Presence (which will be followed by Presence II in 2000) replaces the DISContact! series as the Canadian Electroacoustic Community's mean of spreading the works of its members. Exit the clip format (pieces under three minutes) that was at the basis of DISContact! and DISContact! II: this time pieces are selected for their interest and the goal is to put good music in the hands of listeners instead of as many composers as possible. Some works are a few seconds shy from 15 minutes, while one is under 60 seconds. Most of the 23 featured composers are Canadian (some are French, American, Spanish) teachers and students. All of them are seldom found on record (but some are regulars of the CEC's compilations: Steve Bradle, Diane McIntosh, Jean Routhier, Daniel Zimbaldo). As with any arbitrarily built compilation (pieces are presented in alphabetical order of the composers, regardless of compatibilities), some pieces are breathtaking, others are quickly forgotten. Highlights include Rémy Carré's "La Trace Du Souffle," Jan Jarvlepp's "Buoyancy" (using only cello sounds to great effect), and David Lindsay's "Cetacean Progress."
AllMusic Review by François Couture