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Radio ›› Strand, Under the Dark Cloth
Strand, Under the Dark Cloth
Abstraction, 2m26s [extrait]
CD: Ambiances Magnétiques (1999) AM 064
1 novembre 2000
Par Randall Mcilroy in Coda Magazine #294 (Canada), 1 novembre 2000


Jean Derome pays homage to photographer Paul Strand through his compositions for the film Strand, Under the dark cloth (Ambiances magnétiques AM 064 CD). A setting like this could impose limitations. Consider the timing, musical vignettes that tick in at 24 seconds to just over four minutes on 18 tracks. However, Derome turns out to be a person with flair and each of the tunes tells a story, no matter the time. The portraits he unveils are hypnotic, gorgeous and stunning. He is not averse to staying away from free expression that melds percussion heavy grooves, voices and a melodic imprint in its rythmic texture. Adding that final touch to a rewarding album is the eclectic voice of Karen Young.

blogue@press-1333 press@1333
1 février 2000
Par Luc Bouquet in ImproJazz (France), 1 février 2000


«… l’auditeur sera frappé par la sobre et limpide beauté d’une musique immense d’humanité.»

Strand — Under The Dark Cloth est la b.o.f. du film de John Walker consacré au photographe et cinéaste underground Paul Strand (1890 — 1976). Signées par le saxophoniste Jean Derome, les dix-huit pièces de ce compact sont le plus souvent les illustrations musicales des photographies de Strand. Comme toujours en pareil cas l’image manque. Informé ou non du contenu, l’auditeur sera happé par la sobre et limpide beauté d’une musique immense d’humanité. Mais l’on aurait aimé goûter à l’œuvre dans son intégralité, car point besoin d’être devin pour deviner que le film de Walter ne sera probablement jamais distribué en France. Reste la musique; captivante, douce, mystérieuse, comme toujours chez Derome.

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9 septembre 1999
Par David Lewis in Exclaim! (Canada), 9 septembre 1999


«Strand… is one of Derome’s most satisfying projects and confirms why his music deserves wider acclaim.»

Derome has to number among Canada’s most diverse, entertaining and prolific composers. This film soundtrack features him on flutes, tin whistle, alto saxophone, piano and percussion, as he leads a 12 piece orchestra in a program of 18 miniatures distinguished by their cohesive suite-like flow. The composer’s melodic flair shines as Claude Maheu’s oboe states the lovely theme of Rebecca while timpani (Abstraction), steel drums (Blind Woman) and delicate percussion fills (La Galerie,) show Derome’s rhythmic invention and his mastery of harmonic colour and minimalist detail. Pascale Beaudry’s violin and the wordless vocals of Karen Young add consistent charm and dramatic strength to a project that ranges from the vibrant African vamp of the heavily percussive Ghana (Hope) to the sprightly folk themes of Hébrides (A Song & A Dance). Paul Strand, Under the Dark Cloth is one of Derome’s most satisfying projects and confirms why his music deserves wider acclaim.

blogue@press-1487 press@1487
19 juillet 1999
Par Dolf Mulder in Vital #182 (Pays-Bas), 19 juillet 1999


Derome who composed for dance and theatre in the past, here presents his first soundtrack. A first soundtrack by known musician makes me always curious. Will it show the artist from a totally other side or not, as making filmmusic has its own possibilities and restrictions? The following quote gives a little insight into how Derome copes with this: “To compose music for a film is to translate a film into music. […] When I compose a soundtrack, I start by listening closely to the sounds that are already there. I listen to the texture of the voices, ambient noises, extraneous sounds, snatches of music that are already there, I observe how the actors move, how they dance on the screen; I ask myself if they really mean what they say. ” Orchestrated for a large ensemble of strings, winds, percussion and voice, this cd presents 18 compositions that show the range of Derome’s compositional work. It’s a soundtrack to the film Strand under the Dark Cloth by John Walker. It’s a film on the work of the famous photographrer Paul Strand. The film has many and long sequences of photographs. The included booklet gives some info on this photographer and some of his photos’ are printed here.

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1 mai 1999
in Downtown Music Gallery (ÉU), 1 mai 1999


«Jean Derome has done an incredible job here… Bravo!»

This is Jean’s elegant and haunting soundtrack for a film by John Walker which is a portrait of the fascinating American photographer & filmmaker — Paul Strand. Derome utilizes a 12 piece ensemble, which includes his usual collaborators René Lussier, Pierre Cartier and Pierre Tanguay. Strand led a long & interesting life (1890 - 1976), traveling, taking photographs and making films, from New York to Gaspé to New Mexico to Mexico itself, before moving to Europe, from France to Italy to Scotland to Egypt to Ghana and back to France. The film and soundtrack capture Strand’s lifelong trek. The music here is rich, varied, like the life it portrays. There are four themes explored throughout, each one weaves strands which are often stark, pure, often minimal, graceful, delicate, provocative, contemporary classical moments, exquisite folk melodies, breathtaking, occasionally sad, yet always filled with the strength of an ever - changing journey of captivating images. Jean Derome has done an incredible job here, the music stands on its own as pure poetry in sound, an enriching experience is in store for all of us who listen closely. Bravo!

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