctor, helping people and contributing to important research. I graduated from Oxford University, and ever since, I’ve devoted myself to improving the health and lives of others.

When I’m not practicing medicine, you’ll find me soaking up the world of jazz music. It’s been a passion of mine since I turned 30, and I’ve been an active part of York’s jazz scene ever since. Whether it’s going to local gigs, listening to records at home, or just enjoying the rhythmic and improvisational magic of jazz, it’s a big part of who I am.