Welcome to a strange, strange world. Saudade is not a sunny walk to the sound of Cesaria Evora, as you may have guessed. Well, maybe not so strange if you’re familiar with scholarly contemporary avant-garde or electronic noise. Be warned, nevertheless, that you are entering a brilliant experimental territory. That said, what’s most surprising about this extravagant display for trumpet and electronics is the amount of unusual sounds that come out of the instrument of Torontonian Nicole Rampersaud, who is also a composer. From gurgling and whistling sounds to imitations of panpipes and improbable unctuous slides, it’s staggering to realise just how purely acoustic and non-electronic some of the effects are! The album oscillates between two attitudes: feverish noisiness or a more subdued ambience. Whether it’s one or the other, Rampersaud astonishes and fascinates. It’s not for everyone, but those with slightly more muscular ears and a healthy dose of music-loving curiosity will find it an intriguing aural playground to dissect.
Rampersaud at Casa del Popolo (Montreal) on 13 November 2023 :