Les accords intuitifs

Ensemble SuperMusique (ESM) / Raymond Gervais, Yves Bouliane, Joane Hétu, Bernard Falaise, Malcolm Goldstein

All tracks are moored in the territory where group concert music conventions, free-form soloing and rock-music tempi collide. The WholeNote, Canada

Les productions du collectif Ambiances Magnétiques restent fidèles à elles-mêmes et à leur éclectisme Revue & Corrigée, France

The latest Ensemble SuperMusique album is made up of five pieces composed between 1976 and 2015 featuring twenty musicians playing in different combinations. Raymond Gervais’s Accords intuitifs (from 1976) and Champ (10 interventions), composed by Yves Bouliane in 1977, are paired with three contemporary pieces by composers Bernard Falaise (La trotteuse, 2015), Malcolm Goldstein (Jeu de cartes, 2014) and Joane Hétu (Pour ne pas désespérer seul, 2011). Here’s yet another fine example of the Ensemble SuperMusique’s commitment to creative music that reveals the tremendous improvisational quality and sensitivity of its members.

  • Canada Council for the Arts • SODEC

CD (AM 222)

  • Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
  • AM 222
  • 2015
  • UCC 771028122226
  • Total duration: 69:28
  • Sympathique case
  • 126 mm × 126 mm × 5 mm
  • 35 g

On the web

Some recommended items
In the press

Something in the Air: Interpreting Roscoe Mitchell’s Challenging and Influential Music

Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, no. 22:2, October 1, 2016

Confirming one again the continued vitality of the first generation of Free Music avatars, at 76, saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell is still innovating with divergent aspects of, instrumentation and arrangements. One demonstration of this occurs Sunday October 16, when he leads a mixed, 15-member, Montréal-Toronto ensembles through several of his composition a part of the Music Gallery’s annual X-Avant Festival. (…)

About half the musicians interpreting Mitchell’s Music Gallery compositions reside in Montréal. Some are part of Ensemble SuperMusique. Les accords intuitifs features a large group of improvisers playing compositions by alto saxophonist/vocalist Joane Hétu and guitarist Bernard Falaise, as well a contemporary pieces by violinist Malcolm Goldstein and two mid-1970s scores by Montréalers Yves Bouliane and Raymond Gervais. All tracks are moored in the territory where group concert music conventions, free-form soloing and rock-music tempos collide. Like researchers experimenting with space medicine discovering unexpected futuristic tropes, new currents arise when Martin Tétrault’s turntables, Vergil Sharkya’s synthesizer and Alexandre St-Onge or Nicolas Caloia’s electric basses are given leeway. Although the stop-time climaxes, cycling marches and the semi-serious vocalizing on Hétu’s Pour ne pas désespérer seul appear related more to Frank Zappa then Iannis Xenakis, Mitchell would recognize asides created by percussive AEC-pioneered little instruments, as well as sharpened saxophone cries that play off against Scott Thomason’s plunger trombone and Craig Pedersen’s soaring trumpet. Unsurprisingly, although Goldstein’s Jeux de cartes expands and contracts with tremolo flutters prodded by Danielle Palardy Roger and Isaiah Ceccarelli’s percussion, most of the crackling excitement is engendered by Joshua Zubot’s violin glissandi. Another stand-out performance is Gervais’ title track. Uncommonly contemporary, the piece mixes overhanging crescendos growled by the entire ensemble with spidery contrasts between the solo strategies of St-Onge and acoustic bassist Aaron Lumley. The ending is left unresolved as cymbal clanking finality is subverted by synthesizer squeaks and guitar string pops. (…)

All tracks are moored in the territory where group concert music conventions, free-form soloing and rock-music tempi collide.


Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no. 109, September 1, 2016
Les productions du collectif Ambiances Magnétiques restent fidèles à elles-mêmes et à leur éclectisme

Whither Canada? Part 2

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, August 20, 2016

Calling yourself Ensemble SuperMusique is bound to raise high expectations in your audience, but the team of Jean Derome, Bernard Falaise, Joanne Hétu, Danielle Palardy Roger et al are clearly consummate musicians. Perhaps they mean that the music they play is some form of “hyper-music”, or “meta-music”, rather than implying they have super powers. On Les accords intuitifs (AM 222 CD), the players perform in various combinations with woodwinds, electric guitar, percussion, synths, violin, piano, bass guitar, and the human voice. The turntablist Martin Tétreault joins them for two pieces. Together, they play their interpretations of compositions by Malcolm Goldstein, Raymond Gervais (avant-garde conceptaluist and creator of multi-media pieces), Yves Bouliane (bass player in Le Quatuor de jazz libre du Québec), Bernard Falaise, and Joanne Hétu (noted in the last batch) — all of whom are Canadian, with the exception of Goldstein who is half American. All of the works are quite challenging to listen to, full of dissonances, tensions, and yawning gaps; I kind of like the way that classical modernism, free improvisation and contemporary rock noise all seem to meet up in the same room, but the conversations they hold are very forced and mannered, as if they were total strangers trying to be stiffly polite to each other.

I kind of like the way that classical modernism, free improvisation and contemporary rock noise all seem to meet up in the same room…


Master Kob Legendario, Rock progresivo, July 16, 2016

De vuelta está el gran ensamble de Montréal: la convención de expertos en materia de improvisación registra otro disco en su apreciable trayectoria. Lideriados por Danielle Roger y Joane Hetu, esta vez se dieron a la tarea de ejecutar 5 piezas compuestas entre el período de 1976-2015. La suma de los esfuerzos de gente de Justine, Klaxon Gueule, Quartetski y otros músicos increíbles da por resultado un trabajo electro-acústico fenomenal, con tendencias de improvisación demasiado libres y para una buena variedad de instrumentos. El contenido vanguardista se presenta en algunas fases de música drone, donde la maquinaria roba protagonismo y los instrumentos se comportan mecánicamente. Muy poco le deben a la música docta contemporánea o al jazz de estándares, ésta gente se descuadra de géneros y convenciones para poner en práctica lo que les venga en mente: un libertinaje musical total. El molde estructural de cada track obedece al máximo riesgo creativo, y el curso de las composiciones siempre es impredecible. Y justo cuando la dirección de un tema parece tener más cohesión y ritmo, es en ese momento que aparece su sentido extraterrestre de como hacer contrapuntos entre instrumentos y máquinas. Lo único que parece sonar más humano es el swing del comienzo del último track, pero en poco tiempo lo deconstruyen y mal viajan gracias a elementos disonantes, discordantes e improvisatorios. Y el highlight del álbum me parece que es precisamente ese: así es como tiene que se sonar el jazz de vanguardia de este siglo.


Stuart Broomer, Musicworks, May 16, 2016

Les accords intuitifs is the fifth CD by Ensemble SuperMusique, a large Montréal-based group that performs compositions that are conceptual explorations. The core group consists of reed-players Jean Derome and Joane Hétu, guitarist Bernard Falaise, and percussionist Danielle Palardy Roger. On its latest recording, it expands to twelve members, in two different complements of musicians, for five pieces composed between 1976 and 2015. Methodologies vary from piece to piece, but the ensemble’s close listening and concentrated attention create consistently engaging music.

For Malcolm Goldstein’s constantly shifting Jeu de cartes (2014), each musician randomly selects four cards including graphic notation, a rhythmic pattern, a word in French, and a place in the performance’s time sequence. Ensemble SuperMusique uses the chance methodology to create both drama and surprise. Similarly, Raymond Gervais’s Accords intuitifs (debuted by Derome in 1976) assumes power and mystery in the long and short ensemble clusters and brief solo improvisations.

While the momentary bursts of Yves Bouliane’s Champ (10 interventions), from 1977, take on fresh dimension with Martin Tétreault’s turntables, Bernard Falaise’s La trotteuse (the second hand) from 2015 uses tightly coordinated passages for 12 musicians and 12 metronomes, initially playfully fracturing time before assuming churning power.

Joane Hétu’s Pour ne pas désespérer seul (2011) is a work in eight movements with the order spontaneously determined. It’s inspired by oppositional social sets (stationary / nomadic, etc.), but that hardly prepares one for the work; its materials including chanting (oddly suggesting the Mothers of Invention) and a manic and compound effusion that wittily updates the swinging big band, with brassy outbursts from trumpeter Craig Pedersen and trombonist Scott Thomson.

Like all of SuperMusique’s realizations, Les accords intuitifs is a genuine adventure.

Like all of SuperMusique’s realizations, Les accords intuitifs is a genuine adventure.


Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, March 4, 2016

This is the fifth fabulous release from Montréal-based all-star ensemble led by Joane Hétu and Danielle Palardy Roger. Collective personnel includes Jean Derome (reeds), Bernard Falaise (guitar), Lori Freedman (clarinets), Martin Tétreault (turntables), Pierre Tanguay (drums) and Joshua Zubot (violin). There are some 20 musicians involved in this massive studio effort with two ensembles with revolving members. Each of the five pieces were written by members of the ensemble or composers: Malcolm Goldstein, Raymond Gervais and Yves Bouliane. The core of this ensemble are longtime members: Jean Derome, Joane Hétu and Danielle Palardy Roger, whose composing and playing have evolved and matured over several decades, hence there is often more going on than what we hear on the surface.

Malcolm Goldstein’s Jeux de cartes sounds free when it starts yet is animated and/or directed in tight spurts. The times that I’ve caught Ensemble SuperMusique live, there were some splendid hand signal directed improvisations going on. The title track by Mr. Gervais has a Morton Feldman/John Cage-like-like vibe/structure: stark at times, filled with careful silent sections, abrupt yet logical shifts. The overall effect is both mysterious and fascinating. The piece by Yves Bouliane is also stark with creepy whispers, minimal fragments and cautious improvisations. Parts of this remind me of those card-directed game pieces of John Zorn but on a more restrained level. If you listen closely, you can hear the way each sound or small group of sounds is carefully executed and manipulated. Joane Hétu seems to be the most consistent and diverse composer of the Ambiances Magnétiques stable. The final piece here is by Ms. Hétu and it is extraordinary: kaleidoscopic, swirling, circus-like at times, with some occasional hilarious twists & turns and bits of silly vocals (Jean Derome, perhaps?). Ensemble SuperMusique will be appearing at FIMAV fest in Québec in May of 2016. Can’t wait to check them out again. In the meantime, check out this gem and you will hear how special they are.

This is the fifth fabulous release from Montréal-based all-star ensemble led by Joane Hétu and Danielle Palardy Roger.


Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, February 3, 2016

Si le titre du nouvel opus de la formation de musique contemporaine et actuelle, Ensemble SuperMusique est tiré de l’œuvre de Raymond Gervais, il est en fait l’interprétation de cinq œuvres différentes d’autant de compositeurs: Yves Bouliane, Bernard Falaise, Malcolm Goldstein, Joane Hétu. La particularité de ces interprétations est la composition même de cet orchestre peu banal, constitué pour l’occasion de 20 musiciens, sélectionnés pour leurs qualités d’instrumentistes mais aussi d’improvisateurs, capables de jouer et de ressentir les œuvres choisies tout en y insufflant une part de leur personnalité intrinsèque, offrant ainsi à chaque interprétation une sensation de moment unique et non renouvelable. Les Accords Intuitifs sont un voyage sensitif à travers les musiques actuelles, avec ses montées et ses descentes, ses plages de douce quiétude saupoudrées d’invectives sonores et de dérapage dans des paysages rocailleux bercés de poussière électrique et de classicisme vrillé. Entre électro-acoutisque organique et improvisation tendue, dérapages controlés et sensations poil à gratter, les cinq titres proposés sont l’occasion de découvrir et de vivre une expérience unique, aux allures de sortie spatio-temporelle dans les méandres poétiques d’un espace musical trop peu connu du grand public. Très fortement recommandé.

Très fortement recommandé.

Guide albums

Réjean Beaucage, Voir, January 28, 2016

La compagnie de distribution de disques de musique actuelle DAME, loin de s’effacer dans le virtuel, lançait en décembre 10 nouvelles galettes qui démontrent encore une fois la vitalité de ce créneau. Ici, l’Ensemble SuperMusique rassemble 20 instrumentistes répartis en deux groupes distincts de 12 musiciens (quatre d’entre eux jouant dans les deux) pour interpréter des œuvres de Malcolm Goldstein, Raymond Gervais, Yves Bouliane, Bernard Falaise et Joane Hétu, dont les partitions laissent beaucoup d’espace aux interprètes. L’enregistrement et le mixage de Robert Langlois et Joane Hétu rendent bien l’enchevêtrement de textures sonores que construisent les musiciens, particulièrement dans les pièces de Falaise, qui se signale aussi à la guitare, et de Hétu (sax, voix, direction). Beau recueil.

Beau recueil