Dembitzer Music / 2000
Musician, music reviewer, translator. Musically active since the mid-Eighties. The mastermind behind Kirkut-Koncept (1986-90) a group performing original compositions bordering on rock song, cabaret, ethnic music and experimental. Took part in many other avant-garde Polish groups of the Eighties such as Przestrzenie (art songs, music theatre), Na Przyklad (group improvisation) and Hiena (postindustrial). In the Nineties, started cooperation with pianist Piotr Czerny [Microaudioplays (CD) Soror Mystica 1998] and began a solo career by self-releasing a series of home-burned CDR’s such as With/Without (featuring Barbara Socha, Joane Hétu, Marek Choloniewski and Boleslaw Blaszczyk), KITS (with Tomasz Krakowiak) and Najduchy - Porzadek: Chaos (with the famous Polish poet Jacek Podsiadlo). Writes music reviews for Studium a Krakow-based art and literature bi-monthly as well as for the Terra.pl music service. Translated into Polish Chris Cutler’s File Under Popular (“O muzyce popularnej”) [Wydawnictwo Zielona Sowa 1999]. His latest CD, entitled Sztetlach, brings music commissioned from some of the best young Polish musicians, to name Jaroslaw Bester of The Cracow Klezmer Band and Wojt3k Kucharczyk of the Mik.Musik.!. label, in an unorthodox and an unusually varied homage to one of the great forgotten Polish composers Szymon Laks (1901-83).
Dębica (Poland), 1964
Residence: Dębica (Poland)
On the Web
Ireneusz Socha, Studium, no. 17-18, March 1, 1999
Ireneusz Socha, Studium, no. 15-16, January 1, 1999This is music for listeners who like to express and receive strong feelings. It is full of fervor. …every sound of Joane Hétu seems as a touch of somebody close and beloved. A must at any price.
Ireneusz Socha, Studium, no. 10, December 21, 1997
Ireneusz Socha, Studium, no. 10, December 21, 1997
The live recordings from the 1997 European tour include compositions by all FFGQ members. Nearly thirty-year musical career of Fred Frith has always distinctly confirmed his consequent attitude of breaking the fossilized conventions of rock music. One cannot help noticing that this attitude serves as the example for other rockmen, especially guitarists who since The Beatles’ times have been considered the most attractive figures on the rock scene.
While it is obvious that each decision on abandoning deep ruts of any behavioral pattern is always painful, any effort aimed at changing rock music habits is nearly destructive for the apostate. I can tell out of my own experience that to break the conservatism of rock fans is almost impossible: in majority they will surely go on listening exclusively to new mutations of Velvet Underground, MC5 or Sex Pistols. Frith keeps on changing himself all the time. He changes himself, but continues to develop his creative method, and that is why both old and new listeners still find him attractive.
When ten years ago Fred presented his electric guitar quartet for the first time (the idea itself being not new, cf. Glenn Branca, Robert Fripp or Fred’s experiments of the Seventies) his fans bore a grudge against it and complained that he did not choose to simply continue the old Henry Cow or Skeleton Crew line instead. But Frith insisted on systematic developing new skills of interaction in music on electric instruments. The original expression, so characteristic of rock music, was now to excite listeners’ emotions through giving them an opportunity to follow the clear four-person teamwork relations and preferably to implement the organization samples in their private lives. Any solos, duos, trios and quartets that might have resulted from the given composition depicted some emotional relations borrowed from real social and political life. It is clearly visible in a live situation when we can see how the musicians communicate with each other by way of some special gestures or face expressions, how they share instruction and leadership waiting until the right time.
With this CD Frith’s quartet evokes a slightly different atmosphere. Since its members willingly participate in various projects, which stylistic range can make any purist dizzy, their individual experiences naturally influence the quality of the music they create together. The leader stays as the most influential among them taking advantage of his arsenal of unorthodox playing techniques still improved since the mid-Seventies. Stewart and Didkovsky are characterized by the rare ability to keep balance while zapping between desperately discordant genres, which not devoid of distance and humor enables the group to tell its stories with impressive sprite and eloquence. Lussier, somewhat “hidden” or “blended” into the quartet sound, seems happy to go on as the masterly precise reader of the group’s scores. His full capabilities are better demonstrated only in his solo of Tout de suite.
Joane Hétu is a woman who fulfills herself in various ways: as a mother (two daughters), as a manager (she directs the independent label) and as an artist (composer, librettist, saxophone player and singer). Consequently, whatever she does has a lot of positive energy in it — influxing from the self-realization and self-confidence in a good sense. Her overall message is positive and well balanced: woman’s (over-) sensibility and man’s strength in equal amounts. In her home Montréal Joane belongs to the globally unique community of musicians who have joined forces in pursue of a non-commercial artistic music. Joane’s label gives them a chance to earn a living by playing what they like.
This is her second solo album. As previously, we can hear all musical obsessions of hers thriving on the crossroads between strict composition and free improvisation. Hétu seems to treat her favorite musical styles just like attires and decorates them with her special patches and scraps. And every little thing she is wearing suits her. Joane can persuade us that her setting of the ritual music of Native Canadians, experimental rock, shanties, ballads, sound explorations and non-idiomatic improvisation is intelligent and beautiful. It is worth mentioning that Hétu perceives beauty quite differently than, let us say, Céline Dion. When you are always pleasant and meek you are lying. Beauty has something to do with your life courage and the drive for improving your sensibility and knowledge. Joane also sings of her love experiences, but again uniquely and contrary to our presumptions. No pseudo-inspired let-us-make-love-now easy atmosphere here. No cheap pornography either. Hétu is a mature woman and she opts for the immediate and (some hypocrites would even say–shocking) lyrical description of erotic loving. However, she always manages to control the whole thing within the good taste. Her voice also tells us stories of some moving emotions, friendship, bringing up kids, getting together to overcome everyday problems. No censorship, but no assault either.
This is music for listeners who like to express and receive strong feelings. It is full of fervor. The passion reflects itself in the cover design of wooden sculptures styled after Native American housewares.
Compared to the continually dehumanized and stupid music of recent years, every sound of Joane Hétu seems as a touch of somebody close and beloved. A must at any price.