(Empreintes DIGITALes)

Although Canadian pianist and composer Deschênes has been active for decades in various areas of new music, having undergone training with the likes of Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Henry and Guy Reibel and founding CEC (Canadian Electroacoustic Community), besides being a main presence in many other collaborations and exhibitions, “Petits Big Bangs” is her first official recording to date, and it’s all the more perplexing that this artist’s expression still hasn’t been duly diffused on a worldwide scale, like it happens for many less deserving but probably better connected entities. In the five pieces comprised by this DVD we experience both the technical mastery and, dare I say, the attitude of a woman that marks her own territory in different sonic regions with a blend of visionary elasticity and historical perspective. As a matter of fact, Deschênes uses many references – often liberally borrowing snippets of material from her colleagues’ output – to generate sound worlds that contain unpredictable expansions, infinite meanings and interpretations of a sensorial attack that often moves on the verge of schizophrenia, yet is dramatically charged with intense beauty, that kind of pleasure deriving from the sheer force of the elements, being them natural or studio-generated. Deschênes is able to exploit the multitude of shades of her electroacoustic palette by not limiting herself to theatricality (although human voice is often utilized to daze and confuse into further interconnections) and also by sapiently fusing actual instruments and tapework, like in “Moll, opéra lilliput pour six roches molles” in which clarinet, trombone and percussion contribute to a “transposition of children’s dreams of sea” with mind-altering results. Not an easy listen, for sure spiritually remunerative, “Petits Big Bangs” is one of those sleepers that should instead be jet-propelled to a wider attention, as it belongs in the highest rank of contemporary acousmatics.

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