Inventions is a series of events that celebrates and promotes the literary and musical talents of Montreal. Through an emphasis on improvisation and live creation, this series brings together writers and musicians in a space of collaboration. Focusing on the intimate setting reminiscent of a small concert or a reading, Inventions aims to create an environment in which the audience is absorbed into both a live performance and the process of artistic creation.

The evening unfolds as a series of performances, each of about 15-20 minutes. Both a writer and musician/s take the stage. The writer sits at a desk equipped with a laptop. The musicians are placed centre stage. In the background, a screen projects a loose template of text related to the night’s theme, with a generous amount of blank space for the writer to fill.

The performance begins with the musician/s. As a sonic ambiance engulfs the room, the writer “joins in” by writing along with the music and using the given template as a guideline to create his or her live text.


The background projection is a real-time display of the writer’s process. Words are typed then deleted; long stretches of text are frantically jotted down and then edited; the writer pauses to consider a phrase. All the aspects of the creative process are immediately visible to the audience. In this sense, the writer and his or her method are laid bare.

Theme & Variations is the place on this website where you can find some of the amazing creations that happen during a live performance. With the permission of their authors, we are very proud to publish these short pieces here.*

All writing that you will see throughout the Theme & Variations section of this site is work in progress. The authors of these texts have very graciously agreed to allow their work to appear on our site, so that you can get a glimpse into the creative process, and see what kind of material is produced within a live writing section. Unless otherwise noted, these texts are not edited.

*Writers retain all rights to their work. Please do not copy any of the words you find here without permission, nor without properly citing their creators, or you will incur…bad legal stuff. (Not to mention some serious karmic problems.)