The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Stuart Broomer, Musicworks, April 1, 2019

In the week following, Normand and bass clarinetist Philippe Lauzier, partners in the duo Not the Music, toured with Butcher as a trio. How Does This Happen? documents concerts in Ottawa and Montréal, each the kind of music that succeeds in inverse proportion to its potential to be described. In each piece, we hear series of notes, sometimes multiphonic, sometimes singular, sometimes in repeated two- or three-tone micro-phrases; sometimes the sounds can be comfortably ascribed to individual instruments, sometimes less so, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Normand plays electric bass and objects, but he has succeeded so happily in transcending the electric bass’s typical sound that it’s more likely identifiable as “non-reed.” Even on a recording, one realizes that the sounds interacting in the room, the re-enactment and resonance of sounds within sounds, have become as important as any musician’s individual notes, and that the composition is as much the room’s; as much, ultimately, the auditor’s, as the initiating trio’s. How Does This Happen? It’s either a very long story or something felt immediately.

… the kind of music that succeeds in inverse proportion to its potential to be described.

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