The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, January 16, 2009

This is an all-star Ambiances Magnetiques ensemble, hence the name, recorded live in concert in September of 2007 in Montréal. Four of the members, Hétu, Roger, Labrosse and Derome, each conducted or directed the improvisations and each used a different approach. Joane Hetu’s 8 moments brefs is a game that deals with the perception of time, based on 1 minute segments in which the material is switched around. This keeps the flow of ideas compact, as textures and combinations of players shift during every (imagined) minute. There is a leaky faucet in my kitchen where I work at my computer and I couldn’t tell if the dripping was a part of this disc until I made sure. With a sampler, a turntable (often without records), manipulated objects and strange voices, it is hard to tell who is doing what. There are brief and often poetic explanations of the composers’ intent which give us some idea of what’s what. Danielle Roger’s four part Y’a du bruit dans ma cabane creates a “customized universe of the rooms of a house” and sounds like well-constructed electronic music and selective samples. Intense and evocative of the complexity of modern civilization. Diane Labrosse’s Une année dans la vie de… deals with the twelve months of the year and the layers of voices are ghost-like and quite haunting. Jean Derome’s Canot-camping… deals with numerous body signals which steer the music. There seems to be a great deal of directed fragments involved: strange voices, quick changes, toys and a good dose of humor. What I find so remarkable is that after so many years of music together, this ensemble still sound fresh, exciting and filled surprises. Some things do get better as they evolve.

… after so many years of music together, this ensemble still sound fresh, exciting and filled surprises.

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