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Avant Scena, January 23, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020 Press

Voir dans le vent… is a fresh new release of Ambiances Magnétiques. An album was recorded by Ensemble SuperMusique. This ensemble is famous in contemporary academical music scene which joins together great musicians, talented composer, young talents to work together. Original interpretation of new music always are filled with innovations, extended playing techniques, sonoristic experiments, authentic traditions, modern tendencies of contemporary academical music, especially bright and rich musical language, and wide range of styles, expressions and moods gently brought together. This time, an ensemble had recorded the compositions by Symon Henry. A talented and creative composer is getting on risky combinations, provocative and original musical decisions, has his very own sound and style, and is developping exciting new conception, as well. All music is based on experimental, electroacoustic and contemporary academical music combined with free improvisation and experimental jazz. That makes a dynamic, unpredictable and touching sound.

Isaiah Ceccarelli, Guido Del Fabbro, Jean Derome, Bernard Falaise, Lori Freedman, Émilie Girard-Charest, Joane Hétu, Diane Labrosse, Philippe Lauzier, Pierre-Yves Martel, Cléo Palacio-Quintin, Jean René, Danielle Palardy Roger, Vergil Sharkya’, Alexandre St-Onge, Pierre Tanguay, Martin Tétreault, Scott Thomson and Ida Toninato — these are all the members of Ensemble SuperMusique who are playing together in Voir dans le vent…. The music is based on difficult structure and rich evocative musical language. The musicians succesfully blend together all the sections to one place — an independent and bright melody line, dynamic rhythmic section, synth tunes, electronics, gorgeous musical background and innovative instrumentation. Separate independent sections are contrasting to each other and create a bright, expressive and modern musical language. The music is especially expressive and emotional — the musicians are mixing up together different kinds of motions, characters and expressions. Spontaneous turns, sudden changes, strong contrasts, masterful virtuosity, invention and the ability to switch from the one mood to another without any force — that makes an effort to flexible, expressive, sensible and effective playing manner. The music moves from the darkest pieces mixed with sorrows, anger, aggression or — ambient, subtle and relaxing mood. These episodes are filled with silent pauses, deep contemplations changed by minimalistic samples, sonoristic experiments, strange timbres and turn out to outregeous, haunted, heavy and dark mood. When suddenly the music changes — it gets striking and twisting, rises on sparkling riffs and wild culminations. Here a lyrical, solemn and relaxing playing manner is changed by intense, active and moving pplaying manner with rich ornamental texture. Here expressive melodies filled with shrieky exclamations, hysteric riffs, passionate flowing passages, intense, nervous and complicated rhythms, monotonous sessions are rising to luminous culminations, booming sessions, wild perturbations, radiant breaking riffs and scandalous pieces. The music is played in active, dynamic and expressive playing manner — different kinds of instruments are brought together. All music is based on huge stylistic variety — spontaneous free improvisation is integrated in already arranged contemporary academical music, astonishing and evocative experimental music, synthetic and modern electronics and innovations of academic avant-garde. Here meets an unconventional andevocative contemporary academical, experimental and electroacoustic music and abstract, moving and spontaneous improvisation. An innovative and bright instrumentation is created — it’s based on home-made, strange, experimental and extended playing techniques, rare and exotic instrumental combos, modern innovations, fusion of acoustics and electronics, and ornaments, abbreviations and textures of all kinds. That finally makes an inspiring, evocative and bright sound.

The music is especially expressive and emotional — the musicians are mixing up together different kinds of motions, characters and expressions. […] Here meets an unconventional andevocative contemporary academical, experimental and electroacoustic music and abstract, moving and spontaneous improvisation. […] That finally makes an inspiring, evocative and bright sound.

Critique

Normand Babin, Néomémoire, February 12, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020 Press

Gabriel Dharmoo pratique l’humour en musique depuis un certain temps. Dans ce tout nouvel enregistrement, il présente sept pièces écrites entre 2009 et 2019, toutes pièces pour voix, toutes surfant à la frontière entre réalité et fiction, là où le compositeur se sent le plus à l’aise… Quand on connait un peu son parcours, on sait qu’il a étudié les musiques traditionnelles de plusieurs pays asiatiques et sud-asiatiques. Il a aussi appris des techniques vocales complexes comme celle du chant de gorge. Évidemment, il a aussi une vaste culture en musique occidentale classique que tout compositeur se doit d’avoir. Fort de toute cette richesse, de cet immense savoir, il compose des parodies, des pastiches qui sont si près de ce qu’on imagine parfois être la réalité, qu’on se surprend à cligner des… oreilles, tellement l’impression d’authenticité est frappante.

Gabriel Dharmoo combine quelques techniques, quelques caractéristiques de certaines traditions musicales et en fait un habile mélange, créant ainsi une fausse nouvelle tradition. Prenons Vaai Irandu, la dernière piste de l’album, qui devrait peut-être être écoutée en premier tellement cette musique est séduisante. On semble entendre une basse statique, grave, nous donnant l’impression d’un chant tibétain, d’un ‘om’ de méditation. Mais la mélodie qui s’y rajoute explose et devient semblable à celle de la danse kathak, la musique dhrupad, une mélodie enlevée, vivante et virevoltante. Le très beau contraste entre les deux parties rend cette musique irrésistible. Avec une énergie toute différente, Notre meute, une des pièces les plus souvent jouées du compositeur, interprétée ici par son groupe vocal Phth (arrangez-vous pour le prononcer) emprunte à tellement de sources, recréé tellement de traditions, vraies ou fausses, que l’auditeur est véritablement dépaysé, dans le sens d’être dépourvu d’un pays, si cela se peut. Ça commence par ce qui semble un appel à la prière ou au rassemblement, un chant de muezzin remixé. Au cours des brèves 12 minutes que dure la pièce, on y entendra des chants funèbres, des pleurs, des chants grégoriens, du beat box, du chant gitan ou peut-être arménien, qui sait? du vent, du chant à bouche fermée. Quand je dis qu’on y entend, il faudrait plutôt dire qu’on y ressent, qu’on a l’étrange impression d’avoir déjà entendu tout ça mais toujours par petits bouts, dans d’autres contextes. Un peu comme si il s’agissait d’une collection de citations vocales. Ravigotante musique, on y entend aussi un opéra de poche, un drame s’y passe. Parce qu’après tout, il y a souvent dans la musique vocale, presque toujours en fait, une histoire, un récit. Comme ce récit est en langue inventée, chacun peut à loisir interpréter à sa guise les détails de l’histoire racontée.

Alors qu’il pastiche des traditions imaginées, Gabriel Dharmoo fait aussi partie d’une certaine tradition: celle des poètes et compositeurs qui ont inventés des langues, forgés des mots nouveaux. Dans cette lignée, on compte aussi Claude Gauvreau et Claude Vivier qui ont, chacun à leur façon, créé une œuvre fleurie où la langue est inventée et poétique. Gabriel Dharmoo amène le concept un peu plus loin en nous faisant croire que cette langue existe vraiment. Tellement bien calquée sur de véritables langages qu’elle devient crédible. Pour rendre cette œuvre de façon aussi convaincante, qui de mieux que le compositeur lui-même pour l’interpréter. Il est à l’avant plan ou en solo dans toutes les pièces de l’album. Il est même son propre duettiste dans l’amusant Duo de Moogeon. En tout l’interprétation est impeccable et vive avec une prise de son qui rend bien l’intense présence des voix. Parce qu’il y croit profondément, chaque son, chaque note, chaque syllabe nous convainc. Que ce soit le bruit de la pluie, du vent, que ce soit un chant funèbre, on y croit sans retenue et on écoute avec fascination. Le compositeur pratiquerait donc l’humour en musique, mais quand allons nous rire? Après. Seulement lorsqu’on se rendra compte qu’il nous a bien eu. Et à tout coup, il nous aura.

Pour rendre cette œuvre de façon aussi convaincante, qui de mieux que le compositeur lui-même pour l’interpréter. […] En tout l’interprétation est impeccable et vive avec une prise de son qui rend bien l’intense présence des voix.

Review

Brian Olewnick, The Squid’s Ear, February 6, 2020
Monday, February 10, 2020 Press

When dealing with Phill Niblock’s music, you pretty know what you’re in for from the outset: A thick, massive wall of sound within which you’ll encounter all manner of activities. Much of the intrigue involves the instrumentation utilized and how, if at all, it’s augmented.

For the two works presented here, Disseminate as Five String Quartets and Baobab, five “multiples” of the quartet are used, with twenty different instrumental lines. Each lengthy line, essentially a drone, has a designated degree of sharpness or flatness around a given pitch and the players create tones as seamlessly as possible, resulting in one continuous, fluctuating stream. Naturally, the small variations in pitch create pulses and throbs that become one of the basic attributes of the work. More to the point, they accentuate the richness and nuance of the overall sound, a huge, breathing, orchestral mass. The amount of information packed into this music is astonishing, allowing the listener to hear detail after detail, pattern after pattern, relationship after relationship.

Apart from a difference in basic pitch, there’s not so much to distinguish the two pieces; both afford the same luxurious, cavernous, ultra-resonant immersion into Niblock’s unique sound world, one of the deepest around. As always, beautifully interpreted by the outstanding Bozzini Quartet.

[…] both [pieces] afford the same luxurious, cavernous, ultra-resonant immersion into Niblock’s unique sound world, one of the deepest around. As always, beautifully interpreted by the outstanding Bozzini Quartet.

Review

Normand Babin, Néomémoire, February 4, 2020
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 Press

voir dans le vent qui hurle les étoiles rire et rire by Symon Henry already had a life. Created for the opening of the new Pavilion Lassonde at the Musée des Beaux-Arts du Québec by the Québec Symphonic Orchestra, it is under the arrangement of Danielle Palardy Roger for the Ensemble SuperMusique it has been recorded in 2018. The music of Symon Henry is particular by being partly improvised, their scores being drawn instead of being written with traditional notation. Curves, ascents and descents lines define the melody when the density of the traits and the colors define the orchestration and the volume of the sounds. The part of the musicians playing this music is then huge in the interpretation being done. But the listeners also have their voice in the interpretation of this music. Symon Henry writes (draws) their music as poetry, leaving space for diverse ways of understanding. Then, in order to review the listening I have done, you reader have to accept this is nothing more nothing less than my personal way of hearing this music. One between thousands.

The piece has six sections which will be played without stop. voir dans le vent qui hurle les étoiles rire et rire begins with Grandes horizontales et nuages d’étoiles. We can guess that these long horizontal lines will not touch each other, these lines, as unstable as they are, do not meet. This premiss is quite contemplative and ecstatic and express the impossibility of some connections, some communications. Les rencontres (meetings) happen in the second part. The straight lines are superposed to a clattering background from the strings and the piano. A solo by the cellist, took back by the saxophone shows a greater dramatic tension, what meetings and splittings sometimes also have. This movement ends on animals songs, those animals sounds like they are suffering, are breathless. With a transition at the cello — decidedly, Rémy Bélanger de Beauport hits it here — into the third part, Entrelacs et épurations, see the cello and the piano put down the marks for what will be following. After a stop in the flow, the sounds are shorter, sparser. Which brings to the almost death of this long breath that lead the piece from the very beginning. The fourth part, Accords et impulsions will be the catalyst for the end of the piece. The piano leads with a strong pointillism through Les nues. — we have here to define what «nues» means. In French it is a word frequently used in idioms without anyone knowing what it really means. It should be understood as the skies, cloudy or not, the clouds — On an almost dancing beat with a lot of pats is superposed huge descending glissandos, rocket ascending lines, exacerbated climaxes, ecstatic coitus. Here is the big earthquake, where everything happens. It ends on a plateau of high pitched strings and woodwinds, not coming back from their cloud until the end of the last section, Résonances. Once again, we hear long horizontal lines. The piano, the percussions and the cello are in the low of their respective register. Everything ends without having these extremes meet. Soaring each on their side, those lines live their grand ecstasy apart.

Until the end of the 20th Century, music mostly was an art of reproduction. Musicians damned to reproduce as well as they could what is a Beethoven sonata, what is a Bruckner Symphony, what is a Berg opera. Symon Henry, with many other composers writes a music which offers a lot of freedom to the performance, to the expression of views by the musicians-interpreters. They also leave a lot of space for the listener to hear, see and feel what the listener wants. I heard a lot of ecstasy, a lot of breath in voir dans le vent qui hurle les étoiles rire et rire. I feel some influences, maybe from Ligeti, Stockhausen or even Messiaen. But I am totally conscious that it is only one in a million ways to listen to this music. Other ensembles or orchestras will play eventually this work. The standard will be pretty high considering how this recording is very inspired and has a brilliant technical render. But those who will perform this music anew will give us eventually a pretty different version from this one. As in poetry, everything happens between the words, between the notes. The breath and the rests modify the meaning and embody the interpretation. This beautiful production is plural: it shows drawings, extracts from the score, of course this has a lot of music and also some poetry, as you can read the list of the titles as a haiku.

I heard a lot of ecstasy, a lot of breath in voir dans le vent qui hurle les étoiles rire et rire. […] The standard will be pretty high considering how this recording is very inspired and has a brilliant technical render.

Critique

Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound, January 30, 2020
Monday, February 3, 2020 Press

Le premier album du compositeur et vocaliste Gabriel Dharmoo interpelle, de par les questions qu’il soulève, brouillant la réalité dans des origines aux racines trompeuses.

Tout en voix, Quelques fictions invente sa propre langue, à coups d’onomatopées et de souffles, de bruitages gutturaux et d’envolées mélodiques, d’espièglerie et de culture.

On est balancé en permanence sur des géographies à la familiarité pourtant inconnue, puisant savamment dans dans cantiques tribaux ou liturgiques aux origines inconnues, inventions pleine de malice et de connections floues. L’avant-garde se dilue dans une comedia dell’arte pleine de vie et d’humour, d’inattendu et de surprise. Brillant.

L’avant-garde se dilue dans une comedia dell’arte pleine de vie et d’humour, d’inattendu et de surprise. Brillant.

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