BLG, Downtown Music Gallery, June 24, 2005

This trio features Antoine Berthiaume on guitar & percussion, Quentin SirJacq on piano & percussion and Norman Teale on electronics, mixing & engineering. This was recorded at Mills College where Fred Frith has taught for the past few years. Experimental guitarist, Antoine Berthiaume, has a fine guitar duos disc out a couple of years back with two older pioneers, Derek Bailey and Fred Frith (on AM). I had never heard of him before this, but I was most intrigued. He recently moved to New York and played a marvelous solo set here last month. This is his second collaborative effort on the AM label and I can’t say I’ve heard of the other tow players, but again I am quite surprised. Antoine has been influenced by Frith, Bailey and other more adventurous guitarists and has come up with his own sound, his own crafty bag of tricks or ideas. Leaves and Snows is a mysterious combination of sounds, often quiet, yet very selective and evocative. Quentin sounds as if he is playing inside the piano and creating subtle alien landscapes, as Antoine plays delicate, yet eerie slide and e-bow induced ghost-like sounds. I don’t quite know what Norman Teale is doing at times, yet we hear some distant electronics and subtle manipulations at times. Occasional percussion is also utilized, adding a bit of subtle spice to keeps thing a bit off balance. My favorite moments are when Antoine is his most Frith-like, playing magically melodic chords or sounds and adding just the right amount of suspense. Too marvelous for words, no, just marvelous enough.

Too marvelous for words, no, just marvelous enough.