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Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 1335, May 21, 2022
Friday, June 3, 2022 Press

Émilie Girard-Charest is a rising star from the Montréal-scene. So far, this Canadian cellist, composer and improviser is most known for her work as a performer, being a member of various ensembles, and being involved in the premiere of many new compositions from diverse composers. Her compositions have been performed by ensembles like Zukan trio, Thin Edge New Music Collective, SuperMusique, a.o. Also she has several albums out. All of them are collaborations with artists like Violeta Garcia ( Impermanence ), Sergio Castrillón ( Enthousiasme viscéral ), a.o. Intimités is the first album with compositions solely by Émilie Girard-Charest. Four works are presented here: Asyndètes (2017), Épanchements (2014), Heurts (2019) and Intimités (2018). Asyndètes (2017), is written for a quartet, performed here by violinists Lyne Allard, Geneviève Liboiron and Jean René, plus

Girard-Charest herself on cello. An interaction of short attacks and movements with changing dynamics gives a constant suggestion of discontinuity. Épanchements (2014) is written for a trio lineup. Again we hear Liboiron and Girard-Charest joined by pianist Daniel Anez. Often the music is close to silence here, interrupted by high-pitched and long-stretched noisy sounds. Heurts is a work of more joyful and playful movements for violin and cello accompanied by piano (Daniel Anez) and percussion (Noam Bierstone). Intimités (2018) is written for an ensemble performed here by the Montréal chamber ensemble Novarumori. This microtonal work has penetrating dissonant passages resulting from slow evolving movements. Her strings-dominated works are accessible and stripped down in a way. Girard-Charest seems to work from a limited set of ideas and with a clear focus. On the other hand, the works aren’t accessible at all and need careful attention before they reveal why they are there. Interesting work!

Girard-Charest seems to work from a limited set of ideas and with a clear focus. […] Interesting work!