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Famille Joane Hétu

The Mercredimusics @ Casa Obscura concert series is solely dedicated to, so-called, free improvisation. The series is curated by Lori Freedman, Jean Derome and myself (Joane Hétu). We take turns in creating new combinations of improvisers picked from the rich Montréal improvising musician community and joined, from time to time, by Canadian and international visitors. Each player must demonstrate a sincere and profound approach to this music plus a regular practice of improvisation. In recent years, I have recorded on two tracks many on my Mercredimusics. Famille features 14 moments extracted from those tapes and faithfull to Mercredimusics’ spirit: never the same combination of players, never any written music, always for the first and last time. (JH)

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Mercredimusics@Casa Obscura, 2009-2015

Joane Hétu

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In the Press


Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no. 109, September 1, 2016
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Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, August 19, 2016

Joane Hétu is a vocalist and sax player, renowned on the Montréal free improvisation “scene”. Her Famille (AM 225 CD) is a selection of concert recordings made between 2009 and 2015; the Mercredimusics @ Casa Obscura series of concerts might be the Canadian equivalent of Company Week, dedicated to free improvisation. Certainly, the team-up-with-anyone spirit nurtured by Derek Bailey is alive and well in Canada, if these snapshots are anything to go by. There’s a long list of fellow improvisers on the sleeve here with which Joane has thrown down her vocal and woodwind exploits, including a few names we recognise, such as Pierre-Yves Martel, Philippe Lauzier, and Alexandre St-Onge. Not every track is an outright winner for me, but the subdued mysterious mood running through this album is very intriguing, and my preference is for those cuts which whine and drone exquisitely without anyone appearing to exert themselves very much. Joane Hétu’s sax work is adequate, her voice work is far more distinctive, and while her errant hooting may be an acquired taste her murmurs and pained squeaks are strangely satisfying, in spite of their minimal content. So far a picture emerges of Canadian improvisers being capable of far more restraint than you might find, let’s say, during an evening with Peter Brotzmann and Evan Parker.

… the subdued mysterious mood running through this album is very intriguing…

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