J.S. Bach's Chorales Revisited 

In May 2024, a film score project I was working on was delayed, leaving me with unexpected free time. Knowing I would be scoring for viola da gamba and harmonium, I began recording various ideas to prepare for the work ahead. One of these ideas happened to be J.S. Bach’s chorale "Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein" ("Oh God, Look Down from Heaven"). This sparked a creative surge, leading me to arrange and adapt several of his chorales. A week later, the album you see here was completed.

Since my adolescence, the music of J.S. Bach has been a constant companion, especially his instrumental works like the Goldberg Variations, Brandenburg Concertos, his sonatas for violin or viola da gamba, and of course, his six cello suites. With so many exceptional recordings of his music, I often wondered how I could bring something new to this rich tradition. I decided to proceed by way of subtraction, paring down the music to its essence.

Consequently, in certain arrangements, only the melody from the hymn is used, leaving little of Bach's original harmonic structure. Nevertheless, I first heard these melodies in Bach’s chorales, and for me, he is nowhere as present as in these hymns. In recognition of this, I offer these recordings under his name.

Though it came to me suddenly, it seems this album has been slowly forming over time. I hope you find joy in listening to it.


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A 10-hour Album in Ten Parts

Between January and March 2024, I dedicated myself to composing and recording a 60-minute track each week for Montreal-based internet radio Radio Bloc Oral, which culminated in the creation of the album you see here. This project represents an experiment in sonic immersion and a deep dive into long-form music. It combines field and archival recordings with modular synthesis and acoustic instruments, and also features collaborations with guest artists. 'Ephemera' is a unique musical landscape that I hope you will enjoy exploring. This journey has been quite an adventure, and I invite you to join me in experiencing it.


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EPHEMERA print & essay
6" x 11" print, 18pt cotton paper
Photo by PYM, Rocher des druides, Rocsalière, France (2024)
Accompanied by a short essay by writer and podcaster J.F. Martel
Limited edition of 25

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