Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 515, 3 mars 2006

Danielle Roger is known for her work with all-women groups like Wondeur Brass, Les Poules and Justine. With these and many other projects she became a leading force as a percussionist and composer in the new music scene of Montréal since early 80s. In recent years she concentrated more and more on composing music. On her new cd Bruiducoeur Roger presents an extensive vocal composition, recorded live in june 2004. It’s a vocal work for two narrators, two soloists, two percussionists and a thirteen-piece mixed choir. An oratorio to be more exact. Not a very regular musical form. I know Florian Fricke of Popol Vuh always wanted to write one. The oratorio is a musical composition that was at his peak in the 17th and 18th century. Most oratorios had religious themes. This seems to be case with Bruiducoeur also as it is subtitled “Prières des infidèles”. “This secular ceremony revolves around three characters: LUI, who is dying, scared and delirious; ELLE, who acts as an ironic witness, describing his fears and his struggle; and the CHOIR and SOLOISTS, empathic, representing us, the others, as we too will die one day.” For full enjoyment of this cd it helps if you understand french, but the booklet helps as it contains the full text in french and english. Voices sing, speak, scream. Sentences, words, but sometimes only syllables, or just sounds. The soloists and narrators do a great job. The whole is sparsely instrumented with percussion. Overall the music is not very melodic. At moments medieval sounding melodies appear at the surface, like in track one and three. Track six starts with mongolian throat overtone singing. In general it is a kind of ‘sprechgesang’ that dominates.