Rachel Therrien – CAPI

· by Frédéric Cardin

CAPI is the seventh album by trumpeter and composer Rachel Therrien. It is also, by far, her most innovative and experimental. Somewhere between free improvisation, contemporary writing and electro exploration, CAPI is above all a musical setting of the poetry of her grandfather, Charles Lebel-Therrien. This poetry is sometimes harsh, like the mineral Côte-Nord region in Quebec that is often celebrated, sometimes lyrical, like a sunset over the infinite horizon of Minganie (other name of the region), sometimes biting, like the wind blowing down from Labrador. Therrien brings to this deeply personal tribute exploded electro sounds, modified drums, sinuous guitar and her trumpet, here soaring, elsewhere explosive. All to bring grandpa’s lyrics to life, recited/sung by Caroline Tremblay. 

This album takes us totally out of this world. If the Côte-Nord panorama is already a something that seems to have been transposed here from another planet, Rachel’s music confirms the feeling of strangeness that can be associated with it. Explosions of rock, ethereal cries and schizophrenic atmospheres are superimposed on moments of gentleness and beatific, spellbinding contemplation. 

CAPI is also an opportunity to discover CEM, the Centre d’expérimentation musicale, a Saguenay-based organization dedicated to creative music and that has been a strong partner in the realisation of this project. It’s reassuring to see that outside of Montreal, North America’s major hub for contemporary music, there’s life for demanding sounds. Bravo!

Be prepared to be deeply surprised and shaken by this album, which we never saw coming, if the previous six were anything to go by. 

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