Pierre Langevin

La Boulezaille

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AllMusic Review by

Pierre Langevin and Pierre Tanguay are one half of the Mediterranean traditional music ensemble Strada. Tanguay is also the busiest avant-garde jazz drummer/experimental percussionist in Montreal. For La Boulezaille, they bring to the table their inventory of traditional instruments (wind instruments like a duduk, bagpipes, pipe, recorders, etc., for Langevin; all kinds of hand-held percussion and toy instruments for Tanguay), a bunch of found and invented instruments, and an urge to improvise. The resulting music is fanciful, cheerful, witty, and strange, driven by the pleasure to discover new sounds and literally play with them. The duo taps into traditional music currents from all over the world, integrating culture upon culture -- or more exactly ignoring them -- to come up with a form of music that sounds traditional in a multi-dimensional way but is in fact traditional only to Langevin and Tanguay. Each piece is full of surprises, new odd instruments joining in all the time, but this project is not about novelty. These pieces have depth, sensitivity, and a down-to-earth fairy tale vibe -- it's not an oxymoron since the music evokes both faraway lands and the local junkyard. One thinks of Mike Adcock and Clive Bell's beautiful duo album Sleep It Off. La Boulezaille has that kind of indescribable magic, magic that makes you feel close to the true essence of music: emotion in invention. And it reminds listeners that improvisation and resourcefulness once were at the core of all traditional folk music. Recommended.

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