Stuart Broomer, Musicworks:
Boro, a 2018 first-time meeting with Winnipeg-based sound artist Doreen Girard, develops a more abstracted quality, with recordings of the duo “overlaid and minimally edited” to create a single twenty-six-minute piece. The layering both extends and randomizes the interaction, developing dense fields of low-level events and simulating a brilliant improvising quartet of largely indistinguishable members. Girard plays the tsymbaly, a Ukrainian hammer dulcimer; eschewing any traditional use, she creates a certain hollow resonance that in one segment effectively foregrounds Olive’s whistling electronic musings. Both mysterious and compelling, Boro eventually recedes into the quietest of bell-like tinkles.
Dave Madden, The Squid's Ear:
Over the past decade, Tim Olive's 845 Audio label has become an international curation of captivating sonic sculptors. Olive's fourteen recorded meetings with fascinating artists such as Anne-F Jacques, Martin Tétreault, Frans de Waard, Jason Kahn, etc. possess aesthetic solidarity and yield unique results.
In the case of Boro, Doreen Girard and Olive's conjoined palette creates a lava flow where arrested violence creeps at a funeral pace without pause.
The press release mentions that the music here is assembled from recordings that were "overlaid and minimally edited", further adding to the question of where Olive begins and Girard ends. Center speaker is Olive's cubby of jagged tings, squeals and ringing, metallic jitters created from a host of objects and guitar pickups. He often leans in to coax electrical pulses, chimes and booms in a style that realizes as arrhythmic and destructive, but...gentle; his miniature squall may only bring cause for alarm to an ant farm. To the right is Girard on prepared tsymbaly, a Hungarian hammered dulcimer that dates back centuries. She spends a good deal of time sustaining a sympathetic drone whose dynamic ebb and flow inspires the above-mentioned comparison — and it's possible her other hand is simultaneously creating the banshee-like groans (rubber dragged across the soundboard?) that whoosh around from time to time. The left speaker is occupied by a revolving sound that can impersonate a simmering pot, smoldering coals, a small conveyer belt, and a few sheets of paper dragged over a piece of wood.
This three-part counterpoint (with occasional sub-branches) mutates, adapts, abandons, and eschews motifs in the micro sense during the 26-minute crawl. Mists of supple pitched feedback periodically touch down; something thin (film tape?) pulled across something else resonates with a light, quivering hum; strings snap with a boing! and shake the items stuffed between them like a rattling signpost. Midway in, Olive and Girard both let out a long roar, and with that, the color shifts, i.e. that simmering pot gets bigger, wider, and less ghostly with the introduction of thudding rhythms and an interpretation of someone furiously scribbling on a desk. Permutations of these literal twists and turns continue until minute 24 where brakes are loosely applied to the mix, unveiling a coda of delicate toy piano-like plinks. This dénouement realizes as if the piece were played in reverse, revealing the original theme in the ultimate minute. Neat.
Girard and Olive were paired based on a recommendation from the organizers of the Sounds Like festival. They recorded what would become Boro the day they met (as in "met for the first time"). And like that, the duo created something that makes me feel as if I'm listening to music for the first time all over again
Mark Wharton, Idwal Fisher:
These two releases on Tim Olive’s 845 Audio label are recent and still available via Bandcamp and hopefully in hard copy. I urge you to investigate but only if you have the time and patience. Yes, yes, yes, I know, shut up with the patience thing. We know we’re not here for a beery sing-a-long. This time around Olive collaborates with Martin Tétreault and Doreen Girard, or vice-versa if you prefer. Tétreault working with turntables and electronics and Girard on prepared tsymbaly, that's a dulcimer in case you were wondering [I was].
On Boro’s single 26-minute track this results in a wash of scraping, droning, twanging, frotting, tink and howl as Girard tugs, shoves and maybe for all I know breathes across her strings creating a crumbling world of zings and crashes. Faune [recorded in 2013] is full of skree, tiny machine sounds, throbbing drone. Loops from Tétreault’s turntables speed up and slow down, gentle knocks and rumbles and through all this Olive works his magnetic pickups, strings are pulled through guitar strings, tiny wire brushes are deployed, coils, violin bows, tuning forks maybe circuit boards from dusty PC towers were crushed between weighted palms? All marvellous.
released May 8, 2019
Doreen Girard: prepared tsymbaly
Tim Olive: magnetic pickups
Recorded in Saskatoon, Oct. 2018
Catalog Number: 845-12
Format: Glass-mastered CD, hand-stamped recycled-chipboard cover
Limited Edition of 100
Mixed/Mastered by Craig Boychuck
First meeting of Winnipeg-based Doreen Girard and Kobe/Canada's Tim Olive, the day before a performance at Sounds Like festival in Saskatoon. An afternoon of recordings, overlaid and minimally edited.