Nicolas Bernier + Jacques Poulin-Denis Étude No. 3 Pour Cordes Et Poulies

Created as a sonic accompaniment for the dance troupe O Vertigo, Etude No. 3 is a recording that steps lightly on its own two feet. Creators Bernier and Poulin-Denis are multidisciplinary artists who crossed paths via their studies of electro-acoustic composition at the University of Montreal. Poulin-Denis’s previous training as a dancer and actor doubtlessly led to this specific collaboration. The two have achieved something rare and wonderful: music that has the precision, inner life and depth of field inherent to accomplished electro-acoustic work but with a ghostly breath of melody giving it lift and lightness. The electronic elements elicit comparisons to the detailed works of Alva Noto or Ryoji Ikeda but they are only the gears and hinges of a much larger and more delicate machine. Nothing is ever still. Brushed drums shoot right-to-left like chain lightning, voices pop out like snippets of captured radio broadcasts while ticks and chimes well up like a wall of music boxes yet nothing ever seems overwrought or crowded. Bernier’s website/label/micro-community Ekumen is one to keep an eye and/or ear on in the nights to come. (Ekumen)