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Heard In

Christina Dore, The Squid’s Ear, May 24, 2011

“Shaman because, without claiming that ancestral art, we firmly believe that our work is closer to the world of healing, supernatural communication, and ancestral memory than the world of ’entertainment’ — the infantilizing disgrace art is turning into.”

Saxophonists Jean Derome and Joane Hétu have created a forty-eight minute masterpiece with Nous percons les oreilles. Through horns, flutes, objects, squeaks, beeps, cries, exclamations and songs, these two French Canadian artists have conjured up the earth’s hidden spirits and demons, fleshed them out and transferred their language through twelve unnamed tracks which can only be distinguished by their time length.

The improvisational shamanic folk in this album is possessed. Opening up, the alto sax is like a morning bell, awakening and demanding. Through the next few tracks, the aggression builds with glitchy improv screeches and beeps, yet the patterns of noise almost resemble an unknown speech that few can decipher, let alone communicate with. Throughout the album the music returns to calm distorted moans and gentle flutes — the invoking of the dead ancestors and the folktale myths. The record ends with lowly growls, rapid breaths and teetering barks — welcome to our universe!

Derome and Hétu’s album draws slight comparisons to groups like Wooden Wand and The Vanishing Voice, particularly with the earthy tones, native folk and improvisational jazz elements. Appropriate listening: anywhere, but particularly outdoors, surrounded by nature’s animals and creation. You’ll feel the music’s effect all around, in the trees, in the mockingbird’s tune and in your own skin.

You’ll feel the music’s effect all around, in the trees, in the mockingbird’s tune and in your own skin.

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