Jean Derome Strand Under The Dark Cloth

Derome has to number among Canada’s most diverse, entertaining and prolific composers. This film soundtrack features him on flutes, tin whistle, alto saxophone, piano and percussion, as he leads a 12 piece orchestra in a program of 18 miniatures distinguished by their cohesive suite-like flow. The composer’s melodic flair shines as Claude Maheu’s oboe states the lovely theme of “Rebecca” while timpani (“Abstraction”), steel drums (“Blind Woman”) and delicate percussion fills (“La Galerie,”) show Derome’s rhythmic invention and his mastery of harmonic colour and minimalist detail. Pascale Beaudry’s violin and the wordless vocals of Karen Young add consistent charm and dramatic strength to a project that ranges from the vibrant African vamp of the heavily percussive “Ghana (Hope),” to the sprightly folk themes of “Hébrides (A Song & A Dance).” Strand… is one of Derome’s most satisfying projects and confirms why his music deserves wider acclaim. (Ambiances Magnétiques)