Richard di Santo, Incursion Music Review, October 1, 2000

Inventive composer and percussionist Pierre Tanguay presents his first solo record of music made largely from invented and recycled instruments. It’s been labelled as “’heavy new age’ background music”; I’m not sure what “heavy new age” means, and the music on this disc is a far cry from background music, so I’m not sure if this label does the record any real justice. Tanguay plays anything from more traditional percussion instruments and flutes to household objects like bottles of wine, plastic Winnie-the-Pooh figurines, cowbells and a kazoo. His arrangements are complex and deliberate, the sounds delicately rising from a template of silence. The disc begins quietly with C’est pas la mer à boire; its gentle percussion and quiet drones make for a peaceful introduction, leading into the more varied instrumentation of Ma poule, ma fleur, which also rests gently on the ears. The further into the album we get, the more intricate the arrangements; ranging from quiet and minimal, to loud and alarming (especially so with the frantic tones of Une étoile dans le coeur and L’alarme à l’oeil) and everything in between. The only regrettable track here is Ma tribu personnelle, which has this irritating and monotonous vocal chanting that goes nowhere for me. In the liner notes, Tanguay collects the titles of the 16 pieces and forms a paragraph that is only semi-intelligible (you’d have to read it yourself to see what I mean). This is an interesting comment on the album as a whole, because the distinct pieces of music also form this entity that is by no means a straightforward linear composition. It’s clear that there is much hidden within the arrangements for us to discover. There are many voices, many narratives, and many sounds which, as Tanguay points out, “address everyone, anywhere at anytime”. The only trick is finding out just what it’s all trying to tell us. Recommended for the adventurous.

Recommended for the adventurous.