Léa Boudreau, a composer of electroacoustic music living in Montréal, creates most of her work imagining sound for various processes and conditions humans face every day. Dementia, the opening track on this physically tactile new album, tries to capture the mental decay of the titular disease, as a series of motifs and phrases become increasingly splintered and disconnected from any initial patterns we sense. Likewise, Recovery aims to sonify the halting steps and struggles humans encounter as they recover from some mental or physical problem; sonic tension transforms into a kind of drifting serenity.
These frameworks clearly drive and inspire Boudreau’s work, but even without such background information her dynamic music excels, opening up a collision of musique concrète and synthesis constructed with a rich compositional logic. Abstraction and melodic shards combine in ever shifting proportions, unconcerned with any stylistic purity.
Her piece Mini-bestiaire pour la fin du monde is meant to convey how several animal and plant species might “evolve beyond the Anthropocene by adapting to extreme environmental conditions,” per the liner notes, but I hear a mix of synthesizer melodies snaking within abstract whooshes and crunches that definitely suggest some elusive kind of thematic development. The middle of the album is occupied by Impromptu[e], where the composer uses cello sounds made by her friend Lara Laverdure as source material — twisted, extended, and chopped-up — for a composition no less rigorous and imaginative than the purely electronic works.