Published Apr 11, 2018A founding member of the Quatuor de jazz libre du Québec, percussionist and artist Guy Thouin embraces freedom in music. Born in 1940, the septuagenarian became enamoured with collective improvisation and free jazz in the '60s, studied the tabla throughout India (including in the "universal town" of Auroville) in the 1970s and '80s, and continues to explore new approaches toward sound generation to this day. His HeArt Ensemble finds the artist behind the drum kit, mentoring and rubbing elbows with a younger generation of sonic adventurers.
It was as the 1970s were blooming that Thouin began studying percussion at McGill University, composing Rien ô tout ou linéaire un as an immersive sound environment to accompany a laser sculpture designed by visual artist Roland Poulin. The piece was exhibited in the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art in the autumn of 1971 and was meant to reflect the countercultural "happenings" of the era.
Thouin employed various percussion instruments, a modified koto, a dismantled piano and magnetic tapes, manipulating the raw sound into a dream-like tapestry of drones, screeches, clangs, thumps and rumbles. The power of the piece is contagious, as it ebbs and flows, casting a hallucinatory aura that distorts one's sense of focus. This is a true psychotropic music, meant to spark a voyage inward.
Kudos are in order for the Tenzier label; in their quest to reveal the hidden beauty of Québec's experimental underground, they've added another stellar LP to the canon. (Tenzier)