Le magasin de tissu

Jean Derome

L’art aventurier du musicien a encore frappé. ImproJazz, France

… successfull in adding new aspects to their already considerable volume of work. Vital, Netherlands

Le magasin de tissu (The Fabric Shop) sews together 69 short textural pieces, all completely improvises, in random order. This first solo album is a stamp collection of sound colors, a mosaic, a Tower of Babel. 66 sculpted minutes.

CD (AM 094)

  • Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
  • AM 094
  • 2001
  • UCC 771028109425
  • Total duration: 66:00
  • Jewel case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 95 g

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In the press

Jazz & Improv

Julian Cowley, The Wire, no. 238, December 1, 2003

Canadian musician Jean Derome augments his usual saxophones and flutes with a suitcase packed with little acoustic instruments, modest resources, found, recycled or invented, including toys, mouth harps, tuning forks, whistles, pipes and hunting calls. He approaches this instrumental collection as an acoustic sampler enabling him to assemble short bursts of sounds mostly unsuitable for extended soloing but contributing effectively to this texturally varied, multicoloured patchwork. Derome also views the recording as a catalogue of sounds with which he improvises or composes, especially in his work with film, where channel-crossings between music and sound effects can occur regularly and meet with no resistance. For this release, three CDs of samples were made and played together in shuffe mode, producing one realisation among potentially innumerable.

…autour des 10 ans du distributeur québécois DAME…

Luc Bouquet, ImproJazz, no. 88, August 1, 2002

Deux disques, deux concepts. Ce ne sont pas les idées (et surtout les plus folles) qui manquent chez l’ami Derome; ça fourmille, ça surprend, ça agace, ça ravit, ça désole, etc.

Le magasin de tissu est un drôle d’OVNI musical; courtes pièces faites de bruits et de brocs sans développement aucun, incongru à tous les étages, joyeux souk désarticulé. À l’aide d’instruments divers et farfelus (du saxophone à la flûte en passant par les appeaux, le biniou ethnique, le cendrier à bille d’acier et le sifflet à coulisse), Derome enregistre quatro-vingt seize secondes de soixante-neuf tissus différents sur trois disques de vingt-trois pièces, chacune suivie de treize plages de silence de durée comparable (ouf!). Le musicien réenregistre les trois disques jouant simultanément en mode aléatoire. Seules deux pièces et quelques plages de silence ont été enlevées au montage final. Le résultat est mordant d’ironie et d’humour décalé, l’anecdotique côtoie le précieux, le plaisir se transforme en agacement (et vice versa). L’art aventurier du musicien a encore frappé.

L’art aventurier du musicien a encore frappé.


Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no. 52, June 1, 2002

Les deux dernières propositions de Jean Derome présentent quelques similitudes dans leur conception: des variations de textures sonores. Celles du premier sont conçues et tissées uniquement par leur concepteur: soixante-neuf messages sonores, de durée plus ou moins identiques 1’30” a 1’49” réalisés principalement à partir d’instruments acoustiques (trompette, saxophone, mégaphone, flûte, guimbarde, appeaux…) mais aussi de sons ou bruits divers captés (dialogues, eau versée, mobiles…) et regroupés en trois disques sources, servent de matériaux à un curieux patchwork. Chacun des vingt-et-un échantillons proposés dans le catalogue des textures combine une information issue de chacun des disques ressources. Le résultat est étonnant, parfois extrême, surtout dans leur alignement volontairement sans logique. Il ne s’agit que d’un catalogue, après tout.


Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 313, February 20, 2002

Two new cds from two reputated canadian musicians. Both are successfull in adding new aspects to their already considerable volume of work. André Duchesne surprises with a trio with Pierre Tanguay on drums and Jean René on alto violin. Duchesne plays classical guitar as he did on his solo effort Réflexions releasesed in 1999. Like Duchesne (Conventum, Les 4 gutiaristes de l’Apocalypso Bar, Locomotive) Pierre Tanguay is known from many other Ambiances Magnétiques releases. In 2000 Tanguay delivered his first and very tasteful La Musique de mon Disque. For Jean René it is his first appearance on this label. He studied composition and conducting and became solo violist for the Orchestre Métropolitain in 1991. He is active in a number of chamber music groups and is interested in the new music, both written and improvised. So this trio must be an interesting context for him, as the music is all about modern chamber music and improvisation. In the older work of Duchesne rock was never far away. In this new work on the other hand he moves away from music that is in one way or the other related to rock. With Polaroïde we enter into the world of modern chamber music. Concentrated and complex music. Igor Stravinsky is somewhere in the neighboorhood. René is very prominent on this cd. He is a very sensible violist and it is a joy to listen to him.

Jean Derome tells us that he “always has been fascinated by catalogues, lists and dictionaries. They are our somewhat naive attempts to conquer the diversity and complexity of the world around us.” How shall I order my collection of stamps? Land by land, birds by birds, etc.? This are superficial but maybe relevant criteria to bring order into a diversity. From this fascination originated his new cd Le magasin de tissu (The Fabric Shop). He recorded 69 short improvised pieces. Each piece has one instrument. He uses reeds, flutes and all kinds of percussive instruments and objects. It is a catalogue - not exhaustive - of the instruments and sounds Derome makes use of in his music. All pieces last about 69 seconds. In between the pieces they are 13 seconds of silence. After compiling this catalogue of 69 soundpieces he put them in some order in the following way. The pieces were distributed on three different cds. So each one has 23 tracks. Derome played these three cds simultaneously in shuffle mode and re-recorded the result. That is what we have in our hands. So it is one of many possible worlds. Is it the best of all possible worlds…? Composed as it is in a very extrinsic way. A naive attempt to compose music…? “This project was designed to allow chance to show its beauty” Derome concludes…

… successfull in adding new aspects to their already considerable volume of work.


Bas Ickenroth, KindaMuzik, February 2, 2002

Jean Derome is one of the co-founders of the Ambiances Magnétiques label, a Montréal-based label specialising in avant-garde, new music, improv, and contemporary creations. He plays all sorts of instruments, but especially flute and saxophone. He studied jazz, improv, contemporary, twelve-tone, atonal, folk and even pop. All this comes forward in his presentation of 23 short pieces of pure improvisation. He compiled this record at random, by playing three discs of each 23 different pieces in a shuffle mode, letting chance be the sole reign in compiling this album. While at first the music doesn’t seem to capture you in any way but annoyance, after a while, when you get used to the abstract tones and the free form improvisations which are seemingly without any structure, the album grows slowly but steadily. A big plus is that Derome never takes himself and his music too seriously. The overall tone is light and almost playful, and the fun which he had while making it shows very obviously. The music meanders between harsh atonal noise and soft spoken words, and everything in-between. This all is made by several different (mostly acoustic) instruments, most of them unrecognisably altered. There is a whole, underlying theme explaining why Derome made this recording in this particular way — it has something to do with dictionaries, fashion and catalogues, believe it or not — but it would take too much time and effort to present it all here.

Le magasin de tissu is a nice album if you’re into pure, abstract improv music, and if you are, you surely will be able to enjoy Jean Derome’s music. However, it doesn’t reach new levels in the Ambiances Magnétiques catalogue. Therefore, this album will only be really interesting if you’re a complete fanatic or if this is your first encounter with music from this label.

More texts

  • Sophie Bernard, Convergence, no. 2:3, November 1, 2001
  • Thursday, February 21, 2002 / New releases

    “Is it the best of all possible worlds…?” (Vital, The Netherlands) It is a surprise to notice after more than fifteen albums that Le magasin de tissu (The Fabric Shop) is Jean Derome first solo album! But it is true, and fans as much as novices wi… More