The four works on this CD are each strongly compelling and immaculately produced. The production standards of recording and mixing are very high and put to effective compositional use, which is essential in any electroacoustic work. There is also a carefully conceived unity of materials and gestures that give the works a strong structural foundation.
Over that solid technical basis, Gobeil sets out to create a drama of suspended tension and release using long building climaxes, quick jump cut edits, and eerie drones and lingering silences. However, these benchmarks of his dramatic language are used so frequently from piece to piece that their desired impact is unjustly compromised by predictability. Gobeil’s unity of style and materials is so complete and unvaried that even the three diverse literary points of inspiration used for the works (Marcel Proust, HG Wells, and Jules Verne) fail to yield the potential variants in style, materials and form.
On a concert program including works by other composers, Gobeil’s music can stand beyond the rest and lead the listener on a hair-raising journey. But heard one after another in succession the impact is marginal. Therefore, I recommend listening to this CD in small concentrated doses separated by time and experience.