Whaling Tangents

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, May 23, 2009

Sur fond blanc (EKUMEN EK009) is the effort of two electroacoustic composers Nicolas Bernier and Jacques Poulin-Denis. A lot of their brittle sounds are a shade too tasteful for my ears, but they do occasionally harness some decent processed noises in service of dramatic, narrative effects. Actors and actresses use their speaking apparatus to contribute fragments of prose and poetry into the mix, as do certain dancers whose footsteps form part of the compositions (the record has its origins as a commission for a dance work). These Canadian musicians are, they say, attempting to convey something about “interior space, emptiness and absence.”

The arrangements are fresh and aerial…