CD Review – Subduction


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Julie Thériault, Audiogramme 19075801072

Inspired by geology, the pianist, composer and arranger Julie Thériault last November launched her second album, Subduction. This term refers to the slow and inexorable movement of two overlapping tectonic plates. Seemingly benign, these underground movements can have dramatic effects at the surface. The metaphor is quite appropriate to describe Thériault’s music: the 11 pieces unfold and follow each other slowly and steadily, gradually increasing in dramatic intensity before reaching the cataclysmic paroxysm of the last track, Magma.

Thériault’s delicate and serious articulation introduces the main melodies as accompanying instruments appear, thickening the sound as needed. One can hear the violinist Nuné Melik as well as the string orchestra and men’s choir of the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra. Overall, the pieces possess a certain homogeneity. Melodic and harmonic material remains similar throughout the album, but without being redundant. Rather, the general coherence of Thériault’s writing allows the listener to easily enter her musical universe, to find landmarks without getting lost.

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Both disconcerting and mesmerizing, Subduction sometimes recalls the pathos of post-romantic composers such as Gustav Mahler and Samuel Barber, while also evoking the impressionistic mists of Debussy or Ravel. AGV

Translated by Viviane Reid

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About Author

Arnaud G. Veydarier est actuellement étudiant en musicologie à l’Université de Montréal et nourrit un intérêt prononcé pour le jazz, la musique contemporaine et les liens entre musique et développement urbain. Il est pigiste pour La Scena Musicale depuis septembre 2017.

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