Christopher Bissonnette Periphery

Christopher Bissonnette Periphery
Windsor-based ambient manipulator Christopher Bissonnette has been steadily building his profile as one of this country’s more eccentric artists for almost a decade now. Back in 1997, he got together with multi-tasking sound poet Mark Laliberte and video artist Chris MacNamara to form the Thinkbox multi-media collective. Thinkbox, which soon blossomed into five members, has been holding court in art galleries and austere music spaces since the turn of the century, accruing an ever-increasing collection of high-profile appearances to their name. After a flurry of impressive and wide-ranging CD-Rs, in 2004 they set down their first proper CD releases, two limited edition and highly evocative Thinkbox Editions compilations, which then constituted their most recognisable output to date. Periphery, Bissonnette’s latest solo album that has been picked up by Ambient-Americana stalwart Kranky Records, is about to change all that. Beginning with source material from piano and classical orchestrations, he cultivates a lush, textured, and oftentimes miasmic stream of aural consciousness that harkens back to the early works of Harold Budd. Compositions like "In Accordance” and "Proportion in Motion” are based on modulations in tonality. As the album title suggests, the music here is a derivative of traditional instrumentation and not the sonic inflections themselves. All these intellectualisms within the work make Periphery an album that requires close listening, though one that will reward those who allow it the patience it requests. Nevertheless, Bissonnette is pushing Canadian music down the path less travelled, and that’s worth raising a few eyebrows.