Throughout the 1990s, sculptor/musician Pierre Dumont had been presenting exhibitions/performances with his group Chimère. This CD was put together in 1999 from live direct-to-DAT recordings. The exhibitions "La Vie Silencieuse des Pierres" (1994), "Les Porteuses d'Ô" (1996), and "Le Travail des Bêtes" (1998) are represented by excerpts from the concerts, in most cases compositions by bandmembers. The fact that the lineup remained pretty much the same throughout the decade strongly contributed to the album's cohesion. Dumont being a percussionist, his pieces are mostly rhythmical and often take an atavistic form reminiscent of Native American or traditional African music. His sound samples of water and earth-related sounds, along with Lou Basin's singing in an onomatopoeic language, enhance the feeling of "music before civilization." "Le Travail des Bêtes" remains the perfect example of this facet of the group. Pianist Pierre St-Jak leans more toward jazz and his compositions tend to walk a thin line between modern chanson and soft avant-jazz. His "Il y a de l'Ô" and "La Cancion Desesperada" foretell his project L'Hôtel du Bout de la Terre (also with Babin). Since the music was devised to present Dumont's sculptures, a generous booklet with lavish photographs of his works was exactly what the doctor recommended.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture