Les Poules is a trio made up of Joane Hétu saxophone, voice, Diane Labrosse (sampler), and Danielle Palardy Roger (percussion). Their collaboration as Les Poules has a history going back to 1986 when they released their first record Les contes de l’amère loi, to be followed by Prairie Orange in 2002. But under the names of Justine and Wondeur Brass their history goes back even further. All three of these women are very experienced improvisors and composers. All three of them have their own projects going on, and also they participate in even more projects and groups. From time to time they decide to write another chapter in the Les Poules-book. Phénix, their third project, is comprised of 24 tracks divided in six sections. All tracks are under 3 minutes and the tracks within each section make up one continuous whole. The recordings took place on two days in january 2008. Hétu contributes most (and best) of the time with her voice, making all kinds of noises that go well with the disciplined use of the sampler by Labrosse and the percussion work by Roger. They create moods and textures through improvisations that concentrate on the qualities of sound.
All three take also part in the Ensemble Supermusique that is completed by Jean Derome (sax, objects, voice), Pierre Tanguay (drums) and Martin Tétreault (turntables). Recorded live in September 2007, the CD offers four improvisations for which respectively Hétu, Roger, Labrosse and Derome delivered the leading ideas. Canot-camping is a conducted improvisation by Derome. Y’a du bruit dans ma cabane originated from a improvisation concept designed by Danielle Palardy Roger. 8 moments brefs is also a conducted game-improvisation by Hétu. In this improvisation “Each sequence lasts exactly one minute. Every minute, all musicians switch material at random.” Also for this ensemble this is a third effort. The improvisations on both records have a similar outlook. Non-rhythmic percussion, vocal sounds by Hétu and others. Detailed pictures full of small and delicate sounds and noises. At times the music becomes loud and cacophonic, but most of the time, the improvisations pass by in a steady stream full of little and small sounds and noises. The longer you look in this river, the more fish you discover. Of both records I like the one by Ensemble Supermusique the most. Improvisations on this one have many exciting moments and dynamics, and personally I’m always having a good time by the turntable contributions by Tétreault in line ups as these.