Exploring imaginary folklore: Gabriel Dharmoo’s Vestiges d’une fable

In the realm of contemporary chamber music, Montreal-based composer Gabriel Dharmoo stands as a beacon of innovation. His latest album, Vestiges d’une fable, released today under the Centrediscs label, is a testament to his singular vision and boundless creativity.

The composer’s musical journey is a rich tapestry woven from diverse influences, with Vestiges d’une fable serving as a captivating chapter in his ongoing exploration as a Creative Partner of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Dharmoo draws inspiration from Indian music, particularly Carnatic traditions, infusing his compositions with rhythms, melodies, and ornamentation that reflect his deep appreciation for this music heritage.

Yet, what sets Vestiges d’une fable apart is Dharmoo’s adept fusion of these influences with his own idiosyncratic style, creating what he describes as an “imaginary folklore.” Through a series of five chamber music compositions, spanning from 2010 to 2017, Dharmoo invites listeners into this imaginary world, where traditional forms coalesce with experimental sounds to form a rich sonic tapestry.

The new album opens with “Sur Bà nội”, an intimate trio that sets the stage for the sonic journey ahead. Here Dharmoo’s intricate melodies and nuanced textures captivate the listener, drawing them into a world where boundaries blur and imagination reigns supreme. From the haunting beauty of “the fog in our poise” to the rhythmic complexity of “Moondraal Moondru”, each composition offers a glimpse into Dharmoo’s creative mind, where disparate elements coexist in harmonious balance.

Recorded at the National Arts Centre with conductor Gary Kulesha and a host of talented musicians, including members of the NAC Orchestra and guest artists, Vestiges d’une fable invites listeners on a journey of exploration and discovery. With its imaginative blend of cultural influences and innovative sonic landscapes, the album serves as a reminder of the limitless possibilities of artistic expression and the enduring relevance of chamber music in the 21st century.

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