Recorded March 25 2015
Casa Obscura, Montréal

Of the many freedoms offered by improvised music, instrumentation is one of its most striking features, the reason being that it has no typical ensemble configuration. Other idioms do, for instance the string quartet in classical music, the piano-bass-drum trio in jazz, the dual guitar rock band, to name the most obvious ones. By nature, free improv is the most open-minded musical practice, both in its unconstrained approach regarding the organization of materials and acceptance of all means towards that end, instruments included. At first glance, the quintet heard on this recording has all the earmarkings of a classical chamber ensemble with its four strings and clarinets (soprano and bass). Yet, its musical designs are not those of a ghostly presence otherwise known as the composer, but the projections of the players’ own inner scores. For all of their spontaneous interactions, the musicians display a cunning sense of group discipline, even when playing fast and furious as in the first part of the 20-minute opening track. Freedman’s approach on Bb clarinet mimics the gestures of the string players, as if she were one herself, while her bass provides a soothing presence thereafter, in a middle section that almost sighs in relief before things pick up again in the closing section. That track and the shorter one following it are proof postive of how musicians can confidently rely on their own resources to strive towards a common purpose, and find it, too.
Marc Chénard


released June 25, 2020

Lori Freedman - clarinets
Joshua Zubot - violin
Jean René - viola
Émilie Girard-Charest - cello
Nicolas Caloia - double bass

Mathieu Bélanger - recording


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Musique Rayonnante Montreal, Québec

Musique Rayonnante proposes an online audio collection which offers a sample of some of the open and abstract music coming out of Montreal in the early 21 century.

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