This is precious in the best sense of the wordâ€”an intensely personal document whose content speaks for itself. Â Vocalist Marianne Pousseur provides only the following statement: â€śI like to listen to music in places that havenâ€™t been designed for that.Â I like when music mixes in with noise.â€ť
But for all its conceptual interest, Pousseurâ€™s material is also extremely strong. The disc starts off surprisingly, with a rendition of John Cageâ€™s â€śThe Wonderful Widow Of Eighteen Springsâ€ť from inside of a car. Â The scene is immediately set. Giacinto Scelsiâ€™s â€śHo 1,â€ť recorded in a church with ample, haunting acoustics, finds her pushing the boundaries of language, stammering and cutting off syllables to surprisingly yearning effect. Gyorgi Kurtagâ€™s five â€śLettres dâ€™Epicureâ€ť come from the same church, with occasional footsteps, clapped and tapped accompaniment. With two soaring pieces (by Henri Posseur and Frederic Rzewski) in a primary school, we can hear occasional restless students and a class bell ringing just at the end of the song.Â The awareness of this type of performance makes the listening experience more vivid, personal, and sometimes thrilling. Pousseur is occasionally accompanied on percussion, as on Cageâ€™s â€śExperience No2,â€ť recorded in a forest.
The apex of the disc is a series of Sephardic songs performed with minimal percussion in a train station. At this point, the image of this powerfully-voiced woman singing in these public spaces becomes fully realized, and itâ€™s wonderful, these creatively expert renditions of rarely-heard pieces.