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Où est-il donc ce rêve? Joker

  • SODEC

Genuinely praiseworthy are the tangled counterpoints (often of the involuntary kind) and a few remarkable harmonic fluctuations enriched by an indisputable human warmth. Touching Extremes, Italy

Fascinant SilenceAndSound, France

It began one bewildering night. A chorus of voices, riding a time machine, chimed together mysteriously, and the night was jolted by apparitions. Thus appeared the oneiric, irrational world inhabited by these twelve singers and, under their conductor’s unusual signals, their siren songs, their tales of sleeping upright, and their magic-in-sound. That night’s exorbitant playfulness and meteoric dreaming produced vertiginous visions and silences: angels eluding the inferno, exalted in the starry night, forgotten or hidden in the darkness, and tangled in this tide of dreams. They had left the quotidian, one bereft of imagination. In this way, Où est-il donc ce rêve? is an amorphous night animated by a series of short dreams, by turns disjointed and crazed, that stave off the horrifying thought of a dreamless world.

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Où est-il donc ce rêve?

Joker

Joane Hétu

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In the press

  • Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, December 25, 2016
    Genuinely praiseworthy are the tangled counterpoints (often of the involuntary kind) and a few remarkable harmonic fluctuations enriched by an indisputable human warmth.
  • Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, December 6, 2016
    Fascinant

Review

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, December 25, 2016

I recall Joane Hétu’s activity with Wondeur Brass — a respectable band — countless years ago, then lost track of the coordinates. Largely unaware of the Quebecois’ subsequent operations, I gladly devoted myself to the analysis of this CD, comprising a 57-minute work for an a cappella ensemble (12 voices) instructed and directed by Hétu.

This occasionally theatrical phonetic patchwork caused mixed reactions. Joker — described as a “chorale bruitiste” in the presentation — is a sort of poor man’s avantgarde choir, featuring a good number of spoken snippets (a little too many for my liking) and improvised sections merged with composed parts and out-and-out songs. You take what it gives according to your personal inclinations which, depending on the moment, could mean an elastic-minded acceptation, an approving nod, or a thorough refusal.

Genuinely praiseworthy are the tangled counterpoints (often of the involuntary kind) and a few remarkable harmonic fluctuations enriched by an indisputable human warmth. Archetypal expressions related to astonishment, playfulness or inquietude are more reminiscent of certain shopworn traditions of “cultivated avant-vocalism”, and quite ostentatious in that sense. Finding hints to newness (and real interest) in there becomes harder, although the cultural values and the overall consciousness remain intact.

Où est-il donc ce rêve? would possibly earn a better mark had this reviewer experienced Joker in a live context, where the probability of a deeper individual involvement is high; this debut album is just a recorded demonstration of what they do. Surely over average, but not necessarily one to return to in a hurry.

Genuinely praiseworthy are the tangled counterpoints (often of the involuntary kind) and a few remarkable harmonic fluctuations enriched by an indisputable human warmth.

Critique

Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, December 6, 2016

Joker est une chorale montréalaise pas comme les autres, prenant les mots pour les faire glisser sur les pages blanches de livres en mouvement.

Dirigées par Joane Hétu, les 13 voix nous entrainent dans un monde imaginaire fait de balancements et de souffles, d’instants en suspension et de brouillages sonores, où les bruissements se transforment en contes poétiques aux dérives surréalistes.

Les mots ne sont pas les seuls éléments au centre de Où est-il donc ce rêve?, les intonations, les caquètements, les rires et les onomatopées font aussi partie du voyage, transformant les histoires en instants abstraits, où le rêve, thème central de ces 19 titres, cherche à prendre la poudre d’escampette, pour fuir la nuit et rejoindre une fiction plus profonde, aux frontières oniriques pour opéra absurde aux borborygmes nocturnes tourbillonnants. Fascinant.

Fascinant

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